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How to!
changing size, add a picture

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Changing a frame or button size
 
Once bitmap image objects like the free samples are created, the best way to adjust their size is to use the cut and paste options. This will maintain pixel integrity whereas resizing will incorporate interpolation that will antialias and soften the image. However most cut and paste operations of this nature can be performed with simple mouse and key combinations instead of menu choices.

Start your painting program and 'open' the required image that you have saved from the sample pages. These images are all .GIF files with a low number of colours. There is no need to change the mode to RGB unless adding another image and we will do that in the next section.

Using the Rectangular Selection Tool make a full width selection as shown below. Check that there is no Feathering or Antialiasing selected in the Tool Option box. All we need to do is cut and move this selection area, with its contents, upwards to the desired new frame height.

For Photoshop, hold down the Control or Option (Mac) key plus the Shift key (combination for cut and move vertically or horizontally) and mouse drag the selection upwards. For Paint Shop Pro, Left Mouse button down and drag (there is no locking I am aware of in PSP). The result is shown below on the right. REPEAT this for reducing the frames width only this time select an area at the side and move it to the left.

first selection selection is moved

Once you have achieved the first steps the frame size will have changed similar to the result below (without the dotted line). If you have big problems and need to start again, both programs have a "REVERT" option in the "File" menu. Use this to reload the image in the "saved" state.

If you are NOT going to try placing another image into the new frame choose the Magic Wand Tool, check that Feathering or Antialiasing is set to 0 or Off and the Tolerance is set to 0, plus for PSPro, Match Mode equals RGB - Tool Options.

Click in the area that needs to be trimmed off (there is a sample pic at the bottom of the next section). Once selected, choose "Invert" from the Selections Menu. The selected area will be reversed, go to the Image Menu and choose "Crop"..... Bingo - all done.

Finally save the image with the SAVE AS option in the File Menu and give the file a different name as the original, but still with a .gif extension, so the original can be used again.

frmbit3.gif (2890 bytes)If you ARE going to try placing another image into the new frame choose the Magic Wand, check that Feathering or Antialiasing is set to 0 or Off and the Tolerance is set to 0, plus for PSPro, Match Mode equals RGB - Tool Options. Click in the centre area of the image as shown on the left.

This will prepare the image for the inclusion of another picture. Save the image with the SAVE AS option in the File Menu and give the file a different name as the original, but still with a .gif extension, so the original can be used again.
 
Hint
The centre area of the frames are actually RGB 247,247,247 and not quite white. Both of the internal border frames (i.e. this one) have a top/left dark line and a bottom/right white line around the centre. By using an off white colour the Magic Wand selects only the "247" values and leaves these shadow/highlight edges intact. Enlarge it and see. (little things that make life easier)

With one or two further practice runs you should have a go at using the same methods on one of the buttons which are a little more difficult. Vertically you would mouse drag "cut and paste" just one pixel at a time making sure that no sudden changes are detectable in the simple 3D appearance while lengthwise the task would be as simple as the frame above.

When ready, try it on one of the rectangular buttons. The curved end buttons would be the most difficult. If a simple Resize/Resample option was used to change the image size instead of the method covered here, the edges would be softened (antialiased) requiring more complex additions of the required background colour underlying the button. This is an important issue when creating transparent areas around your .GIF images.

Making the image bigger
To make these images bigger instead of smaller, do the same as above EXCEPT....

Firstly use the 'Canvas Size' option in the Image Menu and add enough pixels both horizontally and vertically to cover the new required size. Secondly, for Photoshop use the Control (Option) plus the Shift keys as above PLUS the Alt (Command) key to "Copy and Paste" rather than Cut. For PSPro choose 'Float' from the Selections Menu and then move the floating image.
 

Adding a picture to a frame
 
the desired final resultHere is the final result we are after although I suspect you have another picture in mind besides one of my daughter Cristi. Open your new picture in your painting program along with the desired frame. If you are resizing the frame then it should already be there after the resizing steps above. There are explanations and comments below so be patient and learn some of the technical reasons for doing things a certain way right from the start.

There is plenty to learn here, things that the experienced take for granted
The new image you have selected was probably scanned or painted in RGB format (16 million+ colours). When resizing using the Resize Option in a painting program (not cut and paste as above), interpolation will give better results when a multi-channel RGB image is used. .GIF type pictures have only one channel and therefore less colour values to average (see Interpolation Explained in the "Paint & Bitmaps" lab - DTP).

Do not try to mix palettes downwards!
Also if you try to copy from an RGB image to a 256 or less coloured image, i.e. .GIF, the copied part of an image will take on the small colour palette of the latter - this equals disaster. To stop this happening convert both images (if not already) to RGB. For Photoshop choose the 'Mode option - RGB' from the Image Menu. In PSPro choose 'Increase Colour Depth - 16 million 24bit' from the Colours Menu. If these options are greyed out and not available it means that the image you are working on is already set to that colour depth.

Now the fun bit if you have not done it before. Unless you are born lucky, the new picture will be too big or too small. If it is quite a lot smaller than the area selected in the frame, get another picture as the image will be ugly and pixelised when enlarged. BUT WAIT! are both images, the frame and the new picture, the same resolution?

1:1
Select each image and for Photoshop double click on the Zoom Tool - that is on the tool, not with the tool. You will now view each image at 1:1 resolution where all pixels visible will be mapped to the monitor pixels, a very important option for advanced image manipulation. For PSPro select the Zoom Tool and click (zoom in) or Right Mouse Button click (zoom out) until the top bar of the image or the Tool Options palette displays 1:1.

With both images now displayed at the same 1:1 window resolution you can see exactly how they compare in size. Sometimes only a portion of an image will display when viewed at 1:1 but do not worry as nothing is lost. In this case select the Hand Tool and mouse drag (pan) the image within the window to view what you can not see.

Getting resizing information
Activate the frame image again (click on the top bar) and if using Photoshop look at the Info Palette and on the bottom right hand corner, the width and height of the selection area you created with the Magic Wand tool at the end of the last section will be displayed - make a note of the width and height for the next step.

Getting this info is not as easy in PSPro. Choose 'Copy' from the Edit Menu, then choose 'Paste - as new image' also from the Edit Menu. Place the cursor over this temporary image and the size will be displayed at the bottom right hand corner of the program window. This is the same size of the selection area made with the Magic Wand AND the size that your other picture has to be reduced to - make a note of the width and height for the next step. Delete the temporary cut and paste image you just made from the selection.

Also for PSPro when viewing the frame image, choose 'Save' from the Selections Menu. Find and remember a folder for the file, name it and save. This copies the Magic Wand selection shape for later use, something you can do with Photoshop but will not have to.

Resizing by Interpolation
Activate your new picture again by clicking on its top bar and for Photoshop choose 'Image Size' from the Image Menu, set (if different) the Resolution to 72 first and then the width or height (in pixels) so that your resized image will fit the frame selection area or bigger. For PSPro choose 'Resample' from the Image Menu and set the width or height (custom) so that your resampled picture will fit the frame selection area or bigger. For both programs use the 'proportional' option and ignore the other Resize/Resample options.

(remember the 'Edit - Undo' or 'File - Revert' options for when things go really wrong)

You can try to sharpen the reduced image with the Photoshop 'Filters - Sharpen - Sharpen' Menu option, or for PSPro try the 'Image - Normal Filters - Sharpen' Menu option. Do not use the 'Sharpen More' option for it will be too much for these low resolution images.

Time for a break
As a learner you have covered a lot and should have taken notes in your own way for the future. The topics will be listed at the end. (take away one program description or the other and this page would be considerably shorter, but I hope to help as many as possible).

Ready to finish
You should have an image of the frame and another picture reduced ready for combining into the frame. The frame image should still hold the Magic Wand selection of the inner white area.

frmbit5.gif (7270 bytes)Photoshop. With the Rectangular Selection Tool chosen, mouse drag the frame selection across the work window and drop it onto the new reduced picture. Drag it around the new image to cover the wanted area of the image or use your arrow keys to nudge it into place - shown on the left.

PSPro. Activate the new picture and choose 'Load' in the Selections Menu and from the folder window that appears, load the previously saved selection onto the new image. Now drag the selection around until it covers the wanted area - shown on the left.

frmbit4.gif (4550 bytes)In both programs, choose 'Copy' from the Edit Menu, then activate the frame image again and for Photoshop choose 'Paste Into' via the Edit Menu, and for PSPro choose 'Paste - Paste Into' via the Edit Menu. The images should now be combined and looking good.

Choose the Magic Wand Tool, check that Feathering or Antialiasing is set to 0 or Off and the Tolerance is set to 0, plus for PSPro, Match Mode equals RGB - Tool Options.

Click in the area that needs to be trimmed off (shown here on the left). Once selected, choose "Invert" from the Selections Menu. The selected area will be reversed, go to the Image Menu and choose "Crop"..... Bingo (or ..oops! redo it).

Converting back to 256 (or less) colours
Photoshop. Choose 'Mode - Indexed' from the Image Menu. Click "Yes" to flatten the image into one layer and select "OK" to the defaults that appear next. Go to the File Menu and choose 'Save As" and give the file a new name in the desired folder. From the drop down list of file types, select GIF. Click "Save".....

PSPro. Choose 'Decrease Colour Depth - 256 colours' from the Colours Menu. Go to the File Menu and choose 'Save As" and give the file a new name in the desired folder. From the drop down list of file types, select GIF. Click "Save".....

All done!.
 
If you find these tasks helpful, please let me know -
and leave some money on the fridge as you leave!

Exercises
using the supplied buttons & frames
Adding the drop shadows
Changing the colour
Adding your text
Adding text to the animations

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e-mail 1997 '98. Last Revised:  Friday, 31 October 2003 22:04