PI5 Sunflower


One of the nicest things about summer is seeing tall, beautiful sunflowers watching proudly over backyard gardens. Is there anyone who doesn't love them?

sunflower

View full size or as a
web graphics set

This tutorial was adapted from Jane Braz's PSP sunflower tutorial, with her kind permission. It shows you how to use a custom path shape, enhanced by the Paint and Retouch tools, to make a sunflower you'll be able to enjoy year round. 

I created the basic petal shape in Expression, a terrific and inexpensive program I often use to make .AI shapes for Importing into PI. You'll need to download the UFO petal object to follow the tutorial. This object will only work in PI5.0.

Start with a new True Color image 300 X 300 pixels. Open the petal UFO object in the work space. I'm working with the petal at a large size so that you can see the details. 

This makes a very large sunflower. You might want to reduce the size of the petal shape for a smaller sunflower. The one at the top of this page was created with a petal 50% of the size shown at left. 

Select the Path Drawing tool and click on the petal object to make it active. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select a bright yellow, RGB=240, 223, 78. 

petal object shape

Choose Object, Convert Object Type, From Path to Image. Now you'll be using the Paint and Retouch tools to contour the petal. 

Select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select a mustard brown color, RGB=216,190, 40. Change the brush size to 10, Transparency=20, and leave the Soft edge=50 (default). Apply some of this darker gold color to the left side, and slightly less to the right side. This darker color will help to add contour to the petal.

add darker contour color

Select the Smudge Retouch tool (looks like a pointing finger). In the Attributes toolbar, change the Level by sliding it to the left to about the halfway mark. Change the brush size to 10 and Soft edge=50. Smudge the borders between the light and dark colors, in a vertical movement. Try not to overdo the blending.

smudge colors

Select the Burn Retouch tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose Thin Burn from the Presets dropdown list. Change the brush size to 10. Drag the Level border slider to the left, to about the halfway mark. Make a curving line to darken the upper left part of the petal.

add thin burn

Choose the Smudge Retouch tool again. In the Attributes toolbar, set the brush size to 10 and Soft edge=10. Smudge along the burn line to blend it into the rest of the petal.

smudge burn line

Choose the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select a bright yellow, RGB=255, 238, 92. Set the brush size to 10, Transparency=0 and Soft edge=10. Make a vertical line of yellow for a highlight just to the right middle part of the petal.

add yellow highlight

Return to the Smudge Retouch tool. Stroke lightly along the edges of the yellow highlight. Be careful that you don't overdo the blending. The highlight should be clearly visible.

smudge highlight

The painting of the petal is complete. 

Right click on the petal and choose Shadow. Add a 3 pixel black shadow around all edges, 25% Transparency using the settings shown below:

shadow attributes

Now your petal, with the added shadow, looks like this.

shadow added to petal

This would be a good time to drag the petal over to the EasyPalette and save it, just in case.

The sunflower will be made from duplicates of this petal. Right click on the petal and choose Duplicate. Switch to the Transform tool. In the Attributes toolbar's "Rotate by degree" section, rotate the duplicate petal 30 degrees counterclockwise. Position the petal so that the inner, pointed end slightly overlaps the first petal.

rotate 30 degrees

Duplicate the newly pasted petal, then rotate it 30 degrees counterclockwise. Repeat this process until petals form a complete circle, as shown at below at half size.

half size view of arranged petals

Open the EasyPalette's Layer Manager. Select all of the petals by clicking on the first thumbnail, then holding down on the Shift key while select all of the other thumbnails. Right click anywhere in the Layer Manager and choose Combine as Single Object. 

Right click and Duplicate to create a copy of the petals. While the duplicate is active, right click and choose Properties. When the Object Properties box opens, click on the Position & Size tab. In the Size section, choose Percent from the dropdown list and change the size to 90 percent. Make sure that "Keep aspect ratio" is checked and click OK to reduce the size of the duplicate.

Switch back to the Transform tool. In the "Rotate by degree" section, rotate 15 degrees counterclockwise.

add 90% size petals

Right click on the duplicate petal group (top layer) and choose Duplicate. Right click on this duplicate and choose Properties. When the Object Properties box opens, click on the Position & Size tab. In the Size section, choose Percent from the dropdown list and change the size to 90 percent. Make sure that "Keep aspect ratio" is checked and click OK to reduce the size of the duplicate. Rotate 15 degrees clockwise.

rotate 15 degrees

Right click on the top petal group and choose Duplicate. Right click on this duplicate and choose Properties. When the Object Properties box opens, click on the Position & Size tab. In the Size section, choose Percent from the dropdown list and change the size to 90 percent. Make sure that "Keep aspect ratio" is checked and click OK to reduce the size of the duplicate. Rotate 15 degrees counterclockwise. You will have four layers of petals.

4 layers of petals

While the most recently duplicated reduced-size group of petals is selected, hold down on the Shift key and click on the other three groups of petals, so that all four are selected. Choose Objects, Align, Center Horizontally. Applying this command will center all four petal groups. Click in the base image to deactivate all selections.

Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar's Shape section, select the Circle shape. From the Mode dropdown list choose 3D Round. Click in the Color box and mix a dull olive brown, RGB=113, 96, 15. Draw a circle large enough for the center of the sunflower, as shown at left.

make sunflower center

Open the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, Shading. Double click on the Silk2 thumbnail. From Bump, double click on Net to create a subtle texture. 

add shading and texture

Choose Web, Button Designer, Any Shape. When the dialog box opens, select the thumbnail shown selected below, which is in the next to the last row at the bottom of the dialog box. Change the Bevel size to 8 and click OK.

Now the sunflower middle looks like this. If the white line from the Button Designer (on the lower right side at about the 5 o'clock position) bothers you, use the Blur Retouch tool to smooth it out.

button designer applied

Select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select black. Change the brush size to 6, Transparency=0, Soft edge=2. Make a series of small dots on each side of the sunflower middle.

add dots to flower middle

Finally, right click and choose Shadow. Add the same shadow around the flower center that you used for the petals, but make the Soft edge=10.

The sunflower is finished! In the Layer Manager click on the first thumbnail, then Shift-click the rest of the thumbnails to select all objects. Then right click anywhere in the Layer Manager and choose Combine As Single Object. Add a few Custom Shape leaf objects to add a little zip and a shadow all around to make the sunflower pop out from the background. 

Remember to right click and Merge All to save the image. If you want to save the sunflower to the EasyPalette for future use, drag the sunflower object to the EasyPalette. Doing so opens the Add to EasyPalette dialog box. Give the object a name and save it to My Library. Now you'll have a ready-made sunflower whenever you want one. You can resize the sunflower with the Transform tool.

This sunflower would also make a cheerful web graphics set.

Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.

 

 

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