PI8 Packaging a Preset

PI users like to make and share EasyPalette presets, especially those lovely metallic presets. But it can be tricky including all of the image fills, bump maps and reflections that are needed to make the preset work. Now PI8 makes it possible to package a preset with all of the images needed for its successful use -- no more presets that don't work!

package these presets

This tutorial shows how I made and packaged the presets shown above. The presets were saved to the EasyPalette and Exported with the new Package Preset command.

I started with a 3D Round heart shaped path object from the Custom Shapes.

plain heart object

Click Material in the Attributes toolbar to open the Material dialog box. From the Color Texture tab, select a Two Color gradient fill.

gradient color fill

Click the Bump tab and select Bump Map, which access the Open dialog box. Browse to and select an image for the bump map. I selected one that has a lot of contrast, to create a pronounced bump. I've edited the Density to 100%. You can also edit a Reflection, change the Bevel, number of Lights, etc. as desired.

apply bump map

Now to change the surface lighting so that's it's shiny. The EasyPalette's Material Attributes Gallery offers more fine-tuned Shading options than are available via the Material dialog box, so click OK to apply the color and bump map. The heart looks like this now.

heart so far

Open the EasyPalette's Material Attributes Gallery, Shading tab. Try various Shading thumbnails. Double click on a thumbnail to see how it looks. If you don't like it, right click, Undo and try again. Keep experimenting until you get a look that you like.

add shading

To save the preset, make sure the object is active, then click the Material button in the Attributes toolbar. When the Material dialog box opens, click the Add button. Doing so will open the Material Save Options box.

material save options

The default is All, but you can select Partial if there are some attributes of the preset which you do not want to save. Click OK to open the Add to EasyPalette dialog box.

add to easypalette

Name the preset and save it to My Gallery. A thumbnail for the new preset will appear in the EasyPalette. Continue making presets as desired. I made three different versions of this one: light, medium and dark arabesque.

Select the presets that you wish to package in the EasyPalette. To select multiple thumbnails that are in a row, click on the first one to select it, then hold down the Shift key and click the last one in the row. If the thumbnails aren't all in a row, click one to select a thumbnail, then hold down on the Ctrl key while selecting others.

select thumbnails

Right click on My Gallery (or the Gallery containing the presets) and choose Package.

select package option

You'll get the Package Gallery dialog box. Browse to and select a folder (e.g., "preset") for the package. Give the presets a name (e.g., stephs_arabesque) and click Save. If you take a look at My Computer, you'll see that you've saved the preset as an .SMP file, and that a folder with the image for the bump map has been included with the save.

To share your preset with other PI8 users, just zip up the entire folder that contains the .SMP file and the folder with the image(s). You might want to include with the preset a small text file with your contact information and instructions about how to Import the preset, too.

To Import a packaged preset into your EasyPalette, right click on My Gallery and choose Import. When the Import Gallery dialog box opens, browse to and select the preset's .SMP file. Choose whether to add the presets to My Gallery or open them as a separate Gallery of their own, then click Open. In the screen shot below, you can see that I've Imported the presets into a Gallery of their own.


This tutorial uploaded 9/23/02

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