Paint Shop Backgrounds

Making interesting and appealing Paint Shop backgrounds is the starting point for any digital scrapbook page with Paint Shop Pro.

They can be as simple as a plain white page or more interesting textures and patterns.  

You can even create your own pattern if you feel so inclined.

The thing to remember is that the background should support the page rather than being the most important and outstanding part of the page.  The background is the foundation that supports your scrapbook project!

The aspects of Paint Shop backgrounds that you'll most often use includes Patterns, Textures and Gradients.

Let's start with Patterns...


Paint Shop Backgrounds

The Patterns that can be used in Paint Shop backgrounds are found in the Materials Palette.

Left click either the foreground color or the background color to launch the Material Properties palette.




Here's the Material Properties palette with four choices - Color, Gradient, Pattern and Texture. 

Select the Pattern Tab.

The next screen will show the built-in patterns and any pattern you may have added - there are 11 patterns included in Paint Shop Pro 2018 with many, many more available on-line.

On the right side of the palette you can adjust the angle of the pattern and the scale.

The angle of the pattern can be changed by spinning the little arm in the middle of the pattern or it can be adjusted in the Angle box.

The pattern can also be scaled from tiny to monstrous.

After selecting the pattern, changing the angle, scaling the chosen pattern and clicking OK, the pattern will show up as the foreground color.


The pattern is applied to a layer by selecting the Flood Fill Tool and left clicking on the blank layer.

If you wish, you can even grab the brush tool and paint the pattern in ...

Here are two sample backgrounds from this screen - the left one is called 1950's pattern and the right one is called Elegant ... 

This is the kind of activity that can consume an enormous amount of time - just to see what you can come up with!  It is worth spending the time you need to get your Paint Shop backgrounds right - this is the foundation of your pages!

Now if this isn't enough - over 100 patterns and 50 or so textures that can be applied to those patterns - you can make your own patterns from your images or random paint strokes on a canvas ...

Making Your Own Patterns

You can make your own patterns from images or just some doodling with the paint brush by going to Effects > Image Effects > Seamless Tiling ...

These are the steps to making a seamlessly tiled paint shop background.

  • I created a 300 pixel by 300 pixel document and added a gradient.
  • The first color was selected and the complimentary button was clicked which produced the complimentary color (the ability to find colors that fit with your primary color is an outstanding feature of Paint Shop Pro).
  • The Gradient Fill was used to draw a gradient from the bottom left to the top right of the document and then the sliders on the gradient arm were moved around to get the gradient exactly the way I wanted.
  • There are different objects that can be drawn on the small document if you wish.  You can draw your own pattern, find something interesting in the Picture Tube Tool or go with one of the Symmetrical Shape objects.  If you use the Symmetrical Shape thn the color of the shape will be the background color.
  • The next steps was Effects > Image Effects > Seamless Tiling ...  This will make a nice pattern with the Flood Fill Tool.  Now click on the Foreground Color in the Materials Palette and when the Properties dialogue launches select the Patterns tab. 
  • In the Patterns tab you'll see the small swatch you made and every other open document as a pattern.  
  • If you leave the angle at 0 then the pattern will be a boring left to right, top to bottom presentation.  Try 45 degrees or some other angle to make an interesting background.
  • Select the little pattern you made, click OK, open your full size document and click with the Flood Fill Tool.

Textures

There are two different methods to apply a texture to your Paint Shop backgrounds.

The Effects Menu

If you want the appearance of paper or canvas on your Paint Shop backgrounds then a texture is the way to go.

The first and easiest method is found in the Effects menu - Effects > Texture Effects  ... 

There are 15 options in this menu including the Texture option with 34 fully modifiable options available!

Each of the Textures (about 50 of them all together) can be modified in a variety of different ways - from size to light direction or shininess or depth.  Just exploring this menu can take many hours!

Just a hint - make notes on each step to make sure you can get back to an effect you like!

Materials Palette

The second method is to go to the Materials Palette and apply a texture from there.

In Paint Shop Pro 2018 this is the way to add a texture from the Materials Palette.

The first thing to decide is the color for the pattern so click on the Foreground Color and select a color or select a color from one of the built in palettes.  The selected color will show up as the Foreground Color (the left image).

Next click on the little Texture Square (to turn the Texture Off and On) at the bottom of the Foreground Color swatch (outlined in red above).  This will apply the active Texture to the selected color.

Create a new Raster Layer and fill the layer with the Flood Fill Tool.  

If the effect is too strong simply lower the Opacity until you're satisfied.  

In addition, there are many other things you can do with the texture, including ...

Adjust Menu - try these ...

  • Depth of Field
  • Blur (try them all)
  • Softness

In the Effects Menu pretty much any of the effects will produce really great results.

Remember to make notes on the effects you added or, as a last result, keep the History Palette open while you are working.

At the end of each session go to File > Export > Save Session History.  This produces a text file with all of the adjustments in the session.


There are so many things you can do with the Background.  Have a good time with them!

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