Created by Westie Kids, 09-30-06. Text Blend Mode is Normal, whereas same title on the Tester page is set to Luminance(Legacy). Using my own very rough hand-drawn ghost, lol!

by Westie Kids; Created 10-01-06.

This tutorial was written in PSP X. Corel did not package Animation Shop with PSPX, but if you upgraded from an earlier version, you have it to use (you'll just need to find it on your hard drive and double click on Animation Shop to open since you cannot launch it from PSPX). You should be able to achieve similar results in versions 8 and up (we'll be using the Mesh Warp and Warp Brush which became available in PSP8. Just go through your Toolbar and it's dropdowns to find them in your version).You may need to search for some of the effects in your PSP's dropdown lists. Please do not offer any of the supplies for download anywhere, do not change file names, do not send the webpage through emails, and only offer a text link to my tutorial URL. I do not wish my tutorials to be translated. Thank you for your courtesy...God bless, Diana

What We'll Be Using:

Corel Paint Shop Pro
and Animation Shop 3

Crescent Moon plugin by Lindon Parker, Freeware
Create a folder named Crescent Moon in your Plugins folder and extract all .zip file contents to it (we'll be using FadeOut effect).

Supplies (2 fonts & Mask 010.jpg; please use tube(s) of your choice)


More Variations - CLICK HERE ~ Tester Results - CLICK HERE


1) If you didn't already have and just installed the plugin, you'll need to first close PSP and then bring it back up for the new plugin to be available.
Remember to save your work often as there are many steps and layers involved!

2) File/New: Width=600, Height=425, Raster Background, Color=Black.
Make sure your Layer Palette is available, if not, View/Palettes/Layers.
Remember to save your work frequently!

3) Add a new Raster Layer and floodfill with #daa520.
Effects/Plugins/Crescent Moon: FadeOut. Use the default values, click OK.

NOTE: If you want to use other colors, floodfill the raster layer with your chosen color. Then open your Material Palette to find it's RGB (Red,Green,Blue) values to place in corresponding Red,Green,Blue Amounts on the FadeOut effect:

4) Open the Mask 010.jpg from Supplies zip and minimize. Layers/New Mask Layer/From Image and find the mask in the dropdown list (any images you have open in your workspace will be listed), click OK:


If you already had Mask 010.jpg in your Masks folder: Layers/Load-Save Mask/Load Mask from Disk, click Load:

Right click on the layer in your Layer Palette and Merge/Merge Group.

5) Find where you downloaded the Little City 2000 font from the Supplies zip (it'll be in it's own subfolder) and double click on it to open for use in PSP (or highlight it in your font viewer program, if you have one).
Change your Foreground color to #000000 and Background color to #343434. Create as Vector. I used letters n and o, size 350 for this sample, but use what you like and size appropriately, leaving room at the top for our text later. You'll need to highlight the size area and type in 350 as it only goes to 72.

After applying and positioning your text, right click in your Layer Palette and Convert to Raster Layer.
Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow: Vert. and Horiz. = 0; Opacity = 100; Blur = 20; Color = #000000; Shadow on New Layer UNchecked.
Click on Normal in the Layer Palette and change the Blend Mode to Luminance (Legacy).

6) Ready for our shadow image. For above animation I used the BOO dingbat font, by House of Lime (letter "c", a skeleton, size 250):
download BOO font

For my green, non-animated, "Candy" sample on the Tutorial Varations, I used 4 kids from the Tricks-N-Treats dingbat font (letters E,F,L and N, size 150) available at
download Tricks-N-Treats font

Create as Vector, move where you wish, right click layer in Layer Palette and Convert to Raster Image.
(You could alternately use a tube, pasting as a new layer then follow shadow steps below).
Click on the file area OUTSIDE of your dingbat image with your Magic Wand (be sure Tolerance and Feather are both 0).
Floodfill dingbat image with #000000.
Selections/Select None.
Adjust/Blur/Average: 7
In your Layer Palette, lower Opacity from 100 to about 70 (or what suits you - for my "Candy" sample I left dingbat kid shadow layers at 100 Opacity).
Here's what you should have so far (resized for screenshot):

7) If you don't want to create the animated version of the tag, skip to Step 8. Otherwise, duplicate your shadow layer twice. Depending on where you positioned your first shadow layer image, move the duplicates so you'll have the bottom layer's image positioned on the far left. The middle shadow layer image in the center of working image and the top shadow layer image on the far right. For the middle shadow layer I used Image/Rotate/Free Rotate and rotated right: 15 (be sure All Layers is UNchecked). For the top shadow layer (image on right side of animation) I rotated left: 15.

8) If you'd like to add a tube, as I did, open it and Edit/Copy then click on your working image and Edit/Paste as New Layer. Position where you'd like and resize if necessary. I created my tube years ago combining two different selections tutorials to make my little girl with Westies. I have my tube positioned near the bottom of working image so the shadow figure on the far right is partly visible behind her. I added a Drop Shadow to tube layer of Vert: 0, Horiz.: -5, Opacity: 35, Blur: 5, Shadow on New Layer UNchecked.

9) For the Trick or Treat text, I used font CHE LIVES which was included in the Supplies. Create as Vector, size 60, Foreground color: #000000, Background color: #da6112. Enter your text and place so part of the FadeOut/Mask layer shows behind it. I also used the middle node to pull the text up, stretching it taller. After positioning, right click on the layer in the Layer Palette and Convert to Raster Layer.

10) Selections/Select All.
Selections/Modify/Contract: 1
Effects/Art Media Effects/Brush Strokes (default values, per screenshot):

Selections/Modify/Expand: 1
Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow: Vert.: 0, Horiz.: -5, Opacity: 35, Blur: 5, Shadow on New Layer: UNchecked:
Selections/Select None.

(For my SHADOWS title on this page, I left Blend Mode at Normal, on the Tester page I changed it to Luminance(Legacy). I also changed the Blend Mode from Normal to Luminance(Legacy) on the Trick or Treat animation on this page. Your choice for your chosen text. Try moving your text around to see how Luminance(Legacy) changes the way it looks).

11) If you don't wish to do the animation, at this point you could add another shadow image layer, if you like, or a tube, brush, etc. and your watermark. Resize if you wish, then File/Export/JPEG Optimizer, and you're done.

12) To continue for the animated version, go down to the FadeOut/Mask layer (2nd up from the bottom), click on the layer in your Layer Palette to activate it, then right click and Duplicate, TWICE. Hide the 2 duplicate layers (click on the Visibility Toggle, the "eye") then click on the bottom mask layer to activate it again. On your Toolbar, find the Mesh Warp Tool (located on the "flyout" window with the Warp Brush, a few below your "A", text tool). We'll be using both the Mesh Warp & the Warp Brush:

13) When you click on the Mesh Warp tool you'll get an overlay "grid" with nodes that you can pull on in any direction to reshape/deform the image. We'll use the default values on this tool. Just pull on a few of the outer nodes, like I've circled in green below, being careful not to pull past the edge of your working area. Once you've pulled several, click on the Apply button (see 2 screenshots below):

14) Now click on the Visibility Toggle, the "eye", on this layer to hide it (the mesh overlay will still be showing) and click on the top copy of the duplicated mask layers to activate. Click on it's Visibility Toggle to "unhide" the layer. Now repeat what you did in Step 13, only pull some of the other outer nodes, clicking the Apply button when finished. We don't need to use the Mesh Warp on the middle FadeOut/Mask layer for our animation, but you can if you like.

15) You can click on any other tool to remove the mesh overlay, but now we'll click on the Warp Brush and use it on the same 2 layers we worked on with the Mesh Warp Tool. This is optional, but it just adds to the effect. I used the default values on the Warp Brush and that's with the "push" arrow listed first under the Warp Modes. Just push a few wispy edges around and when done, click the Apply button.

16) If you haven't already added your watermark, activate the layer at the top in your palette, add a New Raster Layer, and add your watermark now. BORDER: If you'd like to add a 1px border, as Ginny did with her fabulous test results, activate the layer at the top in your palette, add a New Raster Layer. Floodfill the layer with your chosen border color, then Selections/Select All; Selections/Modify/Contract: 1, then click on the DELETE key on your keyboard (or Edit/Cut).

Find Animation Shop on your hard drive (or if you have it's icon on your desktop) and double click to start the program. As mentioned at the start of the tutorial, Corel PSPX does not have Animation Shop, therefore no File/Launch Animation Shop is available as in prior Jasc versions.

17) With many animation tutorials you're told to "Save as type: PSP Animation Shop (.psp)". With the Copy/Merge technique, that is not necessary. What the COPY/MERGE feature does is create a COPY of your VISIBLE layers, MERGING the layers of your COPY so you can take it over to Animation Shop (without merging your working file. This bypasses the need for multiple .psp images to save for opening in Animation Shop). But however you save, .psp or .pspimage, this variation will work for you.

Click on the Visibility Toggle, the "eye", to hide the bottom Shadow layer and do the same with the bottom FadeOut/Mask layer. All other layers on your palette should be visible.

18) Edit/Copy Merge. Go to Animation Shop and Edit/Paste/As New Animation.
Go back to PSP.
(Since PSPX is a "memory hog", you may want to Edit/Empty Clipboard between these Copy/Merge steps.)

19) Click on the "eye" to now hide the bottom shadow layer and the bottom mask layer.
Click on the "eye" on the middle shadow layer and the middle mask layer to UNhide them.
Edit/Copy Merge. Go back to Animation Shop and Edit/Paste/After Current Frame.
Go back to PSP.

20) Click on the "eye to now also hide the middle shadow layer and the middle mask layer.
Click on the "eye" on the top shadow layer and the top mask layer to UNhide them. Edit/Copy Merge. Go back to Animation Shop and Edit/Paste/After Current Frame.

21) We now have our 3 merged frames in Animation Shop. If you go down to the Scrollbar at the bottom of frames, you can scroll back and forth to see if you have your shadow images positioned going left to right in the frames. If not, you can click on any of the frames and Edit/Delete, then go back to PSP and recreate the correct Copy/Merge file. Then when you come back to paste in Animation Shop you would highlight the frame you want your corrected image to follow or precede (by clicking on the AS frame) and either Edit/Paste/Before Current Frame or Edit/Paste/After Current Frame.

22) Whew, now with that said, lol, we want to change the speed of our Animation, since the default Display Time is 10, and that's too fast.
Edit/Select All (this will highlight/activate all of your frames).
Animation/Frame Properties and change the Display Time to 40 (or a speed of your choosing).
View/Animation and you will get a preview of your completed animation. If nothing other than the shadows and mask layers are moving, you've succeeded!

23) File/Save As and when the window pops up name your file (it will already have .gif extension selected) and click on Save.
On the next window (Animation Quality Versus Output Size) I always have my bar set to the top for Better Image Quality and then click on Next.
On the next window (Optimization Progress), just click on Next.
On the next window (Optimization Preview), just click on Next.
The last window (Optimization Results) is very important, particularly if you are in a group that restricts file sizes of your posts. Notice the center column, Optimized File, where it shows you the file size of your completed image:

You have a choice of clicking on the Back button on this window and back up to the Animation Quality Versus Output Size window to lower the image quality, or you can resize the width and height of the image later and just click on the FINISH button now. You might want to leave the high quality and make 2 copies of your project. One as the original size and one as a smaller size image, calling one "filename.gif" and the other "filename-sm.gif".

24) If you want to resize the width and height of your 600W X 425H size animation, do the following:
Close the Animation we were viewing which will still leave your frames open.
We had earlier done an Edit/Select All, so all the frames should still be highlighted.
Go to Animation/Resize Animation and use Percentage of Original (perhaps 75%, maybe less) with Resize Type as Smart Size and Maintain Aspect Ratio box checked.
Then follow the File/Save As steps above for the animation and notice the last window's Optimization Results for your new file size. If you're happy with it, click on FINISH. You've now got a large and a smaller version of your animation to use (either on a webpage and/or for emails to friends).


I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and perhaps learned a little something from it. If you would like to send me an email with your results, I would be delighted to see them. ..God bless, Diana

More Variations - CLICK HERE ~ Tester Results - CLICK HERE



DISCLAIMER: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work on this site is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for non-profit research and educational or criticism purposes only.

Created 09/26/06
Westie Kids/Diana Dorsey 2001-2007
(all rights reserved)
Thank You and God bless........Diana