Welcome to Graphic Distractions.


With the shut down of some sites recently, a tutorial on how to create a nice looking mail slot was lost. When I learned how to make a mail slot from that tutorial a while back I improvised on it (have not been known to do anything 'per tut') and this was the result. This tutorial will show how to create a Mail Slot, Ideas on Embellishing, Paper, Envelope, and give the code to paste into a HTML document to make it work on a web page.
Paint Shop Pro 7. Also very sure that this tutorial can also be done in 6 as well.
Fill tile. Right click and save the Whitetile.jpg to your hard drive.
image3641 (3K)
First I will show how to create the mail slot .. then show how it can be adjusted to fit one personally.
Lets Play ...
1). Open whitetile.jpg in Paint Shop.
2). Set the white tile as your Foreground pattern.
3). Open a new image 400 x 300 transparent. You can go to the layer pallet and rename this layer "baseplate" if you like.
4). Using the Selection Tool (anti alias unchecked, 0 feather) select a rectangle in the new image .. staying about 15 to 20 pixels away from the edge .. exactness is not important. It will only be used as a visual guide.
5). Use the Flood Fill Tool and flood the selection with the white tile.
6). Go to Effects/ 3D Effects/ Inner Bevel and use the Metallic settings. Deselect.
7). Go to Layers/ Add a New Raster Layer. If you are naming layers this one would be 'nameplate'
8). Using the Selection Tool, select a rectangle at the top of the baseplate .. staying about a quarter to a half inch from the sides and top of the baseplate .. and a little over half the length.
9). Flood fill with the white tile.
10). Apply the same metallic bevel. Deselect.
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11). Go to the Layer Pallet and click once on the bottom layer (baseplate) to activate.
11). Using the Selection Tool, select a rectangle at the bottom half of the baseplate. Stay about a quarter to half inch away from the upper name plate .. The sides and bottom should be just a bit bigger ... like so..
image370 (7K)
13). Make sure the bottom layer (baseplate) is active and hit the delete key to remove this portion. Leave selected.
14). Go to Effects/ 3D Effects/ Cut out and use these settings .. the color used in this cut out is #3C3620. Leave selected.
image3721 (11K)
15). Add a new layer (can name it opening if you like) .. Go to the layer pallet and drag this layer to the bottom.
16). Go to Selections/ Modify/ Expand and place a 2 in the box.
17). Set the Foreground color to #E5E5E5 and the Background color to #8E8E8E. Click and hold down on Foreground box .. a drop down will appear .. click on the gradient icon.
18). Click one more time on the Foreground box and the Gradient settings box will open. Choose these settings ...
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19). Using the Flood Fill Tool, flood the selection. Deselect.
20). Add a new layer (can name it Text if you like) .. Go the Layer Pallet and drag this layer to the top.
21). Using the Text Tool, click once on the name plate ... the font used of course is a matter of personal preference. The screen shot below shows the settings used ...
image3781 (14K)
22). Use the mover tool to center the text on the name plate. Do not Deselect.
23). This part is a bit important .. Go to Selections/ Defloat ... if this is not done the cutout that is applied next will not work properly.
24). Go to Effects/ 3D Effects/ Cut out and apply the same settings as we used before. Deselect.
25). Go to the layer pallet and shut off all the layers except the top two (text and nameplate)
26). Go to Layers/ Merge/ Merge all Visible. Rename this layer Nameplate if you like.
We do not need the outer edge as a visual guide any longer
27). Go to the layer pallet and make the baseplate layer active.
28). Use the magic wand to select the transparent outer edge.
29). Go to Selections/ Invert
30). Go to Image/ Crop to Selection
31). Save as a PSP file without Merging all layers. This is so that it can be adjusted and customize later.
Here is your basic email button. To use ..simply open in Paint Shop ... personalize .. or color it to match the page it will be on. Merge all layers. Resize and sharpen (the examples used on the next page were resized by 50%). Save. The HTML code that will need to be inserted would be ... The HTML code that will need to be inserted would be ... <A HREF="mailto: youremailaddress@here.com" ><img src="nameofbuttonhere.jpg" border=0 width=width of graphic here height= height of graphic here" ALT="Email">

Next I will show how it can be adjustable to have a more personal quality.

The reason for using the white textured tile in creating this button is that it can be colorized quite well using a filter such as Variations .. or going to Colors/ Colorize in Paint Shop. To do this simply go to the layer pallet and click on a layer to make it active .. then color it .. select the next layer and color it .. ect. This way the nameplate can be color differently then the base plate if desired.
Since most understand how to use Colors./Colorize .. I am going to try to explain how to use the Manual Color Correction Filter that comes with Paint Shop 7. Unfortunately this is only available in version 7.
1). With the email button open .. Go to the layer pallet and click on the top layer (nameplate) to make it active.
2). Go to Effects/ Enhance Photo/ Manual Color Correction. A box will open that will have tons of options to play with.
image3831 (17K)
In this box there will be two small screens .. the screen on the left shows the image that is on your work space .. the screen on the right shows how that image will be altered by the color selected. Before we can play with the colors we need to select the image on the left.
3). Click on the zoom out button (top middle between the screens) as many times as need to get the entire item we want to color, in the left screen.
4). Make sure that the Freehand Selection box is unchecked. When the mouse cursor is on the left screen you will see cross hairs .. click once and hold down at the corner edge of the image on the screen and drag your mouse to the other corner edge and release the mouse. It is now selected. There are many options in this Tool ... in the scroll you will find many pallets with preset colors. For example: click on the word Foliage in the scroll .. the go to the large color box next to the scroll and click the small down arrow to view all the presets in this pallet.
The smaller color box to the far right is used to select a color from the color wheel.
Also, if you have an image open on the work space that you would like to use a color from .. just move the cursor over that image .. it automatically turns into an eye dropper tool and a color can be selected.
This has to be one of my favorite tools in Paint Shop It is great in tinting things to make them more compatible with something you are creating .. and is much faster and easier to use the Color/ Colorize I think. There are two click boxes on the far left that can be checked. One will preserve the lightness of the original image in the colored one .. and the other will do the same with the saturation of the original image. All of these combinations, make the possibilities just stunning.
image386 (20K)
Here are a few other ideas for personalizing ...
1). Go to the layer pallet and make the base plate layer active.
2). Set the Foreground color to a compatible color
3). Set the texture pattern to one you like.
4). Go to Selections/ Select All
5). Click once on the image with the selection tool to float it.
6). Use the flood fill tool to flood the base plate with colored texture.
image394 (19K)

The next part will show how to create a letter and envelope that can be used with the email button.

Part Two

More Ipsum

I hope that you enjoy your stay, and thank you for visiting Graphic Distractions.