Introduction: Paint.Net for Beginners: Make a G2 Tux

Picture of Paint.Net for Beginners: Make a G2 Tux

This is actually a port from a Photoshop tutorial on CrystalXp.Net.
There really isn't much to add to the tutorial itself, just some minor differences between Photoshop (US$ 699) and Paint.Net (US$ 0).
The hardest part was adapting the Photoshop template to Paint.Net and sizing the selections.
This is quit a long tutorial, but I think it's a great exercise on how to use gradients for glossy effects.
There's a French tutorial using The Gimp, if I get the time I'll do a translation (sort of).
Let me know if you'd like the other tutorials ported to.

Now, roll up those sleeves and let's get cracking.

Step 1: Things You Need

Picture of Things You Need

We'll start from the Photoshop psd-file available here or below.
In order to be able to open the Photoshop file, you'll need yet another plugin.
The Photoshop file plugin (PhotoShop.dll) needs to be placed in the FileTypes folder of your Paint.Net installation. Download the file here or below.
You'll also need Boltbait's Feather plugin. If you haven't already downloaded it from my previous instructable, you can download BoltBait's Pack here or below.

Paint.Net doesn't support grouped layers (I think), so we'll lose some layers, but the important ones are still there. Although the colors do look a bit weird.

Step 2: Making the Base

Picture of Making the Base

When you open the psd-file you'll notice 14 layers, one for each part of Tux and a background.
The colors are all wrong, so we'll rectify that first.
For easy working uncheck the layers not currently working on.

Lets look at the Body layer. It's blue? The edges are softend, so there are pixels that are transparent. If you select the body with the Magic Wand and standard 50% Tolerance, you can't select all the blue pixels. There will be a blue edge.
Selecting with a Tolerance of 75% selects all the blue pixels, but when you fill the body you'll loose the smooth edge. Luckely there are tools like Feather (BoltBait's plugin), Smooth Edges (standard tool), Blur (standard),....
For the black parts there's even an easier way. Using the Black and White and Curves... from the Adjustments menu.

The Body, Left wing, Right wing, Left eyelid and Right eyelid layer:
1. Select the layer
2. Turn it into a black and white using Black and White from the Adjustments menu
3. Open the Curves... window from the Adjustments menu. Drag the curve to the bottom-right corner

The left wing has a little flaw at the top. Use the Rectangle Select tool to delete it.

The White stain layer:
1. Select Magic Wand, set Tolerance to 50% and select the white stain
2. Invert the selection with Ctrl+i and press delete, this makes sure there are no other pixels outside the stain
3. Select the stain again with the Magic Wand
4. In the Colors window click on the More >> button
    Set the primary color Hex value to: #D0D0D0 (or R: 208; G: 208; B: 208)
    Set the secondary color Hex value to: #ABABAB (or R: 171; G: 171; B: 171)
5. Choose the Gradient tool in Linear mode and drag the gradient from the top of the selection to the bottom
6. Choose Feather... under Effects > Objects and set Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2 and True Feather = checked


Step 3: Making the Base (continued)

Picture of Making the Base (continued)

The Left foot and Right foot layer:
1. Choose Magic Wand, set Tolerance to 75% and select the foot
2. Invert the selection with Ctrl+i and press delete, this makes sure there are no other pixels outside the foot
3. Select the foot again with the Magic Wand
4. In the Colors window click on the More >> button
    Set the primary color Hex value to: #E0CD00 (or R: 224; G: 205; B: 0)
    Set the secondary color Hex value to: #DFBA00 (or R: 223; G: 186; B: 0)
5. Choose the Gradient tool in Radial mode and drag the gradient from A to B approximately as shown in picture 1
6. Choose Feather... under Effects > Objects and set Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 1 and True Feather = checked
7. Repeat step 6 or just choose Repeat effect(Ctrl+F) in the Effects menu. This gives an ever smoother effect.

The Beak layer:
1. Choose Magic Wand, set Tolerance to 75% and select the beak
2. Invert the selection with Ctrl+i and press delete
3. Select the beak again with the Magic Wand
4. In the Colors window click on the More >> button
    Set the primary color Hex value to: #EEE300 (or R: 238; G: 227; B: 0)
    Set the secondary color Hex value to: #EAC300 (or R: 234; G: 195; B: 0)
5. Choose the Gradient tool in Radial mode and drag the gradient from A to B approximately as shown in the picture
6. Choose Feather... under Effects > Objects and set Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 1 and True Feather = checked
7. Repeat step 6 or just choose Repeat effect(Ctrl+F) in the Effects menu.

The eyes are done a little different then the Photoshop tutorial. There's no inner glow effect, but there's a glow effect, close enough.

The Left eye and Right eye layer:
1. Select the eye layer
2. Turn it into a black and white using the Black and White from the Adjustments menu. The eye should have color #848484 (or R: 132; G: 132; B: 132).
3. Choose Magic Wand, set Tolerance to 75% and select the eye
4. Invert the selection with Ctrl+i and delete
5. Select the eye again with the Magic Wand
6. Choose Glow... from the Effects > Photo menu with Radius = 14; Brightness = 49; Contrast = -67

Now we have the basic flat Tux. It's time to add the gloss and shades
It's a good time to save your work now.


Step 4: Adding Glossy Reflections

Picture of Adding Glossy Reflections

A glossy effect is basically a gradient from white to transparent.

Body reflections:
1. Select the Body layer and add a new layer. Give it a meaningful name, something like Body reflect 1
2. With the Ellipse Select tool draw an elliptical selection like on picture 1. Use the Move Selection tool to get the size and position perfect. You can use the arrow keys if the mouse is to difficult
3. In the Colors window, set White as primary color and secondary color fully transparent (Transparency - Alpha = 0)
4. Use the Gradient tool with Linear mode to draw a gradient from top to bottom of the selection
5. Apply a Feather effect to the layer. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = unchecked

I didn't find a way to 'contract' a selection, this seems possible in Photoshop but not Paint.Net.
Here's a possible work around.

5. Select the Body layer and duplicate the layer
6. Rename it to avoid confusion and make sure this layer is selected
7. Choose the Magic Wand tool with Tolerance = 0% and select outside the body
8. Invert the selection Ctrl+i
9. Apply a Feather effect from Effects > Object: Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 1; True Feather = checked;
10. Choose the Magic Wand tool, keep the Tolerance at 0%, select the body (but not near the edge).
The selection should now be a few pixels smaller.
11. Leave the selection on. Select the Body layer and add a new layer, name it Body reflect 2 (or not).
12. Choose the Gradient tool with Linear mode. Drag a gradient from the bottom of the selection to just under the beak.
13. Choose the Ellipse Select tool, draw an elliptical selection like in picture 3 and delete it. Set the layers Opacity to 225 in the layers properties window.
14. Apply a Feather effect to the layer. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 4; True Feather = unchecked


Step 5: Glossy Eyes

Picture of Glossy Eyes

On to the eyes. Again, the selection needs to be a few pixels smaller. Because of the radial gradient used for the eyes we need an extra step in the work around used in the previous step.

The Left eye:
1. Select the Left eye layer.
2. Choose the Magic Wand tool with 0% Tolerance and select outside the eye.
3. Invert the selection with Ctrl+i.
4. Add a new layer and select it (here it's Layer 17).
5. Choose a nice color you like and with the Paint Bucket tool fill the selection.
6. Apply a Feather effect to the selection. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 1; True Feather = checked
7. Choose the Magic Wand tool with 0% Tolerance, select the middle of the eye. Selection is now a few pixels smaller then the eye.
8. Leave the selection on. Don't delete the layer, we'll need it a bit later, just hide it for now. Select the Left eye layer and add a new layer named Left eye reflect 1
9. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from the top of the selection to its middle.
10. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like in picture 3 and press delete
11. Apply a Feather effect to the layer. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = unchecked
12. Set the layers Opacity to 190
13. Select Layer 17 again and with the Magic Wand tool and 0% Tolerance, select the middle of the eye so we have a selection a  few pixels smaller then the eye again.
14. Leave the selection on. Select the Left eye layer and add a new layer named Left eye reflect 2
15. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from the bottom to the top of the selection
16. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like in picture 3 and press delete
17. Apply a Feather effect to the layer. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = unchecked
18. Set the layers Opacity to 90

The Right eye steps are very similar, so here's a short(?) version
1. Select Right eye layer
2. Magic Wand; Tolerance 0% select and invert (Ctrl+i) selection so the eye is selected completely
3. Add new layer. Paint Bucket the selection with your favorite color
4. Apply Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 1; True Feather = checked
5. Magic Wand; Tolerance 0% select middle of the eye
6. Add new layer Right eye reflect 1
7. Gradient white to transparent from top of the selection to its middle
8. With the Ellipse Selection tool, draw an ellipse like in picture 5 and press delete
9. Apply Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = unchecked
10. Set the layers Opacity to 190
11. Select the extra layer (red eye). With Magic Wand, Tolerance 0%, select eye
12. Add new Layer Right eye reflect 2
13. Gradient white to transparent from bottom to top of the selection
14. With the Ellipse Selection tool, draw an ellipse like in picture 6 and press delete
15. Apply Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = unchecked
16. Set the layers Opacity to 90




Step 6: Glossy Pupils

Picture of Glossy Pupils

The glossy effect on the pupils is the same technique as with the eyes, only smaller

The Left pupil:

1. Select the Left pupil layer
2. With the Magic Wand tool and 60% Tolerance, select the middle of the pupil
3. Add a new layer (temporary) and Bucket Paint the selection with your favorite color
4. Apply a Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 1; True Feather = checked
5. With the Magic Wand tool and 0% Tolerance, select the middle of the pupil
6. Add a new layer and name it Left pupil reflect 1
7. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from the top of the selection to just over its middle
8. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like in picture 2 and press delete
9. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like the picture 3 and press delete
10. Apply a Feather effect to the layer. Feather Radius = 4; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = unchecked
11. Select the temp layer (red eye) and with the Magic Wand tool and 0% Tolerance, select the middle of the pupil
12. Add a new layer and name it Left pupil reflect 2
13. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from the bottom of the selection to the top
14. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like in picture 4 and press delete
15. Apply a Feather effect to the layer. Feather Radius = 1; Effect Strength = 1; True Feather = checked

For the right pupils the steps are the same, look at the pictures for the selections, I'll let you figure out the rest ;-)



Step 7: Creating the Eyelids

Picture of Creating the Eyelids

The Left eyelid:
1. Select the Left eyelid layer
2. Choose the Magic Wand with 10% Tolerance and select the eyelid
3. Add a new layer and name it Left eyelid reflect
4. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from the top of the selection to its middle
5. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like on picture 2 and press delete
6. Choose Gaussian Blur... from Effects > Blurs with Radius = 2

Repeat for the Right eyelid layer (see pictures for selections).


Step 8: A Shiny Beak

Picture of A Shiny Beak

The Beak:
1. Select the Beak layer.
2. Choose the Magic Wand with 0% Tolerance, select outside the beak and invert (Ctrl+i) the selection to select the beak only
3. Add a new layer (temporary beak) and PaintBucket the selection with your favorite color
4. Apply a Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 4; True Feather = checked
5. Choose the Magic Wand with 0% Tolerance and select the temporary beak
6. Select the Beak layer and add a new layer, name it Beak reflect 1 (hide the temporary layer)
7. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparentLinear gradient from A to B like in picture 1
8. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like the 2nd picture and press delete
9. Apply a True Blur effect from Effects > Blurswith Radius = 1.30; Tileable = unchecked
10. Select the temporary beak layer and with the Magic Wand and 0% Tolerance select the beak
11. Select the Beak layer and add a new layer Beak reflect 2
12. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from A to B like in picture 3
13. Choose the Move Selection and with the arrow keys nodge the selection 4x right and 2x up, press delete (see picture 4)
14. Apply a True Blur effect from Effects > Blurs with Radius = 2.50; Tileable = unchecked





Step 9: And Some Shiny Dancing Feet

Picture of And Some Shiny Dancing Feet

The Left foot:
1. Select the Left foot layer and add a new layer named Left foot reflect
2. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like the 1th picture
3. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from the top of the selection to the bottom
4. Deselect the selection and apply a Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 4; True Feather = unchecked

For the Right foot we'll save some time (pfeew)

1. Duplicate the Left foot reflect layer and rename it to Right foot reflect
2. In the Layers menu choose Flip Horizontal
3. Move the layer up just above the Right foot layer


Step 10: A Shiny Body

Picture of A Shiny Body

The White stain:
1. Select the White stain layer
2. Add a new layer and name it White stain reflect 1
3. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like picture 1
4. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a Whiteto transparentLinear gradient from A to B like in picture 1
5. Select the White stain layer
6. Choose the Magic Wand at 35% Tolerance,  select the stain and invert (Ctrl+i) the selection
7. Select the White stain reflect 1 layer and press delete
8. Apply a Feather effect. Feather Radius = 3; Effect Strength = 4; True Feather = unchecked
9. Select the White stain layer
10. Choose the Magic Wand at 50% Tolerance and select the stain
11. Add a new layer named White stain reflect 2
12. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparent Linear gradient from A to B like in picture 2



Step 11: Shiny Flippers

Picture of Shiny Flippers

Hang in there we're almost there, we're on to the last of the reflections.

The wings:
1. Select the Left wing layer
2. Choose the Magic Wand with 50% Tolerance,  select the wing
3. Add a new layer named temp wing
4. Choose Paint Bucket and fill the selection with your favorite color
5. Apply a Feather effect. Feather Radius = 2; Effect Strength = 2; True Feather = checked
6. Choose the Magic Wand with 0% Tolerance and select the temp winglayer
7. Select the Left wing layer and add a new layer named Left wing reflect 1
8. Choose the Gradient tool to draw a White to transparentLinear gradient from A to B like in the 2nd picture (hide the temp layer)
9. Select the Left wing layer, with the Magic Wand and 50% Tolerance select the wing
10. Select the Left wing reflect 1 layer. Choose Move Selection, move the selection half-way the wing, like in the 3th picture, and press delete
11. Apply the Soften Edges effect from Effects > Blurs. Phase = 1; Amount = 2; In/Out of Phase = checked; Edge Only = unchecked
12. Set the layers Opacity to 200
13. Select the Left wing layer and add a new layer named Left wing reflect 2
14. Select the Left wing layer.
15. Choose the Magic Wand with 0% Tolerance and select the wing
16. Select the Left wing reflect 2 layer and Paint Bucket the selection with a solid white
17. Select the temp wing layer
18. Choose the Magic Wand with 0% Tolerance
19. Select the Left wing reflect 2 layer and press delete
20. Choose the Lasso Select and select a portion of the wing like in the 3th picture
21. Invert the selection (Ctrl+i) and press delete
22. Apply the Soften Edges effect from Effects > Blurs. Phase = 1; Amount = 1; In/Out of Phase = checked; Edge Only = unchecked
23. Set the layers Opacity to 180

Thank God for symmetry.
1. Duplicate the Left wing reflect 1 layer and rename it to Right wing reflect 1
2. In the Layers menu choose Flip Horizontal
3. Move the layer up just above the Right wing layer

Do the same for the Left wing reflect 2 layer



Step 12: It's All in the Details

Picture of It's All in the Details

For the finishing touch it needs some shadows.

Feet inner shadow:
1. Select the White stain reflect 2 layer and add a new layer named Left foot inner shadow
2. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like on the picture 1
3. Choose Paint Bucket and fill the selection with black
4. Deselect and apply a Gaussian Blur, Radius = 18
5. Set the layers Opacity to 160
6. Duplicate the Left foot inner shadow layer and rename it to Right foot inner shadow
7. In the Layers menu choose Flip Horizontal
8. Select the Body layer
9. Choose Magic wand with 50% Tolerance and select outside the body
10. Select the Left foot inner shadow layer and press delete
11. Repeat steps 9 - 10 for the Right foot inner layer

Feet shadow:
1. Select the Right foor reflect layer and add a new layer named Left foot shadow
2. Select the Left foot layer
3. Choose the Magic Wand with 0% Tolerance, select outside the foot and invert (Ctrl+i) the selection
4. Select the Left foot shadow layer and Paint Bucket the selection with black
5. Choose Move Selection and move the selection to the left and down like in the 2nd picture and press delete
5. Deselect and apply a Gaussian Blur, Radius = 18
6. Set the layers Opacity to 120
7. Duplicate the Left foot shadow layer and rename it to Right foot shadow
8. In the Layers menu choose Flip Horizontal



Step 13: Shadows (continued)

Picture of Shadows (continued)

Beak shadow:
1. Select the White stain reflect 1layer and add a new layer named Beak shadow
2. Select the Beak layer
3. Choose the Magic Wand with 50% Tolerance and select the beak
4. Select the Beak shadow layer
5. Choose Move Selection and stretch the selection down like in the picture 1
6. Choose Paint Bucket and fill the selection with black
7. deselect and apply a Gaussian Blur, Radius = 18
8. Set the layers Opacity to 145

Eye shadow:
1. Select the Left eye layer
2. Apply a Glow effect from Effects > Photo with Radius = 15; Brightness = -100; Contrast = -100
3. Repeat for the Right eye layer

Drop shadow:
1. Select the Body layer and add a new layer named Drop shadow
2. Choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw an ellipse like on the picture 2
3. Choose Paint Bucket and fill the selection with black
4. Deselect and apply a Gaussian Blur, Radius = 18
5. Set the layers Opacity to 200




Step 14: Congratutlations

Picture of Congratutlations

If all went well you'll have a something that looks close to the Photoshop version on CrystalXP
I did get the feeling that Paint.Net isn't as smooth as Photoshop. I mean did you see the screenshots on CrystalXp? Those pixels seem smaller or they work on a bigger template.

This really was the longest instructable I wrote so far. So, if there are any missing or wrong steps or if you know of any shortcuts, let me know.
Still, I'm very pleased with the result and I hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

Have a nice day.



Comments

kuching (author)2011-03-09

This is an amazing tutorial, for which many thanks. I learned a lot (I also used Paint.Net) about layers and highlites and got a neat result. I hope to find more tutorials by you.
Here is my result:

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