Images straight from a digital camera or scanner look flat on computer screens. To get round this you can add a picture frame to give the photo a more three-dimensional look. Paint Shop Pro 7 does include some picture frames to do this, but they are all a bit tacky in my opinion. An advantage of creating your own frames is they can have links to your website or your e-mail address embedded, so that wherever it goes people will know the source or author.
To start with we have our basic flat image straight from a digital camera:
You can create whatever type of frame you like, but we'll do something plain and simple here.
It's best to have a simple frame rather than a colourful one that will distract attention from the photo itself. This demonstrates another problem with the included Paint Shop Pro frames like the one shown to the right. Such a large and detailed frame although perhaps appropriate in ones house when made from wood is not suited to websites where space is at a premium.
Adding borders is a straightforward procedure though at first you might find it a little complicated so don't worry. There are six steps to go through starting with:
1. Create a new image of 800x600 pixels in size. Make sure the Background Colour option is set to transparent. Then click OK.
2. You'll then be presented with a checkered image, this is to show it is transparent. We now need to create the border by using the selection tool .
Now click and drag a rectangle similar to the one shown above making sure there is room left around the edges.
Then go to the selections menu and invert the selection so a border is created. Fill this using the fill tool so it is white. Now invert the selection again for the next step.
3. We're now going to create a drop-shadow effect, so go to the Effects menu and then to the 3D Effects menu to select the Drop Shadow. Here you can change the style of the drop shadow or its colour. Click OK and the drop shadow is created:
4. (Optional) Now the Drop Shadow is created our border is almost complete. You may want to add some text to show ownership or the source of the image, if so now is the time to do it.
Simply select the text tool , and type in the text you want to appear. Now using the mover tool position the text on the image where you want it to appear. The lower-right corner is the traditional place. Then having done this you must go to the layers menu, then merge, and lastly merge visible.
5. To use the image we've just created as a photo-frame in Paint Shop we have to save it as a special file type. So go to the file menu, then select Save As. This will open a new window. You must find the Paint Shop Pro frames directory which is shown in its default position below:
Having found this directory you need to save the frame with a .pfr extension. So in this case we'll save it as ephotozine.pfr. That's it our picture frame is created!
6. To apply the frame to a photo, simply open the desired file. Then go to the Image menu and select Picture Frame. This will open the following wizard where you select the ephotozine.pfr we just created:
After clicking next you can choose whether to have the frame inside or outside the image. Outside is usually best to prevent some of the photo being cut off by the frame.
Click finish, and your original photo now has a nice frame and source information.
This can now be applied to as many images as you want quickly and easily by starting at stage 6. You can try variations of border at stage 3, perhaps using different colours, or other effects. Good luck and have fun!
Technique by Will Smith