Software: Ulead PhotoImpact 8, XL, PRO

Title:  Glass Dragonfly

Author:  Virginia

Skill Level:  Beginner

Please read: Terms of Use

Featured Tools:

  • Path Drawing Tool
  • Outline Drawing Tool
  • Transform Tool

Using PI6?  Try this tutorial instead.


Outline Drawing Tool 

Transform Tool 

1. Open a new image -- single color, 500x500

Outline Drawing Tool On the attribute bar, choose Ellipse / color - any / Mode - 3D Round.  Click the Material icon, click gallery, click Material Attribute Gallery, tab group Metallic, double-click Copper 3.  On the Path Panel, click the Outline tab, then set the Width at 3.  Draw an elongated ellipse -- 225x75 pixels (watch on the lower left bar of PI and you can see the size you are drawing).  Deselect it (click on a blank part of the canvas).

Outline Drawing Tool Change the shape to Custom Shape / Heart.  Draw a heart about 130 pixels high. Use the Transform Tool to Rotate Left 90. Use the Resize (first on the left) to flatten so the heart so that it fits in the ellipse, and to stretch so it fits the long way, as shown.  Be sure the lock is unlocked.  It will take a couple of tries to get the heart to the right shape. 

When you're happy with it, select both objects (click on each piece while holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard).

> Merge As Single Object <

Transform Tool



2. Duplicate (right-click, Duplicate) wing.

Using Transform Tool, flip one horizontally. Move the new one to the right. Align the wings -- an easy way to do this is to select them both (hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on each wing) and go to Object/align/center vertically. Deselect by clicking away from the wings, then select each wing one at a time. Use the arrows on your keyboard to leave a space between the two wings.

Duplicate the right wing and rotate it to the right 25 degrees. Duplicate the left wing, rotate 25 degrees to the left. Arrange the two on the right so that the points of the hearts are close to matching, and then do the same to the two wings on the left.  Again, the arrow keys on the keyboard make this a snap. Go to Object / Select All Objects, then Object / Group -- OR -- right-click / Select All Objects and right-click / Group. 

Deselect wings.

Pick Tool

3. Outline Drawing Tool / Circle / 3D Round...  Draw a 3D Round Outline Circle for the head, about 99 pixels across. It should give you the same attributes as for the wings.

*Duplicate. Go to Format / Image Size, click User Defined, check Keep Aspect Ratio, enter 90 for w-h, unit percent. Click Selected Object, click okay.

 Repeat from * until you have 5 graduated circles.

Click on your Pick Tool. Select all the circles, go to Object / align / center horizontally. Click away from the circles on a blank piece of canvas. Using your up and down arrow keys, arrange as shown, overlapping the circles just slightly.  Deselect.

4. Path Drawing Tool / Rounded Rectangle / Border 6 / Depth 20 / other attributes to match the wings...  Draw a rectangle to fit from top circle to the second and wide enough to attach both wings, approximately 38x39 -- however it looks best to you. In the Path Panel, set Roundness at 64.  Deselect.


5. Path Drawing Tool / Circle / 3D Round...  Draw a 3D Round Circle 99x99.  Duplicate and change size 90% four times as you did for the Outline Circles in Step 3.  Select one of your rounds.

Open the Material Panel in the Attribute Bar. 
Click on the Gallery Button.  Under Gallery, choose Material Gallery, and under Tab group, choose Gel.  Double-click the preset you wish to use.  This will bring you back to the Material Gallery and the preview pic will now show the preset you just chose.  Open the Shadow tab and uncheck shadow.  Click Okay and the preset will be applied.

Note:  If you use different presets, you may not have the shadow to deal with, and you may have to adjust the border/depth to give the circles a nice-looking roundness.  Open the different tabs in the Material Panel and see how they affect your preset and the path object you are working with.

Click on the Pick Tool.   Center the round over its metallic circle and click the send-to-back arrow.

Object Eraser Tool

6. Next-to-the-last thing: a pair of antennae.

Go to Outline Drawing Tool / Custom Shape / Heart / 3D Round.  Draw a heart the same size as the head, or thereabouts.  On the Path Panel, change the Outline width to 2.  Go to Object, Convert Object Type, From Text/Path to Image.

Click on the Object Eraser Tool, soft edge 0, erase the left half of the heart, and click Trim.  Go back to the Pick Tool.  Duplicate this piece, then flip horizontally. Arrange the antennae on the head, using the Transform Tool to Rotate Freely and maybe Distort or Perspective until the placements suit you. They don't have to match :)

Optional -- Path Drawing Tool, heart, 3D. Draw two tiny hearts (either with the Copper 3 or matching one of your colored presets) and attach to the ends of the antennae.

Try making your dragonfly with different presets, different metallics.  Try making another bug with this same technique!

7. Now, a Shadow:  Object / Select All Objects

Object / Merge as Single Object

Object / Shadow -- click Shadow, the far left style, X- and Y-offset 7, the rest as is. Right-click in the color box and choose "Color on Screen".  Click on one of the colors in your Dragonfly.  Right-click on the color box again and choose "Windows Color Picker".  On the color bar at the far right, click near the bottom to make the shadow color very dark. Click OK, and OK again.

Well, there you have it, an update of my first tutorial.  I hope you have fun with it!  If you use PhotoImpact 6, try this tutorial instead.
Any questions, comments, please drop me a note at the address below :)


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