Post 1 of 7
In this tutorial, I will be explaining how you can make your own textures to use in the particle engine that is in EffectsLab Pro and VisionLab Studio.
To make your own texture you need:
•A standard drawing/painting program (I’ll just be using Microsoft Paint for this tutorial)
First, you will need to make the texture itself in Paint. Open up Paint (or any standard drawing program). First use the paint bucket tool (or something like it) and make the background all black. Then draw what you want the texture to look like (debris, flames, dust). For this example, we'll make some a debris particle. The polygon shape is a good tool to use.
Remember that when you import and use the texture in the particle engine, the engine will generate lots of that particular texture to make the effect. It is a good idea to make a few different variations of your texture, which will result in a more realistic effect.
Once you have created your desired texture, save it as a 256 Color Bitmap or a PNG.
Now, for the second step, we need to convert the file into a texture that FXhome products (EffectsLab and VisionLab) can use for an effect.
Open your texture in Photoshop. The first thing to do is to shrink the picture down to the right size and set the resolution to an appropriate amount.
Now go to Image > Image Size (or Image > Resize > Image Size in Photoshop Elements). Set the resolution to 72 pixels per inch. Then set the image height to 512 pixels and turn the Constrain Proportions checkbox ON. Before you click OK, your screen should look like this:
Note: Depending on what size template you created the texture in, it may already be the right size.
Now we need to make the image grayscale because the particle engine will put color on the particles according to how you set the color gradient.
Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue > Hue/Saturation (or Enhance > Adjust Color > Adjust Hue/Saturation in Photoshop Elements). Set the Saturation slider bar all the way to the left (-100). Before you click OK, your screen should look like this:
If we just used the texture as it is right now, a black background around each particle will show up in the effect. So, we need to make the background transparent. In Photoshop, there is an easy way to do this; select the Magic Wand Tool (or a selection tool). Select the particle piece(s). Then right click on the selection and click Layer Via Copy.
This should add a layer that contains just the selected particle piece(s).
Now, just click on the Background layer and delete it. The resulting image should contain the particle piece(s) but instead of the black background, there will be a checkered background.
Now the picture is the right size, right resolution, grayscale and has a transparent background.
Go to File > Save As. Save the file wherever you want as a PNG file or a TARGA file.
When you import the texture into your particle engine, you can add the desired colors.
That is the end of this tutorial. Please let me know if you have any questions and let me know if it was helpful.