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Picture Frames

Paint Shop Pro 6’s new Picture Frames is an exciting and fun addition to the program. But, creating your own frames can be a little confusing. This tutorial will teach you how to create your own Picture Frames and give you some tips and tricks on how to use them.

Creating a Picture Frame

A picture frameworks a lot like a tube. You create it on a transparent background and save it as a “pfr” extension, click here to learn more about pfr extension. When you apply a frame to a graphic, PSP creates a new layer, scales the frame to the graphic, and if you have a selection saved for a frame with transparent areas outside the frame, prompts as to who you want to fill this transparent area. When the frame is done, you end up with your graphic on one layer and the frame on a layer above the graphic.

When you save your frames, all you need to do is to save them into your Paint Shop Pro 6 Frames folder. I’m not exactly sure how PSP deals with the names. It doesn’t show them in alpha order once you start adding new frames. The new names show up in the order you add them.

I start all my frames with a template I save in the Frames folder of Paint Shop as a “psp” file. That way I can create variations of my frames without having to start over from scratch. My tutorials show you how to create a frame template, then how to make a frame from the template.

Configuring Associations for PFR Extension

If you add the “pfr” extension to your “psp” extension, you can directly save your graphic for your website as a pfr by choosing the psp extension and typing pfr over the psp extension. Otherwise, you can save your frame as a psp extension and then change the extension to pfr by renaming the graphic in PSP’s Browser. To add the association:

  1. Go to File|Preferences|File Format Associations
  2. Click on the Paint Shop Pro Image association so that it is highlighted
  3. Click on the “Extensions” button and add “pfr” under the “psp”
  4. Click on the OK button then OK again to save your change.

Now when you choose the psp extension when you choose Save, you can directly save a frame as a “pfr” file by just changing the extension from “psp” to “pfr” before you save.

Rules for Creating Picture Frames

  1. Frames must be created on a transparent background for good graphics results.
  2. The frame must completely fill the graphic, otherwise, you will get unexpected results.
  3. Always start out with a rather large frame. The frames are sized to the graphic when you apply them and if you apply a small frame to a large graphic, the quality of the frame will suffer.
  4. When you save it as a “pfr” file, it can only be one layer.
  5. If you save a frame with any transparent background outside the frame (such as an oval or an irregular-shaped frame), you must have the outline of the frame saved as a selection and save the selection with the frame. This will prompt a “next” button on the Frames control panel where you can set the background color.
  6. You can save a frame with a transparent background outside the frame without saving the selection for the frame. When you apply this frame, all the transparent areas on the frame graphic will be transparent. To correct this, just make a selection around the frame with a selection tool on the picture layer, invert your selection and flood fill with a background color or pattern.

Using Frames

Open the picture you want to apply the frame to. If the frame is oriented in a horizontal position and the picture is oriented in a vertical position, rotate your graphic 90 degrees to the right before applying the frame, then rotate back when the frame has been applied. You may need to rotate the frame layer to get the light orientation correct after a rotation. The light should be coming from the upper left corner. Image|Flip usually works fine to correct this problem. If you apply a square frame to a rectangular graphic, you will get a distorted frame. The same goes for applying a rectangular frame to a square graphic.

When you apply an irregular-shaped frame, you may get spare pixels of color around the interior and the exterior of the frame. To clean these pixels up for the interior, select the interior portion with the magic wand, feather your selection by 2-3, and hit delete a few times. To clean spare pixels around the outside of the frame, select the area outside the frame with the magic wand tool, feather by 2-3 and flood fill with your background color or pattern a few times.

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