Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole

Before you can begin you need to obtain the sparkles. Sparkle tubes can be downloaded from here here here or here

Save your sparkles of choice to your computer, unzip if necessary. Tubes must go in your tubes folder and the location will vary depending upon which version of PSP you have. For versions 9 and lower look for a “Tubes” folder in C:Program FilesJasc software IncPaint Shop Pro. For versions 10 and higher look for a “Tubes” folder in My Documents.

Sparkles on Text

The first example we’re going to look at is adding sparkles to text. Since a sparkle or glint would normally appear on a shiny object, I chose an image featuring a shiny subject and added my text, in PSP, to that. When working with animations, everything but the animation itself must be completed in PSP first. This includes, text, brushes, blending/layering, background changes, etc. Here is my sample imagePreview

Next add your text. Applying a shiny bevel can often make a sparkle appear to “belong” more than regular text so I also did that, and added a drop shadow for effect. Text with an “i” or “j” or other letter which has a dot is especially nice for adding sparkles. Preview

After your customizations are complete, merge any layers by going to “Layers” menu, “Merge”, and select “Merge All.” Preview

Right click your image and select “Copy” (or press CTRL + C) then open Animation Shop. Right click the Animation Shop workspace and select “Paste As New Animation” (or hit CTRL + V) and your image will appear in the workspace. Right click on your new animation and select “Duplicate Selected.” Repeat until your image appears 3 times. Each time your image appears is a different frame. Preview

Now we need to open up the sparkle tube we want to use. Choose whichever one you like. I like to use plain white/silver sparkles usually. Solid coloured sparkles look a bit tacky, in my opinion. Select the “File” menu then his “Browse” and, in the left frame, search for your Tubes folder where you downloaded the tubes.Preview

Doubleclick the sparkle you want and it will open as a new animation. It’s a little big so resize it to about 15px in height. It will be a little difficult to see so we’ll be zooming when we work but even then it will look blurry. At this point you can close or minimize the “Browse” pane. Make sure not to close “Animation 1” though! Preview

Click and drag your sparkle from Animation 2 to your original animal. Place it where you want in Frame 2. I’m placing it over the dot on the “i.” It may be a little tricky to drag it to the exact position you want it, so play around a little. Preview

Now, go back to your sparkle animation (which will now be empty) and select “Undo Drag” from the “Edit” menu (or press CTRL + Z). Select “Undo” once more and your image will return to its original size. Then, resize to a height about 20px, just slightly larger than our original sparkle. (By undoing the first resize we preserve image quality.) Once more, drag your sparkle but this time drop it in Frame 3. Try to get the placement exactly where it was with the first sparkle. Preview

Right Click Frame 2, the first sparkle frame and select “Copy” (or press CTRL + C). Then right click Frame 3 and select “Paste” then select “After Current Frame” (or press CTRL + SHIFT + L). You now have 4 frames and we’re almost done. Click “Animation” from the “View” menu to preview. By pasting the slightly larger sparkle in the frame between 2 smaller sparkle frames, it gives the impression of growing in intensity, then fading back out. Preview

I like to have my “middle” sparkle frame have a slightly longer duration, ie it appears longer than the other frames. Right click Frame 3 and select “Frame Properties.” Change the “Display Time” from 10 to about 50. I also changed the display time of frame 1 to 250 so the repetion of the animation wouldn’t become annoying. Preview

When you have adjusted your image to your liking and are ready to savew, check to make sure the image loops – that is plays repeatedly – by right clicking the animation, selecting “Animation Properties” and clicking on the “Looping” tab. Here you can change settings so it looks inidefinitely or so that it only plays a certain number of times. I chose indefinitely. Preview

Now you can save. Go to the “File” menu and select “Save.” Choose your filename and location then click “Save.” The optimization menu will open. We want the best quality so keep the “slider bar” at the top of the menu. Click “Next” 3 times, then click finish. Your animation is saved. Preview

Alternatively you can copy your image as a new animation into Animation Shop but leave it in PSP. You can browse your tubes from PSP, resize and copy and paste your sparkle to the image as a new layer. Then you’ll have to copy your image (make sure to merge or copy merged) into the next frame of the animation in Animation Shop. For Frames 2 and 4 you’ll want to copy the image into the animation twice. Repeat this process but resize the sparkle bigger and then copy in PSP. Then copy your whole image and paste it into the animation in Animation Shop but make sure to paste after Frame 2, not after frame 4.

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