Tentacle Deco

A Tutorial by Joyce Kohl




When I was making this image, I forgot to change the wand tolerance back to zero after another process I did previously, plus I forgot to change my background color as well - which happened to be a matching blue. I was surprised to see what happened when I selected the border with the magic wand, but I liked the tentacle-like pattern it made, so I continued to finish the image with it to see what the results would be. And that's how this tutorial was born. I like the effect, and hope you do, too.


My apology to beginners, but it takes more time than I have had lately to collect all the screens needed and to outline each step, so this tutorial may require an intermediate knowledge level of PSP. Although I used PSP 7, it should work with other versions as well

There are several ways to apply the tentacle deco:

#1: Begin by opening the image you want to frame, made a copy of it, then close the original. Then go to Step #3 of the Basic Instructions below.

#2. If you have a newly created image, make sure all layers are merged, then go to Step #3 of the Basic Instructions below.

#3. If you want to start from scratch, begin with Step #1 of the Basic Instructions below.




Basic Instructions

Step #1: Open a new 400 x 400 transparent image.

Step #2: Set the foreground style to pattern, then select Red Lava with these default settings. Fill the image with the pattern. You can colorize to the color you prefer, then select a matching background color. You can use the eye-dropper tool, or just pick a color which is in the image and runs to the edge. Add tubes and/or other images, putting each on a new layer so you can move them around if you need to. Then merge/flatten all layers.

Select a Pattern

Step #3: Select Image/Add Borders. Remember, this tool uses the color in the background of the styles palette. I used a setting of 10, but you can use any number.

Add Borders

Step #4: Select the Magic Wand and set the tolerance to a number which will select matching color(s) in the image. I used 50. Click on the new border to select it. Because of the tolerance number, the marching ants follow the color to the inside parts of the image:

Set the tolerance level for the Magic Wand   Sample showing tentacles of marching ants

Step #5: Select Effects/3D Effects/Inner Bevel. Use the little hand in the preview window to move the image to the side so you can see the effect of the bevel. Below is the one I used and the results.

Sample Bevel Setting   Sample after bevel applied

That's all there is to it! A simple way to decorate your images.



By changing the color of the borders, may more results can be achieved. Just watch where the tentacles appear with the marching ants. Then try the bevel. The following images use the exact same settings as outlined above in Steps 3, 4, and 5. On the second image, I selected one of the light blues for the border; the third image, I selected white.

Native American Sample 1  Native American Showing Tentacles after selecting light blue background  Selecting white background

Or follow only Steps 3 and 4, then try other filters such as Eye Candy [on the left] and SuperBladePro [on the right]. Sometimes the result will be minimal as in the mermaid image at the beginning of this tutorial, or it can change the entire image. It all depends on where and how the tentacles of the marching ants reach into the image.

Bevel done with Eye Candy   Bevel done with SuperBlade Pro

Background TileIn this tile sample, after applying the bevel I left it selected then colorized it to green. Then I deselected it, and applied the Simple Filter's Quick Tile, then the Pizza Slice. Then I used FM Tile Tools and applied the Seamless Tile with invert checked. I checked the seamlessness by opening a 600 x 600 new image, then floodfilled it with the new tile pattern. If a tile doesn't look exactly seamless, try cropping off ten pixels on all sizes using the crop tool.

You can click HERE to see it tiled on a full page.

As you can see, different images, different colors, different tolerance settings, and different filters can achieve an endless number of variations. Warning: This becomes addictive! :)



Padded EffectAugust 4, 2002 Update: Maureen Williams gave me permission to add her Padded effect to this tutorial. [DO go see Maureen's Trinket Box Tutorial.

Using the tolerance for the Magic Wand set to 50, use the Round bevel, then change the settings to these:

width 8
smoothness 35
depth 4
ambience 2
shininess 37
intensity 30
elevation 53






On the mermaid image I used my peridot gem tubes and a pearlized bead tube - they're on Page 7 of my tube section along with other gems. A tube of the mermaid is on Page 2.  If you'd like to make your own mermaid, go to the tutorial Berry's Mermaid. The sea tubes are all from Eagle's Rest Graphics - the old link is invalid.  If you know where this site might be located, please send me an email. The source of the Native American images are unknown. If you know anything about them, please let me know.

The Simple filter is free and can be downloaded HERE.

FM Tile Tools is can be downloaded HERE.



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