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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 1st Aug 2010 at 4:36 PM Last edited by WolfoftheNyght : 1st Aug 2010 at 4:54 PM.
Default Tutorial: Creating a color tattoo with PaintShop Pro, Gimp and Tattooinator
Greetings everyone!

This will explain the basic way to make a color tattoo using CmarNYC's Tattooinator, Paintshop Pro, and Gimp.


Gimp: http://www.gimp.org/

GIMP DDS plugin you'll need: http://registry.gimp.org/node/70

1) Create a new image in Paintshop Pro (just called PsP from here out) that is 512 x 512 and 100 resolution.

2) Create five layers, and draw the item you wish to color in on the top most layer. The layers will work as the following:

The first, top most layer is the black outline.

The second layer just below that, it for red color.

The third is for blue color.

The fourth is for green color.

The fifth is for the white (eventually black) background.

If for some reason your layer palette is not showing, you can click the button highlighted here:

An image with the layers created (Feel free to name these if it helps to keep them straight):

3) Go to the bottom layer, and fill that with white. This will be our background layer.

4) To make the mask for this image for later use make sure that top outline layer is selected, and blur the black outline like so (Image > Blur > Blur More):

5) With the black outline blurred, and the white background showing, its time to make a separate image we will use for the mask later. Go to Edit > Copy Merged. This will make a copy of the layered image as a flat image.

6) Paste the copied file as a new image, and your resulting image should look something like this. It looks very blurred now, but when the game automatically sizes it down, you will be thankful we blurred it so much to begin with:

7) With the new, single layer image selected, go to Colors > Invert Image. This will make black white, and white black. Now you are all set with that black and white image for right now. Just hold onto it for later. You can save it, or just move it to the side.

Next step is to go back to the original layered image we created, and start deciding how to fill in the color.

Remember we made a layer for each color? Well, this is where they will come in handy. At this point, you can color the layers however, using a different color on each of the layers- this will make it both easy to fix mistakes, and recolor a part of the image if you don't like it.

Ways you could color this:

8) Highlight the layer you want to paint on (in this case my blue layer),

9) Grab the Lasso tool, and set it to point to point, in the following fashion:

10) Use it to select the general area you want to color. Don't forget! The black outline layer is above these others, so feel free to go inside the line a little. As a matter of fact, you should to ensure the color is even at the black edges later:

11) Once you have the area selected, grab your paint bucket, and just fill!

11a) You could also do a two tone gradient:

11b) Or a three tone!:

**Intermission: If you want to know more about the gradient tool in PsP let me know. I'm going under the assumption that if you have the program, you know how to generally use it. If you don't, feel free to ask! I'll show you how you can set gradients, and change patterns, etc.**

So! I like the last one. It's got a wild and crazy look for a boring arrow. I'm going to go with that one.

12) At this point, once you get it colored just the way you want, it would be an -excellent- time to save the image. To make this easier on you later, I suggest you save the image as a .PSD (Photoshop) file. Gimp loves PSD files.

So! We now have two images. The colored image with the five layers, and the black and white inverted mask with the single layer.

13) Go to the bottom most layer of your colored image, and just use the paint bucket to fill the white with black.

14) Now we're ready to make this a single layer. Go to Layer > Merge > Merge Visible

14a) Your image layers palette should now look like this:

Once we've done that, we can apply that black and white image as the mask.

15) Make sure your colored image is selected, then go to Mask > New> From Image The following dialogue will pop up:

16) Click the drop down, and select the black and white image we created before. Use the same settings in the picture above, and click 'Ok'. You image should now look something like this:

And your layer palette will look like this:

17) Next, we need to save this new mask to the alpha channel. Go to Masks > Save To Alpha Channel. The following will pop up:

18) Select the new channel and press 'Ok', then another dialogue:

19) Just click 'Ok'.

Save the image.

20) At this point now, the image is ready to be opened in GIMP for the final conversion to a .DDS file. Go ahead and open up GIMP and open the .PSD file you saved your image as. It should look something like this when you've opened it in GIMP:

Notice on the layer palette there is an 'Alpha' channel, and a 'Selection #0'. Do not touch either!! It's strange, and I can't explain it, but this is the way that GIMP interprets how PSP does alpha channels.

21) The 'Save As' prompt in GIMP really hates me with a passion, so I'm gonna just post this:

22) Select .DDS from the filetype list. I don't know if it's a bug or not, but unless in the name field of Gimp I actually type in 'nameoffile.dds' it will attempt to save it as it's default GIMP format. Just giving you a heads up in case it gives you problems too.

23) GIMP will complain and tell you that the image has too many layers. That's fine, just click 'Export' and GIMP will automatically fix it to how it needs to be to make it work:

24) Once it exports it will ask you for file format specifications. You can choose whatever compression you want (thought DXT5 seems to be best); I chose 'None' for mine because choosing a compression with a gradient seems to really reduce the color depth and kill the blending ability.

24a) Make sure Generate Minmaps is NOT checked! Then click ok:

25) It's all set to be imported into Tattooinator! Open up the program, and fill in the following:

And here is a preview of it!:

26) Save the tattoo as a package, copy and paste it into your Mods folder, and load it up in game!

Good luck guys! Feel free to leave questions, comments or concerns :D

You can find CmarNYS's tutorial for Gimp here: http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=411332

There are tons of great comments and questions, so if you can't get something to work right, be sure to take a look!
5 users say thanks for this. (Who?)
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#2 Old 1st Aug 2010 at 4:54 PM
Thank you to whoever moved it!!
Ms. Byte
#3 Old 1st Aug 2010 at 10:01 PM
Great work, and I'm sure this will be appreciated!
Test Subject
#4 Old 1st Jan 2011 at 11:07 PM
Thank you so much! I'm totally doing a Skindred tat and an arrow pointing south LMFAO ) Five ***** star review

The only people I truly envy are those who are blind; only they can truly see through a person.
Test Subject
#5 Old 24th Jan 2011 at 1:40 PM
Thanks fot this great work
Lab Assistant
#6 Old 14th Jan 2012 at 2:44 PM
Would you happen to know what to do when I get the error message saying libgimp-2.0-0.dll is missing from my computer ?
Ms. Byte
#7 Old 16th Jan 2012 at 1:48 PM
Originally Posted by teesa12
Would you happen to know what to do when I get the error message saying libgimp-2.0-0.dll is missing from my computer ?

Is this happening when you click on the DDS plugin trying to install it? If so, you're not supposed to click on it, just copy it into your GIMP plugins folder and the next time you run GIMP it should load.
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