I must confess that I am a bit of a Tube addict... and have collected hundreds of tubes from various sites offering them ( Thanks guys!)...but I couldn`t help wishing I could make my own, so I decided to have a go.
The only problem was, I went about it the hard way... removing backgrounds from images with the eraser tool, flood filling multiple times with various colours to check for white "jaggies" then saving the image as a clear gif, reopening, selecting, copying and pasting a new image and finally exporting as a tube...
I made many tubes this way believing this was how it was done. Some people probably still make tubes this way, there`s nothing wrong with it and they work just as well.
However, when I was commissioned to make an exclusive webset, and was presented with a photograph to use which had less than ideal background on it, I decided to try out the cut and paste method. The result was an attractive webset which more than satisfied myself and my customer. It was soooo easy that I started applying this method a lot more. One day it occurred to me it might work for tubes too, as it produces an image with a clean, well defined edge and is much easier to do curves too - and it takes a fraction of the time!
This tutorial explains how I now make my tubes, I hope it will help you create your own tubes too...
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Paint Shop Pro Tutorials by Karen
First You need to choose your picture. Start with one that`s fairly simple, not too many awkward curves or small areas needing to be removed, progress to more complex pictures as you gain experience and tool control.
For this tutorial I will use the picture below...
Now you need to make it workable.
You are aiming to remove all the unwanted background without leaving any white "jaggies"
or untidy edges. Clean, well defined edges are what makes a great tube.
Start by copying the image to your clipboard ( Edit / Copy.) Now you want to find out the size of the image unless you already know it.
Either go to Image / Image Information ( fig 1)
...note pixel sizes and click ok, then close the original image.)
or you can check the image size at the bottom right of your screen.
You may find this a bit too small to see what you`re doing without straining your eyes...
try enlarging the picture. (go to view / zoom in by 1... repeat zooming if neccessary until you are happy with the size. click OK.)
Now you can begin removing the background. click on the freehand tool icon then right click it.
Make your setting as in fig 4a and close the dialogue box.
Continue to draw freehand in small portions, and using the cutting tool to cut away the background until you have no background left on the picture.
Tidy up the edges in the same manner until you are satisfied with the whole image.
(fig 7 / 8 / 9)
Now You can tube your picture.
Click the magic wand icon and then click anywhere on the coloured canvas to select your picture (fig 10). Then go to "selections" and choose "invert" (fig 11).
(Your selections should be closwer to the images edges than in the sample)
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial which was written for P.S.P V 7, but should be easily adapted for other versions.
Check out my Tubes at
Start a new image larger than the one you are tubing
( I usually add 100 pixels each way to give plenty of room to work-( fig 2.)
Flood fill the new canvas with a colour other than white. ( fig 3)
(You will then find it easier to see the edges of your image as you work.)
I use a colour not in the picture, but use whatever colour you are most comfortable with.
Once you have your coloured canvas, go to edit / Paste as new layer.( fig 4)...
Begin by slowly drawing with the freehand tool, around the edges of the picture.
Try not to get too close, you can tidy up any bits left behind later.
Work on a small area at a time, left clicking as you go to keep a steady line.
Remember to save your work as you progress, so you don`t lose all you have done in an emergency!. When you have drawn a line around enough area, bring it back round to the beginning, away from the picture, then right click to select the area. Your line will now look like marching ants, (fig 5) now for the fun bit!. Click on the Cutting tool (scissors icon)...
you will now see this part of the background has gone. (fig 6)
Keep clicking the scissors until all the selected area has clean edges. If your line isn`t
quite close enough and some untidy edge still remains, draw a bit closer and reselect
then use the cutting tool again until you are happy with your edges.
Go to edit / copy / edit / paste as new image. Your picture should now be on a transparent background and have no unneccessary edging.(fig 12.)
Finally it is ready to complete... go to "file", select "export" then "picture tube",
name the tube ( make sure you use a name not already used )and click OK. ( fig 13)
It will now be saved in your tubes folder ready to use.
Well done, you have made a tube. Now you will probably be hooked so have fun...!!!
I made this little chap into a signature tag (below), but the possibilties are endless!