The tutorial will teach you how to make this icon (from The Butterfly Effect):
*NOTE* There are many images under this cut, so please give them time to load.
WinDVD 6 (http://www.intervideo.com)
Jasc Paint Shop Pro 7 (http://www.jasc.com)
Jasc Animation Shop 3 (http://www.jasc.com)
Windows Movie Maker optional
Plugin Galaxy filters optional
04b font optional
Step 1: Making the screen caps
-The first thing you need to do is have a DVD player on your computer or a video file that you'd like to make your animation from. To make the animation, you will take individual screen caps of each frame of the movement you'd like to animate. I use WinDVD to make screen captures from DVDs and Windows Movie Maker to make screen caps from video files. Either will work.
-When you get to the particular scene you'd like to use, pause the movie/video and take a SCREEN CAPTURE. In WinDVD, screen caps are taken by clicking the camera icon at the top of the screen.
-Advance one frame by clicking STEP FORWARD on the control panel. Take a screen capture. Continue advancing and taking screen caps for your animation until you've made screen caps of all the frames in the scene. SAVE your screen captures in some kind of order so you know the sequence in which they should appear.
*NOTE* Try to keep your animation short; as animations of 20 frames or more tend to become very large files.
Step 2: Making the base for your icon
-Now that you've finished making screen caps for your animation, you can CLOSE WinDVD (or Windows Movie Maker; depending on what you're using). OPEN Paint Shop Pro 7. Select an image you would like to use for the base of your icon. I have chosen one of the screen caps from the scene I am going to animate.
-From the toolbar, select the cropping tool (shown as selected on the toolbar in the screen cap). From the IMAGE drop-down menu, you may CROP and RESIZE the image as necessary. I have resized my image to 100x100 pixels.
Step 3: Using filters/effects
-This step is not neccessary, but it can be used to make the image look nicer. If you don't care about that, you can skip this section.
-The first thing I'm going to do is use the Rainbow filter. It is a Plugin Galaxy filter and may be downloaded here if you wish. Filters are basically effects that you can download. If you have no previous experience with filters, it's OK. Download the Plugin.dll and Msvcrt10.dll files; unzip them using WinZip; and transfer them to C:/Windows/System. This enables you to use filters on PSP. Once Plugin Galaxy has finished downloading, unzip and install the file(s) to your PLUGINS folder. This should be located in program files/jasc/paintshoppro or something along those lines. If there is not a plugins folder, make one.
-Now, in PSP from the EFFECTS drop-down menu, there should be a plugin-folders selection at the bottom. From here, you may select Plugin Galaxy and use the Rainbow effect. I have used the settings in the screen cap shown below. Feel free to use other effects or filters if you wish.
-The second thing I have done is add blinds to the image for a nice effect. Blinds is a standard effect and can be accessed through the EFFECTS drop-down menu as shown. I have used the settings shown in the screen capture.
*NOTE* If you are just installing the filters for the first time, you may need to close and re-open PSP for them to appear in the effects menu.
Step 4: Using a template with transparency
-Templates can be made or downloaded. I have a few available on my site, here; as well as a tutorial about how to use templates. That will be explained here; as well. This is the template I will be using on my icon.
-OPEN the template in PSP. The next step is to fill the separate sections with colors not found in your image; preferably bright colors. This is important for the color replacing step later on.
-Now, RIGHT-CLICK on the title bar of the template image. A menu will be displayed. Click COPY.
-OPEN Animation Shop. From the EDIT drop-down menu, PASTE as a new animation. Your color-filled template will be displayed. From the ANIMATION drop-down menu, select REPLACE COLOR. Replace the part of the template where you'd like your base image to appear (shown here as hex color #F731FF) with transparency. Next, RIGHT-CLICK the title bar of the template image and from the pop-up menu, select COPY.
-Go back to PSP. On your base image, RIGHT-CLICK on the title bar of your base image and select PASTE as new layer from the pop-up menu. The template image will display over your base image. From your LAYER PALETTE, you may RIGHT-CLICK on layer 1 to merge these layers. It is not necessary, but it can help to avoid confusion with layers later on.
Step 5: Adding outlined bitmap text
-This step also isn't necessary, but I've added it since I know many people may not know how to do this (I myself didn't figure it out until just recently).
-From the FILE drop-down menu, make a new image. Use the settings displayed. This will give you a blank image. Using the FLOOD-FILL tool, fill the blank image with whatever color you'd like to use as the outline for your text. I have chosen a color from the image itself (hex color #00AEBB).
-Select the TEXT tool from the toolbar (it's an 'A'). This will bring up the text entry box. I suggest using a small bitmap font like 04B. Make sure you have it set as Create As: FLOATING. When you are finished, click OK. This will display your text on the blank color-filled image. You can move the text around as desired.
-From the SELECTIONS drop-down menu, select modify-- EXPAND. Expand by 1 pixel. This will make the area around your floating text 1 pixel larger. Now, RIGHT-CLICK on the title bar of the image and select COPY. Then, RIGHT-CLICK and PASTE the text on your merged base image and move it into position as desired. Mine now looks like this. Merge the layers from the LAYER PALETTE as you did before.
*NOTE* If you'd just like to use standard text, you may do so by applying the text directly to your base image.
Step 6: Creating the animation
-Go back to Animation Shop. From the FILE drop-down menu, select OPEN and open the first screen cap of your animation. You may then add the additional frames by selecting INSERT frames from file from the ANIMATION drop-down menu. Make sure you add all of your frames in order!
-The next thing to do is crop and resize your frames as necessary. The cropping tool can be selected from the toolbar, and you may resize the animation by selecting RESIZE animation from the ANIMATION drop-down menu. The dimensions of the box for the animation portion of my icon are 45x35 pixels.
*NOTE* Make sure you have all frames SELECTED while doing this so that your changes apply to all frames! (You can do so by selecting SELECT ALL from the EDIT drop-down menu).
Step 7: Adding the animation to your base
-Still using Animation Shop, RIGHT-CLICK on the first frame of your animation. From the pop-up menu, select COPY.
-In PSP RIGHT-CLICK the title bar of your base image and PASTE the frame as a new layer. It will display as such. Move the frame into position.
-The next step is to RIGHT-CLICK on the title bar of the image and select COPY MERGED. Then, going back to Animation Shop, from the EDIT drop-down menu, PASTE as a new animation. Repeat these steps for all of the frames; COPYING first the frames of the animation and then PASTING them onto the base frame; and COPYING the base frames and PASTING them into your icon animation. Your end result should look something like this.
-Once you've completed all of your frames, you may CLOSE Paint Shop Pro. In Animation Shop (make sure you have all frames SELECTED), from the ANIMATION drop down menu, select frame properties. Set the frame properties to determine how long each frame is displayed. I have mine set at 18.
-The final step is to make part of the image transparent. With all frames selected, choose REPLACE COLOR from the ANIMATION drop-down menu. Replace color with transparency (the suggested area for transparency in this case is hex color #0000FF). Once you've replaced the color, it should look like this.
-Now all that's left is to SAVE the icon. Congrats, you're all done! :-D
If you have any questions about any of this, just leave a comment and I will do my best to help. :-)
Cross-posted in icon_templates and icontemplated