Please read my "About my Tutorials" page before starting the tutorials, thank you.

Tips and Tricks

Some basic Paintshop tips and tricks


Downloading from 4Shared

I know some people have problems downloading from 4Shared and 
end up installing their Installer which you don't want!
These are the buttons to press for a straight download.

Click the download button

Click off the pop up if you get it

Click on the free download 

Now sign in with one of your media accounts or
make an account with 4Shared.

Thumbnail images of tubes and Paint Shop images.

There are two programmes you need installed to view thumbnails and Paint Shop Images.
Mystic Thumbs will work quietly in the background allowing you to 
see thumbnails of many image types not supported by Windows.
This is now a pay for programme but you can 
get the last freebie version 

Thumbnail Handler is a free programme that allows you to 
see thumbnails of Paint Shop images by
Bot Productions.

PSP closes when you use a plugin in
Vista, Windows 7 & 8.

A lot of older 8bf plugins won't work with the newer versions of Windows and
 your PSP will close down when the plugins are used but
Filtermeister have designed a patch to make them compatible.
 You can get the patch from their site here, the links is on the left hand side under
"FM Patcher".


White edge on resizing

That white edge you get on resizing large elements is so infuriating!  Especially as it never seemed to happen in older Jasc versions of Paint Shop. I have a couple of tricks for this. Firstly, if its a pretty solid element, you can try selecting it, floating and defloating and then contracting by one pixel, inverting the selection and hitting delete. This wont work on fine elements though.  Putting the drop shadow on a separate layer always helps. Another thing which works very well is to use your soften brush; have the size very small so it just goes on the very edge and the opacity around 10, just rub the brush over that white edge and it will soften it out.

Importing filters into Filters Unlimited

If you have Filters Unlimited installed, you will need to import some filters into it before they will work.  If you try and use a filter and you get this message in my screenshot below, it means they need importing.


To  import the filter, just open Filters Unlimited, scroll down to the bottom and click on "Import", 
a new page will open, browse to the filter and click on "Open".  The filter will now be available for use in Filters Unlimited without the need for restarting the programme.  You will find Filters Unlimited at the top of your list  of plugins under <I.C.NET Software.


Using Photoshop brushes in PSP.

Photoshop brushes can easily be converted for use in PSP with the help of ABR Viewer, which is a free programme you can get here The idea is to convert the brushes into a png file which can then be exported in PSP.

Open the ABR viewer, go to file - open brush sets.  Browse for your brushes and open them in the viewer. This can take a little while if there are a lot of brushes. When the brushes are open, go to export and then click on thumbnails, you will then get an option on where to save the brushes, I usually make a new folder on my desktop.

Open the folder in which you saved the brushes and you will see them all in there as pngs, open one of them in PSP.  The pngs are usually very large so you will need to resize them as PSP has a size limit for exporting brushes, they have to be less than 999 pixels in both height and width.  I usually resize to around 600 on the longest side.

When you have resized the brush, go to file - export - custom brush.  The brush will have lost its name so you need to rename it with the original name used by the creator, click on OK.  The brush will then be available in your brushes menu.

Saving an animated tag in Animation Shop
to add text later.

You can of course save your tag in Paintshop to add text and export as a jpeg or png later but did you know you can do the same thing in animation shop?  Just put your tag together in animation shop as normal and before you put it through the optimization wizard, just go to "save as" and save as a "mng" file.  Then you can open it again in animation shop and put your text on without having to put the tag together again. 



When you resize or rotate elements or use the warp brush, you will notice that things become a little blurry and need to be sharpened. If you want a nice looking tag, its very important to sharpen these elements to counteract this blurriness. The best way to sharpen elements is to go to adjust - sharpness - unsharp mask.  I usually have the radius and clipping set to 5 and the strength set to anything between 30 and 50. Play around with the strength setting to see what looks best, being careful not to over sharpen. Sometimes you may have an element that has, for example, diamonds in it and the diamonds need sharpening more than the entire element.  In that case, use the unsharp mask feature and then use the sharpen tool (see my screenshot below) directly on the part you want sharpened more.  When you click on the sharpen brush, the tool bar will come up along the top, there you can change the opacity and size.  Alter the size to the size of the part you want to sharpen and just click on that part with the brush.

Re-colouring elements

You will find that you often need to change the colour of elements in scrap kits to complement better the tube you are using.  

If you want to change the colour of the entire element, use your dropper tool to take a sample of the new colour which will then show in your materials palette,  open the materials palette (see my screenshot below) and take a note of the H and S numbers (hue and saturation).  

Note: the materials palette in the newer versions has been completely changed, the HSL is now a slider and the values no longer match up with the colorizing adjustment.

Then go to adjust - hue and saturation - colorize and change those numbers.  You can adjust the slider on the saturation to change the depth of the colour.

 Of course there will be times when you will just want to change the colour of part of an element, say for instance you want to change the colour of a flower but leave the stalk and leaves green.   In this case you will need to use the "change to target tool".  Again use your dropper to pick the new colour and put it in the materials palette, activate the change to target tool and carefully paint the area you want to change the colour on. You can alter the opacity of this tool depending on how deep you want the new colour and of course the size.

 Another way to re-colour small parts of an element is to duplicate the element, change the colour on the copy using the H and S numbers and then carefully erase the parts you dont want coloured letting the original colour show through.  When you are done, just merge the two layers together!

Finally, there is the Color Changer Tool.

To use this tool, you first need select the original colour using your eye dropper tool
and set it as your background colour.

Now set your foreground colour to the new colour.

Open the Color Replacement tool and click on the area of colour you want to
change and it will be replaced with the new colour.
You may need to play around with the tolerance to get the best effect.

 Here I changed the colour of the star from blue to red. 



  1. Hi Hun. Would really love to know what settings you use for AS? I have so many problems with fuzzy results. Would be great to see all your different settings as your work turns out fantastic! Thanks!

  2. Hi Iron Grace,

    I dont have any settings for AS, I use the default ones on the optimization wizard. I have spent many hours playing around with the settings in there and always the default ones come out best. Its to do with the colours and shading not the settings. Red, green and purple are always the worst. I try to use tubes without a lot of skin shading as that never looks good. I would animate a lot, lot more if it wasnt for the poor quality of a gif. If you have Photoshop the quality is a little better than AS.


  3. thrilled you told me about this page! thank you so much!

  4. You are very welcome Pam! I am glad you found it :)