If you have followed a link from the forum, then please ensure you download and install the program and the Plugin Pack, before we get started with the tutorial! You can download from the link on the forum or from the Artweaver website. (always check the Artweaver site for the latest updates) The program is free of charge and quite simple to use, so let’s get started with our first basic signature banner!
1. Open ArtWeaver and let’s look around.
Tutorial image 1 is has the various (Palettes) boxes labelled. Tools palette, color, preview, brush and layers are open on default. You can close/minimise these, re-open them if closed, and moved them around the desktop if required. Holding your cursor over the icons on the Tools Palette will tell you what each one is called. Note: You will have to use the right tool for the right job ie you cannot move things about if you are not using the move tool; you cannot use brushes if you are not using the brush tool.
Tutorial Image 2
2. click on file> open to open the image you are going to work with. For this tutorial, you can use the photo of Angelina Jolie which you can find it here from Google.
3. Because this is a very quick, basic tutorial, we are going to change the shape of this image immediately to banner size (500 x125 pixels). Click on Image > Image Size and change the width and height to 500 width and 125 height. Please note: You will have to uncheck the Constrain proportions box in order to do this. (Constrain proportions retains the aspect ratio of the image, which in this case, we do not want!)
Tutorial Image 3
4. Once you have changed the size of the image you may notice that your image looks a bit small. This is because it is only displaying at a % of its actual size. At the bottom left corner of the image, click on the little arrow next to the 50% and select a larger size, so you don’t go blind trying to work with it.
Tutorial Image 4
5. At this point this is all you need to do to make a basic banner. You can then add your name or other text to it and save.
Tutorial Image 5
6. Adding text. Once you select the Text tool, click somewhere on your image where you want your text to be. (it doesn’t have to be too precise as you can move it later). You will also notice that the options along the top have changed to Text options – font, size, colour etc. Make your font selection from the dropdown box (what you see here depends on what fonts you have installed on your computer). Click the colour box to select a font colour. Type in your text. Note: you can’t do anything else at this stage until you either click Apply (if you are happy with it) or Cancel (if you are not).
Tutorial Image 6
7. Just for fun or if you aren’t happy with the position of your text, click on the move tool and drag the text to another part of the image.
Tutorial Image 7
8. So we have banner at correct size and some text added. That’s all you really need to do, but if you want to do more, read on…
Tutorial Image 8
9. Look at Tutorial Image 8 again. See over on the right, in the Layers Palette, you have two layers? On the Tutorial image, one layer shows background image and the second layer shows the text you just added. So you have two layers; one is an image, and the other is just text. This is very important. Imagine you have two pieces of paper on your desk, one on top of the other. If you draw something on the bottom layer, it will not affect the top layer, right? Same thing applies here. You must ensure you select the layer that you want to work with, otherwise some of the options will be greyed out and unavailable to you, or you will not get the effect you were hoping for.
10. At this stage, you have two options. You can either select the layer that you want to work with, by clicking it in the Layer palette. (Try it now and see that the layer will turn blue in the Layer palette) or you can merge the layers together if you no longer need them separate. Note: Also when you are looking at the Layer palette, click on the little icon that looks like an eye. This turns visibility of the layer on and off. (Try in now with the text layer and you will see it disappear on the banner).
Tutorial Image 9
11. Merging the layers. This is not necessary at this stage but you can do it now for practice and undo do it again. Click on Layer > Merge visible (or Shift + Control + E) and watch the layer palette merge the two layers together. Click on Edit > Undo (or Control + Z) to undo your last action ie the merge.
Tutorial Image 10
Tutorial Image 11
12. Colourise. In the Layer palette click on the layer with the image not the layer with the text. Then click on Image > Adjustments. There are 12 options here which I would encourage you to play with. These include Colourise, Greyscale and Posterise etc. Remember that everything can be undone so long as you haven’t Saved the image! Select Colourise, which will open another box. You can then change the Hue, Saturation and Lightness of the image. The Preview window shows what effect it is having on your image. Play around with the levels and remember you can always click on cancel if you don’t like it!
Tutorial Image 12
13. Text Effects. So you have your text in the font and colour of your choice, and that might be enough for you. But you can also add various effects to text very easily in this program. So let’s look at a couple… In the Layer palette click on the layer that has your text in it. Then click on Filter > Distort >Fisheye. At this point you will get a popup box asking if you want to proceed, click Yes. You can now play with the Fisheye filter to distort the shape of the text.
Tutorial Image 13 and 14
14. To try the next effect, Undo what you did with the Fisheye Filter (Edit >Undo; or Control + Z). Start over – Filter > Distort >Ripple and play with the Filter to make the text ripple.
Tutorial Image 15
15. Other fun Filters to try with text are Filter > Texture > Grain, Filter > Stylize > Oilify, Filter > Texture > Bumpiness, Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and so on.
All of these filters can also be applied to your image!
16. Now if you still want more, we can add a frame to your banner. In the Layer palette, click on the layer that has your image in it. Then click Filter > Filter Gallery which will open up another box for you and display your image as a preview. Note: You can make many changes in here, not just frames, but for now, scroll down and click on Frames icon.
Tutorial Image 16
17. Scroll through the frame options till you find one you like. Remember however, the position of your text! Don’t worry, all you have to do is click on the Text later and using the Move Tool, move your text to another position on the banner!
Tutorial Image 17
18. Saving your banner. Do not save it as the Artweaver default file type as you will not be able to use it!!! Click on File > Save as and then select either Jpeg or Gif from the dropdown box. Important: When saving, note the Image Quality slider at the bottom of the Save Options box. I recommend saving at a higher quality otherwise your image may look blurry. As you move the slider left and right you can see the file size underneath, and it shows how long it would take to download the image at various speeds.
Then load it up to your Photobucket Account or other hosting site.
Tutorial Image 18
And that’s it! We’re done and you should now have your own basic Signature Banner.
I will quickly write some small tutorials to highlight other features of this great free program.