Blast Gradient Frame

Blast Gradient Frame Sample

Created April 1, 2002 © Copyright SuzShook
Made "Version-Independent" March 2009
Property of SuzShook

This tutorial is my own creation;
however, most of the techniques used in this tutorial, I have learned from others!
Therefore, if you recognize any contribution you have made, I thank you!
And I thank you as well for respecting this as my work by not posting it,
in whole or in part,
in any other location without written permission from me!

Individuals and PSP graphics groups are invited to share my tutorials with others with TEXT LINKS ONLY.
You can e-mail me to let me know you are adding one or more of my tutorials to your list if you like -
it's always fun to know who is doing them!

I love frames! I could just do them all the time ** giggle **, as some of you know! So, I decided I would share with you some of the frames I've come up with, playing around and experimenting with filters and some of the effects and tools present right within PSP itself! The frame in this tutorial is a really simple one, and you get to choose your own colors and gradients!

I make my tutorials as brief as possible, without the customary paths, details, and how-to's. For those veterans among you, this will be welcome! But for those less familiar with PSP, I included a "Glossary" that contains all the details omitted in the tutorial. If you need a little extra help, check the Glossary section. Just click on the button below - the Glossary will open in a new window.

PSP glossary button

This tutorial assumes you have a working knowledge of Paint Shop Pro at the intermediate level (or advanced beginner level with the Glossary). It was originally written in and for PSP Version 7, then revised for PSP 8, and now made "version-independent". Screen shots for this tutorial can come from any version of PSP - where there are significant differences from version to version, a green "Version Note" will be included, along with multiple screen shots if necessary.

Where a note/tip refers to a version of PSP and all higher versions, a + sign will be used to indicate this. For example, if a note/tip applies to PSP X and higher versions, I will use the convention "PSP X+".

If you try this tutorial, and find something is inaccurate for your version of PSP, please EMAIL ME to let me know so I can fix it!

Screen shots in this tutorial are resized - your work will be larger than this!

Supplies - For this tutorial, you will need the following:
  • Paint Shop Pro - any version. The latest version of PSP can be found at the Corel site HERE.

  • Toadies Blast 'em and Blast & Blur filters - you can get them HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Plugins folder.

  • In this tutorial, I used one of Nanson's wonderful gradients called Turf. You can find this one, and all Nanson's gradients HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Gradients folder.

  • The image below, or an image of your choosing. ~ ~ Right click on the image below and save into the folder where you keep your current PSP work.


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Ok, now we're ready to begin! Grab your mouse, and let's go create!

Remember to save often!

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Open the image you wish to frame. If you are going to need to resize your image, it's a good idea to do so before you start. To get results that are no more than 350 pixels on the longest side, resize your image to not more than 294 pixels on the longest side before beginning. Sharpen as needed.


Set your Foreground style to Gradient and choose a gradient that complements your image. I chose Nanson's mcq Turf gradient (Angle = 45, Repeats = 0, Linear Style).

If you do not have or cannot find a gradient that complements your image, use the DROPPER tooldropper tool to select two contrasting colors from your image and use the Foreground-background gradient distributed with PSP.

Click OK.


Add a Symmetric 8-pixel border to your image. Using the MAGIC WAND tool magic wand tool, select this border. Invert the selection and apply a Cutout effect with the following settings:

Vertical offset (15),
Horizontal offset (15),
Shadow color (black),
Opacity (61),
Blur (31.3)

Repeat the Cutout, changing both the Vertical and Horizontal offsets to negative values (-15).

Save your image.


Now before we apply the gradient, let's do a little manipulation on that border. Contract the selection by 10 pixels. Then feather the selection by 10 pixels.

Invert the selection and this is what you should have:

image after step4

Using the FLOOD FILLflood_fill tool tool, fill the selected border with your gradient.



Apply the Toadies Blast 'em filter, using 59 for the Diffuse setting, and 219 for the Transparency setting.

Apply an Inner Bevel effect with the following settings:

inner bevel settings
Bevel (#2), Width (13), Smoothness (0), Depth (3), Ambience (17),
Shininess (0), Color (white), Angle (27), Intensity (32), Elevation (40)

Deselect and save.


Add a Symmetric border of 20 pixels. Select the border, invert the gradient, and flood fill the border. Inverting the gradient produces an interesting contrast effect between the two frames, though it isn't apparent with all gradients! The same contrasting effect can be achieved with some gradients by changing the angle to 315.



Apply the Toadies Blast 'n Blur filter using 175 for the X-effect setting, and 17 for the Y-effect setting. In some versions of Toadies, this filter may be called just Blur 'em.

Add an inner bevel with the same settings as in Step 5.

Invert the selection and apply a Cutout effect with the same settings as before, except change the Horizontal and Vertical offsets to 4. Reapply the Cutout effect with negative offsets (-4).

Deselect, watermark, save and you're done!

Don't forget to sharpen your image if you resize it at this point!

Here are some additional images I created using different gradients:

chilled berries
"Chilled Berries", with Nanson's Blue Tones gradient

baby bears
"Baby Bears", with Nanson's Moody gradient

Terri's Daisies, with PSP Foreground-Background gradient

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did creating it!

If you have any problems, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to Email me.


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All graphics and content 2002-present by SuzShook