Lightning Strikes Tutorial

© Cazzy Designs 2006 - Tutorial Written October 2nd 2006

This tutorial is dedicated to a very special friend of mine. Her net name is thisismeagain, and she is one of the loveliest women I have the pleasure of knowing.

You will need:
Jasc Paint Shop Pro - HERE 
Jasc Animation Shop - HERE 
Ulead Gif-X plugin - HERE 
Mura's Meister Cloud - HERE 
Alienskin Eyecandy 4000 (Optional) - HERE 
A hallowe'en tube of your choice 
A font of your choice 
A moon tube of your choice 
A frame corner of your choice

You can get my selections of Font and tubes - HERE 
The main tube I am using is a free one by OutlawByDesigns. You can visit the site HERE 


Open a new canvas, size 400x400 with a transparent background. 
Flood fill this with #202020 and then duplicate the layer.

With the duplicated layer highlighted, go to Effects, Plugins, Mura's Meister Clouds, and apply the filter with the settings below.

Lower the opacity on the clouds layer to 50% and then merge the two layers visible.

Open your moon tube, and copy and paste it as a new layer. Position the moon where you want it, then merge the layers visible.

Go to effects, Plugins, Ulead Effects, Gif X.

Click on Light at the top of the plugin box, and then click the gallery button at the bottom. Select the lighting animation of your choice. Back on the main screen, change your amount of frames to 30, as shown below in the screenshot of settings then click save, and save the animation somewhere accessible. DO NOT CLICK OK. Press Cancel once you have saved the animation.

Now we have the main animation saved, its time to start working on the main tag design.

Copy and paste your tube as a new layer. Resize this layer by 60% making sure resize all layers is UNCHECKED. Open up the frame corners tube and using your lasso tool, carefully draw round the corner you want and then go to Edit, Copy.

Paste the corner onto your canvas, and then duplicate the layer. Mirror and flip the duplicate layer so it is in the opposite lower corner to where it is positioned at the top. Your image should look like this.

Now we are going to add the text. Open your font and minimise it to your task bar. With your text tool set to the below settings, and using font color #C00000 for the background and the foreground set to nothing, apply your text.

Convert this to a raster layer. Apply the following Inner bevel.

If you choose to use the eyecandy 4000 Glass plugin, apply the default settings. If you arent using this, then just apply the dropshadow below.

Add your watermark and any artist copyrights.

Now, X'ing out the background layer with the moon on, Merge ALL layers visible. Leaving the background layer x'd out copy and paste the merged layer into Animation Shop.

Now open the lighting animation we made earlier in Animation Shop. Holding down CTRL, select each even frame of the animation and then press the delete key. Your animation now has 15 frames.

Making sure that the first frame is visible, click on it and press ctrl and a to select all. Now with your copy and pasted tube elements, duplicate this until you have 15 frames. The easiest way to do this, is to right click and select duplicate selected. If, by doing this, you exceed 15 frames, just delete until there are 15 frames.

Go back to the first frame, and press CTRL and A to select all. Drag the tube layer onto the background and DO NOT LET GO of the mouse button until you are happy with the position of the dragged and dropped layer.

Your animation strip should now look like this. (Mine looks blurry because its on a 1:2 size ratio in Animation Shop.)

Making sure all the frames are still selected, Right click and set the frame properties to 15. Go to animation, resize and use the settings below.

Now save your completed tag under an easily recognisable name, and you are done.

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