What Are Picture Tubes?

Little Red Birdhouse

Little Red Birdhouse

I’m not an expert on anything, especially digital design. Like playing different instruments, I am self-taught. In other words, I do it my way. So it is with digital design.

I wanted to learn digital design so I bought the Corel PaintShop Pro X3 program. From there I kept upgrading till I’m now using the Pro X6. The new X7 is out now, but I haven’t upgraded to that one yet

I studied other people’s work online, bought books, and watched tutorials. Mostly I learned by doing . . . on the job training they call it. And since I’m not there yet, I repeat the process. Again. And again.

So, what’s all that got to do with picture tubes? Nothing. I just like to ramble sometimes.

Since I won’t get the definition right, I copied and pasted this information from the internet:

What are Picture Tubes? What are .TUB and .PSPTUBE files? Can I use Tubes in other software?
Answer: “Picture Tubes”, or simply “tubes,” are a feature of the photo editing software Paint Shop Pro, which was originally developed by Jasc Software and is currently owned by Corel and marketed under the brand name Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo. The Picture Tube is a tool in the Paint Shop Pro software which allows users to “paint” with a series of objects. As the user drags the Picture Tube “brush” across the document, the objects are sprayed onto the page.

Clear as mud, isn’t it? So, as best I can, I’m going to show you what a picture tube is. Unless you know a little something about PaintShop Pro, or Photoshop, it still won’t make much sense to you. But here it goes:

I designed each of these graphics (clip art, embellishments, elements; whatever you choose to call them) and exported them as picture tubes into my PaintShop Pro (psp) files. Here’s how:

1. In order to export a picture into your psp tube file, it must have a transparent background. That’s because a tube can only have one layer. If it has a background color, even if it’s white, it has two layers. To export a picture with a background you must click on Layers in your toolbar, click New Layer, then click Merge Visible. Your picture will still have a background but it now has only one layer.

2. Click File on your toolbar. Go down to export. Click on Picture Tube. A window opens where you will give your picture a name. Click OK. Now you made a picture tube. Wasn’t that fun?

Now it’s always at your beck and call. Just click on your Picture Tube on the left side toolbar. A little window at the top left will open. Click on your freshly made picture tube, click on your layer, and Poof! Keep clicking and you’ll have pictures all over your page.

Once I finally learned how to make picture tubes I didn’t know when to quit. A girl can never have too many picture tubes!

When you get the hang of how the tube thing works, you can turn your photos, drawings, downloads; just about anything into picture tubes. I call it clip art at your fingertips. It’s that easy.

These are cards I designed using picture tubes. The little critters I designed using various shapes and the Rad Warp tool found under Effects in the KPT collection in PaintShop Pro X6.

Well, that’s it for today. If you were looking for help concerning picture tubes, I hope you found it. If you were looking for entertainment, I hope you found that too.