5. Finishing Decorations



In this last lesson, I will create a decorative pattern for the poster and finish the work.

I sometimes use the [Symmetrical Ruler] of the [Special Rulers] tool to create symmetrical decorations, but in this lesson I will explain how to create decorations using the [File Object] feature.

What are File Objects?

If you convert a layer to a file object layer or import a file object layer, you can refer to it while maintaining the original image or video data, unlike ordinary layers.

This is especially helpful when you want to create each part in a separate file and arrange them together in a final project file, and makes it easier to create complex artwork with many elements.

The following user guide explains file objects in further detail.


[1] Creating a canvas for decorations

(1) First, I create a canvas slightly larger than the size of the decoration you want in the poster.

The canvas is 200mm by 50mm and set to 350 dpi.

I want to make the background transparent, so I uncheck [Paper color].

(2) It is easier to create a symmetrical pattern when you know the center position of the canvas, so I will add a grid to the new canvas.

I select [View] menu > [Grid] to display the grid, then select [View] menu > [Settings of grid ruler].

In the dialog box, I choose the following settings.

・[Original point of grid ruler]: Center

・[Grid setting] > [Spacing]: 20.00mm (Note: You can change this to your preferred value)

・[Grid setting] > [Number of divisions]: 1

Clicking OK confirms the grid shape.

Note: The grid in the above figure is colored in red, but the default color is gray.

You can change the grid color to any color you like from [File] menu > [Preferences] > [Ruler/Unit].

[2] Positioning the Draft/File object

(1) On the right side of the canvas, I draw the rough draft of decorations.

You can use any tool for drawing drafts, such as the [Pencil] tool.

(2) I convert the layer with the draft into a [File object].

I select [Layer] menu > [File object] > [Convert layer to file object].

This time, I set the [Area] to [Canvas Size].

When you convert a layer to a file object, a window for saving a layer as a clip file will appear.

Let’s set a simple and clear name. Here, I named the file “Decoration.clip”.

When the confirmation message appears, I select [OK].

After the conversion finishes, a “Decoration” file object layer will appear on the [Layer] palette.

(3) I select the “Decoration” file object layer and duplicate the layer.

I also hide the original draft layer.

(4) I select the “Decoration Copy” file object layer using the [Object] tool, and click [Flip Horizontal] on the [Tool Property] palette to flip the layer.

Now I have a symmetrical pattern like the figure shown below.

[3] Drawing decorations using continuous curves

(1) I select the “Decoration” file object layer on the [Layer] palette and access [Layer] menu > [File object] > [Open file of file object]. Then, I open the referred “Decoration.clip” file.

(2) I draw the lines for decoration based on the draft. On the [Layer] palette, I create a “Vector layer” for drawing the line art.

In order to create a vector layer, either click on the upper [Layer] palette > [New vector layer] icon or select [Layer] menu > [New Layer] > [Vector layer].

If you change the line color of the “Draft” layer to blue, it will become easier to see the lines.

The tools I use for drawing is [Figure] tool > [Direct draw] > [Continuous curve] instead of pen or brush tools.

There are four types of [Continuous curve], which are [Straight line], [Spline], [Quadratic Bezier], and [Cubic Bezier].

If you are not familiar with the [Continuous curve] tool, it's a good idea to use a Spline that allows you to draw intuitive lines. If you want to draw like Illustrator's [Path], select Cubic Bezier.

Note: Read the following TIPS to learn more about Quadratic and Cubic Beziers.

Mastering Bezier curves: Quadratic Bezier curves


Mastering Bezier curves: Cubic Bezier curves


(4) After you select the “Vector layer”, I draw with the [Continuous curve] tool.

I set the [Brush Size] of the thick and thin parts of the line to 20.0px and 10.0px respectively.

I draw the line while clicking points of the curve. You can draw a smooth line if you use less clicking points. Double click the line or press the [Enter] key to confirm the line.

Since you can adjust the lines afterwards, you can proceed without worrying even if the lines deviate.

(5) When you click the line with the [Object] tool, you can see that the line consists of multiple control points.

You can move the green control points using the [Object] tool and make fine adjustments.


I recommend using vector layers for decorations so that you can change the position or line width and the line type or color afterwards.

Scaling up/down does not affect the quality of the lines, so you can also use the same lines in your other works.

(6) I added other fine lines to create the following line art.

(7) In the last step, I fill inside the lines.

Since I cannot fill on the [Vector layer], I create a new raster layer and use the [Fill] tool > [Refer other layers] sub tool to fill inside the lines.

Note: Hide the “Draft” layer before you fill the line art.

(8) Now I’ve completed the decoration part. I save the file from the [File] menu > [Save].

[4] Combining the decorations and adding grunge effect

Now I’ll go back to the canvas I made in section [2] and update the decorations.

(1) I select the “Decoration” file object layer on the [Layer] palette, right-click the layer, and click [File object] > [Update all file objects].

Now you can see the updated neat version of the “Decoration” file object layer.


In this lesson, I updated the file object after finishing the decorations, but you can update the file object at any time (which makes it useful).

If you check it in the middle stage, you can prevent it from looking different than what you expected.

(2) On the [Layer] palette, I hide all layers other than the “Decoration” and “Decoration Copy” file object layers. Then, I create a combined layer from [Layer] menu > [Merge visible to new layer].

(3) After I select the combined layer from the [Selection] menu > [Select all], I copy and paste the layer on the canvas I made in part 4.

(4) I select the pasted decoration layer on the [Layer] palette and use tools such as the [Move layer] tool and [Edit] menu > [Transform] > [Rotate/Scale down/Scale up] to lay out the element on the poster.

(5) After confirming the position and size of the decoration, I press Ctrl + click the [Layer] menu’s Thumbnail to create a selection area of the drawn part.

Then I hide the decoration layer.

(6) I select the layer mask of the “Logo” folder, and fill the selection area from [Edit] menu > [Fill].

Now, the decoration has the same texture as the title logo.

If necessary, I adjust the readability in the same way as the title logo.

[5] Finishing touches

Finally, I add some finishing touches and adjust the overall appearance. I want the title logo to stand out a bit more, so I will add color below the letters.

(1) I create a new [Fill] layer under the “Logo” folder and the text layer, and set a layer mask in the same way as part 4.


I change the layer name of the [Fill] layer to “Readability”.

(2) Then, I change the Blending mode of the “Readability” layer to [Color burn].

(3) I fill the layer mask using the [Brush] tool > [India ink] > [Darker bleed]. Before adding colors, I apply the following settings in [Tool Property].

・[Opacity]: 30%

・[Transparency effect]: 10

・[Luminosity effect]: 0

・[Process after drag]: ON

・[Blurring width]: 7.0

(4) I use black to draw on the layer mask of the “Readability” layer.

▲ The left figure only displays the “Readability” layer. The right figure shows all the layers.

(5) Now I’m finished.

Exporting Finished Poster Data

In this example, I added 3mm of extra space to each side, so if I want to export it as a A4 document, in the [Export Settings] dialog box I set the [Export range] to [To inside of crop mark].


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