(Click on the above graphic for an explanation of the FBN skill ratings.)

The idea for this tutorial came from Mandy Olszewki's "Centre of Attention Tutorial" for PhotoImpact which you can find here. Mandy has graciously granted me permission to write this version for Paint Shop Pro.  Thanks, Mandy!

Please visit Mandy's site: PhotoImpact Palace to see
all her wonderful tutorials as well as the other goodies she has to offer.

This tutorial written by Cathy on September 9, 2003
using Paint Shop Pro Version 8.01.



For this tutorial you will need:

Paint Shop Pro, which you can get at the Jasc site

VM Toolbox Filters, which you can get here (listed under "Visman")

Cybia's Colorworks filter which you can get here.

An image of your choice.  I will be using the following image, which I downloaded at http://gardening.about.com/library/blphotoindex1.htm

The best advice I can give you is to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!!!  There's not much worse than losing all your hard work due to a program or computer lock up or melt down!!!  So...save your work often...I will be putting reminders throughout the tutorial:


As with any of my tutorials, please feel free to use any image/colors you like to create you own unique image.

Okay, let's get started...



1. Copy your original image (Ctrl +D) and save your copy as "my_pic.psp". We will work on the copy. (This will preserve your original image.)

2. Right click on your Background Layer in your Layer Palette and choose Promote Background Layer. Rename this layer "graphics".

3. Go to Effects/Plugins/VM Toolbox/Grid

We want to create a grid which will have at least one square highlighting the portion of your image that you want to focus on - in my case, the single flower off to the right. We will apply the filter directly to our picture only for the purpose of "seeing" the grid on our graphic. The actual grid will be made on a new layer.

4. When your toolbox opens move the Red, Blue and Green sliders all the way to the right (255). Move all remaining sliders to the left. You will see a solid white box!

5. Play with the top three sliders (Grid Size/X-Adjust/Y-Adjust) to the right until you have a nice grid on your picture, with a square over the portion of your graphic that you want to highlight. We will be cropping our image to the grid, but it is IMPORTANT that you have full squares in your picture. In my case I will be using the 20 full squares as shown here:

click to see full size image in a new window

6. Click OK to see the grid on your graphic. If you're not happy with your grid, click undo and apply the grid filter again, adjusting your settings. (This filter retains your settings, so the next time you use it, the settings will be the last ones you used.)

7. Once you are happy with your grid, click undo.

8. Add a new raster layer and rename this layer "grid". Apply your grid filter to this layer, using the same settings.




1. We want to crop our image to include ONLY the full squares.

2. For ease of viewing, add a new layer between your graphic layer and your grid layer and flood fill with a bright color.

3. Click on your Crop Tool. With your left mouse button, click in the upper left corner of your first square and drag the bounding box down to the lower right corner of the last square. (Don't worry about accuracy, I will show you in the next step how to get the exact placement of your crop tool.)

4. Zoom in on your image (I zoomed in to 600%) and move your sliders left and up so that the upper left corner of your canvas is visible.

5. Use the adjustment controls for your crop tool to place your bounding box just inside the lines of your grid:

6. Move your sliders right and down so that the lower right corner of your canvas is visible. Adjust the settings for your crop tool, for the lower left, using your adjustment controls.

7. Once your crop settings are correct, click the arrow next to your crop tool to crop your image.

8. Delete the color layer you added in Step 2.

There are several methods that can be used to achieve this "crop" other than the one I just described. If you find another method easier, please use that method




1. Make your "grid" layer active.

2. Click on your Magic Wand tool:

Mode: Replace
Match Mode: RGB Value
Tolerance: 0
Sample Merged: Unchecked
Feather: 0
Antialias: Checked

3. Click inside the square where your highlight section is.

4. Make your "graphics" layer active; and click on Selections/Promote Selection to Layer.

5. Rename this new layer "highlight" and move it above your grid layer.

6. Selections/Select None.




1.Make your grid layer active.

2. Change your foreground color to black.

3. Click on Selections/Select All: Selections/Float: Selections/Defloat.

4. Flood fill to change your grid color to black - you may need to zoom in on your image since the selected area is rather small. (I suppose we could have just made our grid black in the first place, but I didn't think of it then and I'm not going back to rewrite that part of the tutorial now, since I'd have to change all my screenshots!)

5. While still selected add a new layer and name it "grid highlight". Move this layer beneath your "grid" layer.

6. Click on Selections/Modify/Feather (number of pixels: 2)

7. Make your foreground color white and fill your selected area with white about 10-15 times, making sure you can see the white as a "shadow".

8. Merge your "grid" and "grid highlight" layers. Rename this merged layer "grid".

9. Selections/Select None.

click to see full size image in a new window




1. Make your "graphic" layer active.

2. Go to Effects/Plugins/ColourWorks/Bleach. Change Min/Max to 50 and click OK.

click to see full size image in a new window

3. Click on Adjust/Hue and Saturation/Colorize and enter 0 for both Hue and Saturation. Click OK.

4. Click on Adjust/Hue and Saturation/Colorize and enter 10 for Hue and 45 for Saturation. Click OK.

click to see full size image in a new window

5. Click on Effects/Art Media Effects/Brush Strokes, with the following settings:

Softness: 10
Bristles: 15
Width: 5
Opacity: 10
Length: 3
Density: 100
Angle: 61
Color: #808080

6. Click on Adjust/Blur/Motion Blur: Angle: 135, Strength: 15%.

7. Merge your "grid" and "graphic" layers. Rename this merged layer "graphic".

7. Go to Effects/Plugins/VM Toolbox/Soft Border. (Make sure your background color is set to white) Use the following settings:

Transition: 42 (you may find another setting works better for your image)
Red: 255
Green: 255
Blue: 255
Transparency: 255
Padding: 4

click to see full size image in a new window




1. Make your "highlight" layer active.

2. Click on Image/Resize and use the following settings:

3. Click on your Magic Wand tool and click anywhere outside your image.

4. Apply a Drop Shadow (Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow) with the following settings:

5. Apply a second Drop Shadow, changing the Vertical and Horizontal Offsets to: -5.

6. Invert your Selection (Selections/Invert) and apply a drop shadow, changing your color to black.

7. Apply another Drop Shadow, changing your Vertical and Horizontal Offsets from -5 to 5.

8. Select None (Selections/Select None).

9. Use your Mover Tool to position your highlight image as desired.

That's it!  You're done.
Save your image in jpg or gif format.

Click here to see some images I made
following this tutorial.




All Art Work & Graphics Designed by Cathy
This tutorial originally posted on September 9, 2003
Copyright © 1999 - 2003 by Cathy.
All rights reserved.
Revised: April 06, 2008.