PC Shows

Posing Your Dog

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

How to win all the things.

What is an Overpose?

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

What is the dreaded (but hilarious) overpose and how do I stop it?


Shading & Highlighting

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

Want to make those beautiful 3D-looking PetzPix? Here's how!


by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

adding wings to your PetzPix

Paint Shop Pro 7

Shading & Highlighting

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

Want to make those beautiful 3D-looking PetzPix

Vector Petz

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

making your PetzPix into a vector image


by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

adding wings to your PetzPix

Petz Game

Getting Back Runaways

by: Silver @ Silver's Petz Site

How to retrieve petz that have runaway in the game.


[Ballz Info]

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

learn what's going on in the [Ballz Info] section

[Head Shot]

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

the rarely-used but awesome [Head Shot] section


Making an AOL Chatroom

by: Andi @ Cirrutopia

How to make your own AOL Chatroom... just in case you were wondering. File this under the same place as "What to do when your 3 1/2 inch floppy won't eject."

Shading & Highlighting

Prepare Your File

First, of course, you need to open your file in Photoshop. It's in the PetzPix directory of your Petz folder. Here I have a picture of Alasdair. PetzPix are always saved as .GIF or 256-Color .BMP files, which are tough to work with. We need to increase the number of colors allowed in the file, to be able to have any kind of shading or highlighting. To do this, go to Image >> Mode >> RGB Color. Next, let's set up some layers.

Setting Up Layers

Photoshop supports multiple layers in a picture, and there's no reason to not take advantage of this. If we always work on the layers on top of our picture, and never on our picture itself, it's much easier to go back and redo things we may not like; our original image remains unmodified. When we put our image into RGB color mode, Photoshop probably renamed the bottom (and currently only) layer "Background." To see that this is the case (or not), you'll have to have your Layers Palette opened. I always keep my Layers Palette docked at the bottom right of the screen because I use it virtually every time I do anything in Photoshop. If you can't see your Layers Palette, you can ask Photoshop to display it by clicking Windows >> Layers (or hit F7). Now, let's change this layer from a background layer to a "regular" layer. Right click the layer with your PetzPix as it appears in the Layers Palette. Click Layer From Background... and a window will pop up asking you what you want to call the layer. It doesn't matter what you name it; I usually just leave it named "Layer 0."
Now we need to select the pet in our PetzPix. I think the easiest way to do this is to use your Magic Wand tool to select all the white background in the image. To select more than one part of the image, click some white you'd like to select, hold down Shift, and click more white. When you've gotten all those annoying bits of white background that sometimes like to hide between legs and tails, especially on fluffy dogs, click Select >> Inverse (Shift+Ctrl+I) so that everything you selected (the white) becomes deselected, and everything you didn't select (the pet!) becomes selected. Now it's time to make our first layer. At the top right of the Layers Palette is a small icon that is a few horizontal lines with an arrow pointing down. Click this and select New Layer... (Shift+Ctrl+N). I leave mine named "Layer 1" and just click "Okay." Now we have a new layer over our PetzPix.

Setting Up A Layer Mask

At the bottom of the Layers Palette is a small icon that is a gray rectangle with a white circle inside it. This makes your selection into a layer mask. You'll see the mask appear as a thumbnail next to the selected layer's thumbnail. Wherever the thumbnail is white, when you draw on your petzpix in this layer, what you draw will show up. Wherever it is black, whatever you draw will remain invisible. Since our layer mask is the same shape as the pet in our PetzPix, if we accidentally do some shading outside of our PetzPix, it will remain hidden! To make sure that as we draw we are editing the layer and not the mask, click the thumbnail of the layer (probably transparent white/light gray checks) to select the layer rather than the black and white layer mask. Let's go ahead and also set the type of blending we'll begin with. I like "overlay" a lot. Where that dropdown box in the Layers Palette says "Normal" click to change this selection to "Overlay."

Beginning The Shading & Highlighting

I usually zoom in (Ctrl+'+') as I work, zooming out to the original size (Ctrl+1) periodically to check my progress. Here I've started with a small round brush tool whose hardness is set to "0" and opacity is probably set to something under 20%. I'm using white to paint over areas I'd like to highlight. When I want to add shadows, I usually make my brush black. I zoom out to check on my progress every so often, and when I've hit a point that I'm pleased with how things are coming along, I usually start a new layer and then continue to shade and highlight.

Changing Blend Modes While Shading & Highlighting

Sometimes when I start a new layer of blending, I'll use a blend mode other than Overlay. Two of my favorites are Color Burn and Soft Light. Play with each to see what different effects they can provide. By the way, when I am motivated enough to find it, I use my Wacom tablet to do a lot of the shading and highlighting work; I think it's easier. I was lazy with Alasdair, though, and did all of this with the touchpad on my laptop.

Working On Details

I use a very fine brush to add sharper highlights and shadows and finer details at the end.


To add eye shines, I must switch from my brush tool to my pencil tool. I do this by clicking and holding on the brush tool on my tool palette until a menu appears that lets me pick the pencil hidden underneath the brush. I use these settings to do my eyeshine:

The Finished Product

You're done! This tutorial doesn't go over how to save an image with a transparent background, but I will be writing one that covers this. I'd love to feature the work you made using this tutorial! If you want to share, just send your work to cirrutopia petz [at] gmail [dot] com!

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