We wanted to create the rounded puzzle in which some splitting lines would go from the center and some would be circular.
The plan was the following: taking the suitable image and then, preparing the desired layout with the help of the
Puzzle Pro 3.x new feature - adding the Extra Knives.
For your convenience, we have prepared the ZIP file with the source image*
and the Puzzle Pro 3.x settings file.
Click here to download it. The simplest way is to use our settings, but if you want to follow the process from scratch,
then read the text below.
Preparing the Splitter (the matrix of the knives):
We provided you with the specific link to the original image taken from the NASA web site
that we had used for this gallery sample.
- For most convenient creating the Splitter, we recommend that the knives are initially the straight lines.
For that, make sure that the Cutter window is active and delete all the anchor points on the preview area of the Path palette.
- Specify the number of the Columns and Rows equal to 14* and then, make the Main window active and
click the Delete button on your keyboard. This will delete ALL the knives and only the small blue squares
(that represent the knots) will remain (see Fig.1).
* In fact, it could be any EVEN number. The number should be even, because we want our
layout had the symmetrical appearance.
- Now, when we have a grid, we can start constructing the Splitter, by adding the knives* (one by one)
between the specific knots, in order to obtain the rounded appearance of the Splitter. This is a manual process and it's a
good idea to set the knives' thickness other than zero (say to 7 pixels) to make them most noticeable.
Let's start from the center of the matrix. The step by step process of the Splitter constructing you can see on the
following screenshots: Fig.2a (the first circle), Fig.2b (second circle),
Fig.2c** (third circle) and Fig.2d (completed draft matrix).
If necessary, you can review the
How to add an extra knife?
topic of the on-line User Guide
to learn more about this process.
While constructing the third circle, you may find that some extra knives do
not "want" to be added (The "+" button is simply disabled!). This is NOT a malfunction! The point is that
these are the turned OFF ("hidden") regular knives and you cannot add an extra knife instead of the regular knife.
Instead, you just need to select this hidden regular knife and "show" it back by clicking the "ON"
button in the Main windows of the plug-in.
Preparing the puzzle pieces:
- Since the draft of the Splitter is ready, we need to manually adjust the position of some knots*
to obtain the appearance of the Splitter, which will be very close the final look (see Fig.2e).
* For manual adjusting the knots' position, click on the particular knot (that small
blue square that you see in the Main Preview area) and drag without releasing the mouse, to change this knot's position.
- Now we should complete the Splitter's construction. For that, select the Razor Cut check box (Since do
not want our "real" Splitter to have any thickness.) and then, click the Preset Manager button. Then, when the Preset
Manager appears, find the "Classic 5" path and click the Choose Path button (see Fig.3a). As far as you can see,
some knives' knobs are trimmed by the alpha channel of the source image. To avoid this, we should adjust the
knobs orientation by using the plug-in flipping knives operations*. We think that it's a good idea to flip some inner
knives as well, to obtain the symmetrical look of the Splitter. The Splitter's final appearance can be seen on Fig.3b.
- Click the Cut button. Puzzle Pro 3.x cuts the image and switches into the Puzzle mode.
- To make a nice looking design, we decided to remove some pieces. For that, select these pieces directly
on the Main preview area of the plug-in (see Fig.4) and then, hide them, by clicking the OFF button.
- For most natural appearance, we need to add some built-in bevel effect to the pieces. But first, deselect
the hidden pieces, by clicking somewhere on a free space in the Main Preview area (Or by choosing the Deselect Pieces
menu item from under the Select menu.) Now, click on the Bevel effect button* (or reach this effect from under the
Adjust menu) and then, when the Bevel effect window appears, make the desired adjustments (see Fig.5).
* It's a good idea to zoom-in the Main Preview area to 100% for best viewing of the effect, first.
- Once all the pieces have obtained the appropriate bevel effect, click on the Export button (or go
under the Main menu of the plug-in and choose the Export menu item). Then, when the Export (Puzzle Mode) window appears,
make the appropriate settings* (see Fig.6) and export the pieces.
* There are several possibilities of how you can export the pieces... We, in particular,
have chosen the Export ALL pieces to PSD using the Extended Naming style. Keeping in mind that we might want to
operate with some pieces other than the ones that we have hidden inside the plug-in, we exported all pieces.
But if you think that you will need to operate ONLY several pieces chosen in the plug-in, then you can choose
the Export Selected pieces including Composite option (Just don't forget to select the hidden pieces in the plug-in,
before using the Export command!) In this case, your PSD document will include just a few layers: the layers
with pieces you want to operate and the Composite layer with the rest of the pieces.
- Now, open the exported PSD document and finalize the design, by making visible the layers
with the hidden pieces (By default the layer with the hidden piece is invisible.) and spread them within the canvas in
the desired way. See the final result in Meridians... Puzzledians... (A-4) sample of our Gallery.