PI Tutorials


PI VERSION: 12 (also suitable for PI 8/8.5/XL/10 etc).

LEVEL: Beginner

MAIN TOOLS USED: Path Drawing Tool, Transform Tools -Resize/Slant/Distort, Material box/Options, Object Paint Eraser, Easy Palette (Presets) and Retouch Tools/Burn (Optional).

DOWNLOAD: For a set of 4 icon path-shapes to use on the dreidel Click HERE.

TERMS OF USE: Please Read - Thank You!

Thank you so much to Jeaney Borland, my best pal - for proof-reading and checking this tutorial!

Finished Dreidel


Any number of people can take part in the game.

Each player starts with the same amount of game pieces (usually about 10-15). These can be pennies, tokens or matchsticks.

At the beginning of each round, every player puts one piece into the pot. In addition, every time the pot is empty or has only one game piece left, every player puts one piece in.

When it's your turn you spin the dreidel once - the icon that shows on top of the dreidel when it stops spinning determines what you do next.

a) Nun means you win or lose nothing.
b) Gimmel means that you take everything in the pot.
c) Hey means you take half of the pot. If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot you take half of the total plus one.
d) Shin means that you have to add a game piece to the pot.

If you are left with no game pieces left, you are either "out" or you can ask a fellow player for a loan!

Players are gradually eliminated and the remaining player is the winner!


Custom Shape Fr31

Adjust Material options

Options button

Texture options

First shape complete

First shape darkened

2nd shape in place

2nd shape top slanted

Slanting the side piece

Rounded rectangle shape

Top piece being drawn

Tool settings - Path

Slanting the top piece

Distorting the top piece

Distorting the top piece - 2

Convert segment to curve

Main piece of the handle in place

Top ellipse of the handle in place

First icon in place

2nd icon in place

Slanting the side icon

Colouring the icons

Shadow settings - 1

Erasing surplus shadow

Shadow settings - 2

Finished Dreidel


For the purposes of this tutorial I am using wood no10 from my Wood Selection 2 which you can download from the PI Downloads section of my site HERE.

I am using a white canvas, size 375 x 600 pixels.

1. Using the Path Drawing Tool, Shape Fr31 (this might have a different name in earlier versions of the program but is the shape shown opposite): Color - any wood preset of your choice with a strong grain or the one mentioned above: Mode: 2D: draw a shape 265 x 360 pixels.


2. The grain of the wood present I chose was a horizontal one and I want it to be a vertical one for this piece, so I turned the grain by clicking on the Material button/Options. In the Texture Options box click on the 90o radio button and OK. See pictures opposite for help with this if you need it.

If the grain of the wood you use is already vertical, you will not need to turn it for these pieces but you WILL need to turn it, using the method shown here, for the TOP piece.


3. Using the Transform Tools/Flip Vertically, flip the shape. This should now look like the picture opposite.


4. Now, keeping the shape selected, click on Photo/Light/Brightness & Contrast and in the box that appears, click on the bottom, centre square, three times to darken the shape.


5. Using the Path Tools again, same Shape and Color - draw another object, this time 230 x 255 pixels.

6. Flip this shape too and put in place approximately as shown left (this need not be exact as we will be moving it in a moment..


7. Using the Transform Tools/Slant, put your cursor on the left-hand, centre node and slide it upward to angle the left side upwards as shown. Now move the whole shape downwards and to the left into its final position as illustrated.


8. Now select the darker shape at the back and using the Transform Tools/'Distort, put your cursor on the top, left-hand node and pull it down to meet the top left-hand corner of the lighter shape - see left.


9. Using the Path Drawing Tool, Shape - Rounded Rectangle (see left), same Color - draw a shape 230 x 95 pixels. Put in place as shown. PLEASE NOTE: You must DRAW this to the correct size - NOT USE THE TRANSFORM TOOLS TO RESIZE IT - IF YOU DO THAT, THE NEXT INSTRUCTION WILL NOT WORK! (Using the Transform Tools/Resize stops a lot of things working on Path Shapes, including the Roundness Settings and the Wraps in the Easy Palette!)


10. In the Tool Settings - Path, change the Roundness to 15 and OK.


11. Right Click/Convert Object Type/ From Text/Path to Image. We are doing this so that as we shape this piece with the Transform Tools, we will also slant the grain of the wood - which would not happen if we left it as a Path Shape.


12. Using the Transform Tools/Slant, put your cursor on the right-hand, centre node and slide it downward to slant the right side down as shown. it should meet the top right-hand corner of the light, front shape.


13. Using the Transform Tools/'Distort, put your cursor on the top, right-hand node and pull it up to meet the top right-hand corner of the darker, back shape - see left.


14. Using Distort again, put our cursor on the top, left-hand node and pull it into the position shown. Be sure to keep the left and right + top and bottom lines parallel with one another! (see left).

NOTE: If you have trouble doing this bit by eye correctly, drag my illustration into your PI workspace (if you don't know how to do this just save the picture to your desktop and open it in PI from there) - then work your shape on top of mine.

15. Using the Path Drawing Tool, Shape - Rectangle: Same Color: Mode - 3D Trim: draw a shape 32 x 230 pixels. Width & Depth should both be at the MAXIMUM number possible.


16. Click on Path Edit. Select the bottom line of the rectangle by clicking on it and then click on Convert to Curve by clicking on the button on the Attribute Tool bar (for button, see left). Exit Path Edit.


17. We need to turn the Trim on this - to get the shading correct - so using the Transform Tools, first using the Rotate Right Tool, to flip the shape 90o to the right. Now Right Click/Convert Object Type/Reset Text/Path Object 0 then flip the shape back to the left.

The Shape should now look like the one on the left.


18. Using the Path Drawing Tool, Shape - Ellipse: Same Color: Mode - 3D Trim: Width - 3: Depth -30: : draw a shape 32 x 23 pixels.

19. Put in place as shown at the top of the handle. Select both parts of the handle and Right Click/Merge As Single Object.


20. Now we need to add the icons to the sides of the dreidel. Open the icons file I have provided in your PI workspace (the link for the zip file is at the top of this tutorial). You will only need two of the icons to put on your dreidel but I have provided all four so you can pick the ones you prefer. I am using the Hey and Nun icons.

21. Drag your preferred icon for the front of the dreidel onto your canvas and put in place in the centre of the front side of the dreidel. Now use the Transform Tools/Slant (centre node on the left) to Slant the left hand side of the icon upwards. The top line of the bounding box around the icon should be parallel with the top line of the front of the dreidel as shown left.

22. You may now recolour the icon any colour you wish - I am using bright red.


23. Now drag your second chosen icon to the canvas and put in place on the right side of the dreidel as shown.


24. We have to adjust the size of this one to fit the side correctly, so first use the Transform Tools/Resize to make the shape the correct width - approximately 25 pixels wide.

25. Now use the Transform Tools/Slant (centre node on the right) to Slant the right side of the icon upwards. Again, make sure that the top line of the bounding box is parallel to the top of the dreidel as shown.


26. Change the colour to any you wish. I am using a bright lime green.


27. Now Select the handle of the dreidel. Right Click/Shadow; apply the settings shown opposite.


28. Right Click/Split Shadow. In the Layer Manager, select the shadow ONLY and, using the Object Paint Eraser, erase any shadow that goes beyond the dreidel edge as shown left. I recommend using a Soft Edge setting of only 1 or 2 and the Straight Lines setting for this.


29. Now Right Click/Select All Objects and the Merge As Single Object. Apply the same type of Shadow to the whole object, using the settings shown.


30. If you wish you can also add a little more shading to the underneath of the dreidel using the Retouch Tools/Burn as I have done in the finished picture but this is optional.


There is your dreidel all ready to play with!

Well done!
When you have completed this tutorial, you are welcome to download and display this award on your web page. This award is being offered on the honor system. Right-click on image and save to your hard drive. Please DO NOT link directly to the award.
This tutorial © Rosie Hardman-Ixer, 2010

If you need any help - or want to make suggestions to improve this tutorial - or for new ones
please EMAIL ME using the link on my Introduction Page.

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