PI Tutorials



LEVEL: Beginner (but you need patience!).

MAIN TOOLS USED: EasyPalette Lighting Gallery, Gif Animator 5.

TERMS OF USE: Please Read - Thank You!

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Finished lights


Starting picture

Light settings

Moving lights in the Preview Pane

Key frame control 1

Key frame control  2

Key frame control  3

Settings for saving the animation

Finished tree with lights



You will need a picture of a Christmas tree - either a photograph or one you have drawn yourself. My starting image is shown opposite. The size of my picture is 265 x 356 pixels. If yours is a lot larger you may have to adjust the settings below and use more, and bigger, lights.

1. Draw your Christmas Tree in PI (or open your photo of one).


2. Open the EasyPalette Lighting Gallery/Light Bulb and click on the Light Bulb 7 thumbnail to select it.

3. Right Click Modify Properties and Apply.

4. In the Creative Lighting window under 'Elements' click on Light Bulbs 8 and 9 in turn and the delete button after each - to get rid of them - unless you are using a bigger tree and need more lights.

5. Again, under 'Elements' click on each Light Bulb in turn and change the settings to those shown.

Note that the Ambient Light has also been changed to 100% for every bulb.

Also - you do NOT have to change the 'Light color' swatch to white each time - leave this setting as it is in the EasyPalette for each bulb.


6. Under 'Elements' click on each Light Bulb in turn and in the Preview Pane on the left, move the light to an appropriate place on the tree.

To do this move your cursor over the picture until it changes to a cross-hair then click and hold down the mouse button while you move the light - see picture left.


7. When you have all the lights placed, click on the Animate button at the bottom of the Creative Lighting window.

8. Change the number of Frames to 1/3 (see left).

9. Now slide the Key frame control slider to the right to the next Frame (shows as 2/3).

10. Click on each Light Bulb in turn under 'Elements' again and move the associated light to a new place on the tree in the Preview Pane and change the numbers in the settings to those you used for the first frame above left.

11. Now slide the Key frame control slider to the right to the last Frame (shows as 3/3).

12. Repeat instruction 10. Almost done!

13. Now click on the Save button.

14. Change the Frame Delay setting to 45 and check with the Open with Ulead Gif Animator 5 box and OK.

Gif Animator will open automatically at this point.

15. In Gif Animator/Optimise tab - change the preset to the lowest number of colours you can get away with without spoiling your picture (I used Photo 256 for the tutorial but this gave a fairly big file of 95kbs....) - then Save your animation to a folder on your hard drive.

16. Close Gif Animator and finally, close your original file in PI.

...and there's your animated tree lit for Christmas!

Our tree 2002

The same effect used on a photograph of our home tree in 2003.
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, 2004

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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