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How to Use GRFX Studio in PaintShop Pro

October 12, 2019


GRFX Studio is a photo editing program that includes hundreds of effects that you can apply to your photos. Several Corel programs, including PaintShop Pro Ultimate, CorelDRAW, Corel PHOTO-PAINT and Corel Painter include the free version of GRFX Studio as a plugin. The Pro version of GRFX studio, offering nearly twice as many effects, is available for purchase in the Get More window of the welcome screen of your Corel software. In this tutorial I’ll give an overview of how to use GRFX Studio as a PaintShop Pro plugin. You’ll see how easy it is to quickly generate sophisticated photo effects. Before we get started, if you’re watching this video on YouTube you’ll find a link in the description below that will take you to our tutorial page on Corel’s Discovery Center. Here you can also download a written copy of this tutorial along with the sample images you can download to try out the steps yourself. I have this image open in PaintShop Pro and the free Corel edition of GRFX Studio installed. Before using the plug-in I’ll make sure my Layers palette is displayed and I’ll right-click on the background layer to duplicate it. I’ll name this new layer GRFX. I’ll keep this layer active because the active layer is what will be used in the plugin. To access the plugin I’ll choose Effects>Plugins>Auto FX software>GRFX Studio Corel edition. From the Effects menu I’ll choose Add Effect. There are four effects categories: photo, light, edge and art, each of which with its own subcategories. For a simple example I’ll choose Art FX which has the Watercolor option. When I select Watercolor and click Apply Effect the photo takes on a watercolor appearance. In the FX Palette I can adjust the strength, darken or lighten, or adjust the intensity of the stroke or color. By default this effect is applied to the entire image but the toolbar options across the top enable me to control where the effect takes place. For example I can use the brush set to OFF and paint over this plant to lessen the effect. I can repeat to reduce the effect further. I’ll clear those brushstrokes and add a gradient line. I’ll drag the line to be horizontal and now the effect goes from zero at the left to full intensity at the right. When I hover over the line an X will appear which I can click to remove the line and return the effect to the entire image. To combine watercolor with another effect I’ll click Add Effect. From Photo FX I’ll open the Black and White options, click Cyanotype and apply. After adjusting a few settings I have what looks like a watercolor painting of a desert evening. I can turn each effect on and off or use the X icon to remove an effect. To compare the image before and after the effects I can click See Original. If I wanted to use this set of effects on other photos I could choose Presets>Save Effects as Preset(s) then for the next photo I’d use the Load Preset option or I could find this preset in the Presets tab. When finished I’ll click OK and now the image in PaintShop Pro has the new effects. I can hide the GRFX layer to get my original back and I could create more layers for going back to the plugin and trying out and comparing different effects. For another example I’ll start in GRFX Studio Corel Edition with this street scene. To change this from a bright daytime scene to a darker time of day I’ll open the Shading category and apply the Shade effect. I’ll make a first pass with the brush over the entire image then go over just the sky a couple of times. I’ll darken everything with the Strength slider. The next effect is in the Light FX tab in the Light Beams category. I’ll position the T-path so that the light pours down from the closer streetlamp and reduce the Opacity and Spread. I can also change the light color by clicking on Cast Color. Here I could choose my own color or click Pick Screen Color and match the yellowish lights from another point in the . To add a fainter light beam to the next streetlamp I could apply a new beam from scratch or I can save the current effects as a preset, which includes both the light and shading. When I load the preset both effects are repeated. I can delete the extra shading and move and adjust the second light beam. GRFX Studio Pro has a wider selection of effects than the free Corel version. For example, I can open the Weather FX tab and apply rain everywhere and I can find a dramatic sky that looks stormy and apply it to the entire image. Another fitting effect here would be a rain puddle which I can remove by brush everywhere except the sidewalk. The Pro version also has some really nice focal effects, such as Focal Brush in which I can brush over areas I want in sharper focus. Or I can try Vintage Color from the Camera category, or HDR Color Pop from the Color category. This brings us to the end of this tutorial on GRFX Studio. If you’ve been watching this video on YouTube please follow the link in the description below which will take you to our tutorial page on Corel’s Discovery Center. Here you’ll find a written version of this tutorial along with the sample images you can download and follow along.

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