Grunge Effects in Paint Shop Pro

Written by darrin koltow
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The graphics program Paint Shop Pro offers many ways of achieving the rips, tears, dirt and other signs of decay that characterise the grunge visual style. By learning some of these approaches you can give your pictures a new look, including creating a visual irony that piques viewer attention. For example, you could apply the "Aged newspaper" effect to a photo of the latest mobile phone to give the impression viewers are in a world decades beyond the present.

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Aged Newspaper

The "Aged newspaper" effect is one tool for achieving a grunge effect with Paint Shop Pro. Load a photo or other picture into the program, then click the "Effects" menu heading. Click the "Artistic" submenu, then click the "Aged newspaper" item. Paint Shop Pro will display a dialogue box whose controls let you tweak the effect of an aged newspaper. One of the easiest ways of tweaking is by choosing a preset from the drop-down menu atop the dialogue box. These set a range of parameters so you don't have to set them individually. For example, click the "50 years" preset to make your image appear printed on a 50-year-old newspaper.


Abused or well-used chrome metal is another type of grunge effect. You can apply this type of surface with Paint Shop Pro by running the "Rough chrome" effect. Load a picture to which you want to apply the effect, then click the "Artistic" submenu of the "Effects" menu. Click the "Chrome" item to display the dialogue box for that effect, then click the "Dark and rough" preset from the top drop-down menu. Click "OK" to apply the effect to your image.


Fragmenting your image by splitting it up into the coloured dots that mimic those of magnified magazine photos is another type of grunge effect. Apply it with Paint Shop Pro by running the program's "Halftone" effect. After loading a photo into the program, click the "Effects" menu's "Artistic" menu, then click the "Halftone" item. Click the up arrow on the "Size" slider until the preview window looks sufficiently grungy, then click "OK" to finalise the effect.


Rough leather, another visual hallmark of grunge, is available in Paint Shop Pro through this program's "Rough leather" effect. Load a picture into the program, then click the "Texture" sub-menu. Click the "Rough leather" item, then drag the "Angle" slider in the dialogue box that appears to change the angle of the lighting. When you're satisfied with the image in the preview window, click "OK" to commit to the parameters you've chosen and transform your image.

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