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Chrome Effect Chain Links

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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to open or download the PDF


Make chrome effect chain links.


More proficient users may want to use their own starting textures but for the interest of this tutorial we'll use an example from Sculptris.
Remember to have transparent backgrounds for your starting object ... other shapes do work, but not as well as a sphere. Although different shapes do give interesting results.


A late edit.  I'm a firm believer that no-one knows everything and I'm always happy to stand corrected, I thought the starting texture would have to be glossy/shiney ...

I was wrong as Minners71 shows in his post HERE  Thanks mate, definitely the dog's doohdahs ... 


I guess experimentation is key

Plugins needed: Object Align from Kris VDM's pack




Place the image on a New Layer on a 800 x 600 canvas








On a New Layer draw a vertical line.  Use Centre Both from Object Align menu




On the vertical line layer use the magic wand to select the left hand side of the line




Keeping the selection active click on the torus layer and Cut




Paste in New Layer




Use the Object Align menu on the 2 halves










Repeat on the bottom ... Adjustments >>> Black and white









How to 'link' a chain:

Re-written with my implementation and @MJW's brains










Edited by welshblue
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And very professional presentation.

welshblue, your tutorials make me quit to posting anything on this thread.

Thank you very much! You are the king!



How do you put so big pictures in the tutorial?

Edited by klaxxon
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@ Helen and EER ... A square and have to be transparent ? Try it and see  :evillaugh: 

I've only ever tried with a square with rounded edges and it's a bit lumpy on the inside. (Below) And yep it does need transparency around the object. I'll add that laters. Thanks both for the positive feedback


@ skullbonz ... I guess that's a fair point and not everyone does know how to do it, I'll do a couple of screenshots when I've got time. Hopefully later on this evening

@ YM ... now that's taking a tute and running with it. Awesome. Although you've spoilt my next image  :evillaugh:  :evillaugh: 

I love P.I. Playing with the settings gives some interesting depths and widths

@ Doughty, Daniels and DrewD' ... excellent results guys. Again you've all put your own slants on it and they all work so well

I always put the bear minimum in my tutes (lazy) and it's great to see other peoples twist on it.  All the above no exception. Makes it worthwhile

@ Klaxxon ... all my tutes ? Nah. Some are dodgier than a dodgy priest babysitting a creche.

There's some I'd delete if I could and start all over again. Don't be too hard on yourself, it's a learning curve writing tutes as much as it is people learning from them. At least I think it is. It's not always easy getting across what you want to demonstrate

Big images ? Well I'm friends with EER so get away with it. Joke ! They're all in the permitted size except maybe 2 (but don't tell him.) I think because I used a white background it makes it all look bigger ?

Thanks again everyone, it was great to see the results.

Glossy orbs can be interesting, as can putting a texture on a new layer, setting to Multiply ... maybe playing with opacity




*** Now added a how to to link chains.  

Edited by welshblue
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I started out making this one with a few extra effects to make it look like a neon tube chain.





 Along the way when I was blending two layers together in negation I got this and I know how welshblue likes dark pictures so I had to post this for him. I also started the project with a picture I took of the sky and used the Fish Eye plugin to make the starter sphere.  Cool tute welshblue.   



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I always thought that cut was the same as delete and it was gone.


No worries. I've met a whole lot of people who think the same :00:

Great tutorial, welshie! Question: is there anything special to look for when picking an image to start with, or would any picture do?

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Cut is quite a different operation from Delete.

When you Delete the section is removed and discarded.

Cut is more like using scissors on paper. Cut the corner off a piece of paper and you have two pieces. You have to put the second piece somewhere. Paint.NET puts it in the clipboard. :)

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@ 'Noob ... experiments show that you need a sphere with light, a bit of darkness and/ or reflections ... in fact this may be one tute' where being a PDN purist doesn't always give the best results making everything entirely PDN ... but rather use it as an image editor

Some experiments:


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Cut is quite a different operation from Delete. 

When you Delete the section is removed and discarded. 

Cut is more like using scissors on paper. Cut the corner off a piece of paper and you have two pieces. You have to put the second piece somewhere. Paint.NET puts it in the clipboard.


Thanks for explaining it,now it makes sense. It's probably in your book but I never was one to read a whole book cover to cover,lol.

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Admission time:  @BoltBait, myself and @welshblue are triplets.  Separated at birth and reunited by the healing power of Paint.NET! :lol:

And our poor mother had a long gestation period waiting for me ...

No probs with the experimental pictures ... I've done this tute' so often now I'm only 1 or 2 pixels out when drawing the vertical line. Talk about conditioning.

@ Skullbonz ... I think the only book I've ever read cover to cover and not speed read is EER's ... after all I was paid '000's to proofread so couldn't short change him ;)

Cool links BTW, they are glassy. Hmmm there's a thought ... making 3D chunky transparent glass ones ...

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The beauty of tutorials ... even the author can learn something as long as they're receptive.


Great result Minners' ... I didn't try the obvious and only tried shiney things.  I'll link to this post in the initial tutorial later on today

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No problem ... it's always nice to give something back to the community.  Thanks too for the tip, it's now linked to in the tutorial.


... and watch you don't slip on those creative juices and do your other hand in  :evillaugh:

Edited by welshblue
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