Once you've found that there's no tool that can do your effects with one click in Corel PHOTO-PAINT, you start using underestimated functions, your imagination, and your creativity. One of those functions is the Displace effect (Effects > Distort > Displace). You can create amazing things with it, for example wrapping an image onto an irregular surface such as a decal on a wall, with reallistic distortion according to the surface consistency. Just take a look at the image comparison below: There is a simple logo on wooden planks, but on the left (marked with red circles) the logo is projected plain onto the planks. The logo on the left doesn't follow the surface into the gaps so it doesn't look as realistic as the image on the right (marked with green circles).

Creating a realistic effect is easy to do, actually, as long as you have a so-called bump map of the background you want your image to be projected on. A bump map is a height map of a texture and is used in 3D applications to add details to a flat surface. Deeper points on the surface are darker in the bump map, elevated points are lighter.


First, however, it's necessary to understand how the Displace effect works. Take a look at the color patches below: In any image loaded as Map in the Displace Effect Dialogue, the four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and blue) will shift the pixels of the image to be distorted in the direction of the arrows, while a middle grey (50%) acts neutral and will leave the pixels at place.


With the wooden planks, which have a subtle perspective distortion applied - the surface points slightly to the right, I decided to use the cyan<->magenta directions. Deeper points need to be colored magenta to shift them to the lower left, and the more elevated areas need to be colored to cyan to be shifted to the upper right.
Below you can see how I've created my special Displacement Map:
I've loaded the wooden planks bump map into Corel PHOTO-PAINT and duplicated the background twice. Then I've filled the entire background with 50% grey, and inverted the topmost object. Since version X5,  we have had access to the Photo Filter (Effects->Camera->Photo Filter), and now I use it to color the topmost object's lighter values magenta (those values represent the gaps since I've inverted this objects lightness values). The second object will get the same effect applied, but with the color cyan. Both objects will be set to "Soft Light" merge mode because I want only the color values blended onto the background, without the dark color values.

I've saved the Displacement Map file as a JPEG file and opened my image of the pig on a wall. Because my logo object needs to have the same size as the background (actually my bump map, but both have the same size anyway), I paint small corners into the upper-right and lower-left corners of the logo object. This is necessary because I'll apply the Displace effect with enabled Stretch To Fit option. Since the planks are relatively flat, I use small vertical and horizontal values. The scale sliders give me  full control over how much the logo will be distorted, after I've loaded my Displacement Map (Click the arrow on the right of the Preview image->"More" and select the Displacement Map from the right directory). After I've applied the Displace effect I distort both the background as well as the logo perspectively.

Wasn't that actually easy? Now you have no reason to understimate Corel PHOTO-PAINT again...

  • @STOVK: Coming soon...Watch this blog.

  • I like the effect. However, being a *noob*, it would be nice if you had a tutorial with a little more detail on creating Bump Maps and Displacement textures. This particular tutorial leaves a lot of explanation and step-by-step processes out.

    Would it be possible to make a Bump Map/Displacement 101 Tutorial?

  • As a user of various 3D applications, I've compared this effect by creating a landscape from scratch, when I've written this tip. Its potential is awesome and I will create a comprehensive video tutorial about this specific task soon. Stay tuned!

  • It is exactly as you said it.. This function is underestimated!

    But if we harness its capability and power, we can do Great effects with that!

    This is cool! :-)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks Silvio. It should be mentioned in this place that one can get a better idea of the effect by clicking on the first image and comparing the results. It's an awesome feature, anyway!!