Scratch 3.0 – Several Tools to Enhance the Visual Effect of Your Game

If you are a new Scratcher, you might wonder how to use your own pictures to create unique visual effect. After all, it is a bit boring and mundane if we only use the images from the libraries. In this post, I would like to introduce a few tools which are pretty common to help you create better images. So let’s start now.

Use Microsoft Office

You might feel strange that I mentioned Microsoft Office. Yes, there it is. The most hands-on functionality for your Scratch project is: removing background. Please note that I am referring to the desktop version of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Web version of Microsoft Office has not such a functionality.

The following video demonstrates how to remove the background of an image and save it to PNG file.

Steps are shown below:

  1. Open Word.
  2. Insert a picture you would like to edit.
  3. Choose the picture and in “Picture Format” tab, choose “Remove Background”.
  4. You could use “Mark Areas to Keep” and “Mark Areas to Remove” to adjust the selection.
  5. Click “Keep Changes” to save your editing.
  6. Right click the picture and choose “Save as Picture…” to save it to PNG.

Of course, in Microsoft Office, you could also correct picture’s tone, color as well as other artistic effect. Try those options from “Picture Format” tab and you could find some amazing effects.

Use Paint 3D

If you do not have Microsoft Office, there is another option: Paint 3D, which is an embedded application of Windows 10 OS.

Paint 3D could also remove the annoying background, but just taking more steps. The following video shows the details steps of how to do it.

Steps:

  1. Open an image in Paint 3D.
  2. Use “magic select” to select the object you would like to keep.
  3. Right click the selection to copy it to clipboard.
  4. Create a new blank file, set “Canvas” to transparent.
  5. Right click the transparent canvas and choose “Paste”.
  6. Adjust the size of the image or canvas.
  7. Save this new image to a PNG file.

Besides removing background, Paint 3D is very convenient to resize the image. For example, in the below image, choose Canvas tab and check “Lock aspect ratio” option. If you set Width to 50%, Height will be automatically adjusted to 50% and the total size becomes 1/4 of the original one.

I would suggest you to try its “Stickers” tab to combine funny images from library, “Effects” tab to adjust brightness and contrast, as well as “3D Library” to add 3D objects.

Use Scratch Image Editor

Image Editor looks a bit naïve but you could realize some effects conveniently.

Combine Images Together

Using Image Editor, we could combine several images together, as shown in the below video. Please note that when combining images, first we should convert the image into Vector format, instead of Bitmap format.

The default format of library image is Vector, while the default format of imported image is Bitmap. As shown in the video, after clicking “Convert to Vector” button to convert the umbrella into vector format, the picture could use “Copy”, “Paste” option and then stretch/shrink/rotate to form new images.

Gradient Effect and Text Style

You could either create gradient effect for the shapes and text or use two overlapping texts to form 3D effect. They could immediately improve visual quality of your game. See the following video for the illustration.

That is all for the introduction of three tools: Microsoft Word, Paint 3D and Scratch Image Editor. If you are keen on having perfect visual effects, other professional image editing tools definitely help, but sometimes, simple tools could also accomplish the mission.

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