CorelDraw X3 CorelDRAW Tutorials CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 Advances to the Next Level A peek under the hood of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 hints at a change in the wind at Corel. Two years of development and more rigorous testing have brought to the suite better reliability and performance along with the many new tools, effects, and advancements. But it's the quality woven into the very fabric of the suite that really caught my eye. Maybe, it's the subtle sophistication that comes with maturity. Take a look at what's new, and you'll see what I mean. CorelDRAW X3's New and Improved Tools CorelDRAW X3 boasts a myriad of new and improved Toolbox components. The new innovations include an ingenious new Smart Fill tool, a new bitmap-cropping tool, an overhauled star-drawing tool, and significant improvements to the Shape Tool. The Smart Fill Tool doesn't just apply fill colors to shapes, it also creates the shapes. Just use the Property Bar options to choose your fill and outline colors and the outline width, and click an enclosed area where any two shapes overlap (as shown below). The result is a new shape that exactly matches the area you clicked. The Smart Fill Tool simultaneously performs a shaping command and applies new fill and outline colors to the new object. The Crop Tool enables you to interactively redefine the rectangular boundaries of an existing bitmap. Just marquee-select the area you wish to preserve, and double-click to permanently eliminate the unwanted pixels (as shown below). The Polygon Tool seen in previous versions has been split in two separate tools to make drawing stellated (star) shapes easier for experts and less mysterious for new users. The Star Tool now enables you to draw simplified star shapes (formerly created using the Star mode of the Polygon Tool). The Complex Star Tool enables you to create the more complex stars shapes previously drawn with the Polygon Tool (as shown below). Shapes created with the Complex Star Tool now include glyph nodes for controlling the position of the outer points when editing their shape at the node level (see below). The Shape Tool has been enhanced to provide improved interactive feedback when you're making node selections and while manipulating nodes and curve segments. When making node selections, a new Property Bar option now enables you to choose between Freehand or Rectangular selection modes (see below). Vector editing is now easier and more intuitive thanks to the new Shape Tool onscreen feedback during node editing sessions. Nodes and curve markers now appear in blue, and curve handles now sport arrowhead shapes (see below), making them easier to differentiate from surrounding elements. These markers also appear while you're drawing curves with the Bezier Tool. New Object-Shaping Commands If you've ever tried to manually round or bevel the point where two straight lines join, you'll appreciate the three new shaping commands in CorelDRAW X3. You can now instantly apply symmetrical chamfering, filleting, or scalloping commands to objects. These corner-shaping effects can be applied to a specific radius value by using a new a docker (shown below), essentially eliminating the time-consuming workarounds needed to accomplish the same effect. Chamfering enables you to apply inside rounding to straight corners, while filleting applies the inverse of this shaping effect (as shown below). Scalloping enables you to create a flattened- corner effect of a specific length. You can apply these shape commands to all corners of an object selected by using the Pick Tool, or apply the effects only to specifically selected points by using the Shape Tool (see below) . While we're on the subject of shaping, you'll also find an object cut-line/keyline command available in this version. The Create Boundary command enables you to create a new shape based on the enclosed area created by any overlapping shapes. You can access it from the Shaping portion of the Property Bar (shown below) or from the Object menu. The new shape is closed and is based on your current fill and outline property defaults. The Create Boundary command can be applied to both vector and bitmap objects. In the illustration shown below, the Create Boundary command was applied to three overlapping rectangles to produce a new shape that precisely matches the outline of the selected overlapping shapes. New Dynamic-Beveling Effects Of all the new features, CorelDRAW X3's new dynamic Bevel effect is the only bitmap-based effect you'll see. This cleverly implemented new effect enables you to quickly create realistic- looking three- dimensional effects from flat two- dimensional shapes by way of a new Bevel docker (shown below). Your object's current fill color serves as the basic color scheme for the effect, with options available for controlling the bevel offset, the shadow color, as well as lighting color, direction, intensity, and altitude options. The effects are dynamic, meaning they can be persistently editable and can be applied by using a flat Emboss style, or realistically by using a Soft Edge style (see below). Improved Text Resources for Typographic Experts Text-related tools and resources in both CorelDRAW X3 and Corel PHOTO-PAINT® X3 have been overhauled to include professional-level features sure to please both pundits and critics alike. The logistics behind text formatting is more clearly defined, and you can now insert coding for line and column breaks, and add professional-level hyphens, dashes, and spaces. CorelDRAW X3 includes two re-engineered text dockers (see below) that supplement, rather than repeat, options found on the Property Bar when you format text. The new Paragraph Formatting and Character Formatting dockers enable you to apply property changes at the object level by using the Pick Tool, or at the character level by using the Text Tool. As in other professional layout applications, the text docker properties in CorelDRAW X3 are logically organized by style type. Each option area in the dockers can expand or collapse, as needed. The choice of specific text options is menu-based (see below). The dockers themselves are context-sensitive, which means that they display the current properties of the selected text object or character string. This subtle but important shift in docker operation means that the changes you apply to character or paragraph properties occur instantly - you don't have to click an Apply button as you would in other CorelDRAW dockers. Although the management of typographic properties in CorelDRAW has migrated through several different interface methods over the years, these redesigned dockers offer the smartest solution yet. Typography professionals will certainly welcome the new special character-coding capabilities of CorelDRAW X3. By choosing Text > Insert Formatting Code, you can access commands for inserting special-function characters (see below). Adding these characters can improve the typographic readability of your designs. You can now control the size of spaces, dashes, and hyphens in text and limit the amount of text in a paragraph text frame. The new formatting codes in CorelDRAW X3 enable you to insert space characters, such as em, ¼-em, en, nonbreaking spaces, and column or frame breaks, into your text. Advanced dash and hyphen formatting codes enable you to add em and en dashes, and nonbreaking or optional hyphens. You can insert any of the special formatting characters when you import text. You can also use shortcut keys for codes when typing an artistic or paragraph text string. You can also create your own lists of hyphenation exceptions by using the Custom Option Hyphens dialog (see below). Hyphenation can now be toggled on or off for specific text objects using command menus. New Dynamic Text-to-Path Controls If you create effects involving text applied to a path, you'll see how much more smoothly this effect can be applied with CorelDRAW X3. Manipulating text on a path is enormously easier, thanks to the new dynamic previewing capabilities. You can adjust the text position on the path more easily and adjust the path offset interactively. The dynamic feedback shows you the new position of the character string measured to the text baseline position, and an on-screen display shows the precise text-to-path offset value (see below). By dragging the glyph node, you can access a crosshair pointer for controlling the text position on the path, and you can drag the text above or below the path to control the path offset. The revamped text-to-path Property Bar (see below) also includes several new options. You can quickly mirror the text orientation by using the Mirror Horizontally option and/or Mirror Vertically option. You can also use and control the new Tick Snapping option, which enables you to specify snapping increments for offsets as you position the text in relation to the path. Better Bullet Options When it comes to structuring point-form text, you can more easily access and customize bullet effects for selected text. Although CorelDRAW has always enabled you to apply and format bullets, you now have more options and better access to this feature. Just choose Text > Bullets for access to the Bullets dialog (see below), independently of the Text Formatting dialog. Using the Bullets dialog options, you can customize your bullet characters using any symbol font installed on your system. New options also enable you to automatically set the space between the bullet character and the first character in the string, eliminating the need to devise a tab character arrangement (see below). Integrated Bitmap Tracing You no longer need to launch a separate application to trace bitmap images into vectors. Corel's new PowerTRACE utility is now accessible from a single dialog launched from the Bitmap menu or the Bitmap portion of the Property Bar (as shown below). PowerTRACE includes many of the features previously available in CorelTRACE, but also includes an impressive toolset for customizing and manipulating the colors of the newly traced vector shapes. PowerTRACE features six different tracing modes which provide varying degrees of tracing quality and accuracy. You can also apply a Quick Trace command that is applied almost instantly at basic settings, without opening the dialog. The example shown below illustrates the tracing results of a digital photo traced by using the Quick Trace command, which generated just 76 objects. Advanced Color Support Although applying fill and outline overprints at the object level in CorelDRAW is nothing new, what's new is what you see when one color is set to overprint an underlying color (shown below). You can now choose Enhanced with Overprints (the default view setting) as a view mode to enable you to preview the overprints you manually apply to objects in your drawing. Expanded Object Layer and Page Ordering If you're accustomed to working on layers, you'll appreciate the added object ordering commands. You can now control the object layering either within a layer or within the page structure by using new Order commands (shown below). You can use command menus or keyboard shortcuts to quickly change the order of selected objects in relation to their current layer order, or within the page structure. Recouped Object-Copy Handling Power CorelDRAW X3 enables you to create copies of selected objects in many ways using a variety of techniques. Improvements in this area make locating the Duplicate offset options easier. The first time you use the Duplicate command (Ctrl+D), a dialog opens (as shown below) prompting you to set and/or confirm your current duplicate options. The Clone command has returned to the default workspace of CorelDRAW X3 after an absence from last version. You can create a clone by choosing Edit > Clone, to establish a relationship between your clone and its master. The Select Master and Revert to Master commands are available via right- mouse button functionality. A new Step and Repeat docker now enables you to create multiple copies of selected objects at specified offsets. To toggle display of the docker (shown below), choose Edit > Step and Repeat (Ctrl+Shift+D). New and Improved Image-Manipulation Tools A new fully-equipped Image Adjustment Lab (shown below) is now available in both CorelDRAW X3 and Corel PHOTO-PAINT X3, enabling you to quickly correct color and exposure flaws in digital images. This new lab enables you to correct images by creating snapshots of previewed settings for evaluation before making a selection. Adjust image properties manually by using the dialog sliders, or simply click Auto Adjust to apply instant corrections. Auto Adjust can also be applied via command menus without the need to open the dialog. Revamped Photo-PAINT Cutout Lab The beefed up Cutout Lab available in Corel PHOTO-PAINT X3 now enables you to fine- tune the defined areas you wish to isolate in an image and use new previewing, background, clip mask, and image- preserving options (as shown below). New Spot Color and Alpha Channel Options Corel PHOTO-PAINT X3 includes two new Channel docker options (shown below) for you to use when preparing and manipulating digital images. You may now create new alpha channels as an option from the Channels docker options menu. You may also create new spot color channels enabling you to preserve spot color information for color printing. The spot colors you add can be previewed as either opaque or transparent relative to other colors. Corel PHOTO- PAINT X3 images that include spot color channels can also be saved in PSD, DCS, PDF, or EPS file formats. Integrated Raw Camera File Support The CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 now includes Raw Shooter, an application that enables you to open and edit the image censor information stored by high-end digital cameras. Raw Shooter 2005 now supports file formats from various manufacturers, including NEF, CRW, DCR, ORF, and MRW. Advanced PDF Publishing Power When it comes to digitally publishing your CorelDRAW X3 or Corel PHOTO-PAINT X3 documents, you'll have access to the latest in security advancements. The improved Publish to PDF filter enables you to produce documents that can be viewed with Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® or viewed online with the Acrobat Reader browser plug-in. Although PDF publishing isn't new, the PDF Security options (see below) now enable you to protect the documents you create with passwords for opening, printing, editing, and copying the newly created PDF document. When using PDF permissions, you can control if and when the document can be opened, edited, or printed. When a Document Open password is used to encrypt a PDF document, Acrobat Reader requires the password to be entered before the document can be viewed, copied, edited, and/or printed. Smarter Learning Resources If you're a newcomer to CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT, you'll no doubt benefit from the new Hints docker (shown below). It provides task-based directions on how to use program tools and features. The Hints docker is also now context-sensitive, meaning it includes a live-update feature that displays information relevant to whatever tool or feature you select as you work. A new Insights from the Experts feature links you to a series of project tutorials in PDF format written by well-known experts from the Corel community that guide you through strategies and techniques on how to tackle a wide variety of design projects. If you're an experienced user who's upgrading, you can quickly get yourself up to speed on what's new and improved from specific past versions using the Highlight What's New. It activates color highlighting to indicated tools, menu commands, and Property Bar options new since previous versions (shown below). We've really just scratched the surface of what's new and improved in the CorelDRAW X3 Graphics Suite. There are certainly more new features you'll want to explore on your own. In the coming months, we'll take a closer look at how you can benefit from many of the new tools and features in the suite. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Tutorials CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X3 Packs an Easy-To-Use Graphics Punch Corel's flagship graphics suite has certainly developed a loyal worldwide following over the years. Reasons for this loyalty include the ease with which users can create sophisticated graphics and the suite's friendly interface and easy-to-use effects. Even newcomers to the suite find how fast and simple it is to create complex designs and perform fancy graphics tricks. CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite X3 delivers even more on this theme with a more intuitive interface and innovative learning resources. Let's take a look at several new features that really shine - including a new context-sensitive docker, a new feature called Insights from the Experts, and some key enhancements made to the main vector-handling capabilities in CorelDRAW. Tips from Your Own Personal Trainer If you're new to either CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT®, the new Hints docker may quickly become your best friend. It works like a personal training coach, providing step-based instructions on how to use the program. It displays real-time tips, techniques, and step-by-step directions for whatever tool or interactive effect you happen to be using at the moment. For example, in CorelDRAW X3, when you click a complex star with the Shape Tool, the Hints docker immediately provides the steps needed to perform mirror editing on the shape (see below). You can also use the Hints docker to learn how to use complex tools and effects in Corel PHOTO-PAINT X3. For example, when you select the Clone Tool while editing an image, the Hints docker instantly displays quick tutorial information on how to perform detailed photo- retouching operations by cloning from one area of an image onto another (see below). To open the Hints docker in CorelDRAW X3 or PHOTO-PAINT X3, choose Help > Hints, or choose Window > Dockers > Hints. In its default state, the Hints docker shows a list of basic tasks in hyperlink form. Just click a heading to explore a topic, and use the Back and Forward buttons to navigate between pages as you would any browser. You can click the Home button to reset the list, or you can click the Help button to open the traditional Help application (see below). To experience how helpful the Hints docker is, follow these quick steps on creating a rounded- corner rectangle, rotating it 45 degrees, and applying a linear fountain fill: 1. Launch CorelDRAW X3, open a new or existing document, and open the Hints docker by choosing Help > Hints. 2. Choose the Rectangle Tool (F6) from the Toolbox, and draw a rectangle. You're not sure how to draw a rectangle? Just read the steps displayed in the Hints docker (see below). 3. With the rectangle still selected, choose the Shape Tool (F10) from the Toolbox and round the corners interactively. If this procedure is new to you, use the Hints docker, which provides steps on how to round the rectangle corners (see below). 4. With the rectangle corners rounded, choose the Pick Tool (press Spacebar), and click the selected shape to display the interactive rotation and skewing handles. Rotate the rectangle 45 degrees, using the steps provided in the Hints docker (see below). 5. Apply a fountain fill to the rectangle by using the Interactive Fill Tool. If you've never used this particular tool before, just follow the instructions in the Hints docker to create and customize your fountain fill colors. Expert Insights from Working Professionals The new Insights from the Experts feature taps into the global Corel community and links you to a series of practical project tutorials written by experts. If you happen to frequent Corel's support newsgroups, you may even recognize some of the featured professionals, who include designers, illustrators, and cartoonists from Germany, Bulgaria, Denmark, Canada, the United States, and elsewhere. To access this new feature, just choose Help > Insights from the Experts (see below). The Insights from the Experts Web page introduces you to your host tutorial authors and describes the projects you can tackle (see below). Click a project graphic to open one of the tutorials in Adobe® Acrobat® Reader®. By following these tutorials, you'll discover strategies and techniques from professionals who use CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT. For example, you can learn photorealistic illustration effects, techniques for designing billboards and signage, and a method for creating t- shirt designs for screen printing (see below). A Friendlier Face to Work With Several improvements in CorelDRAW X3 make core competencies easier to use. If you're an experienced user upgrading to this version, the new Highlight What's New option lets you quickly ramp up to what's new and different. You can even customize the feature by choosing to highlight differences from specific past versions of either CorelDRAW X3 or Corel PHOTO- PAINT X3, as far back as version 9 (see below). The feature works independently of workspace preferences, which makes it truly convenient. The color highlighting appears on Toolbox tools, Property Bar options, and menu commands (see below), so that you can quickly reap the benefits of recent changes virtually anywhere in the suite. When you get down to the basics of vector drawing, you'll find that the new line drawing and editing functions in CorelDRAW X3 are now easier and more intuitive, thanks to new on-screen changes to feedback colors of nodes and curve handles. Node markers and curve handles now appear in blue instead of black. Curve handle markers are larger and now include arrowheads (see below), making them easier to spot against darker backdrops. When the Shape Tool is being used for editing, unselected nodes appear as blue outlined markers, and selected nodes appear as solid blue squares. This same interface scheme is displayed when you use the Bézier Tool to draw shapes and lines (see below). Improvements to object snapping and the accompanying on-screen snap point feedback in CorelDRAW X3 have made object snapping more precise. The location and display of perpendicular and tangent snap points make precision drawing much more intuitive (see below), improving on the extensive object-snapping capabilities added in version 12. If you're a long-time CorelDRAW user, here's an enhancement you might easily miss. When the Shape Tool is used to edit object shapes, CorelDRAW has long allowed the curvature of curve segments to be altered by using a click-drag action. Improvements to the Shape Tool now enable you to move straight segments in the same way. Simply click anywhere on the line, and drag in any direction to reposition the segment while preserving its relative node positions (see below). When working with objects created through tracing bitmap images or objects imported from other applications, you may often end up with excessive or redundant nodes. These extra nodes can sometimes cause problems in reproduction processes such as printing, plotting, or vinyl cutting. CorelDRAW X3 now includes a Reduce Nodes command button, which lets you instantly decrease the node population on a selected object without altering the object shape. You'll find this button on the Property Bar when you use the Shape Tool to edit a node selection. To see just how efficient the Reduce Nodes command is, follow these quick steps: 1. Choose the Shape Tool (F10), and select a shape that includes an excessive number of object nodes. 2. Click the Select All Nodes button on the Property Bar to select all nodes on the object (see below). The Status Bar displays the total number of object nodes currently selected. 3. Click the Reduce Nodes button on the Property Bar to eliminate the redundant nodes (see below). What remains is the minimum number of nodes needed to describe the shape. While the object nodes are still selected, you can check the Status Bar to see how many nodes were successfully eliminated. In the example below, the Reduce Nodes command was applied to an overly complex ellipse, reducing the node population from 128 to a mere 4 nodes without visibly altering the object shape. Although we've looked at several of the new features that make the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X3 more powerful and intuitive to use, many users will already know why they've made it their graphics tool of choice. Ultimately, having more to like leads to more who like it. Create Beautiful Bevels with CorelDRAW® X3 Applying bevels to graphics with earlier versions of CorelDRAW® was certainly not simple and easy, and the results were arguably less than impressive. However, all that has changed with the introduction of the new bevel effect in CorelDRAW X3. You can now add a third dimension (see below) and customize your bevels with depth, color, and lighting options. This new feature is a welcome addition to the effects available in CorelDRAW. Besides being completely customizable, the bevels you can create are dynamically linked to the source object they're applied to, so you can always adjust and edit your bevel creations. CorelDRAW X3 also enables you to specify full CMYK or spot colors, which makes this effect extremely versatile. Fast and Easy Bevels All of the controls you need to apply a bevel effect are found in the Bevel docker. You can apply your bevels to virtually any closed vector shape, provided you haven't already applied other complex effects to it. Closed vector shapes include artistic text, native shapes (such as rectangles, ellipses, and polygons), and any other shapes you can imagine. Options in the Bevel docker are organized into Style, Bevel Offset, Shadow Color, and Light controls, with the last group of controls providing the most flexibility (see below). After your options are set, you can apply or update the bevels by clicking the Apply button. When you apply a bevel effect, your original object becomes a control object. Any changes you make to the control object are automatically updated in the bevel effect you've applied. If you're experienced in applying other effects in CorelDRAW, working with bevel effects will be second nature. If you're new to CorelDRAW X3 and you've never experimented with bevel effects, the following procedures will help you get started. The first procedure helps you create a bevel effect with a Soft Edge style. The second procedure helps you create a bevel effect with an Emboss style. 1. If you haven't done this already, select - or create and select - a closed vector shape to which you want to apply the Soft Edge bevels. Then, apply a uniform color fill by right- clicking on a color well in the on-screen color palette. 2. Open the Bevels docker by choosing Window > Dockers > Bevel. By default, the Bevel docker opens on the right side of your application window. 3. To apply soft, contoured bevel chisels to your object, choose Soft Edge as the Style option and To Center as the Bevel Offset option (see below). 4. Using the color pickers in the docker (see below), set the Shadow Color control to Black and the Light Color control to White (also the default). If you wish, adjust the sliders for the other available lighting controls. 5. Click the Apply button. The bevels are immediately applied to the selected object, according to the options you specified. While Soft Edge bevel effects can be applied quickly to virtually any existing shape and look great in virtually any arrangement of shapes, the same isn't true for Emboss style bevels. A successful Emboss bevel requires a bit more time to set up. Follow these steps, and you'll see what I mean. 1. To apply an Emboss bevel, you need to create two objects - one shape to apply bevels to, and another, larger shape to serve as the background. Both objects must be filled with the same uniform color. Start by creating two objects with the object to be beveled arranged in front of the larger, background object (see below). Remove any outline pen properties applied to the objects. 2. Select the object in front, open the Bevels docker (choose Window > Dockers > Bevel), and choose Emboss from the Style selector. 3. When you choose Emboss, the only available Bevel Offset option is Distance. Specify a value in the Distance list box to set the width of your effect (see below). 4. Set the Shadow Color control to Black, and the Light Color control to White. If you wish, use the Lighting Control sliders to set the lighting properties of your Emboss effect. 5. Click the Apply button to create the effect. Note that two objects are automatically created and layered below your selected object. One of these objects represents the shadow color, and the other object represents the light source color. The overall effect is a raised surface (see below). One of the powerful application of the new Bevel effects in CorelDRAW X3 is that you can adjust and edit your applied bevel effect at any time without having to start over. Simply select the object to display the current bevel settings in the docker, change the bevel options, and click the Apply button. Bevel Options By applying bevels, you can to add depth to flat objects. The available options provide you with a basic toolset with which you can customize the bevel effects you apply. Let's take a guided tour through the options and see how flexible they are. Beveling with Style To begin our exploration, we'll start at the top of the Style selector menu. You can choose the typical Soft Edge style, which is most commonly associated with bevel effects, or you can choose an Emboss style. These two styles enable you to produce many unique effects (see below). The Soft Edge bevel style offers a lot of flexibility, and it produces an elegant, bitmap- based bevel according to the options you select. With Soft Edge selected, you can choose either the To Center offset option or the Distance offset option. With Emboss selected, your offset option is Distance. Applying an Emboss style bevel produces two vector copies of your original object at the Distance offset value entered. These copies are arranged in back of your original and are colored so that they mimic the effect of a raised surface (see below). You can produce different effects with Soft Edge bevels, depending on whether you choose the To Center offset or the Distance offset. The To Center offset applies contoured bevels that join the outer edges of your object to the center, creating a ridge or crest effect along the center of the shape. With the Distance offset option, you can specify the offset value, which enables you to control the bevel depth. The unbeveled portion of your object's surface is left flat (see below). Setting Light and Shadow Colors The uniform color fill that you apply to your control object influences the overall color and, in fact, serves as the foundation for lighting and shadow colors. Keep this in mind as we look at the next two, interrelated variables of your bevel that you can control: shadow color and light color. Shadows automatically appear on the simulated side that faces away from the bevel's imaginary light source. The intensity of the shadow is based on its angle from the light source, but the color is based on what you select in the Shadow Color selector. Although you can choose a specific color in the selectors, the actual values of your shadow and light source colors are influenced by the original color of the object and the lighting options you choose. The effects of the shadow and light colors that you apply depend on the bevel style you choose. With a Soft Edge bevel, the shadow color is smoothly applied over the contoured shapes of the bevel sides that face away from the light source, and the lighting color is smoothly applied on the sides that face toward it and any flat front surfaces. In the example below, a Soft Edge bevel at default colors has been applied to a simple purple-colored shape. For Embossed bevels, two uniformly colored objects are automatically created to represent the shadow and light colors of the effect. Like the Soft Edge bevels, the shadow and light colors are affected by the color of the original object with which they're linked (see below). When choosing your initial shadow and light colors, you'll likely find that keeping it simple is the best strategy. Unless you are trying to create a specific color variation or effect, it may be best to leave the Shadow Color and Light Color options to their default black and white, respectively, at least until you've had a chance to fine-tune the other lighting options. Using Lighting Options The next three options are also intertwined and significantly affect the overall appearance of the bevel color. The Intensity, Direction, and Altitude sliders enable you to quickly adjust specific lighting properties (see below). The Intensity slider brightens or darkens the light source, and it has an adjustable range from 0 to 100 percent. Adjusting the light intensity of Soft Edge bevels changes the bevel color of sides that face toward the imaginary light source, and any flat surfaces are affected. On Emboss bevels, only the color fill of the object that represents the light source color is affected (see below). You can control where your imaginary light source is positioned around your object by using the Direction slider, which specifies degrees. This slider lets you control where the dark and light sides of the bevel effect appear. The trick to setting the direction slider successfully is in knowing which degree orientation to enter. As a general rule, a setting of 0 degrees places the light source at the 3 o'clock position (see below). Moving the Direction slider to the right or left increases or decreases the degree value, and rotates the light source position around the object counterclockwise or clockwise, respectively - which is just the opposite of what you'd expect. The illustration below shows the effects of applying four basic light source directions. The Altitude slider is available only for Soft Edge bevels, and it lets you adjust the distance of the imaginary light source from the object with a value range of 0 to 90. This control determines the contrast between the shadow color and the light color. A low value increases the difference between the two colors and creates a stark contrast effect. A high value lowers the difference between the two colors and creates a more diffused lighting effect (see below). Bevel Tips and Tricks After you've become comfortable applying bevels and controlling the available options, you can try a few nifty tricks to achieve specific effects. Here are a few to get you started. If you're having difficulty applying a bevel effect to your object, be sure that the object is a closed-path vector object with a color fill applied. The bevel effect requires a color fill before you can apply the bevel. Both bevel styles are compatible only with uniform fill colors, although Emboss bevels can be applied with other fill types. Any outline pen properties applied to your object survive, but they are not included in the effect. Your bevels are dynamically linked, so you can use the Break Bevel Apart command to dismantle them from your original object and examine them (see below). To separate the objects, choose Arrange > Break Bevel Apart (or access the command by right-clicking the effect or pressing Ctrl + K). Taking a Soft Edge bevel apart yields a CMYK bitmap with a soft mask applied, whereas dismantling an Emboss bevel produces two vector copies of your original object. To remove a Soft Edge bevel effect from a selected object, you can choose Effect > Clear Effect. To remove an embossed bevel, click only the bevel portion of the effect, and choose the same command. When applying bevels, you can create the effect of both raised and lowered surfaces by using one of two methods. The first method applies to Emboss bevels and involves swapping the shadow and light colors by using the available selectors (see below). The second method applies both to Emboss and to Soft Edge bevels and involves reversing the direction of the light source. You can combine bevel effects with other effects in CorelDRAW X3, provided they're compatible. One logical combination is to apply drop shadows to Soft Edge bevels. To apply a drop shadow to your bevel effect, click the Pick tool to activate it, and hold down Ctrl while clicking the bevel bitmap. Then, choose the Interactive Drop Shadow tool, and drag away from the imaginary light source. The shadow is applied to the bitmap portion of your effect, and it remains linked to the effect (see below). The new bevel effect is a welcome addition to the arsenal of creative effects in CorelDRAW X3. The effect can be applied quickly, requires no steep learning curve, and is relatively uncomplicated to use. Being able to control the depth, color, and lighting of your bevels allows you to produce truly customized results. Tips for Designing Newsletter Layouts in CorelDRAW Not only is CorelDRAW one of the most robust illustration tools around, but unlike other graphics programs, it can also be used to create multipage layouts. This nifty feature makes it the perfect choice for designing projects like booklets, brochures, and newsletters. While expecting to create a 2,000-page catalog with CorelDRAW isn't realistic, handling a few dozen pages with CorelDRAW is a breeze. If you're new to the layout and design world, you might find yourself looking for ways to tackle your layout project, fine-tune its readability, or give it some graphic zip. This tutorial provides tips to help you start the process and describes ways to add interest to your text by inserting a little graphic relief. Start with a Well-Planned Layout Creating a new layout can be a fairly intimidating experience if you're not quite sure where to start, what your document should look like, or how you should tackle it. Even the most experienced layout artists establish a game plan before starting any layout project. If you create a layout plan and follow it one step at a time, even the most complex layouts can be relatively painless. When beginning any layout, it's always best to get organized before you open your software program and begin assembling content. You can best tackle this early process by making a simple sketch with good old pen and paper. Sketch a shell for your layout, and include the number of pages allowed by your budget. The sketch below illustrates margin widths and page proportions as well as faked-in headline text, body text, and line rules. Following this process can help you roughly position your text content. As you develop your layout sketch, you may want to indicate any special treatment of backgrounds, colors, content, or any other issue that could affect the text flow. Create Your Text Content It is helpful to consider how your publication text will make its way onto your layout pages. Will you type it into CorelDRAW, or will it be imported from another application? If necessary, you can type text directly into your CorelDRAW layout by using the Text Tool. For large amounts of text, your best strategy is to use the resizable Edit Text dialog (see below). Once you've created a paragraph text frame with the Text Tool, you can open the Edit Text dialog by choosing Text > Edit Text. You can quickly type and edit text from the Edit Text dialog, so you don't need to navigate through the page views or change the view magnification. You can also apply formatting and use the CorelDRAW spelling checker, thesaurus, and grammar-checking features without leaving the dialog. For very long documents, the most efficient method is to import, or cut and paste, text from a text editor or word processor - such as WordPerfect® - into your layout. Much of your layout is done in CorelDRAW itself, so avoid using your word processor's specialized formatting features, such as headers, footers, drop caps, text effects, columns, borders, shading, tables, and so on. Concentrate simply on composing your text, but do take advantage of style-based features, such as font, size, indents, and tabbing. These text properties are easily translated by CorelDRAW into your text layout. With your text content created, the next thing to consider is how to import it. Create your stories as individual text files instead of as a single composite file. This method allows you to import them quickly and easily into the document layout shell that you're about to create. Create Your Layout Shell With your layout plan etched on paper, your next step is to create the rough shell for your text content in CorelDRAW. Begin a new file, and set the page size, orientation, and number of pages according to your needs. If you're accustomed to specifying measured values in printers' measures, use the Drawing Units setting on the Property Bar to set your unit measure to "picas, points" as shown below. If you've never worked with printers' measures, it may help you to know that there are roughly 6 picas to an inch and 12 points in a pica. Use vertical and horizontal guidelines to serve as your top, side, and bottom margins and column gutter guides. You can set these up manually by dragging from the ruler bars. I highly recommend using the Preset guidelines in CorelDRAW. You can instantly place guidelines for margins, gutters, and columns at precise page positions throughout your document. Choose Tools > Options (Ctrl+J), and navigate to Document > Guidelines > Presets in the tree directory to access the Corel Presets, or create your own presets by enabling the User Defined Presets option in the Options dialog (see below). Another CorelDRAW feature I recommend is the Facing Pages view. In the Options dialog, navigate to Document > Page > Layout, and enable the Facing Pages option (shown below). This feature enables you view your page layouts in actual spreads - just as your reading audience will see them. Use the Text Tool to create paragraph text frames for the body text of your stories, and create your headlines as artistic text. Choosing View > Guidelines and View > Snap to Guidelines enables you to see - and quickly snap to - the margin, gutter, and column guides you've created. In the example below, I used preset column guides and paragraph text frames to rough out the shell for a three-column layout on two facing pages. Linking paragraph text frames allows text to flow back and forth between columns as you edit or format it. You can link empty text frames by clicking the bottom flow tab of one frame and using the targeting cursor to click the frame you wish the text to flow into. The example below shows the flow direction of the paragraph text frames for our two-page layout. Use Line Rules and Boxes for Structure Unless your publication is required reading for your audience, only a fraction will have the patience to stand reading large amounts of text without craving some visual variety. Adding line rules and boxes is a simple way to organize and structure your content so that readers can follow along. In CorelDRAW, hold down the Ctrl key while clicking (but not dragging) with the Freehand Tool to constrain line rules to horizontal or vertical, and use the Property Bar to apply line widths and styles. Line rules can give structure to a crowded layout, as shown in the example below. You can use the Rectangle Tool to create boxes layered behind (and grouped with) your text, but there's a better way to put text in boxes. You can use the rectangle itself - or any closed shape - as the container for your paragraph text. The advantage here is that the two components automatically act as a single unit, so you don't need to group the two objects together. To place text inside a selected closed shape, hold the Text Tool cursor inside the outline of the shape, and click when you see the "Insert in Object" cursor. The shape is immediately converted into a control curve that is capable of supporting paragraph text and all of its formatting. The example below shows the Insert in Object cursor ready to enter paragraph text in a nonrectangular box shape, and the resulting shape converted to a text container. Wrap Text Around Shapes Applying a CorelDRAW text wrap effect to simple shapes is an easy way to create an interesting flow of paragraph text. The simpler the shape, the less distracting the text wrap will be. The example below shows a typical text wrap around a simple shape. You can apply a text wrap effect to a shape by right-clicking the shape and choosing Wrap Paragraph Text from the context menu. You can also customize the wrap effect by choosing a different style or changing the text wrap offset value from the Wrap Paragraph Text menu (shown below) on the Property Bar. If your text wrap is difficult to manage because of an awkward shape contour or void, you may need to activate the text hyphenation feature in CorelDRAW. To do this, select your text frame, open the Format Text dialog (Ctrl+T), click the Paragraph tab, click the Hyphenation Settings button, and enable the Automatic Hyphenation option in the dialog that opens (shown below). This dialog also includes options for you to adjust the automatic hyphenation of your text. Treat Text as Graphics Another way to add graphic appeal is to apply a drop cap effect to the first paragraph in a story. Drop caps are applied by using the controls on the Effects page of the Format Text dialog, which you can access by clicking the Effects tab. These settings let you apply automated effects by line depth and character spacing. Just remember - only the first paragraph of a story needs a drop cap, as in the example below. If the automatic effects aren't suitable, you can manually create drop cap character shapes as graphics for interesting results. These mini-illustration designs can range from plain and subtle to large and decorative. Shown below are three simple examples of manually created drop caps, all of which you can create relatively quickly in CorelDRAW. Another well-used technique is "reverse" treatment, meaning that the text appears white over a colored background. The example below shows a common reverse text effect applied to an editorial sidebar. In CorelDRAW, this effect is easily applied by filling either paragraph or artistic text with white and layering it in front of a colored rectangle. Beef Up Text Contrast One common result of hastily prepared layouts is that uninteresting walls of gray text fill your pages. Although such layouts may be fine for epic novels, you need to create something more ambitious if you want your flyers, brochures, or newsletters to successfully attract your audience. One solution is to contrast different types of content by varying the style and weights of your text. Headlines can stimulate reader interest, so make them larger and bolder than all other text. Subheadings help break up the monotony of straight text - make these bold but smaller than the headlines. Aim for balance by leaving a comfortable white space above and below headings. If needed, rewrite headings to make this happen. Forcing text to fill the page may be an efficient use of space, but you'll run the risk of losing your audience's attention. In CorelDRAW, you can toggle the font style of your selected text on and off or adjust the font size with timesaving keyboard shortcuts. (When changing text sizes, be sure that your keyboard is set to NUM LOCK mode.) Here are some of the keyboard shortcuts you can use: Command Keyboard Shortcut Toggle Bold on/off Ctrl+B Toggle Italic on/off Ctrl+I Increase font one size in the Font Size List Ctrl+NUMPAD 6 Decrease font one size in the Font Size List Ctrl+NUMPAD 4 Increase font size one point Ctrl+NUMPAD 8 Decrease font size one point Ctrl+NUMPAD 2 Toggle current Drop Cap effect on/off Ctrl+Shift+D Toggle current Bullet effect on/off Ctrl+M Plan for Options in Your Layout Creating your layout is easier if you have some optional items ready to help stretch the text or fill a space. Pull quotes and sidebars can help provide this flexibility. Pull quotes are essentially text extracts from the main story that highlight an idea. Sidebars contain text related to the main story and can be placed near the related subject but away from the main flow of the story. Both text and shapes were used to build the pull quote design shown below. The quote shapes were dragged as curves from the Insert Character docker (accessible by choosing Text > Insert Character). The paragraph text was created inside a closed rectangle shape, and line rules, rectangles, quote symbols, and color were added for graphic appeal. The entire arrangement was placed inside an invisible rectangle with a text wrap between the paragraph text columns in the layout. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Tips & Tricks Creating Interactive PDF Documents with CorelDRAW® When it comes to choosing file formats for digital publishing, the Adobe® Portable Document Format (PDF) is the winner by far. It's essentially paperless, perfectly portable, and equipped with all kinds of nifty features. As an industry standard, CorelDRAW® software supports many PDF features, including linking capabilities. If you're new to creating Web or bookmark links with CorelDRAW, this tutorial will show you how it's done and how to make sure that the links are preserved in your PDF documents. Discover the Beauty of PDF The popularity of Adobe® Acrobat® Reader® software makes it possible for anyone to view PDF files. For the small business owner, there is nothing better than going totally digital. Not only does paperless publishing reduce, or even eliminate, printing costs, but it also presents other opportunities unheard of just a decade or so ago. In most cases, digital documents don't have color, size, or length limitations and can be freely distributed across the globe in a matter of seconds. The best part is that you can add interactivity to your portable documents and have a certain degree of control over how your audience views your document. The nonlinear aspects of interactive documents, such as hyperlinks, demand a little more planning than your typical printed document, so the design stage may be more challenging. Plan Your Document Design As with any complex project, the planning stage is always the first critical step. If possible, prepare your content elements in advance - including the text, graphics, and photos. Decide on a page size and plan how you'd like your content to flow. As you add structure to your content, think of how you'd like your audience to move through your document. CorelDRAW enables you to give unique names to pages which the PDF export filter will then use to create a PDF bookmark list for easy navigation. When you design a document in CorelDRAW, however, you can apply bookmarks to text or graphics to create your own navigation method. When your reader clicks text or graphics applied with a bookmark link in Acrobat Reader, their view instantly changes to display the corresponding bookmark item. Consider the opportunities for providing links to Web sites. With CorelDRAW, you can assign URL hyperlinks or e-mail addresses to items in your document. Clicking a hyperlink from within the PDF document automatically launches the Web application associated with the type of URL, such as mailto, file, http, https, gopher, FTP, news, telnet, and so on. Design a Navigation Method You can use almost any text or graphic as a navigation device, which typically identifies the current location and shows other areas to explore. As an example, I've created a promotional document for a fictitious health product company. For the navigation, I've used a folder tab-style design to indicate the specific areas in the document (see below). In CorelDRAW, I've applied links to the tab buttons for page navigation. The example below shows the active button area. Under each page tab are text objects to which I've applied bookmarks linked to specific text headings on the page (see below). Throughout my fictitious document, I've applied hyperlinks to Web pages that provide the audience with current product information. I've also added e-mail addresses to direct readers to specific company contacts (see below). In Acrobat Reader, active bookmark links are indicated by a pointing-finger cursor, and active hyperlinks are indicated by the same cursor featuring a W (for Web). Now let's explore how these links are created in CorelDRAW to make your text and objects interactive when they are published to PDF. Create Links in CorelDRAW® We'll start with bookmarks. In a PDF file, Acrobat Reader can display page bookmarks in a bookmark list. This list is a basic page navigation tool, and it allows your audience to move quickly between document sections. The unique name you assign to each page in your document becomes the bookmark page name in Acrobat Reader. I've named each page according to the subject areas in my example (see below). After publishing the document to PDF, the page names appear in the bookmark list when the document is viewed in Adobe® Acrobat® (see below). By default, pages are also sequentially numbered. Bookmark destinations on the pages are included as subsets. To name a page in your CorelDRAW document, right-click its page tab at the bottom of your document window, and choose Rename Page from the context menu. In the dialog box that opens, you can assign a page name up to 31 characters long (see below). To create a link, you need to define at least one source and link the source to a destination. By doing this, you create your own internal document page navigation system: you decide which items to use as the sources (such as photos, shapes, or text) and then you link those sources to destination items in your document. You can specify the source and destination by using two key features of CorelDRAW- the Internet toolbar and the Internet Bookmark Manager docker. To open the Internet Toolbar, choose Window > Toolbars> Internet. Although this toolbar includes several other features, the main areas you'll use are the Behavior selector and the Internet Address/Bookmark selector (see below). Using these options, you can build your bookmark list by specifying the bookmark destinations (explained later). The source items are defined by using the Internet Bookmark Manager (choose Window > Dockers > Internet Bookmark Manager). The Bookmark Manager (shown below) enables you to view a list of all bookmarks that you've applied to items in your document. The Link button enables you to establish a bookmark link between your selected item and the bookmark selected in the list. The docker also includes a Select button to quickly locate items that are linked to a selected bookmark. There are two types of bookmarks you can create in CorelDRAW: page bookmarks, which navigate to a specific page, and target bookmarks, which navigate to a specific item on a page - either text or a graphic. Let's begin by creating a page bookmark: 1. With the Internet Toolbar in view, select an item in your document to act as the source of the page bookmark link, and choose URL from the Behavior selector. 2. In the Internet Address/Bookmark selector, you'll see a list of default page bookmarks sequentially named "Top Of Page N" (where N is the page number). Choose the destination of the page bookmark from the list to create the link (see below). As an alternative, you can also apply page bookmarks to items by right-clicking the selected object and choosing Internet Links > Top Of Page N from the context menu (see below). After you make your selection, the Internet Address/ Bookmark selector will show "_PAGEN" as the destination. When your document is exported to PDF, clicking the bookmark link will take you to the page you selected. The second type of bookmark you can create is a target bookmark. This bookmark type is item- specific, meaning you can specify an item as the destination and then link it to other items. To create a target bookmark, follow these steps: 1. With the Internet Toolbar and the Internet Bookmark Manager in view, select an item on your page to serve as the destination. This is the item that your readers will be directed to when they click the bookmark link. 2. In the Internet Toolbar, choose Bookmark from the Behavior selector. Notice that the Internet Address/Bookmark selector now displays the words "Internet Bookmark" (see below). 3. Click in the Internet Address/Bookmark selector (the default text disappears), enter a unique name for your bookmark destination, and press Enter. Notice that the newly created bookmark is added to the Internet Bookmark Manager docker list. Web URLs can also be applied as destinations to items in your document by using the Internet Toolbar. A URL can be a variety of types, including a Web site address (http:// or https://), a newsgroup (news://), an e-mail address (mailto:), a file path (file://), or an FTP site (ftp://). To apply a URL, follow these steps: 1. Select an item to apply the link, and choose URL from the Behavior selector. 2. To specify a Web page, click in the Internet Address/Bookmark selector, type the Web address, and press Enter. The default Web site address prefix "http://" is automatically entered (see below). To enter a different type of URL address (such as mailto:), you can follow a similar procedure. The only difference is that you must manually enter the complete URL, including the prefix. For example, entering "mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" creates a URL for an e-mail contact (see below). Press Enter to apply the address to your selected item. For convenience, newly created hyperlinks are automatically added to the Internet Address/Bookmark selector list so that you can quickly apply them to other items in your document (see below). Applying Bookmarks and Hyperlinks to Text The steps we've covered so far generally describe the steps to apply links to objects selected with the Pick Tool. In these cases, the links you create are applied to the object and make the entire object clickable. With text, however, you may want to apply links to individual words or phrases within a text string, instead of to the entire text object. This kind of link can be applied only to paragraph text and only if the text is Web-compatible (whether or not your PDF is destined for the Web). To apply a bookmark, hyperlink or mailto address to a word or a phrase within a larger string of characters, follow these steps: 1. Using the Pick Tool, select your text object. If you've selected an artistic text object as indicated by the Status Bar (see below), choose Text > Convert to Paragraph Text (Ctrl+F8). 2. Once the text is converted, choose Text > Make Text Web Compatible. (This option is also available as a button in the Internet Toolbar, as shown below.) 3. To create the link, use the Text Tool (F8) to highlight the specific text characters you want to make clickable, and then use the Internet Toolbar to apply the link. 4. To make the text a bookmark destination, choose Bookmark from the Behavior selector, enter a bookmark name in the Internet Address/Bookmark selector, and press Enter. To set a text source for the link, use the Text Tool again to highlight the source text, click your bookmark in the Bookmark Manager docker, and click the Link button. To apply a URL or mailto hyperlink to your selected text, choose URL from the Behavior selector, enter the Web address or mailto address in the Internet Address/Bookmark selector, and press Enter. After the link is applied to your text, it appears as a typical Web hyperlink, which by default is underlined and blue. You can change the appearance of the hyperlinks in your PDF by choosing Tools > Options, navigating to Document > Publish to the Web > Links in the tree directory, and then choosing a color from the Link Color area. Export to PDF from CorelDRAW® 12 When you're ready to publish, choose File > Publish to PDF to open the Save as PDF dialog, and save your new portable, interactive document. Before clicking the Save button, you may want to customize how your document will be created. Click the Settings button to open the Publish to PDF dialog which features options organized into six tabbed areas. If the PDF you're creating is for screen viewing, be sure to click the Document tab to access the bookmark options (see below) and select the Include Hyperlinks and Generate Bookmarks options. Choosing Include Hyperlinks will ensure that the URL and bookmark links you've created in your document will be interactive in the published PDF. Choosing Generate Bookmarks will create an Acrobat Reader bookmark list from the page and target bookmarks in your document, so the interactivity you've engineered into your document will be included in the PDF. The final step before distributing your published PDF is to examine it carefully and verify the accuracy of each bookmark and link. As any seasoned Web designer will tell you, providing poorly organized links and faulty navigation is one of the fastest ways to lose your audience's attention. CorelDRAW Tutorials Logo Design Solutions for Small Business Owners Many users of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite are small business owners who work within limited budgets and perhaps have limited time and resources. If you belong to this group, you may be looking for ways to avoid hiring a high-priced designer. The good news is that for most simple design projects, you don't need to be a design graduate. With your CorelDRAW tools and a little inventiveness, you have everything you need. In the fictitious designs presented in this tutorial, shapes from symbol fonts in CorelDRAW were enhanced with artistic text, a few effects, and very little manipulation. Install Symbol Fonts Symbol fonts are included on your CGS12 discs (or any disc set from a previous version). They include named collections ranging from Animals, Arrows, and Balloons to Sports and Hobbies, Stars, and Tools. If you're new to using symbol fonts, you may want to try installing them so that you can use them in your CorelDRAW documents. If you are using Windows XP, follow these steps to install symbol fonts: 1. From your CGS 12 disc set, locate Disc 2, and slip it into your CD-ROM drive. 2. Open Windows Explorer, and navigate to C:\WINDOWS\Fonts to view the fonts currently installed on your system. 3. Choose File > Install New Font to open the Add Fonts dialog box, browse to your CD- ROM drive, and choose the Extra Fonts > Symbols folder. 4. Choose either the TTF (TrueType® fonts) or Type1 (fonts compatible with Adobe® Type 1 fonts) folders. Open either folder to view the symbol fonts they contain - the selections are virtually identical and include more than 60 different symbol fonts. 5. From the List of Fonts box, click to select the fonts you want to install, and click OK to add the fonts to your system. Now that you have your symbol fonts installed, you can add the shapes as curves to your CorelDRAW drawing by dragging a selection from the Insert Character docker. To open the Insert Character docker (see below) choose Text > Insert Character (Ctrl+F11). With the Insert Character docker open and your document page in view, locate a symbol font by browsing through the Font list. You can recognize many of the symbol fonts by their category names. Once you select a font, the preview area displays a partial list of the shapes included in the font. To copy a symbol to your document page, select the symbol, and then click the Insert button. You can also drag the symbol from the docker into your drawing. Your current outline and fill colors are applied automatically. Use Simple Shapes and Text to Plan Your Logo Because symbol font art is sometimes considered the lowest rung on the clipart ladder, you may not think of using it for your professional design work. So you might be surprised to learn that it can be a resource worth exploring. With a little tweaking, symbol font shapes can help you fulfill all kinds of design needs, such as the logo and poster display designs we'll be exploring. When planning a logo design for your business, keep in mind that creative designs usually feature a minimum of visual information. The emphasis should always be on conveying a clear message. If you limit your use of color, you can easily adapt your logo and match the colors in most layouts. Black is often the predominant design color used, with additional colors serving as visual accents. Before you begin a design, it's wise to have a varied collection of text fonts on hand. Just as your symbols provide color, style and tone, a well-chosen text font can enhance your design with character and personality. The examples we'll explore next incorporate both symbol shapes and artistic text. Many of the symbol shapes were manipulated by using shaping commands such as Trim and Weld, and by basic node editing with the Shape Tool. You'll also notice effect tools such as the Interactive Fill, Interactive Blend, Interactive Drop Shadow, and Interactive Contour tools have been used in the design process. In many cases, the CorelDRAW PowerClip? effects were used to package the shapes. Examples of Logo Designs Our first example (see below) is a not-so-original spoof of a popular corporate logo. A series of circular ellipses was used to create this simple two-color logo for a candy company. Shapes from the Animals 1 symbol font (symbols 093 and 0100) form the design for the decorative center. The circular effect for the text was creating by applying artistic text to two separate ellipses (see below). The seahorse shape was not altered, but the outer contour of the shell shape was separated, and the unwanted portions were deleted. Example 2 (see below), a logo design for a fictitious back-care clinic, was based on the shape of a torso (symbol 033) from the Animals 1 symbol font. Subtle node adjustments were made with the Shape Tool to make the figure appear more gender- neutral. The spinal vertebrae were created by using two rectangles and a blend effect. The Trim command in CorelDRAW was used to eliminate the unwanted portions from the background and replace them with the symbol, as shown below. The Ellipse Tool was used to create the background. Trees are often associated with growth, health, and prosperity, making this shape from the Plants font (symbol 036) a suitable candidate for our third example (see below). This business card and logo represent an investment counseling firm. They were created from a rectangle that was sized to business card proportions (2 × 3 inches) and intended for full ink bleeds on all four sides. The tree symbol was used to trim a section of the side and bottom of the rectangle, and a duplicate of the trimmed shape was ordered below to represent the tree shadow. A PowerClip? effect was used to place two simple shapes representing the earth and sky into a rectangle. A key shape from the Transportation symbol font (symbol 061) was used to create a simple business card and logo for a made-up locksmith service (see below). A rectangle was sized to typical business card proportions and used as the backdrop for the text. The rounded highlight effect on the key shape was created using an 8-step blend between a thick gold-colored outline of the shape and an exact copy set to a thin white outline. The drop shadow was applied to a third copy ordered at the bottom of the stack, and the entire arrangement was placed within the rectangle, creating a PowerClip object (see below). The logo design shown below represents a landscaping business and is based on a shape from the Landscape Planning symbol font (symbol 033). The symbol shape was duplicated and resized, the shapes were broken apart, and color was applied. The arranged parts were grouped and placed into an ellipse, creating a PowerClip object. A black duplicate was ordered below the white text and symbol shapes to provide more contrast with the background (see below). The logo shown below was designed to promote a children's play park. In this case, one shape from the Animals 1 symbol font (symbol 090) and one from the Plants symbol font (symbol 034) were used as focal points for the design. The seal and ball shapes were broken apart, and only the foliage portion of the tree was used. Simple lines and rectangles were used to create the other shapes. The text features a single contour applied with an outline and drop shadow (see below). Examples of Poster Designs The marketing poster shown below promotes a fictitious dessert shop. The logo is a slightly altered version of the ice cream cone (symbol 063) found in the Food font. A black rectangle was drawn over the exact right half of the cone and was filled with a two-color pattern fill. The cone itself was centered inside a black rectangle with a rectangular cutout in the center to avoid coming into contact with the Lens object. The fill colors in the rectangle are a simple two-color pattern fill applied with the Interactive Fill Tool. A second rectangle was drawn around the outside of the main rectangle to create the outer border, which serves as the path for a triangle pattern created by using a blend effect (see below). The design for a poster advertising an event is shown below. The two beetles holding hands give the slightly humorous impression of slow-moving participants. The main shape is taken from the Animals 2 symbol font (symbol 059). The complete shape was broken apart, reshaped, duplicated, flipped, and colored. The nodes at the end of the two bug legs were aligned to appear joined, and the arrangement was grouped and placed into the black rectangle frame to form a PowerClip object (see below). Our last example is a poster design that advertises a musical event (see below). The design features symbol 052 from the Music font and symbol 069 from the MusicalSymbols font. The guitar shape was broken apart into individual objects in order to apply different colors. The music note was duplicated, transformed, and filled with color. The frame, background, and center shapes are simple rectangles edited with the Shape Tool. As you browse through the symbol fonts included with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, keep in mind that the shapes are curves that can be dismantled, transformed, and customized to solve a wide range of design challenges. By applying color, or an effect or two, you can create unique designs for your everyday projects. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Tutorials Create Glassy Rollover Buttons in CorelDRAW If you've found yourself wishing that you knew how to create those cool, glass-like transparent buttons popular in certain interface designs, your wish is granted. I'm talking about those pill- shaped buttons that appear to be made from colored glass or see-though plastic. At first glance, the effect looks like something created with expensive 3D modeling software, but the truth is, you can come very close to illustrating the same effect by using just two or three carefully adjusted vector shapes. In this tutorial, I'll show you how to use CorelDRAWâ to create glass objects like those shown below. Create a Clear Glass Orb Glass effects are influenced by such key factors as lighting direction, light intensity, reflection, focus, and color. In any solid transparent object, the color is darker at the outer edges than in the middle. Soft overhead lighting bounces off the shiny surface of the glass, creating a reflection of the light source. The more focused the reflection, the smoother the surface will be. Using CorelDRAW to simulate glass effects involves carefully applying your vector objects with color and transparency effects. To demonstrate how color and lighting influence the effect, let's start with the simple creation of a colored glass object: 1. Using the Ellipse Tool draw a circle that is roughly 2 inches in diameter. Holding the Ctrl key constrains the ellipse shape to a circle. 2. For a color mode, use the default CMYK palette. If the color palette isn't in view, you can display it by choosing Window > Color Palettes > Default CMYK palette. With the circle still selected, click the Yellow well (C0, M0, Y100, K0) to set the circle's fill color. Choose the Interactive Fill tool (shortcut key G), and use the property bar options to set the Fill Type to Radial (see below). 3. For precise adjustment of the fountain fill colors and color positions in this example, I recommend using the Fountain Fill dialog (press F11). To specify your fountain colors, click the Custom radio button. Click the far left (0 percent position) color marker (it's black when selected), and click the Others button to access more color options. Set the CMYK values to C40, M50, Y100, K20. Set the far right (100 percent position) color marker to C0, M0, Y100, K0. Double-click to add two more color markers at 25 percent and 80 percent, and set these to C0, M5, Y100, K20 and C0, M0, Y100, K0, respectively (as shown below). 4. To finish the color effect, set the Edge Pad option on the Property Bar to 5 percent, and remove any outline properties applied to the circle by right-clicking the None color well in the onscreen color palette. Your custom fill is now complete (see below). 5. For the reflection effect, create a second circle that's roughly 1.5 inches in diameter, fill it with white, and position it to be centered and slightly below the top of the first circle. With the circle still selected, choose the Interactive Transparency Tool and drag from the top to the bottom of the shape. Remove any outline from the new circle. 6. Position the white, black, and midpoint nodes of the transparency slider precisely, as shown below. Drag the black marker to the center of the yellow circle, drag the white marker slightly below the circle's top edge, and drag the midpoint marker upward, three quarters of the way between the two. With just two objects, you've created a realistic-looking glass object. Note that the custom colors I specified provide the illusion that the edges of the shape let less light through than the middle portion, giving the shape the impression of flatness. The more pronounced the darkened edges are, the flatter the shape appears to be. The same steps can be used to turn virtually any simple shape into glass. Just keep in mind that you need to pay close attention to both the custom fountain fill and the transparency marker positions for the effect to appear realistic. Draw Glassy Buttons The same basic effect can be used to simulate the cool 3D appearance of glass pill-shaped buttons. The steps involve rounding the corners of a rectangle filled with a specific linear fountain fill and applying resized white copies of the rectangle with transparency to simulate the reflection. Although there are several ways to construct glass pill-shaped buttons, this method is perhaps the quickest and uses the fewest shapes: 1. Using the Rectangle Tool (F6), draw a rectangle roughly 1 inch high by 4.5 inches wide. (Use different proportions for larger or smaller text button labels if needed.) 2. With the rectangle selected, use the Rectangle Corner Roundness and Round Corners Together options on the Property Bar to round all four corners by 100 percent, as shown below. You can also do this interactively by using the Shape Tool (F10). Note: To preserve the symmetry of your rounded rectangle corners, create the shape at the exact size you need it to be instead of adjusting it vertically or horizontally through scaling. Scaling operations affect the proportions of rounded rectangle corners. 3. Choose the Interactive Fill Tool and drag vertically from the top to the bottom of the shape to apply a default linear fountain fill. To add colors at precise points, open the Fountain Fill dialog (F11), and click Custom. In this example, I've used a cyan blue color scheme. Set the 0 percent marker to C100, M20, Y0, K80 and the 100 percent marker to C10, M0, Y0, K0. Add a third color marker at the 40 percent position, and set it to C100, M20, Y0, K20 (as shown below). Before closing the dialog, set the Edge Pad option to 5 percent. Remove any outline properties from the shape. 4. Create a second rectangle roughly 0.4 inches high (slightly less than half an inch) by 4 inches wide, and round the corners by 100 percent. Fill the new rectangle with white, remove any outline properties, and position it to center vertically with the first rectangle and slightly below the top edge (see below). 5. Choose the Interactive Transparency Tool and drag vertically from the top edge to the bottom of the white rectangle to apply a default linear transparency effect (see below). Use the Property Bar to set the Edge Pad value to 8 percent. 6. Choose the Pick Tool and duplicate the transparent rectangle by pressing the plus sign (+) key on your numeric keypad. Scale this new copy by dragging the center-bottom handle downward to just above the bottom edge of the arrangement. Set the fill color of this new object to 100 percent Cyan by clicking the Cyan well in the onscreen color palette. 7. Choose the Interactive Transparency Tool and drag upward vertically from slightly below the bottom edge to a point halfway up the shape's height. To soften the effect slightly, drag from your CMYK palette 60 percent black well onto the white transparency marker. To complete the effect, set the Transparency Operation option on the Property Bar to Add. Select, and group your objects together (Ctrl+G). The button is virtually complete (see below). Although this example uses a blue theme, you can customize it to virtually any color theme you wish by editing each of the four color markers of the custom fountain fill to create variations (see below). As an alternative to creating a custom color fill button, you can apply a lens effect to create the illusion of clear glass distorting an underlying surface pattern (see below). To do this, first create a larger rectangular shape to serve as a background for the button. In this example, a bitmap fill was used. To apply a bitmap fill to any selected object, choose the Interactive Fill Tool and set the Property Bar Fill Type option to Bitmap Pattern. Create your rounded rectangle shape for the button on top of the background, then open the Lens docker (Alt+F3), and choose Fish Eye. Increase the Rate option to distort the underlying surface, and click the Apply button. The higher the rate, the more distortion is applied. After applying the lens to the first shape, create and align the two smaller rounded rectangle shapes, set their fill color to white, and apply a transparency (top to bottom for the smaller shape, bottom to top for the bigger shape) to create the fountain effect. Add artistic text to your buttons by using the Text tool. Set your text to a centered alignment. If you select the text and the grouped button shapes, you can use the alignment hot keys in CorelDRAW to center-align the text and the button group vertically (press C) and horizontally (press E). If you need to create multiple buttons with different text but the same design, you can use this first version as a template (see below). Create Button Rollover States To make the button interactive, you can add a realistic rollover effect. Because you're simulating the effect of three-dimensional objects with realistic lighting, adding shadows is the next logical step. In these next steps, we'll use the Internet Toolbar to convert the button to a rollover and edit the button states. 1. Using the button design you created in the previous step sequence, choose the Pick Tool, and ungroup (Ctrl+U) the button shapes you grouped together in the previous steps. 2. Choose the Interactive Drop Shadow Tool, and click your pill-shaped rectangle. Hold Ctrl, and drag from the center of the shape downward to apply a drop shadow at default settings. Use the Property Bar options to set the shadow X offset to 0 and the Y offset to –0.03 inches (a negative value). Set your Drop Shadow Opacity to 80 and the Feathering to 7. Set the shadow color to the base color of your button — in this case, cyan (see below). 3. Select all objects in the arrangement, and open the Internet Toolbar by choosing Window > Toolbars > Internet. Click the Create Rollover button (shown below) to convert the entire button arrangement into a rollover button. Be sure the Live Preview of Rollovers button is toggled to the "off" state. 4. Click the Edit Rollover button on the Internet toolbar to set the active rollover state to Normal, as indicated by both the toolbar option and the page tabs at the bottom of your document window (see below). We've already created the basic button, so we're going to leave the Normal state unchanged. 5. To switch to the mouse-over state, choose Over from the Active Rollover State selector on the Internet Toolbar. Select your button text, and change its color. In my case, I've simulated a brightening effect by changing the text fill from black to white, as shown below. 6. Switch to the mouse-down editing state by choosing Down from the Active Rollover State selector. Using the Pick Tool, click to select the drop shadow, and choose Effects > Clear Drop Shadow to remove it. 7. While still in the Down editing state, select all objects in the arrangement, and open the Transformation docker to the Position tab by choosing Arrange > Transformations > Position (Alt+F7). Enter 0 in the H box and -0.03 in the V box (see below), and click the Apply button. This action offsets the entire button by the same offset as the shadow. 8. Close the Transformation docker, and click the Finish Editing Rollover button on the Internet Toolbar. Your rollover is complete. Temporarily activate the rollover preview by toggling the Live Preview of Rollovers button to the "on" state, and test-drive your new rollover button. Passing your cursor over the button causes the text label to change color. When clicked, the button is offset vertically, and the shadow is displaced. CorelDRAW Tutorials CorelDRAW® 12 Node Tracking: Friend or Foe? With the introduction of powerful new drawing aids in CorelDRAW® 12, the Corel engineering team needed to change a key feature of the Pick Tool. If you haven't yet noticed, the optional node-tracking abilities of the Pick Tool are now turned off by default, which represents a slight change from previous versions. If the Pick Tool's node-tracking feature is a favorite of yours, you can easily reactivate it. Before you do, though, it might help to know the method behind the madness. Let's examine the need for the change and how reversing it might affect your work habits. Maximize Object-Snapping Actions The behavior of the default Pick Tool in CorelDRAW 12 was changed to allow smoother operation of the new dynamic guides and object snapping features. If you haven't already experienced these timesaving aids to drawing, you've been missing out on a good thing. Dynamic guides largely eliminate the guesswork involved in precision drawing. As you move objects or draw new ones, dynamic guides appear on-screen temporarily between your cursor and the active-object snap points on nearby objects. Your cursor magnetically follows the path of any guide that appears. Distances, angles, and alignments with other snap points make precise cursor placement quite literally a snap. You can customize guide behavior by using the Dynamic Guides pane of the Options dialog (see below), which you can access by choosing View > Dynamic Guides Setup. As you work, you can toggle the dynamic guides on and off with the Alt+Shift+D shortcut. The new object-snapping options in CorelDRAW 12 work in tandem with the new dynamic guides and enable you to involve up to nine different snap points in the action. The Snap To Objects pane of the Options dialog (see below) enables you to choose exactly which snap points to use. You can access these settings by choosing View > Snap To Objects Setup. As you work, you can toggle the object snapping on and off by using the Alt+Z shortcut. A Lesson in Nodes Whether you're a new CorelDRAW user or an expert, a little refresher on nodes, node tracking, and the tools involved will help you grasp the issue more completely. Let's start with nodes. Although different programs use different names for nodes (Adobe® Illustrator® refers to them as "anchor points"), the concept remains the same. Whenever you draw a shape or line, nodes are defined either automatically or manually. Typically, nodes are the small outlined points between the curved or straight segments of any open or closed path (see below). They control the size and shape of any vector object that you can create in CorelDRAW. Shapes created with object-creation tools - such as the Ellipse, Rectangle, Polygon, and Perfect Shapes tools - also include specialized nodes that enable you to control unique object characteristics (see below). You can quickly reshape ellipses into pies or arcs, interactively round the corners of rectangles, distort polygon points, and customize the glyph nodes on certain shapes drawn with a Perfect Shapes Tool. With Bézier lines (open or closed paths), nodes control the shape or direction, or both, of the path a line follows (see below). What Is Node Tracking? Next, let's look at the Pick Tool and node tracking. The Pick Tool's primary function is to enable you to select, move, transform, or rotate one or more objects. Although the Pick Tool is now disabled by default, its node-tracking abilities enable it to mimic the Shape Tool in limited ways. When you enable node tracking, the Pick Tool cursor changes to the Shape Tool as you hold it over a node (see below). This cursor action (referred to as "tracking") provides a convenient way for you to select and move any kind of node on an object without changing tools. Of course, the Shape Tool's unique primary function is to enable you to select and edit multiple nodes as well as the segments between the nodes (see below). Because node tracking is disabled by default in CorelDRAW 12, the Shape Tool replaces the Pick Tool for all editing of nodes and line segments. The Conundrum for Users You can easily reactivate node tracking, but there's a downside to consider. While enabled, node tracking is sometimes more hindrance than help - particularly if you plan to take full advantage of the new dynamic guides and object snapping in CorelDRAW 12. Here's what it boils down to. For many users, object nodes often serve as the grab point for moving and snapping one object to the nodes on another object. When object nodes are tracked by the Pick Tool cursor, you cannot move an object by using the nodes themselves. The tracking action essentially prevents you from selecting and moving the entire object (see below). The upside to the equation is that you can control the Pick Tool's node-tracking behavior in CorelDRAW by using the Options dialog. You can activate it if and when you need to. Now that you know the issues, though, you can make an informed decision on whether to enable the feature based on how you work. Elegant Solutions If you're a devotee of node tracking, here are two solutions you can use. Solution 1: If you really love the Pick Tool's node-tracking capabilities and want to reactivate them by using the Options dialog, follow these steps: • Choose Tools > Options (or use the Ctrl+J shortcut) to open the Options dialog. • Click Display in the tree directory and click Enable Node Tracking to reactivate the option (see below). • Click OK to apply the change and close the dialog. Keep in mind that you can always open the dialog again and disable node tracking if it is interfering with your object-snapping actions, or if you find that the display of the dynamic guides isn't as smooth as it could be. Solution 2: If you find yourself visiting the Options dialog more often than is practical, you can use a customization trick that makes it easier to enable node tracking. You can add the Enable Node Tracking option to the Pick Tool's Property Bar - right where you need it to be - by doing the following: • Start by selecting the Pick Tool from the Toolbox. • Choose Tools > Customization to open the Options dialog to the Customization pane. Expand the directory tree under Customization in the list, and click Commands. The right side of the dialog shows a variety of options (see below). • Choose Edit from the list box in the upper left of the Commands pane. Scroll roughly halfway down the list directly below the list box, and locate Tracking (see below). • Drag the Tracking option button directly from the list onto the property bar. When you reach the Property Bar, an I-beam cursor appears, indicating the button's new position. When you release the mouse button, the option button appears (see below). • Click OK to apply the changes and close the dialog. The customization operation provides a quick way to toggle node tracking on or off as needed. After you've weighed the pros and cons of node tracking, you can choose the ideal way to accomplish your drawing tasks. CorelDRAW Tutorials Stepping into Color Management with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 Trying to achieve consistent color across multiple devices connected to your computer can still generate its share of head-scratching, hair-pulling, and, yes, even the odd expletive. The truth is, a completely flawless method of desktop color management doesn't yet exist, although some systems come close. If you're a CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 user tackling color management for the first time, or just curious about how it's supposed to work, you've come to the right place. Why Should You Use Color Management? To illustrate why color management is important to anyone working in color, let's look at a typical scenario that you may have encountered. You scan an image or take a digital picture, open it on your computer, and then print it from your desktop printer. At each step in the process, you notice slight differences in color. This means that the colors in your final printed output may not exactly match the original you scanned. Now that we've nailed the problem, how do you solve it? The reason for the color difference is that each color-capable device connected to your computer has its own special way of recording, displaying, or reproducing the same color values. The colors your eyes see may not match those that your scanner or digital camera can capture, nor will they perfectly match what your monitor or desktop printer can reproduce. Will you ever be able to match the original scanned image exactly? Unfortunately, the answer is a qualified "no." What you can do, though, is to try to achieve a reasonably close display facsimile. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 lets you do just that. Color management enables you to match colors between devices that use color profiles - descriptions that conform to standards set out by the International Color Consortium (ICC). The profiles are compared according to the internal RGB color space shared by CorelDRAW 12 and Corel PHOTO-PAINT 12, and the corrections that are fed back to your monitor are based on each device's capabilities. When you print an image, your monitor's profile is compared with the printer profile, and your monitor's colors are corrected to reflect what the printer will actually print. If the colors aren't right, your monitor will tell you. These days, color profiles are often readily available. Newer color devices automatically copy profiles to your system during installation. Others are supplied on disc by the device manufacturer. Often, you can install color profiles automatically through your operating system, using Plug and Play technology, or you can obtain them online. If you need a specific ICC profile, the best place to look is the support area of the manufacturer's Web site. Here are a few popular sources: • Hewlett-Packard • Canon • NEC • RICOH • UMAX • Hitachi Of all the color devices connected to your system, your monitor is by far the most important, so you need to be confident that what you're seeing is accurate. You'll get the best results by using a model capable of rendering precise, consistent, and accurate color. You'll also want to ensure that the ICC profile assigned to your monitor is accurately indicating the colors you assign. Without ensuring this accuracy, there's no guarantee that other devices will reproduce the colors you want. Also, the age of a monitor can significantly affect the color it shows. Monitor quality can degrade over time - especially if the monitor is of the cathode ray tube (CRT) variety. If your monitor has seen better days, the need for effective color management provides the perfect excuse for upgrading to a fresh model. A Step-by-Step Approach for the Wary The Color Management feature of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 is much easier to use than in past versions, but it's still a full-featured tool. The main dialog serves two functions: it graphically illustrates the current color management setup, and it provides control over all options in a central location. You can access these options (shown below) from within either CorelDRAW 12 or Corel Photo-PAINT 12 by choosing Tools > Color Management. Each of the graphic icons represents the color devices you can control. Click the profile type selectors below each graphic icon (shown below) to assign your device profiles. Click the arrows between the icons to control how display color is corrected. To access advanced options, click directly on the icons themselves. Although the options might seem a little overwhelming when you first work with them, creating your own color management setup is relatively straightforward if you approach it one step at a time. The following provides a quick walk-through. Step 1: Assign Your Device Profiles Choosing a profile to a color device is a simple step, provided that your hardware appears in the selector list. If you don't see it listed, you can load a profile from disc or connect to Corel's server, which provides a list of profiles to download (as shown below). If the profile for a connected device isn't available, leave the selection set to its generic profile (the default) until you can obtain one. Just remember that choosing the correct monitor profile is the most critical step in the process. Step 2: Turn Color Management On or Off Turn color management on or off by clicking the arrows between the graphic icons for your color devices and your internal RGB color space. In the illustration below, each device is set to the active state. Turning the active state of a device off essentially disables its profile so that no color correction is applied. The arrow pointing to the Internal RGB profile from the Import/Export icon controls whether correction is applied to imported documents that have embedded ICC profiles. The arrow pointing in the opposite direction controls whether your current ICC profile is included with exported images - which is often the best route. Step 3: Choose the Color Correction Method for Your Monitor With your profiles assigned, you can choose which printer's capabilities your monitor will emulate by clicking the arrows that point from the printer icons to the monitor icon (shown below). Ideally, you'll choose the device that you will use to print the final result. Clicking either of the arrows automatically activates that printer's color profile. Only one printer's capabilities can be simulated at a time, so activating one printer's color profile turns off the other printer's color profile. If the document you're proofing on your monitor is destined for final output to a separations printer, you can also set your selected composite printer to simulate the final color results. To activate this feature, click the arrow that sweeps along the bottom of the dialog and points from the separations printer icon on the right side to the composite printer icon on the left side. Step 4: Save Your Settings After you've gone through the effort of assigning profiles and setting preferences, it's worthwhile to save your setup using the color management Styles options. To save the entire arrangement, click the "+" button, and name your new style in the Save Color Management Style dialog (shown below). By saving your setup, you can retrieve it from the styles list later and use it with other drawings. You can also use preset styles included with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12, which are optimized for certain operations, or you can quickly reset all profiles to defaults. Once a style is saved, it is embedded with your drawing. If you move a document between computers and open it in either CorelDRAW or Corel PHOTO-PAINT, you can extract the embedded styles by selecting the Extract Embedded ICC Profile option in the Open dialog (shown below). Before the document is opened, the Save As ICC Profile File dialog opens, which lets you extract and store the file. By default, all profiles are stored in your .../Application Data/Corel/Graphics 12/User Color folder. Tackling More Advanced Options Besides being able to set profiles and choose correction preferences, you can also use the Color Management dialog to choose more advanced settings for certain devices and operations. These settings are perhaps the most complex and critical of all the options you need to choose. To access them from the Color Management dialog, click directly on a specific graphic icon (Import/Export, Printer, Monitor, or Internal RGB). In the dialog that opens, you can set the following advanced options. Advanced Import/Export Settings. Clicking directly on the Import/Export icon opens the dialog shown below. Here, you can specify whether you want to use the embedded ICC profiles contained in imported images, or whether your current profile is embedded into images you're exporting from your document. In either case, you can override the profiles converted or embedded by choosing to use your current Internal RGB profile or the profile for a specific device. Advanced Printer Settings. Clicking the icon for either the composite printer or the separations printer opens the dialog shown below. You'll see a list of the currently installed printer drivers with options for overriding the profiles assigned in the color management setup. Advanced Display Settings. Clicking the monitor icon opens the dialog shown below, which lets you control complex color correction properties of your monitor. While a printer simulation is selected, you can view colors that fall outside your printer's gamut, which is the range of colors your printer can reproduce. Enabling the Highlight Display Colors Out of Printer Gamut option causes an alarm color to appear in the areas when a certain color specified in your document can be accurately reproduced by the selected printer (based on its color profile). The illustration below shows the effect of an out-of-gamut display, with green used as the alarm color. You can click the Warning Color button to choose the alarm color, and you can use the Transparency slider to control how opaque the alarm color appears on-screen. For example, if your printer simulation is set to a CMYK separations printer, the gamut alarm will highlight any RGB colors. Advanced Internal RGB Settings. Clicking the Internal RGB icon opens a settings dialog that lets you choose from a collection of rendering intent types (shown below). This dialog also lets you change color engines from the default Kodak Digital Science color-management module if an alternate is available. The rendering intent method you choose controls how your internal color space converts and displays out-of-gamut colors on your monitor. Although the science behind color management may seem a little intimidating at first, the following explanations may help you decipher what is produced by each of the five types of rendering intents: • Absolute Colorimetric. This method is useful if the gamut of the color proofing printer you're using is larger than the gamut of the final output printer you're attempting to simulate. It essentially preserves all in-gamut color, including the white point, which affects image highlights and contrast. This method maps out-of-gamut colors to the next closest hue by altering their saturation and lightness when displayed. • Relative Colorimetric. If your drawing consists mostly of color vector objects, you might prefer this method. It's similar to the Absolute Colorimetric method, but it also alters the white point of the image, which can potentially change highlights and contrast. If you're proofing to an inkjet printer, this method is your best bet for displaying an accurate screen image. • Perceptual. You might prefer this method for documents with vivid color, such as scanned photographs or digital camera captures. The Perceptual method compresses a larger gamut of colors to fit a smaller one by desaturating all colors. • Saturation. This less complex method maps colors between devices directly, regardless of the differences in lightness, saturation, or hue. It's suitable if only solid colors are involved and if color accuracy and consistency are not required. • Automatic. This method is the default and perhaps the best choice for general use. With Automatic selected, vector object colors are mapped with the Saturation method, and bitmap colors are mapped with the Perceptual method. Keep in mind that different rendering intents give preference to how certain colors for different object types are corrected and displayed. The method you choose will depend on whether your CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12 document consists of vector objects or bitmap objects, or both, and on the color range of your devices. New Dynamic Guides Will Change the Way You Draw Once in a while, a new drawing feature comes along that's so innovative, it has the potential to completely change the way you draw. New Dynamic Guides in CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite 12 will do just that. In fact, after using them for a while, you'll wonder how you ever did without them. Let's explore just how great these fancy new guides really are. A Boon for Drawing and Positioning Lines and Objects Unlike typical guidelines that physically occupy a point on your document page, Dynamic Guides appear only momentarily right where you need them. As you're drawing a line or dragging an object, they come to life to show information about your cursor's position relative to points on surrounding objects. As your cursor comes within a certain distance of an object snap point, a Dynamic Guide path magically appears right where you need it. The guide path itself is "sticky", meaning your cursor easily aligns to it. When drawing or positioning objects, the screen tips you see provide angle and distance measurements from your cursor or grab point to nearby snap points, like this: If you've never used Dynamic Guides before, try these steps and you'll see just how powerful this feature is: 1. To view only the feedback provided by Dynamic Guides, turn off the CorelDRAW 12 Snap to Objects feature. To do this, choose View/Snap to Objects Setup to open the Options dialog box for the Snap to Objects pane. Click to turn off both the Snap to Objects On and Show Snap Location Marks options, and click OK to close the dialog box. 2. Next, let's make sure Dynamic Guides are active. If they aren't already showing, activate your Dynamic Guide display by pressing Alt+Shift+D. Choose View/Dynamic Guides Setup to open the Options dialog box for the Dynamic Guides pane. Make sure the Angle and Distance Screen Tip options are selected and click OK. 3. Now that you're all set up, start your exploration with a single object. For example, draw a simple rectangle with the Rectangle tool (F6). 4. Choose the Pick tool, then grab the lower-left corner node of the rectangle and drag it in a circular motion around its original position. Notice as you do this that guide paths, and angle and distance values appear around the rectangle. 5. Continue dragging, but this time, drag your grab point close to a nearby snap point and slowly drag it along the guide path that appears. Notice how your cursor "sticks" to it, and the difference in angle and distance from your grab point to the current snap point is updated as you drag. What you see on your screen will look something like this: 6. Create a second object (such as an ellipse) and add it to the mix. Drag your rectangle from the same corner beside the right side of the ellipse and notice another guide path appear at angles between your grab point and the ellipse snap points, like this: Even if you're just creating lines or curves, you'll see Dynamic Guides feedback that displays the angle and distance from the last node position relative to the snap points of other objects. If you've ever fumbled trying to draw three nodes in perfect alignment at a non-typical angle, you'll certainly appreciate how useful this can be. To see how easily you can add a perfect angled extension to a straight line, try these steps: 1. Use the same setup as in earlier steps. Start by creating a straight line at a non-typical angle (an angle that is anything but the standard 15-degree constrain interval). To create the line, choose the Freehand tool (F5). 2. Click any two points on your page to define the beginning and end points of the line. After clicking the second point, your straight line becomes a completed object, but remains selected. 3. Still using the Freehand tool, hold your cursor over the second point you clicked. Notice that the cursor features an end node symbol. Click your cursor on the node once to begin drawing another line segment. Move your cursor slowly away to extend the line and notice a Dynamic Guide appears at the exact angle of the existing line, like this: 4. Move your cursor along the guide and click a point anywhere on it. Another node position is defined and your line segment is now a straight path composed of three nodes. Customizing Dynamic Guides There are plenty of ways you can control what you're seeing on screen. You can toggle Dynamic Guides on and off a number of ways: by using the Alt+Shift+D shortcut, by choosing View/ Dynamic Guides from the command menus, or by clicking the Dynamic Guides button in the Property Bar (shown next) while the Pick or Shape tools (and no objects) are selected. Dynamic Guides have a unique set of options that enable you to control their behavior. You can customize how the guides appear by choosing behavior options such as angle and distance tips, and tick snapping, and select which guide angles appear. To access these options (shown next), choose View/Dynamic Guides Setup to open the Options dialog box for the Dynamic Guides pane shown here: Here's how each option will affect the way Dynamic Guides are displayed: • Dynamic Guides – Select this check box to toggle Dynamic Guides on or off. • Angle Screen Tip – When drawing with line tools, use Angle Screen Tip to show an angle value from the tip of your grab point relative to other object snap points, when positioning objects or placing nodes. • Distance Screen Tip – When drawing with line tools, choose Distance Screen Tip to show the distance between your cursor position on a guide and the current snap point, when positioning objects or placing nodes. The unit measure you'll see is based on your currently selected drawing units. (You can set this in the Pick tool Property Bar while no objects are selected.) • Snap to Ticks – Use Snap to Ticks to toggle tick snapping along the guide paths in customizable increments. This enables you to move your cursor along the guide and snap to tick points according to the current Tick Spacing value. • Guides – Use this area to select which angles you want your Dynamic Guides to indicate on screen. Check boxes enable you to toggle the angles on or off in the list. As you select each one, its apparent angle is displayed in the Guides Preview window on the right of the dialog box. To add your own custom angles, just enter a value in the degree box above the list and click the Add button, as shown next. Custom guide angles are automatically added to the guides list, so you have the option of toggling them on or off. You can also interactively select and manage the guides via list selection or just by clicking the apparent angles shown in the Preview window. • Extend Along Segment – When drawing using any line tool, use this option to easily add straight portions to an existing angled line segment. A Dynamic Guide will automatically show you where to place your new node so it's in perfect alignment with the existing straight line. The Dynamic Duo It may also help you to know that Dynamic Guides work together with the new Snap Modes feature in CorelDRAW 12. The guides appear whenever your grab point or line tool cursor comes within a certain threshold of an active snap point on your original object, or on a different object, like this: You can set up to nine object snap points to include in the process by choosing View/Snap to Objects Setup to open the Options dialog box for the Snap to Object pane, shown next. If you're already using CorelDRAW 12 but haven't yet explored what Dynamic Guides can do, the steps we've covered here should get you on your way. Although this only scratches the surface, you've just turned a corner to a novel new way of drawing. A Clever New CorelDRAW® Has anyone ever known you well enough to finish your sentences? Well, that's how the powerful new drawing tool in CorelDRAW® 12 works. The new Smart Drawing tool gives freehand sketching the benefit of a kind of artificial intelligence. You can sketch a shape freehand-style on screen and end up with a precise vector object as a curve, native object or Perfect Shape. You'll find the new Smart Drawing tool (shown next) located in the toolbox between the curve tools and the rectangle tools—or you can press the S hotkey for speedy selection. You can use the Smart Drawing tool with a stylus and drawing tablet, but good mouse skills work just as well. When sketching curves, this tool is capable of automatically recognizing a number of geometric characteristics. For example, two lines sketched side by side can be recognized as parallel straight lines. Sketching rough shapes that have right angle corners can produce precise 90-degree angles, like this: When drawing native geometric shapes, sketched boxes and squares translate into true rectangles, complete with rounded corner properties that you can apply. Sketched ovals and circles are recognized as true ellipses that you can fashion into arcs or pie shapes, if you desire. You can also sketch other complex geometric shapes such as arrows, equilateral and isosceles triangles, diamonds, trapezoids, parallelograms and so on, which translate into Perfect Shapes™, like these: While the Smart Drawing tool is selected, you can take as long as you need to complete your sketched shapes. But after you're done, CorelDRAW 12 takes a short time to translate your sketches. To do this, two key options control how accurately shapes are recognized and smoothed. You'll find these options in the Property Bar (shown next). Setting these interconnected options enables you to control how closely your sketched shapes are translated. Here's how the Smart Drawing tool options provide control over recognition and smoothing: Shape Recognition This option sets how precisely your sketched shape is matched to a recognizable shape and can be set to one of five levels ranging from Lowest (sketched shapes are not easily recognized) to Highest (sketched shapes are easily recognized), with Medium as the default and None turning the feature off completely. Smart Smoothing After your sketched shape is complete, a level of node smoothing is applied in order to make object recognition precise. This option enables you to set that smoothing action, much the same as applying smoothing to a typical path. Choose from one of five options ranging from Lowest (less smoothing applied) to Highest (more smoothing applied), with Medium as the default and None turning the feature off. These two options work together, enabling CorelDRAW 12 to do its recognition magic. Technically speaking, here's what the Smart Drawing tool is capable of recognizing using default recognition and smoothing options: Ovals and Circles – translate as native ellipse objects Boxes and Squares – translate as native rectangle objects Lines – translate as curve objects (either straight or curved depending on how they are sketched) Triangles – translate as curved objects or as perfect triangle shapes (either isosceles or equilateral) Diamond – a sketched shape resembling a skewed square will translate into a perfect diamond shape Parallelogram – a roughly sketched four-sided shape whose opposite sides are parallel and equal will translate into a perfect parallelogram shape Trapezoid – a roughly sketched four-sided shape that has two parallel sides and two non-parallel sides will translate into a perfect trapezoid shape Arrows – two roughly sketched open paths that resemble an arrow pointing will translate into a Perfect Shape arrow, like this: To experience the drawing power of the new Smart Drawing tool, try these quick steps: 1. Choose the Smart Drawing tool (or press the S hotkey) and use a click-drag action to sketch a square or rectangle. Aim to keep the sides of the shape vertical and horizontal as you draw. After releasing your mouse button, CorelDRAW 12 automatically translates your sketch into a rectangle shape, like this: 2. Choose the Pick tool and check your Status Bar display. The shape you sketched is specified as a Rectangle, and the Property Bar features options associated with shapes created using the Rectangle tool, including the rounded corner options. 3. Choose the Smart Drawing tool again and sketch an oval or circle. Aim to keep the shape oriented either vertically or horizontally. When releasing the mouse button, CorelDRAW 12 translates your sketched shape into an ellipse, like this: 4. Choose the Pick tool and check your Status Bar. The shape you sketched is specified as an Ellipse and the Property Bar features options associated with shapes created using the Ellipse tool, including Ellipse, Arc and Pie states. Perfect Shapes and Glyph Nodes Since certain shapes you sketch can be recognized as Perfect Shapes (such as triangles, trapezoids and parallelograms), it may help to know a little about these specialized objects. Sketched shapes that are recognized as Perfect Shapes are the same as the ones you would typically draw using the Perfect Shape tool. But these Perfect Shapes each feature unique "glyph" nodes that can be manipulated to change their proportions while preserving certain aspects of their shape. For example, the shape representing a triangle features a single glyph node that enables you to set one of the angles but keep the overall symmetry of the shape. You can edit glyph nodes similar to the way you alter the control points on a polygon. As they're moved, glyph nodes have the effect of resizing, changing proportion or dynamically moving a certain aspect of the shape. For some hands-on experience creating a Perfect Shape with the Smart Drawing tool, try these steps: 1. Using the Smart Drawing tool(s), sketch the shape of an isosceles triangle (a three-sided shape with two equal angles). On releasing the mouse button, CorelDRAW 12 translates your sketch into a Perfect Shape, complete with a glyph node, like this: 2. Choose the Pick tool and check your Status Bar. The shape is identified as a Perfect Shape. Use the Shape tool next to click and drag the glyph node (the red marker) to alter your shape's proportions. The triangle changes shape with the two angles constrained to equal measures, as shown here: You can edit glyph nodes interactively using the Shape tool (F10), but you can also edit them using the Object Properties docker for a selected Perfect Shape. To quickly access these options, press Alt+Enter to open the Object Properties docker and click the Perfect Shape tab, shown here: Smarter Drawing Tool Functions There are two other aspects of the Smart Drawing tool that you may find useful. The first involves controlling the delay time interval between the moment you finishing sketching a shape and the moment CorelDRAW 12 determines a recognizable shape. By reducing this delay time, you can sketch several separate lines or shapes in succession and CorelDRAW 12 will recognize them as a single compound path. For example, if you finish sketching a complete shape, then begin sketching a second shape within the time delay interval, the two shapes will be recognized as a single object. Access the option that controls time delay by double-clicking the Smart Drawing tool button in the toolbox to open the Options dialog box. The Drawing Assistance Delay slider (shown next) can be set between 0 and 2 seconds. The higher you set the delay time, the more time you'll have to keep drawing. If you're accustomed to quick sketching, a lower delay time will make your sketching sessions more productive. While using the Smart Drawing tool, you can also correct your sketched shapes on the fly to improve the accuracy of your drawing. As you sketch your shape, temporarily hold Shift as the modifier key to interactively erase your drawing path in reverse. As you hold the Shift key, the Smart Drawing tool cursor will invert interactively to erase your sketched lines (shown next). Releasing the Shift key enables you to resume your sketching operation. The new Smart Drawing tool is one of those truly innovative tools that pop up every so often. If you work in a creative field such as design or illustration, or a planning industry such as industrial design, engineering or architecture, the Smart Drawing tool enables you to harness the power of this new software intelligence. You may just find yourself reaching for it the next time you start a new CorelDRAW drawing project. CorelDRAW Tutorials Snap to It with CorelDRAW® 12! By Steve Bain If you've ever fumbled around trying to align your cursor to something, you can bid this frustrating task farewell. CorelDRAW® 12 object snapping has been re-designed with nine new modes to give you maximum snapping control that works together with the program's new Dynamic Guides. Now you can instantly snap to text baselines, object nodes, edges, midpoints, centers and ellipse quadrants; or snap to ellipse tangents, perpendicular angles or angles specified as Dynamic Guide paths. For example, you can snap the baseline of a text object to a rectangle, like this: You can also quickly draw a line between precise points on two separate objects, like this: For the record, the effect of snapping is like holding a magnet near metal. As the magnet draws closer, it's drawn toward the metal and the attraction becomes stronger until the magnet eventually "snaps" to it. When using CorelDRAW 12, two things can serve as magnets: the point at which you grab an object or your current drawing tool cursor. The "metal" that these points are drawn toward can be a guideline, a grid line, a new Dynamic Guide path or a specific point on another object. Object snapping saves considerable time when moving or transforming shapes, or when creating lines or curves. It enables you to control how and where the snapping action occurs and eliminates the aggravation of fumbling with alignments, or guessing at angles and distances. If you've already used grids or guidelines to snap to, you'll appreciate the productivity boost this gives you. Welcome to Snapping CorelDRAW 12 delivers a mix of reliable existing and brand new snap features. If you're new to CorelDRAW, it may help you to know a bit about some of the existing snap actions you can activate and how to use them. Snap to Grid – To have your drawing shapes and tool cursors snap and align to your document grid, choose View/Snap to Grid; press Ctrl+Y to toggle the feature on and off; or click the Snap to Grid button on the Property Bar (shown next). When objects snap to a grid, they snap to the grid lines as well as the grid line intersection points. Snap to Guidelines – To activate guideline snapping, choose View/Snap to Guidelines or click the Snap to Guidelines button on the Property Bar (shown next). Guidelines are created by dragging from your vertical or horizontal rulers (they can also be slanted), or by using Presets with automated scripts in the Guidelines Presets page of the Options dialog box. Snap to Objects – To have your objects or cursors snap to and align with other objects, choose View/Snap to Objects; press Alt+Z; or click the Snap to Objects button on the Property Bar (shown next). You can set snap points using new snap modes option in the Snap to Objects page of the Options dialog box. Dynamic Guides – This new feature uses the selected snap modes that we'll explore next. Press the Dynamic Guides button in the Property Bar (shown next) or choose View/Dynamic Guides (Alt+Shift+D) to toggle Dynamic Guides on or off. Maximum Object Snapping Power Here's where object snapping really takes a new turn. The new snap modes enable you to snap to more points on your objects, and offer live feedback by showing onscreen symbols and screen tips. While object snapping is turned on, your objects and cursors use snap modes to determine where to snap. You can customize these using options in the Snap to Objects pane of the Options dialog box (shown next), accessed by choosing View/Snap to Objects Setup. For object snapping to happen, two steps are involved: your cursor must be dragging or drawing something, and it must be at or near snap points on another object. (This also includes an object being dragged from its original position to a new position.) When your cursor connects with snapping points on the other object, the snapping action occurs. As you get accustomed to using this feature, you'll wonder how you ever did without it. Custom-select options in the Snap to Objects dialog box to set your snap behavior exactly how you need it. Here's how each of the options control snapping: Snap to Objects On – Click this to turn Snap to Objects on or off. Snapping Threshold – This menu enables you to set the snapping sensitivity, based on pixel proximity to snap points. Choose Medium (the default), Low or High, where Low reduces the snapping distance and High increases it, like this: Show Snap Location Marks – This toggles the display of the icon markers identifying each snap point type on various objects. This is great to use for identifying specific snap points in a crowded clusters of objects, like this: Screen Tip – While the Show Snap Locations Marks option is selected, use Screen Tip to control whether or not the text label that identifies the current snap point is displayed. Customize Where Objects Snap The mode list (shown next) in the Snap to Objects dialog box includes nine specialized object snap modes. They can be toggled on or off individually when you want to quickly snap to certain object points but ignore others. The icon list beside each of the modes acts as a symbol legend to show how each snap point is indicated on your screen when using the Show Snap Location Marks option. You can also use buttons in this dialog box to quickly activate or deactivate all the options in the list at once. Each of the modes causes object or cursor snapping in the following ways: Nodes – Use this mode to snap an object or your cursor where nodes exist (shown as square markers) on any object type or any open or closed path. Intersection – Use this mode to activate snapping where the outline paths of two objects intersect (shown as a diamond marker) or where the guide paths of two object snap points cross, like this: Midpoint – Use this mode to snap to the point at the exact center between any two nodes (shown using a triangular marker) on an object or path. Quadrant – This mode activates snapping to the precise left, right, top or bottom edge point of an ellipse object (shown as a stylized circle symbol), or the visible quadrants on an ellipse set to the Pie or Arc state. Edge – Choose this mode to snap to anywhere on the outline path of an object (shown as a stylized square symbol). Center – This mode activates snapping to the dead center origin of closed-path objects (indicated as a target dot symbol) based on their width and height. Text Baseline – The baseline of text is the imaginary line on which each character appears to rest. If you create text and image layouts, this invaluable mode will activate snapping to anywhere on text baselines (shown as a stylized solid diamond symbol). Both Artistic and Paragraph text objects are valid objects even if the text is formatted in multiple lines, as shown here: On a slightly higher object snapping level for geometry lovers, the next two modes add tangent and perpendicular actions to the mix. Both help when drawing with line tools to define node positions. Here's how they work: Tangent – A tangent is a straight line that only touches to align with the edge of a curve. You can use this mode to snap your drawing tool cursor to a point on a tangent (shown as a circle- and-line symbol) from a curve or ellipse, like this: Perpendicular – A perpendicular line creates a right angle (90 degrees) from another line or curve plane. Choose this mode to snap your drawing tool cursor to a point perpendicular from a point on an existing line or curve (shown as a typical right-angle symbol), or to a point on the guide path aligning with open or closed lines and curves, ellipse objects, or ellipses set to Pie or Arc, as shown here: The ideal way to familiarize yourself with what each mode does is to activate an object (Alt+Z), and practice by selecting only one active mode at a time. When you do, be sure to turn off all other snapping (Ctrl+Y) as well as Dynamic Guides (Alt+Shift+D). That way, you'll get a clear view of the real snapping power you have at your fingertips with this new feature. Blossoming Ideas for Cool Distortion Effects CorelDRAW 11's distortion effects are superb for applying controlled changes to an objects' shape-all the while allowing the object to remain in the vector world. There are several different types of distortion effects you can apply in CorelDRAW 11 - ranging from subtle to downright vicious - thanks to the complex mathematical algorithms on which each type of distortion is based. Understanding Distortion Effects Before we get too far along, let's gain an understanding of how these effects work with a little background information. As with other effects in CorelDRAW 11, distortions are applied using the Interactive Distortion Tool. You'll find it in the Toolbox grouped with other interactive tools. The effects you apply using this tool are dynamic, so they can be applied without losing the original object properties and may be edited at any time, saved as custom distortion presets, copied between objects, or cleared altogether. A few other facts will help you in your distortion adventures. First, you may apply multiple distortion effects to a single object, meaning each distortion builds on the last. Once a distortion exists on your page, you may clear it in incremental steps, or copy it between objects. The condition of the object path - including the number of nodes it's comprised of - determines the basic shape of the resulting distortion. Also, there are three basic modes of distortion you can choose from using Property Bar options, each of which features overlapping variables. The sheer number of variables and the wild results they create can make distortion effects tricky to use. In fact, you can easily while away more than a few hours creating practical drawing applications. To experience the power of this undervalued effect, let's explore a few relatively simple projects you can try to create some of the objects in this project. Distortions Naturally The Interactive Distortion Tool is great for quickly emulating natural or organic-style path effects which would otherwise be next to impossible to create manually, making it perfect for the objects shown next. Let's start by creating the flower objects to represent, and follow up with variations of the same idea. 1. Begin by drawing a circular ellipse roughly three inches in diameter using the Ellipse Tool. Holding your Ctrl key as you draw will constrain its shape. With the circle complete and still selected, press the Convert to Curves button in the Property Bar to delete the ellipse properties. Drag a copy of this object aside by right-clicking as you drag it using the Pick Tool. The copy will serve as a template for a later step. 2. Apply color to your original circle using a customized Radial Fountain Fill. You could use the Interactive Fill Tool, but to do it quickly and precisely, press F11 to open the Fountain Fill dialog. Choose Radial as the type, and click Custom under Color Blend. Using the Custom Fountain options, set the position 0 color marker to white and the position 100 marker to 100 percent magenta. Add a new position marker at 65 and color it 100 percent magenta also (as shown next). Remove any outline properties. 3. Choose the Interactive Distortion Tool. Using Property Bar options choose Zipper as the distortion mode. Enter 17 as the Amplitude, 4 as the Frequency, click the Smooth button and press Enter to apply the effect. This will add a slight wave to the circle path (shown next). 4. For the concentric flower petals, create copies of the object in a centered arrangement. To create the first copy quickly, choose the Pick Tool, hold Shift while dragging any corner object handle slightly toward the center of the object, and click your right mouse button to make the copy. Repeat this action to create enough copies to nearly fill the area (roughly 13 in our example). Then randomly rotate each of the object copies slightly to offset them (as shown next with black outlines). To quickly rotate any object using the Pick Tool, you can click any selected object a second time to enter rotation/skew mode and drag any of the corner rotation handles. 5. Next, we'll apply a series of distortions in sequence to the template circle created earlier. Using the Interactive Distortion Tool, choose Zipper mode, click the Random button and enter an Amplitude value of 30 and a Frequency value of 5 and press Enter. Then, choose Push and Pull mode, enter 20 as the Amplitude value and press Enter to complete the distortion. Your template circle now has the distortion you need (shown next). 6. Switch to the Pick Tool momentarily and marquee-select all the objects in your flower petal arrangement. Choose the Interactive Distortion Tool again, click the Copy Distortion Properties button and click your circle copy after the targeting cursor appears. The distortion is copied to your petal objects (as shown next) and your arrangement is now a flowering shape. Impressive Variations By varying the distortion values in your arrangement of objects, you can quickly create a wide variety of flower styles. Follow this next example using the same objects to create a dramatically intricate effect and experience the real power of this effect. 1. Using the Interactive Distortion Tool, choose your template circle and clear the current distortion effects by clicking the Clear Distortion button two times. Apply a Push and Pull mode distortion with an Amplitude of 5. Then apply a Zipper distortion with the Random and Smooth buttons clicked, set the Amplitude to 100, and the Frequency to 20. Your template circle now features a slightly wavier path (as shown next). 2. Use the Pick Tool to marquee-select all flower petal objects. Press F11 to open the Fountain Fill dialog and change the custom fountain fill options as follows: Position 0=Red, position 40=Yellow, position 100=Yellow and click OK to close the dialog (shown next). 3. With the objects still selected, choose the Interactive Distortion Tool. Click the Clear Distortion button once to return the flower petals to their earlier wavy path shape. Use the Copy Distortion Properties button and target your template circle. This time a warning dialog (shown next) will appear to let you know the effect you are applying is complex- click OK to proceed. 4. Remove any outline properties applied to your objects and the effect is complete. In the example shown next, the distortion is applied and resembles a flower with intricately spiked petals and a complex path structure. Combining Distortions with Blends You can create yet another variation on the flower illustration by combining a distortion effect with a blend effect. The steps may be shorter, but the effect is no less impressive. The procedure involves first distorting an ellipse and blending with a scaled copy. Here's how it's done: 1. Start by drawing a circle roughly 3 inches in diameter using the Ellipse Tool (hold Ctrl to constrain its shape). Using the Pick Tool, convert the circle to curves (Ctrl+Q). Choose the Shape Tool and hold Shift+Ctrl while clicking any of the four path nodes to select all the nodes. Then, press the "+" key on your numeric key pad two times to automatically add 12 more evenly spaced nodes to the path (as shown next). 2. Choose the Interactive Distortion Tool and choose Push and Pull mode and apply an Amplitude to -50 (a negative value). Fill the object with 100 percent Yellow. Using the Pick Tool, create a centered copy roughly 10 percent of the original by dragging any corner handle inwards while holding the Shift key and clicking your right mouse button. Fill the copy with Red (as shown next). 3. Switch to the Interactive Blend Tool and drag between the two objects to create a default blend effect. Using Property Bar options, set the Blend Steps to 20, click the Apply button, and the effect is complete as shown next. Creating Mixed Greens What would a flower garden be without some greenery? The intricate detail on leaves is another ideal candidate for CorelDRAW's distortion effect. To simulate the serrated edges found on leaf shapes, follow these quick steps: 1. Using the Ellipse Tool, create a tall, thin ellipse roughly 3 inches tall and half an inch wide and convert it to curves (Ctrl+Q). Using the Shape Tool, change the top two curves to straight lines by clicking each line and clicking the Convert Curve to Line button in the Property Bar. The result will be a teardrop-shaped object (as shown next). 2. With the object still selected, fill the object with a dark green color. Then, choose the Interactive Fill Tool and drag upwards from bottom to top to apply a default Linear fountain fill. Click to select the top fill marker and apply a light green color. Remove any outline colors applied to the shape. 3. Choose the Interactive Distortion Tool and choose Zipper mode. Apply an Amplitude of 50 and a Frequency of 30 to create the initial distortion. To control the direction of the serrated edges, drag the diamond-shaped interactive marker to the top of the object. Notice the serrated points are now angled upwards (shown next). These steps will create one variation on the leaf shape. But, you can quickly create more by varying the Amplitude and Frequency values as well as adjusting the width or height of the object (as shown next). As a finishing touch, stems are easily created using a series of blended paths. To do this, create a path and apply a thick line width (such as 8 points) colored dark green. Press the "+" key on your numeric key pad to create a copy and change this path's outline to a thin width (such as hairline) colored light green. Using the Pick Tool, select both paths and open the Blend docker (choose Window, Dockers, Blend). Enter 5 as the Number of Steps and click Apply to create the blend effect (as shown next). Creating GEL Text The Mac® OS X GEL look is still hot even though it was introduced quite some time ago. Creating GEL buttons has already been covered here and covered very well so I thought it would be fun to see if we could create the GEL look in text. Before we get started, however, we need to set a few common parameters. I will be using CorelDRAW® 11 and so some features may be different or may have migrated to different menus, as they often do between versions of CorelDRAW. As I am creating this tutorial to be seen on the Web, I am going to use Corel's RGB palette, which many of you will remember was the default palette before version 7. The colors are brighter and will produce a better looking effect. (Figure 1) In the Tools drop down menu, select Color Management… From the Style drop down list, select Optimized for the Web. This sets the color space to RGB. (Figure 2) From the Layout menu, select Page Setup… In the Page Setup dialog, change the Resolution to 96 dpi (Windows®) or 72 dpi (Macintosh®). These two settings are screen resolution and are the proper 1:1 resolution for viewing on the Web. Even if you plan to output your image for commercial printing, use these two settings to avoid confusion. You can change the resolution before you output your files. For this tutorial we shall create a GEL symbol for the at character (@). As CorelDRAWing this symbol is a lot harder than it looks, we'll use an Avant Garde @ symbol for a guide. (Figure 3) Using the Text Tool, click on the page and key in @ in Avant Garde (the CorelDRAW default font). On the Property Bar, change the size to 130 and press Enter to apply the change. (Figure 4) Press and hold the Freehand Tool to open the Curve Flyout menu. Select the Pen Tool (the fourth from the right). Click and add a series of connected lines as shown here in red. The idea is to place each anchor point in-between the outlines of the @ and to place the control points on logical points from which to create curved line segments. When you have clicked the last control point, double click to let CorelDRAW know you are finished. (Figure 5) Select the Shape Tool. Click on the outline to select it. Marquee select all the control points by dragging a rectangle around all the points with the Shape Tool. On the Property Bar (the context-sensitive menu at the top of the screen) press the Convert Line to Curve icon. Drag a line segment and pull it like a rubber band until it more or less conforms to the shape of the @ symbol. (Figure 6) Continue until all the line segments are now gently curves and more or less follow the shape of the @. (Figure 7) We can fine tune the control points by adjusting the Bezier control handles. Select the outline with the Shape Tool. Click on a control point. Note that two lines with small boxes on the ends appear coming out of each side of the point. These are Bezier control handles with which we can adjust the segments of the outline. You can drag these in or out to make the curve segment longer or shorter and you can rotate them to adjust the angle of the curve segment. Experiment until you get the curve as smooth as possible. The smoothest curves will have both Bezier handles in a straight line. The angle of the handles will also be more or less parallel to the curve. TIP: Moving the handles can be tricky and inexact if you are not real comfortable using the mouse. Zoom in close. Select a point and then use the arrow keys on your key pad to move the handles. You may also need to set the nudge amount on the Property Bar to 1px. (CorelDRAW's default idea of a nudge is sometimes closer to a shove)! (Figure 8) You might need an extra control point at the top of the "a" shape. Double click with the Shape Tool to add the point. Continue to fine tune the shape until you have gotten it as close to the shape of the @ symbol as possible. Name and save your CorelDRAWing and take a short eye break. (Figure 9) Delete the Avant Garde @ symbol. Select the outline. Click and hold on the Outline Tool to open the Outline Flyout. Select the Outline Pen options (the first icon). Change the line width to 16 points. Click the two middle Corner and Line Caps radio buttons to round the ends and the corners. Press OK. With the outline still selected, select Convert Outline to Object from the Arrange menu. (Figure 10). From the View menu, select Wireframe or Simple Wireframe. You will notice the original outline has been left behind. As we don't need it anymore, delete it. Return to the View menu and select Enhanced to return to the anti-aliased display mode. (Figure 11) Select the Interactive Fill Tool icon. From the drop down list of Fill Types on the Property Bar, select Conical. The Interactive Conical Fill controls will appear on the screen. You can drag the ends of the fill path to rotate the fill. You can also double click on the circular portion of the fill path to add more colors. For what we are going to do, just leave everything as is. Click the white box at the end of the fill path, then click the red color on the screen palette. Repeat this for the other end so you now have a red to red conical fill. To the left of the Fill Type drop down list is the Edit Fill icon. Click it to open the Fountain Fill dialog. Select the counter clockwise fill option (indicated with the red ellipse) and press OK to apply the change. (Figure 12) Make two copies of the rainbow filled shape and set them to one side. We'll need them later on. Change the fill of the original @ to black by selecting the shape then pressing the black color on the screen palette. You can also drag and drop colors from the screen palette onto the object. Press and hold the Interactive Tool icon to open the Interactive Tools Flyout menu. Select the Contour Tool (the nested squares). If the shape is not selected, select it with the Contour Tool. On the Property Bar press the To Center icon. Change the Contour Offset amount to 1pix. NOTE: Your shape may have an unfortunate wedge going though it. Mine did. If yours does not then skip this part. Select the shape and from the Arrange menu, select Break Curve Apart. Now marquee select the entire shape. The status bar at the bottom of the screen will tell you how many shapes are selected. You should only have 2. If it shows more, cut the counter (the inside of the "a" shape) to the clipboard (Edit > Cut). Marquee select most of but not all of the shape. If you see a small portion selected, delete it. Paste the shape from the clipboard back onto the shape, select both and from the Arrange menu, select Combine. Your contour should now be successful. (Figure 13) Select the contour with the Pick Tool (the arrow). Open the Bitmaps menu and select Convert to Bitmap. Use the settings shown above. Press OK to create the bitmap. (Figure 14) Center the bitmap over the rainbow-filled @ shape. Open the Interactive Tools Flyout menu and select the Transparency Tool (the wineglass icon). From the Property Bar, select Uniform (the default) and from the Transparency Operation drop down list, select Subtract. Change the slider setting to 30%. (Figure 15) Select both the rainbow-filled shape and the transparent bitmap. Convert these two items to bitmap (Bitmaps menu) using the settings shown). (Figure 16) Locate one of the duplicate @ shapes which I asked you to set aside. Change the fill to white and apply a black outline. Apply a 1-step, To Inside contour with a 4pix offset amount. From the Arrange menu, select Break Contour Group Apart. Open the Arrange menu again and select Ungroup. Delete the wider shape (shown in dashed blue line). (Figure 17) With the shape selected, press the + key to make an in-place duplicate. Move the duplicate 12 pixels to the right and 12 pixels down. TIP: With nothing selected, change the Nudge amount on the Property bar to 1px. Now use the arrow keys on your computer keypad to move the duplicate shape the precise amount. (You could also set the nudge amount to 12px. Just remember to set it back to a lower amount when you are done). (Figure 18) Select both shapes and then press the Trim icon on the Property Bar. The cutter shape remains and while nothing seems to have changed, if you drag the underneath shape away, you'll see the top shape has been trimmed out of the bottom shape as shown in blue. (Figure 19) Duplicate the whole shape by pressing the + key. Move the duplicate shape up and to the left 12 pixels in each direction. (Figure 20) Select the trimmed out shape and cut it to the clipboard (Edit > Cut). Select the two shapes. On the Property Bar, press Back Minus Front. This is a new path command that does the same function as Trim except it removes the top, or trimmer shape. Paste the shape we just cut to the clipboard back onto the page (Edit > Paste). Save your work and take a short eye break. (Figure 21) Position the two cutout shapes as shown. Select the top shape and then select the Interactive Fill Tool. From the drop down menu on the Property Bar, select Conical. Make the starting and ending colors Baby Blue. Click the Edit Fill icon which is just to the left of the drop down list of Fill Types, to open the Fountain Fill dialog. Click the Clockwise Fill icon and press OK to close the dialog. TIP: If you let the cursor rest for a moment over the color squares on the screen palette (or any of the buttons and icons), the color name, or tool or button name, will appear in a balloon under the cursor. Select the bottom shape and repeat this step except use Spring Green for the start and end colors. The idea here is to create two rainbow gradients, one lighter and one slightly darker which we will use for highlights and reflections. (Figure 22) Position the top highlight shape over the bitmap as shown. With the highlight shape selected, select Break Curve Apart from the Arrange menu. You will now have a series of separate shapes. (Figure 23) Using the Freehand or the Pen Tool, CorelDRAW a single diagonal line through the bitmap image as shown. Select the top left most shape. Select the Interactive Transparency Tool and from the drop down list of Transparency Types, pick Circular. Select Add from the Transparency Operations drop down list. Drag the dashed arrow portion of the fill until the center of the circle is over the area where the diagonal line passes though the top of the @ shape. Click on the outside color, which is now white and change this to black by clicking the black square on the screen palette. Click on the inside color square and change the black to white. We have just made the center opaque and the outside transparent which is the opposite of the default setting. NOTE: Black represents 100% transparency and white represents 0% or no transparency. You can also click the start or ending square and move the slider on the Property Bar to adjust the amount of transparency. Shades of gray represent various amounts of transparency. (Figure 24) Select the next shape (directly over the "a"). From the Effects menu, select Copy Effect… Lens From… A large black arrow cursor will appear. Click the first highlight shape to which you applied transparency. Adjust the transparency so the lightest portion is centered on the red diagonal line and the diameter is similar in size to the first circular transparency. (Figure 25) Repeat this last step and copy the lens effect to the other shapes. When you are finished, select all the highlight elements and group them. (Figure 26) Position the bottom shape, which we will call the reflection, as shown. Break the Curve Apart. Apply a Circular, Multiply transparency reversing the starting and ending transparency percentages and centering the darkest portion of the circular transparency on the red diagonal line. (Figure 27) Copy the lens effect to the other shapes and adjust the center and diameter of the transparency. Group all the reflection elements. Save your work and take a short eye break. We're almost done. (Figure 28) Locate the other duplicate you made of the vector @ shape. CorelDRAW a rectangle around the @ to the size shown. Set the fill and outline to none. Select both the rectangle and the rainbow-filled @. Convert these to Bitmap but do not select the Transparent Background option. (Figure 29) With the bitmap selected, select Bitmaps > Blur > Gaussian. Apply a 7 pixel Gaussian Blur. (Figure 30) Position the blurred bitmap over the other elements. Apply a Uniform, Subtract 50% Transparency. Move the blurred bitmap until the shape appears to the right and down from the shapes beneath it. If the @ were indeed filled with rainbow-colored GEL and we placed the @ on a white sheet of paper and let light shine though it, we would get the same diffused color effect as we have achieved by placing the transparent blurred bitmap on top. How to convert shadows to spot ink colors and set shadow resolution One of the most popular effects in CorelDRAW's tool arsenal is the Interactive Drop Shadow Tool. It enables designers and illustrators to instantly apply the attractive soft, beautiful shadow effects seen in today's professional-quality layouts and drawings. Drop shadow effects are based on bitmap characteristics, which presents two questions many users often end up asking themselves: What color model is my shadow based on? and; What is the resolution of the bitmap representing my shadow effect? When it comes to applying drop shadow color interactively, you may choose any color you wish, the default color applied to all shadows is based on four color CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) inks used in process color printing. If the drawing you're preparing is comprised of spot colors though, and you wish your drop shadow to print only in a specific spot color ink, there is a quick solution. The shadow bitmap can be separated and converted using a simple technique. To convert the drop shadow to a fixed-palette ink color, follow these brief steps: 1. If you haven't already done so, finish applying your drop shadow effect using the Interactive Drop Shadow Tool and ensure the shadow is just the way you need it to appear before proceeding. 2. With your drop shadow effect in place, right-click the shadow portion itself and choose the Break Drop Shadow Group Apart command from the popup menu. Doing this will break the dynamic link between your original object and the shadow effect. 3. Using the Pick Tool, click to select only the shadow bitmap and choose Bitmaps, Mode, Duotone (8-bit). A message "Bitmap Has Color Mask" may appear warning you that are about to eliminate a transparency mask which may be applied to the shadow. If so, click OK to proceed. 4. The Duotone dialog will open with the Curves tab in view, indicating the color type and any currently selected inks. If it isn't already selected, choose Monotone in the Curves tab (shown next). 5. To change from the current color, double-click the ink color name to open the Select Color dialog. In the Color Select dialog, choose the ink color you would like to use— such as a spot color of ink from one of CorelDRAW 11's Fixed Palette collections. To access these colors, click the Fixed Palette tab in the dialog (as shown next). Click OK to close the dialog and accept your color ink choice. 6. After choosing your ink color, you'll be returned to the Duotone dialog. Notice your chosen color is now listed. Click OK to close this dialog and the new spot ink color is applied. Notice your Status Bar now indicates the selected bitmap is a Duotone (as shown next). The solution to controlling your shadow's bitmap resolution is even quicker than spot ink conversions. By default, all drop shadows are rendered using a resolution setting of 300 dpi (dots per inch), but if you require you may change this value anywhere within a range between 72 and 1,000 dpi using settings in the Options dialog by choosing the Workspace, General page. To access this option, open the Options dialog by choosing Tools, Options (Ctrl+J), click General under the Workspace heading on the left side of the dialog, and change the value in the Resolution box (shown next). There's something else to keep in mind when changing resolution settings for effects. Changing effects resolution only apply to shadow effects created after the fact, meaning the effects will only apply following changes to the drop shadow resolution. Any shadows already created will remain applied with the previous setting, as shown next) in this magnified view. How to create chisel effects in CorelDRAW 11: Part 1 In this visit to the CorelDRAW 11 toolbox, you'll discover a technique to creating perfectly chiseled shapes. Chiseled shapes enable you to create the 3D illusion of shapes which appear either recessed into or raised above a flat surface (as shown next) from simple two-dimensional shapes. Success will depend on your object's shape, skill with node editing and path commands, and an effect or two. Before you begin, do a little setting up Before you begin the exercises to follow, it'll help immensely for you to ensure a few invaluable snap settings are selected in CorelDRAW 11. You'll need to check that certain Snap options are active using the Options dialog. To get set up, follow these steps: 1. Choose Tools, Options to open the Options dialog. 2. Under the Workspace heading, click Snap to Objects. Ensure the Snap to Objects is selected active and click both the Snap to Nodes and Snap to Object Center Points options are selected (shown next). 3. Click OK to close the dialog and accept your changes and you're ready to start. Creating the chisel shape path The key to the riddle of a successful chisel shape lies in creating a new path to represent the center between two existing paths. You could manually draw the shape with mastery of the Freehand or Bezier tools, but that could take considerable time and effort, and the result may not be entirely accurate. This is where the Blend Tool can help. By creating a single blend step between two existing paths, you'll be able to quickly create a new path automatically. In most cases, you'll be able to use the resulting shape with very little node editing. But as you'll discover, the process isn't without its little tricks. To familiarize yourself with the process, try these steps: 1. Choose the Ellipse Tool and create an ellipse of any size or shape. Make it a circular ellipse by holding Ctrl as you create it. 2. Create a copy of your new circle centered within the original by holding Shift as you drag one of the corner handles toward the inside of the original, then clicking the right mouse button to create the copy (as shown next). 3. Choose the Pick Tool (press Spacebar), select the two circles, and convert them both to curves (Ctrl+Q). 4. Choose the Interactive Blend Tool and click-drag from the edge of one circle to the other to create a default blend effect. Using Property Bar options, set the Number of Steps option to 1. This will create the chisel path (shown next). 5. Using the Pick Tool, right-click the blend object and choose Break Blend Group Apart to break the link between the original circles and the blend. 6. Select only the blend object and press the "+" key on your numeric keyboard to create a copy superimposed over the original. With the copy still selected, hold Shift, click the outer circle and combine the two paths to make a compound path (Ctrl+L). Send the new object to the back (Shift+PageDown). 7. Click to select the original blend object and hold Shift while clicking the innermost circle to select both objects. Combine them into a single compound object (Ctrl+L). You now have two separate compound paths. 8. Select both objects and fill them with any color (Red for example), and choose the Interactive Fill Tool (G). Using Property Bar options, choose Radial from the Type menu to fill both with a default red-to-white radial fill. 9. Offset the centers of each radial fill. Drag the white marker on the outer object to the upper-left and the white marker of the inner object to the lower-right. This will enable you to simulate basic shading (as shown next). Remove any outline properties from the objects and you're done. In the circle example, you were able to create the chisel effect using a series of unbroken circular paths. But, if the shape you're attempting to apply this effect to feature corners, the process becomes slightly more involved and requires the blend step process as well as node editing. This is where the effect really takes off though. Let's take a simple square as an example: 1. Using the Rectangle Tool, create a square shape (hold Ctrl to constrain). As you did with the circle, create a smaller copy inside the original by dragging a corner handle inward while holding the Shift key and clicking the right mouse button to make the copy (as shown next). Select both objects and convert them to curves (Ctrl+L). 2. Using the Blend Tool, create a single blend object by dragging from one shape to the other (shown next). Then, using the Pick Tool, right-click the blend object and choose Break Blend Group Apart from the popup menu. This will represent the chisel path. 3. Select only the blend shape and press numeric "+" to make a copy. Hold Shift and click to select the outer square and Combine the two shapes (Ctrl+L). 4. With your shape still selected, choose the Shape Tool (F10) and click any node on the shape. Then, using Property Bar options, click the Select All Nodes and the Break Curve buttons (shown next), to select and unjoin all the nodes at once. Then separate all the lines in the shape using the Break Apart command (Ctrl+K). This process essentially reduces the shapes to lines. 5. Next, we'll join each pair of lines representing the sides of the shape. Using the Pick Tool and while holding the Shift key click to select the first pair of lines and Combine them (Ctrl+L). Then, choose the Shape Tool and choose the node pair at one end and click the Extend Curve to Close button in the Property Bar (shown next). This will add a straight line between the two nodes. Repeat this operation for the node pairs at the opposite end. Once you are complete, the shape will be a closed curve. 6. Repeat the above step for each pair of lines, first combining them and then joining the node pairs. In the example shown next, all sides of the outer shape have been combined into closed curves. 7. You'll also need to repeat this process for the inner shapes. Click to select the original blend path object and combine it with the innermost square. Then select and break apart all curve nodes and break apart the entire arrangement. Choose each line pair and combine them, and close each end using the Extend Curve to Close button. The result will be eight closed shapes. Although we haven't yet explored the shading aspects of the chisel effect (which we'll do in part 2 of this article), the example shown next demonstrates the final result with various colors and shades applied to each side. Variations on the chisel You may not always need to create a negative and a positive shape for the chisel effect. In some instances, you might simply need to create the effect of a complete shape carved onto (or into) a surface. In this exercise, there is no need for the blend step, but there is certainly more emphasis on node editing and drawing. Let's take a simple polygon as the example and create a chiseled star shape: 1. To begin, choose the Polygon Tool (Y) and create a default symmetrical polygon shape by holding Ctrl to constrain the shape as you drag. Using Property Bar options set the Number of Points option to 5. If needed, increase the depth of the star spikes by holding Ctrl and dragging any of the shape nodes toward or away from the center of the shape (as shown next). 2. You'll also need to create an object to use as a snapping guide. For this, choose the Ellipse Tool (F7) and create a circular ellipse (hold Ctrl) slightly smaller than the inner area of the star. Select both shapes and press E and then C to center the two objects vertically and horizontally with each other (as shown next). 3. Using the Pick Tool, select the star and convert it to curves (Ctrl+Q). Then choose the Shape Tool and hold Ctrl+Shift while clicking any node to quickly select all nodes composing the shape. Using Property Bar options click the Break Curve button and then press Ctrl+K to break apart the lines in the shape. 4. In this next step your node-snapping settings will be really pay off. Click to select one of the original star lines to select it and choose the Bezier Tool. Notice the nodes at either end are visible. Click any node and then click the dead center of the circle to add a straight line. Then, click the remaining node on the opposite end of the original line to close the shape (as shown next). This will create a single chisel side. 5. Repeat this process for each of the 9 remaining lines which composed the original star. To do this quickly, press the Spacebar to toggle your tool state between the Bezier and Pick tools using the Pick Tool for selecting and the Bezier Tool for drawing. Once all 10 lines have been completed, the effect needs only to be colored or shaded (as shown next). Once you are finished, be sure to select and delete the circle shape and remove any outline properties from the star chisel shapes. So far, we've only explored creating and chiseling basic shapes, but there's much more to perfecting this effect. In part 2, we'll look at techniques for applying color and shading to the shapes and see how the chisel effect can be applied to other more complex shapes such as text, lines, and other useful shapes. How to create chisel shapes: Part 2 In part 1 of this 2-part article, we learned how to create the illusion of chiseled effects in CorelDRAW 11 using the most basic of shapes. Next, we'll explore how to deal with more complex shapes and apply realistic color schemes to simulate lighting. If you haven't yet absorbed part one, now may be a good time since the settings you'll need to have selected and the techniques covered in those step sequences lay the groundwork for the tutorials which follow. Tackling different object types It goes without saying that the shapes you'll want to apply the chisel effect to won't always be simple circles, squares or polygons. In fact, you can apply this effect to almost any object type you can create in CorelDRAW 11. But, how you approach each challenge will depend on the object type. Let's take a close look at three uniquely different examples and explore how chiseled sides can be created. Freehand lines First, we'll see how our chisel effect can be applied to a simple open curved path. The basic thrust of this technique involves drawing an open path, applying a heavy line weight, converting the outline to an object, and applying the chisel to the resulting shape. 1. If you don't already have a line ready to apply the effect to, use the Bezier Tool to create an open path. Be sure the path doesn't cross itself, and try to ensure it is composed of mostly curves with a minimum of nodes. Copy your selected path to the clipboard (Ctrl+C) for a later step. 2. With the path selected, choose the Pick Tool and use Property Bar options to increase its thickness value (in this case 16 points). Then, choose Arrange, Convert Outline to Object (Ctrl+Shift+Q) to convert the state of your line into a closed path complete with corner nodes (as shown next). 3. Choose the Shape Tool (F10) and select each pair of nodes at either end of the object and use the Break Curve button in the Property Bar separate the nodes. Then, choose Arrange, Break Curve Apart (Ctrl+K) to separate each of the lines in the object. Select each of the lines representing the ends and use your Nudge keys to offset their position (as shown next). 4. Paste (Ctrl+V) a copy of the original path from your clipboard onto your page. By default, the copy is pasted exactly in its original position, but you'll need to perform a little node editing. Using the Shape Tool, double click to add a new point beside each end point, and double-click the existing end points to delete them. Choose the Pick Tool and press your numeric keypad "+" key to duplicate the path. 5. Select the copy together with one of the paths representing the outline of your shape and Combine them (Ctrl+L). Using the Shape Tool, select each pair of end nodes and click the Extend Curve to Close button in the Property Bar to close each end of the object (shown next). Now select the path you duplicated together with the second outline and repeat this. You now have two sides of your chisel effect and only the ends remain unfinished. 6. Using the Pick Tool, select one of the end lines you moved earlier and use your Nudge keys to move it back into position. Now, choose the Bezier Tool, click one of the end points, and click the point where the two chisel paths meet. Then, click the last node on the line to close the path. Perform this same operation on the line at the opposite end of your chiseled line. 7. Since the two shapes in your chisel are curved, let's apply a radial fountain fill applied to each to create the shading effect. Using the Interactive Fill Tool, select the upper chiseled side of the shape and choose Radial as the Fill Type from the Property Bar to apply the fill at defaults. Drag the white center marker to the upper-left area of the shape and drag any dark color from your onscreen color palette to the other secondary fill marker. Then, select the lower chisel side and do the same, but this time drag the white center marker to the lower-right area. To finish the shading, set the end shapes with the same uniform color used for your secondary color and your effect is complete (as shown next). Chiseling simple text shapes Creating chiseled text effects is of the more practical applications. Simple text characters are relatively easy to work with, but you'll need to analyze each character shape before you begin. In the case of characters, the one-step Blend usually serves as the best technique to use. Let's examine how to apply this effect to a simple sans-serif character shape. 1. Using the Text Tool (F8), create an Artistic Text character (single click, then type the character), and apply your size, font, and weight attributes using Property Bar options. The example is an uppercase C set to Franklin Gothic Heavy Italic. Choose the Pick Tool and convert your character to curves (Ctrl+Q). 2. Using the Shape Tool (F10), select the nodes joining the curves with the straight lines and click the Break Curves button in the Property Bar to unjoin the nodes. Then, use the Break Apart command to separate the curved lines from the straight lines (as shown next). 3. Choose the Interactive Blend Tool and click-drag between the two curve paths to create a default blend effect. Use Property Bar options to set the number of blend steps to 1. You'll notice the blend effect doesn't even come close to matching the shape of either curve. This is because the nodes have not yet been mapped. 4. Click the Miscellaneous Blend Options button in the Property Bar and choose Map Nodes. Use the targeting cursor to click on each of the adjacent end nodes on the two curves to map them to each other (as shown next). Using the Pick Tool, right-click the blend object and choose Break Blend Group Apart from the popup menu to separate the effect. Even after the node mapping is complete, you may notice the blend object is still slightly inaccurate (as highlighted in yellow). You can often correct these irregularities using the Shape Tool by double-clicking to delete the node(s) where the anomaly occurs. 5. With your chisel path selected, use the Shape Tool to add nodes as shown next, and delete the existing endpoints to shorten the curve shape. Select the curve using the Pick Tool and press "+" on your numeric keypad to create a copy. Combine (Ctrl+L) the copy with the outer curve, use the Shape Tool to select two adjacent endpoints, and click the Extend to Close Curve button in the Property Bar. Repeat this to join the two nodes at the opposite end and close the path. 6. Choose the Bezier Tool next and click one of the short, straight lines remaining. Click an existing node and click the point where the two chisel corners meet and then click the opposite end of the line to close the path. Repeat this operation on the other straight end line. 7. To apply quick shading to the curved shapes of the arrangement, use the Interactive Fill Tool to apply radial fills using white as the center color and any dark color as the ending color. Position the white center at the upper-left on the inner curve and at the lower-right for the inner curve (shown next). Apply Uniform fills to the triangular chisel shapes at either end and you're done. Chiseling more complex character shapes Complex characters require a little more ingenuity as you'll discover next. The approach is similar, but more steps are involved. Let's see how it's done. 1. Begin with an Artistic Text character again, this time an uppercase H. Apply a sans serif font style, such as the Franklin Gothic Heavy Italic used in the example. 2. Using the Shape Tool, hold Ctrl+Shift while clicking any node to select all nodes. Click the Break Curve button to break the nodes apart and separate all the lines using the Break Apart command (Ctrl+K). Apply an outline color to the lines by right-clicking any color in your onscreen color palette. 3. Create a one-step blend between the vertical parallel lines in the original character shape using the Interactive Blend Tool (as shown next), right click each blend object and choose Break Blend Group Apart to separate the effect. 4. Apply a one-step blend between the two horizontal lines and notice the blend path is not the shape you need. Using Property Bar options, click the Miscellaneous Blend Options button and choose Map Nodes. Use the targeting cursor to map the adjacent end pairs to each other. Right-click the blend object and choose Break Blend Group Apart. 5. The blend paths will serve as the chisel paths, but they'll need to be edited. Using the Shape Tool, increase the length of each line as shown next. Select the three chisel paths and create copies (with the + key). Add nodes on the vertical lines where they meet the horizontal chisel lines and click the Break Curve button. Separate these using the Break Apart command. Each side will now have a corresponding chisel path. 6. Assemble the sides using the Combine (Ctrl+L) command and connect the pairs of end nodes for each side using the Shape Tool and the Extend to Close Curve button to close the shapes (as shown next). Then, use the Bezier Tool to finished chiseling the remaining ends. Once the shapes are closed, you're ready to apply the final color and shading and remove the outline colors. Shading your chisel effect Although nearly every example we've looked at shows a finished a color version, we still need to explore some basic techniques for applying color and shading. After your shapes have been created, this effect would be nothing without it. Before you begin applying color though, you'll need to determine a few key characteristics. For example, is your chiseling recessed or on a raised surface. From which direction will it be lit? How bright is the light source? What is will the color scheme be? Your answers will help you determine which colors to use and where to place them. When it comes to applying uniform fills, the color of chisel sides facing the light will appear brighter while the others are darker. One quick technique to lighten selected object colors applied to the sides facing the light is using the Hue/Saturation/Lightness filter (Ctrl+Shift+U) by moving the Lightness slider (shown next) to the right while clicking the Preview button to view the results. An efficient way to darken selected object colors is by adding black in incremental percentages using the CMYK model. Select the sides you wish to darken and open the Uniform Fill dialog shown next (Shift+F11), click the Models tab and choose CMYK from the Mode menu. Increase Black in percentages of 20 percent until the shade appears suitable. The two examples shown next illustrate a how shading schemes can be applied using the Lightness and techniques discussed next. In this case a base color of Red (100 magenta + 100 yellow) was applied to the shapes. Sides facing the light were lightened using only the Red channel by the values indicated using the Hue/Saturation/Lightness filter. Sides facing away from the light were darkened by adding percentages of black. By varying the settings, you may control lighting contrast illustrated by the bright light source on the left and the dim one on the right. This particular chisel requires only 4 variations on the original color to simulate the lighting. Color Styles offer another quick way to formulate colors. Open the Color Styles docker shown next (Window, Dockers, Color Styles), create a new color, and then create child colors of the color. This will enable you to create a variety of lighter or darker colors (or both) based on whichever color you choose. Use options in the Create a New Child Color dialog to add as many colors as you need. Raised chisel effects like the ones shown in the examples can quickly be converted to recessed chisel shapes simply by rotating the objects 180 degrees. The example shown next demonstrates how simple rotation creates this illusion. This works perfectly if the objects you're working with are symmetrical. For non-symmetrical objects you may still use the rotated object shades as reference for other objects. How to draw mechanical threads When it comes to drawing realistic-looking threads for either illustration or engineering drawings, many users often puzzle of just how to tackle the shape and shading aspects. Here's one basic technique you can try on your own using the tools available in CorelDRAW 11 to create machine-bolt style threads around a cylindrical object. 1. For the thread spiral, you'll be welding three basic objects together (two triangles and a rectangle). Draw a square by click-dragging with the Rectangle Tool (F6) while holding the Ctrl key to constrain its shape. Immediately convert the object to curves by choosing Arrange, Convert to Curves (Ctrl+Q). 2. Choose the Pick Tool (Spacebar) and double-click any of the four corner nodes in the shape. This will turn the square into a triangle to represent one end of the thread shape. This triangle will represent one end of the spiral thread. 3. Using the Rectangle Tool again create a rectangle to represent the middle of the thread. Make its thickness roughly two thirds that of your triangle (or scale it later to suit). Using the Pick Tool, position your triangle at one end. Rotate the triangle to point away from the rectangle center with the triangle's longest side touching the end of the rectangle. 4. Next, create a copy of the triangle for the other end of the rectangle. For a quick copy, use the Pick Tool and drag while clicking the right mouse button. Position the new copy at the other end of the rectangle. With the copy still selected, use the Property Bar Mirror buttons to flip the orientation of the triangle to point away from the rectangle center. With the objects exactly positioned, select all three at once and click the Quick Weld button in the Property Bar. This will cause all shapes to be combined into a single closed object (shown next). 5. To angle your new thread object, you'll need to use a Skew transformation. To do this quickly using the Pick Tool, click to display the rotation/skew handles and hold Ctrl while dragging a skew handle to constrain movement to 15-degree increments. Release the mouse button once the object has been skewed 15 degrees. 6. Create a new rectangle object to represent the screw cylinder to occupy the space between the two triangle ends of the thread. You'll need to layer it in back of the thread spiral by pressing Shift+PageDown. Then, make copies to create additional thread spirals by holding Ctrl as you drag while clicking the right mouse button. Then, use the Repeat command (Ctrl+R) for as many threads as you need. This will create the basic thread arrangement (as shown next). Once your thread arrangement is complete, add color and shading to simulate depth and remove any applied outline colors. Using the Interactive Fill Tool (G) to create custom linear fountain fills. The next illustration shows a simple linear fountain fill using Green-White-Green applied to the cylinder object, and a similar color scheme applied to the threads. The cylinder's white highlight is offset slightly to simulate lighting direction. You will need to set the angle of the linear fountain fill applied to the threads to match the angle of created between the endpoints of the thread spiral. By varying the cylinder size or the size, angle and/or frequency of the threads, you can quickly create any number of variations. Typical metallic color schemes can also be used to simulate different materials for your thread. Metals such as gold, copper, or steel can be characterized using the contrasting color values applied to their highlight and shadow colors. For gold, set the highlight color to 20 % yellow and the shadow color to 20 % magenta+20 % black+100 % yellow. For copper, set the highlight color to 5 % cyan+20 % magenta+20 percent yellow and the shadow color to 20 % cyan+80 % magenta+80 % yellow+10 % black. Mastering CorelDRAW's Mesh Fills Mesh fills offer you the power to solve many types of realistic illustrative challenges with a minimum of objects. But, few new users take the plunge and dive into the complex depths of this slightly intimidating CorelDRAW feature. Next, we'll take some of the mystery out of working with mesh fills and explore a few simple, practical applications. Not much has changed since mesh fills first appeared in the CorelDRAW 9 Toolbox, which take advantage of state-of-the-art PostScript 3 technologies. Technically speaking, mesh fills enable you to apply multiple omni-directional color over a single object using a customizable grid structure. On a simpler level, you might think of applying them as freestyle custom fountain fills. Mesh fills can be applied to any vector or bitmap object not already applied with some other effect. You'll Need Two Basic Skills In CorelDRAW, mesh fills are controlled using the Mesh Fill tool. If you already have an understanding of how béziers curves are controlled and how color is applied, you'll find mesh fills relatively simple to grasp. Once a mesh is applied to an object, you'll see the grid structure composed of nodes and curves. Nodes and béziers can be manipulated just as you would the shape of any other vector object. The areas separated by the grid lines may be individually applied with different colors. Both operations are functions of the Mesh Fill Tool located in the Toolbox grouped with the Interactive Fill Tool (as shown next). Once the Mesh Fill Tool is selected simply clicking an object begins the process. The Property Bar (shown next) features options for creating the initial grid and features béziers controls for setting the condition of line segments (either straight or curved) and nodes (cusp, smooth, or symmetrical). There's also a slider option to set the Smoothness of selected paths. Applying Your First Mesh Fill If you haven't already toyed with this feature, these simple steps might help get you started: 1. Create and/or select the object you wish to fill with a mesh and apply any required color. Use any uniform or fountain fill color. 2. Choose the Mesh Fill Tool and notice the grid settings are automatically previewed over the object. 3. Customize the grid shape by dragging any node or line segment. As soon as you do, the object automatically (and permanently) becomes a Mesh Fill object-indicated by the Status Bar. The example shown next began as a Rectangle and was applied with a simple 3 by 3 grid. 4. To apply color, do either of the following: click to select an area of the grid and click a color well, or; drag a color well onto an area or an intersection point on the grid from your onscreen color palette. 5. To end your Mesh Fill editing session, click the Pick tool. Controlling the Grid Shape and Color As soon as an object is clicked with the Mesh Fill tool it becomes a mesh object, with the current grid values applied. To automatically add or remove vertical and/or horizontal grid lines, enter values in the Property Bar Grid Size boxes. To shape specific portions of the grid at the béziers level, click directly on the segments or nodes and drag to reposition them or use the Property Bar options to alter their state. Perfecting a grid can take a few minutes, but the more accurate it is, the more satisfying the results will be once your color is applied. As you shape the mesh, you'll notice there are two basic types of nodes and line segments. The perimeter set controls only the shape of the object while the mesh grid set controls only the shape of the grid (as shown next). Both behave as you would expect, meaning you can move lines and nodes by dragging, or add and/or delete nodes using double-click actions. There is one key difference to note though-double-clicking a perimeter node simply deletes the node, while double-clicking nodes which join to the perimeter or to other grid lines deletes the specific grid line. When applying color to the grid, you can drag directly from your onscreen color palette directly onto the grid. As you'll see in the illustration shown next, you'll encounter two different types of mesh anatomy onto which color may be applied: Grid areas (known as "patches"), and; grid intersection points and object nodes. As you drag color onto a grid patch, the cursor will feature a color square, and as color is dragged onto an intersection point or object node will feature an outlined square of color. Mesh Fills in Action Since mesh fills create fluid color using a single object, they're perfect for taking the place of complex blends in specific illustrative operations. Illustrators will often use complex blends to emulate depth when a mesh fill object will do the job more efficiently. The example shown next is an illustration of Toronto's CN Tower structure surrounded by clouds. The sky background is an ordinary rectangle applied with a linear fountain fill, but the clouds are mesh fill objects applied with shades of blue. The finished clouds in this case were Powerclipped into the rectangle. A close up view of the clouds shows the mesh grid line structure and the colors applied to the patches. The next example shows a complex bird illustration. In this case, the body and one wing have been applied with mesh fills. Duplicates of these objects show the carefully shaped grid and applied colors which compose the mesh fills for the body and wing parts. This fish illustration (shown next) features a single mesh fill object to give color to the body of the fish. The mesh fill object duplicated on the right shows the grid shape and color. The remaining detail was created using other vector objects. A Few Valuable Tips As is the case with most complex tools, mesh fills are even easier to work if you know the ins and outs. As your learning curve flattens out, keeping these next few tips and techniques in mind will help you create more advanced meshes and make your mesh fill sessions more rewarding. Begin with Simple Shapes The first trick deals with shaping your object and grid. If the object you start with is a natural shape such as a rectangle or apply the grid first, then refine the perimeter of the shape before shaping the grid. Since grids are first applied with even spacing, create more grid lines you need initially-you can always delete the unwanted grid lines as you refine the grid shape. The next example illustration shows the original ellipse that was used as the basic shape for our fish body mesh. Begin with Fountain Fills The next tip will help speed your mesh color applying operations. Before applying your mesh, start by applying either linear or radial fountain fills to your object. Make it as close to your final mesh coloring as the fountain fills allow, using custom fountain fills if necessary. The quickest way to apply these is through use of the Interactive Fountain Fill tool. When your mesh grid is applied, the fountain fill will establish the foundation for your mesh fill (as shown next) and many of your final colors may already be in position. Create a Unique Color Palette Since the color palette plays a key role in applying color to the mesh grid, it will help a great deal to have the specific colors you need at the ready. One quick way technique to use for creating colors for mesh fill depth effects is to first create a blend effect between two ordinary objects filled with the highlight and shadow colors needed using enough blend steps to create the needed colors. Then, break the blend apart and create a unique color palette - if only temporarily - based on the blend colors. In the example shown next, a cloud color palette was created based on a series of blended objects. To do this quickly, click to select the blend objects using the Pick Tool and choose Window, Color Palettes, Create Palette from Selection. Use the Save Palette As dialog (shown next) which opens next to name your and save your new palette. Once saved, the new palette will appear automatically in your CorelDRAW application window ready for use. The illustrative effects you can create using mesh fills are much more elegant than alternatives techniques such as blends or other workarounds. As you progress in your mesh fill projects you may be surprised how easy they are to learn and master. Node Editing: The Basics I’m sure you know that you can easily draw lines, curves, ellipses, circles, squares, rectangles, stars, polygons and more with CorelDRAW®, but what about other shapes? What if, for example, you wanted to draw a heart? How would you go about doing so? CorelDRAW doesn’t provide a “heart-shape” drawing tool. The only option is to roll up your sleeves and do some node editing. Nodes are the foundation of any drawing program. Every line, even a simple straight line or curve, contains nodes. Figure 1 shows a diagonal line with a node at each end. Figure 1 – A straight line with a node at each end Shapes drawn with the Rectangle, Ellipse, Polygon, Spiral and Grid tools contain nodes, too. These nodes, though, behave a little differently than nodes in curves. To create various shapes by editing nodes you really need to start with a curve. Fortunately, you can create a curve from any object you create with the various shape tools. The exceptions would be a spiral (which is already a curve) and a grid (which can’t be converted to anything else). Between the nodes are what is known as segments. Segments can be either lines (straight segments) or curves (curved segments). Each type can be converted into the other type if need be. There are several different types of nodes and the type of node determines how the associated segments will be shaped and how they will react as you push and pull at the control handles. The control handles are similar to nodes and they are stationed at the end of control lines that are drawn through each node. Normally you won’t see the control lines or the control handles; they only become visible when you click on a line, or shape, or select a node with the Shape tool. This isn’t true in all cases, though. For example, if you draw a straight line with the Freehand tool as I did to create figure 1, and select one of the nodes with the Shape tool you won’t see any control line or control handles. On the other hand, if you draw a curved line with the Freehand tool (or convert the line to a curve) and then click one end of that line with the Freehand tool, you’ll see the control line and the control handles (see figure 2). Figure 2 – A curved line with the control line and control handles visible Note that the control lines are one-sided at the ends of the curve (with only one control handle) and that the node in the middle of the line has a two-sided control line with control handles at each end. Clicking and dragging a node with the Shape tool will change the position of the node as well as changing the shape of the curve. Clicking and dragging a control handle will change the shape of the curve without moving the associated node. If you haven’t already, fire up CorelDRAW and draw a curve with the Freehand tool. After drawing the curve, select the Shape tool and play around with the nodes. Move the nodes around and then try dragging the control handles. You can move the control handles inwards and outwards from the node they’re connected to as well as moving them around the node. Moving a control handle inward as you move it around will decrease the curved-ness of the curve while moving it outwards will accentuate the curve. Note that you can move a selected node using the Arrow keys. You can’t move a control handle in this manner, though. Different Types of Nodes Earlier, I mentioned that there are different types of nodes. These are Cusp, Smooth and Symmetrical. A symmetrical node has control handles that move in unison. The control lines on each side of a symmetrical node are always the same length. As you move one control handle toward the node, the other handle will move inward as well. This is equally true if you move one of the control handles away from the node. If you move one control handle of a symmetrical node upward, the other handle will move downward and vice-versa. All of the above causes the curve that runs through a symmetrical node to be, well… symmetrical. That is, the curve will be similar on both sides of the node (see figure 3). Figure 3 – A curved line with a symmetrical node A smooth node also has a straight control line that runs through it. This control line also has two control handles. However, unlike the symmetrical node, the sides of the control line can be of different lengths. Consequently, the curve, while smooth, will not necessarily be symmetrical (see figure 4). Figure 4 – A curved line with a smooth node Cusp nodes are quite interesting. Not only can the control lines be of different lengths, the control handles at each end can move in different directions totally independent from each other. This allows the curve to bend sharply at a cusp node (see figure 5). Figure 5 – A curved line with a cusp node The cusp node is just the thing we need to create a heart shape from a curve. Drawing the Heart Shape To get started with drawing your heart, open a new file in CorelDRAW and, using the Ellipse tool draw a vertical ellipse (see figure 6). Figure 6 – Start with a vertical ellipse Choose Arrange, Convert to Curves (CTRL + Q). Optionally, click the Convert to Curves icon on the Property Bar. Doing so will convert the ellipse into a curve and enable you to select and edit the nodes. Select the Shape tool, then click and drag a rectangle that encompasses the nodes at the top and bottom of the ellipse. Press the Down Arrow key ten times. You’ll notice that the two nodes move downward. You’ll also notice that this changes the shape of your ellipse; in fact, it may start to resemble a shield. Click and drag a rectangle around the leftmost node. Press the Left Arrow key six times. Click and drag a rectangle around the rightmost node. Press the Right Arrow key six times. You should start to see the beginnings of a heart shape (see figure 7). Figure 7 – Starting to take shape Right-click the topmost node and choose Cusp from the Property Bar. Press the Down Arrow key six times. Click and drag the right control node straight up so that the curve on the right of your shape rounds upward to form the top right curve of the heart. Do the same with the left and you should have something that resembles figure 8. Figure 8 – Almost there Note how changing the node to a cusp enables you to have that sharp point where the top halves of the heart meet. Right-click the bottom node and choose Cusp from the menu. Click and drag the right control handle up toward the control handle of the rightmost node. Do the same with the left control handle, dragging it toward the control handle of the left node. You should end up with a (nearly) perfect heart shape (see figure 9). Figure 9 – Final node editing In figure 10, you can see my final shape. I moved the left and right nodes outward a little more and filled the shape with red. Figure 10 – Final heart shape created by node editing an ellipse There’s a lot more you can do by editing nodes. I encourage you to play around and see what you can come up with. Practical Perspective techniques CorelDRAW 11 In the real world, all the shapes you see with your eyes have at least some degree of perspective- the effect of distant shapes appearing smaller. So it goes without saying that to make your shapes appear realistic in an illustrated scene, you'll need to add a sense of depth by scaling things which are close larger than things which are farther away. Perspective also comes into play with the surfaces on individual objects. For this, you can add a sense of depth using CorelDRAW's perspective effect. Let's take a close look at perspective drawing and learn a few tips and tricks CorelDRAW provides. How perspective effects work As the distance between our plane of vision and an object's surfaces increase the measurements of its edges and surfaces change. The closer they are, the larger they appear; the further they are, the smaller they appear. When multiple objects and/or surfaces are involved, they share a fixed relationship with several reference points-the horizon line (your vantage point), the depth of the objects, and your plane of vision. Once you crack the riddle of this relationship, you can simulate 3D perspective effects in nearly any illustration task. How perspective creates depth Manually creating the illusion of perspective is not something only "gifted" illustrators are capable of-it's an acquired skill which requires practice to perfect. As you learn the relationships between the points of reference involved, you can apply your own sense of depth and volume to just one shape or throughout an entire scene. These points of reference are your plane of vision, the horizon, and vanishing points. Vanishing points enable you to simulate diminishing volume. Most often, vanishing points align with the horizon line with all sides and surfaces diminishing as they progress toward these points. The next example shows two objects drawn in perspective, each with its own pair of vanishing points. Notice that the vanishing points align with the horizon line, and the guidelines show how all straight-line surfaces point toward them. True perspective involves vanishing points above, below, or to one side or the other in relation to an object or scene. If you have previous experience drawing with perspective effects, this may seem second nature to you. As you work with CorelDRAW 11's perspective effect, you'll soon realize that achieving a true perspective effect involves a little more than a few simple clicks and drags. How CorelDRAW simulates perspective Compared to other dynamic effects in CorelDRAW 11, perspective is easy to apply. You can intuitively apply perspective to single objects or groups of objects by manipulating one of four corner nodes or one of two vanishing points around your object. While an object's perspective is in progress, your active cursor becomes the Shape Tool, enabling you to drag the nodes and points. The next example shows shapes applied with CorelDRAW 11's perspective effect. The left and right sides of each object were applied with perspective, but the gray side was added manually. As an object is being manipulated in Perspective, CorelDRAW 11 automatically subdivides the shape into eight horizontal rows and eight vertical columns for visual reference. Since this type of applied perspective effect is merely a distortion rather than a created 3D effect, hidden object portions (such as the top surface of the left object in the previous example) are not created. How to apply perspective Depending on how adventurous you'd like to get, you may wish to do a little preparation work before applying your perspective distortion. For example, if you're preparing to create a scene containing multiple objects using a shared set of vanishing points and horizon line, you may want to create guides for reference as you apply the perspective effects. Try using guidelines, or drawing lines to represent the horizon and vanishing points. Beginning the Perspective process requires that only one command be applied to your selected object: Effects, Add Perspective (shown next). If you have never applied a perspective effect before, you may find the process tricky the first time out. Let's begin by applying and manipulating perspective: 1. Create an object to apply your perspective effect to, and choose the Pick Tool. 2. Select your object and choose Effects, Add Perspective. As soon as you apply the command, your object's shape is immediately subdivided into a series of horizontal and vertical grid lines. Notice also that your cursor has changed to the Shape Tool. 3. Using the Shape Tool cursor, drag any of the grid control handles to begin distorting the object. Notice that each time you move a handle, the representative perspective grid is mapped to the newly distorted shape. If your initial distortions are dramatic enough, you may see one or both of the vanishing points come into view. If not, decrease your zoom magnification by pressing F3 until at least one of the vanishing points becomes visible. Vanishing points resemble an X symbol. 4. To make adjustments to a vanishing point, drag the X marker itself and position it at the point toward which you wish your object to diminish. Rough perspective effects may not require precision; but if your effect will be applied across multiple objects for illustration purposes, precision may be more important. Notice that when you move the horizontal vanishing point toward the object, the top and bottom of the bounding box continue to point toward it, while the farthest side becomes smaller and the size of the closest side remains constant. The closer the vanishing point is to the object, the smaller the farthest side will become. 5. Once your object's perspective has been completed, click your page background or any other tool or object to deselect it and end the session. With perspective applied to a shape, the shape itself becomes a "perspective" object, meaning the effect is dynamic. Its editing state will become active simply by the object using the Pick or Shape tools. You can edit your object in perspective any time you wish in one of two ways: • While using the Shape Tool, click the object once to select it. • While using the Pick Tool, single clicks simply select the object, enabling you to manipulate it as any ordinary object. Double-clicking the object using the Pick Tool automatically selects the Shape Tool and a third click on the object selects it for perspective editing. How to control the perspective The vanishing points around your perspective are visual indicators showing lines of convergence. These appear automatically when the effect is applied; you can't actually "create" them. You can, however, manipulate the effect by dragging the vanishing points, the preferred method over dragging control handles. Using control handles enables you to quickly bring the vanishing points into view; but once these points are in close proximity to your object, using the control handles to alter the perspective becomes tricky. A perspective effect can involve either one or two vanishing points. Typically, just one vanishing point appears above or below your object (the vertical vanishing point), or to the left or right (the horizontal vanishing point). My next example shows a rectangle applied with a perspective distortion where a single vanishing point appears. In advanced perspective effects both the vertical and horizontal vanishing points may be involved. Two visible vanishing points indicate that your object's perspective is being distorted both horizontally and vertically (shown next). The four control handles found at the corners of the imaginary overlaying your shape may be used to create the distortion. These markers may be dragged in any direction, enabling you to shape the perspective effect based on object shape rather than a perspective vanishing point location (as shown next). While manipulating either control handles or vanishing points, holding Ctrl will constrain the angular movement of perspective effect corner control handles to align with the angles of the perspective bounding box shape (as shown next). This enables you to manipulate each side of your shape without distorting it vertically or horizontally. Holding Ctrl+Shift while moving a control handle constrains the same movement but enables you to move two control handles at once and applies a centering distortion to the perspective effect (as shown next). Enhancing the depth of a scene You can add visual interest to a perspective scene using color and shading in the form of fountain fills. In doing so, keep in mind that the farther away a surface is, the more saturated its colors will be. If you're working with simple color schemes, creating shading is relatively straightforward using the Interactive Fill Tool. Many of the example illustrations shown in previous examples include fountain fill shading to emphasize the effect. The next simplistic examples demonstrate how perspective may be applied to copies of shapes and text to simulate the appearance of depth using shadows and reflections. Color may be quickly applied to the perspective effects of most objects by using the following steps: 1. After applying a perspective effect to a selected object, choose the Interactive Fill Tool (G). 2. Apply a base fill color by clicking a color well in your onscreen palette. This will serve as the basis for the darkest color value of your perspective's fountain fill. 3. Using the Interactive Fill Tool, drag across your object beginning at the farthest side and ending at roughly the edge of the nearest side. This will create a default linear Fountain fill using your object's current fill color at the darkest point and applying white as the highlight color. If you wish, you may update the color for the highlight of the linear fill by dragging other colors onto either of the markers. 4. To further customize your perspective effect fill, increase or decrease the rate at which the two colors progress toward each other by dragging the edge pad slider located between the two interactive color markers. CorelDRAW's perspective effect command enables you to apply distortion to flat objects-as if there were paper thin. Instead of trying to use Perspective to distort your 3D surfaces, you may wish to try applying perspective to each of them individually, or use conventional drawing techniques to change the perspective of your shapes. The Color Wheel: Neon Since CorelDRAW® acquired the ability to blend objects way back when, I've been able to create a neon glow effect. But there was always something missing. Specifically, the appearance of the glass tubing in which the electronically changed neon gas is contained. While preparing for Rick Altman's CorelWORLD™ Conference in Boston last September, I came upon a better way to create a neon effect including the appearance of glass tubing. In this article, I will share my technique for creating this effect. By the way, the term "neon" is often given to any glowing gas used for "neon" signs. In fact, neon only makes up two colors. There are many other gasses used to create the other vibrant colors including krypton, argon and more. Those of you who took Chemistry probably can tell me which gasses produce which colors. We will be using pixels as our units of measure, as pixels are the international unit of measure for the Web. In the Grid and Ruler Setup (double-click the screen rulers) set the units to Pixels. If you are creating your image for the Web, or just to be viewed on your computer screen, set the Resolution (Layout, Page Setup) to 96 dpi, Windows screen resolution. If you plan to output your design to a color printer or commercial printer, set the resolution from 300 – 600 dpi. I'm using the old (and brighter) RGB palette instead of the simulated CMYK display because I intend my neon image to be displayed on the Web. For printed output, you can use the simulated CMYK display option, or convert your image to CMYK when you are finished. Open the Symbols docker and select a star symbol either from Zapf Dingbats (which for some unexplained reason, showed empty for me) or Wingdings (Symbols). You can also create your own star by creating a 5-sided polygon using the Polygon Tool, and then using the Shape Tool to drag the center nodes to the center. Whatever method or source you pick, make the overall star size 130 x 130 pixels. Using the Freehand Tool, draw a horizontal line 80 pixels wide. Click twice with the Pick Tool to enter Rotate/Skew mode and, while holding down the CTRL key to constrain the movement, drag the left-center skew arrow upwards until the line has been skewed 30 degrees. Select the line with the Shape Tool, then marquee select both nodes (drag a rectangle around the line with the Shape Tool). On the Property Bar, click the Convert Line to Curve icon. Deselect the line, then using the Shape Tool, click the left node to enable the Bezier control handles. Drag the left handle to the center as shown. Repeat for the right node, dragging the Bezier control handle to the center. You should now have a gentle S-shaped line. Make five duplicate lines. Select the lines and the star and open the Outline Pen Dialog (Outline Tool flyout on the main toolbar). Set the line width to 20 points and check the rounded corners and rounded joins radio buttons. Arrange the lines and star as shown so that the thickness of the outlines do not touch one another, or just barely touch as shown in this illustration. If for some reason, the outline color is not black, change it. Select all the lines and star. Press the plus key (+) on the numeric keypad to place a duplicate set of lines. Do not deselect the lines. Change the line width (in the Outline Tool flyout) to 10 points. Change the outline colors as follows: a. Ruby Red, b. Pastel Blue, and c. Blue. Make a duplicate set of all the 10-point lines and set this duplicate to one side for the moment. Select all of the new lines and the star and make another duplicate set. Change the line width to 4-point and change the colors to: a. Red, b. Power Blue, c. Sky Blue. Note: If you let your cursor hover over any color on the screen palette, the color name will appear in a tool tip. The names of selected colors in your image will appear on the bottom right side of the status bar. Make yet another set of duplicate lines. Change the line width to 1 point and change the colors to: a. Faded Pink, b. White, c. White. Name and save your drawing and take a short eye break. Zoom in very close to the lines. Select the Interactive Blend Tool from the Interactive Tools flyout menu. Create a four-step blend from the black outline to the next largest outline, to the next largest outline, to the 1-point outline. Repeat for the other six groups of outlines. If you are unfamiliar with blends creation, drag the Interactive Blend Tool cursor from one shape to the next, to the next, to the next, etc. Find the set of duplicate 10-point outlines. Select all and Combine them (CTRL + L). Make two duplicates of the combined lines and place one set to the side for a moment. Select the other duplicate 10 point outlines and change the outline width to 1-point. Make the outline color for the large outlined group white and the outline color for the 1 point group black. Marquee select both groups of lines. Blend both sets of lines either using the Interactive Blend Tool, or in all versions except version 9, select Blend from the Effects menu. (Blend took a vacation from the Effects pull down menu for some reason in version 9 but, happily, has returned). Select the Blend and from the Bitmaps menu, select Convert to Bitmap. Select Grayscale from the Color: drop down list. Set the resolution to 300 dpi. Place a check next to the Transparent Background option. Press OK to create the bitmap. With the bitmap selected, select Blur, Gaussian Blur from the Bitmaps pull down menu. Apply a 1.5 pixel radius blur. These settings are for version 10 and may vary greatly in previous versions. Basically we just want to subtly soften the edges of the bitmap. Center the grayscale bitmap over the blended shapes. Apply an Interactive Transparency, Uniform, amount 50% This creates the appearance of the glass tubing. Fetch the other duplicate you made of the 10 point outlines. Change the line width to 8 points and combine (CTRL + L) all the lines. Now (version 10 only, I'm afraid) Convert Outlines to Shape. This creates fillable shapes from the outlines. Press the TAB key once to select the invisible original outline and delete it. Normally this invisible outline is not a problem, but it can cause trouble because we tend to forget it is there. So, to be on the safe side: whenever you convert Outlines to Shape, delete the invisible lines. Save your file and take an eye break. Duplicate the combined duplicate (+) and offset the duplicate right and down a few pixels in each direction, as shown here. Select both shapes and press the Quick Trim icon on the Property Bar. Delete the top shape (the trimmer). Change the fill color to Powder Blue. We will use this shape to create highlights to the glass tubing. Note: Corel uses the first selected object as the trimmer and the second selected shape as the object to trim. Hence you want to select the top object first and the bottom object second. If you reverse the order, the bottom shape will do the trimming, which is not what we want. Convert the Powder Blue shape to Bitmap (Bitmaps menu). Change the Color to RGB, and leave the other settings as is: 300 dpi, Transparent Background. Press OK to create the bitmap. Apply a 5-pixel Gaussian Blur (Bitmaps menu). This will soften the edges of the highlight and give it a more natural appearance. Position the highlights over the neon shapes so it appears over the top left portion. Add a black filled rectangle behind the neon shapes. Apply a Radial interactive fill. Center the Radial fill over the center of the star and change the center color to Twilight Blue. This rectangle and Radial fill creates the impression of a soft glow behind the neon elements. And here is the finished image. So that's my technique for creating neon in a glass tube. You can use this for just about anything that has a single outline. For my session at the CorelWORLD Conference, I made some single weight letters for the word "draw" and used these to create the same neon effect that was then used as an interface for a Web page. Just to be on the safe side (in case any of Corel's lawyers were in attendance), I placed the text, "I Love To …" over the neon "draw", so there could be no confusion with the name of the Corel product, CorelDRAW. If you would like to see more articles like this one, let me know. Or if you have any comments, or questions, feel free to drop me a short note at email@example.com. I'll try to provide you with a colorful reply. Using Powerclips We all know that Corel DRAW is great for illustration and for drawing shapes. Wouldn't it be great if we could use those shapes in combination with bitmaps, say photographs for example, to create some interesting and original artwork. It might be nice to be able to place a photograph inside a shape so we could use that in a newsletter, brochure or poster. "Masking" off the bitmap with a shape (and the shape can be pretty much anything you can create in Corel DRAW, including text) would be pretty fancy and you might expect it to be difficult to do. You may be surprised to find, then, how easy it is to accomplish in Corel DRAW. Embedding shapes or other objects, such as bitmaps, within other shapes or objects is called PowerClipping in Corel DRAW and it's fairly easy to do. Once you've added a PowerClip to another shape or image, you can manipulate the entire object as though it was just another simple shape. You can rotate and resize the object, for example, and you can even modify the embedded object. This article will show you how this can be accomplished with relative ease. Getting Started The first thing you'll want to do is open a new graphic in Corel DRAW. You can do this, after running Corel DRAW, by choosing File, New. Doing so will leave you with a clean slate in which to create your PowerClipped image. Importing a Photograph With the new file ready to go, it's time to add a bitmap image. You can choose one of your own photographs that you've created with a digital camera or scanned into your computer from a print, or you can search the Web for a photograph to use. If you use something from the Web and you'll be using it for more than simply this exercise, be sure to obtain any rights you may need to use that material. You can add the bitmap image to the newly opened graphic by choosing File, Import. Doing so will open the Import dialog box (see figure 1). After you have selected the image you want to import, the cursor will change and you can then click and drag the cursor to define where the imported image should be placed. Don't worry about getting it perfect because you can easily move and resize the imported image afterward. Once you've defined where your bitmap image should go, release the mouse button and your image will appear. I'm using a photograph of an old corvette that I took a couple of summers ago while on vacation (see figure 3). Adding Text I'm going to place the image inside some text to create an image that might be used to advertise a classic car show. You may think that placing the photograph inside some text would be more difficult than placing it inside a simple shape. The truth is, though, it involves the same process and it's extremely easy to do. With the imported photo added to the graphic, you can now add some text. This text will be used as the "container" for the photograph. To add the text, select the Text Tool, and click somewhere away from the imported photograph. I'm going to type the word "CARS" (see figure 4). Lining Things Up At this point it's time to line up the imported photograph and the newly entered text. To do so, simply choose the Pick Tool and move the text until it covers the imported photograph. You may need to resize the photograph and/or the text. You can do so using the Pick Tool. To do so, select the Pick Tool and click the object you want to edit and then click and drag one of the eight handles (the four corners and four midpoints). The goal here is to get the text to mostly cover the imported photograph (see figure 5). Adding the PowerClip With the text placed properly over the imported photograph, select the photograph using the Pick Tool. With the photograph selected, choose Effects, PowerClip, Place Inside Container. You'll see a large black arrow icon. Use the large arrow to click on the text (see figure 6). Clicking on the text will turn it into a container that will contain the imported photograph (see figure 7). Adding an Outline With the imported photograph inserted in the text container, it's time to get a little fancy and finish up the poster artwork. Right click one of the colors from the Color Picker to set the outline color. I'll use black for the example. With a color set, double-click the small pen icon in the lower right corner of the window. Doing so will bring up the Outline Pen dialog box (see figure 8). Set the Character Spacing To get even fancier, choose Text, Format Text and set the Character Spacing to a negative value. In my example I've set the spacing to -15.0% (see figure 9). You can play with the value to see what works best for your choice of text and the imported photograph. The goal here is to scrunch the letters together to help the photograph show through in such a manner as to be recognizable (see figure 10). Finishing Up To finish up the poster, I added a blue rectangular background by drawing the shape using the Rectangle Tool. I then moved the rectangle to the back by choosing Arrange, Order, To Back. A final touch was the addition of the word "Classic" in a bold handwriting font. You can see the final image I created in figure 11. There's more you can do, including editing the contents (the imported photograph) in place, and even manipulating the container and the contents using the Pick Tool… but I'll leave some of that for a future column. In the meantime, play around with this idea. It can be used to create original artwork for everything from greeting cards and invitations to posters, brochures and signs, as well as logos for Web sites. As an alternative to using an imported photograph and text, you can try using grouped shapes. Allow your imagination to guide you towards some really cool artwork. CorelDRAW Graphics Suite Tips & Tricks Using the Blend Tool and Power Clip in CorelDRAW X3 In the following tip, you will see how the Blend Tool and the PowerClip tool were used to create a business card and logo for a locksmith service. 1. Select a key shape from the Transportation symbol font (symbol 061). 2. Select the key and convert it to curves (Ctrl+Q) or Arrange/Convert to Curves. 3. Remove the fill from the key and select a heavy (6 - 7 pt) stroke outline color of your choice. 4. Copy and paste the key (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, or Edit/Copy and Edit/Paste). Make the stroke on this duplicated key lighter (.2 pt) and make the outline color white. 5. Select the white key, then select the Blend tool and drag to the larger stroked key. 6. Select the Interactive Drop Shadow tool and add a drop shadow to the blended keys. 7. Create a box to represent the size of the business card you want and fill it with a radial, gradient fill. Select your key and PowerClip it to the box (Effects/PowerClip/Place Inside Container). You can also edit the positioning of the key by selecting Effects/PowerClip/Edit Contents/Finish Editing This Level. 8. Select the Text tool and add your text. You're done! Interactive Fit Text to Path Tool With CorelDRAW X3, it's never been easier to attach text to a path with precision — a common effect used in creating signs and logos. The interactive Fit Text to Path tool lets users simply select text, move the pointer along a path, and click to set the text's position. Users can also easily control the text's offset distance from the path. In addition, users can scale the text after it has been placed on a path by simply selecting both the text and the path and dragging one of the handles. Using the interactive Fit Text to Path tool 1. Click the Freehand tool, and draw a curved line to use as a path. 2. Click the Text tool, click anywhere in the drawing window, and type. 3. Click Text > Fit Text To Path. The pointer changes to the Fit Text to Path pointer. As you move the pointer along the path, a preview of where the text will be fitted is displayed. 4. Move the pointer along the path, and click to fit the text. With a closed path, the text is centered along the path. With an open path, the text flows from the point of insertion. 5. On the property bar, adjust the value in the Distance From Path list box. 6. On the property bar, adjust the value in the Horizontal Offset list box. 7. In the Mirror Text area on the property bar, use the Mirror Horizontal or Mirror Vertical buttons to choose the text's orientation. Reducing the number of nodes in curve objects By Corel Corporation Did you know that you can automatically reduce the number of nodes in curve objects? Often, complex curve objects contain overlapping or redundant nodes that are not necessary for editing the object. By reducing the number of nodes in a curve object, you can more easily edit and prepare it for output to a variety of devices and file formats. The steps below show you how easy it is to automatically reduce the number of nodes in a curve object without compromising the object's quality. Figure 1 This curve object was created in another program and imported into CorelDRAW® X3. Duplicate the object by pressing Ctrl + D, so that you can later compare the two curves. Step 1: Select all nodes in the original curve object 1. Open the Shape edit flyout , and click the Shape tool . 2. Click one of the objects. Figure 2 The status bar, at the bottom of the program window, displays the number of nodes in the selected object. Step 2: Reduce the nodes 1. Click the Select all nodes button on the property bar. 2. Click Reduce nodes . Figure 3 The number of nodes in the object has been significantly reduced. Click anywhere in the drawing window to deselect the curve. Notice that the original object does not appear to be significantly altered. Next, we'll view the curve object in wireframe mode, in order to see the nodes more clearly. Step 3: Display the curve object in wireframe mode 1. Using the Shape tool, click the object. 2. Click View > Wireframe. Figure 4 Wireframe mode lets you view the nodes more clearly. The Reduce nodes command removes overlapping and redundant nodes from the curve object, yet it allows you to retain the same level of control over the object. In our example, the original object (1) contains 154 nodes, whereas the edition version (2) contains only 101 nodes.
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