Awards & Engraving

January '19

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26 a-e-mag.com • A&E JANUARY 2019 "What do you do?" That's usually the second or third question asked when we meet someone for the first time. My elevator speech for TrophyBox and 9inthStreet- Designs, my businesses, goes something like this: "I sell awards and promotional products as well as serve as a sublimation consultant." However, as most small business owners know, we wear many more hats. If we were truthful on our business cards, there would not be enough room for all the titles: Pro- duction Manager, Human Resources Man- ager, Chief Financial Officer, and Customer Service Agent to name a few. Recently, I've added a new hat. It's one I'm working on: Social Media Specialist. Although it's still a work in progress, one key to success in social media is using a dynamic image. Let me share what I've learned with you. Follow along in this tutorial as I demon- strate how, with a couple Corel PHOTO- PAINT tools and short-cuts, you can take a lackluster image and turn it into one that will cause your social media follower to stop scrolling and take in the message you want to share. The tools include: • The Planar tool • Bokeh Blur effect • Soft Light Merge Mode They will add vividness, color contrast, and bring depth-of-field focus to the area that needs attention. Figure A is the before photo. Figure B is the final product imple- menting the tools and techniques I men- tion above. By the way, you may recognize the bar table from last month's tutorial — Creating Realistic Mock-Ups. It's a recom- mended read! MERGE MODES Let's begin by adjusting color and con- trast. The Soft Light Merge Mode often takes care of both. A note on Merge Modes: Merge Modes blend the top layer with the bottom layer with varying results, depending on the Merge Mode that is chosen. The color results for each individual pixel of an image change depending on the color values of the top and bottom layer. Some of the more common Merge Modes I use for adjusting brightness, contrast, gamma, and hue include: • Normal • Add • Screen • Multiply • Soft Light • Overlay • Hard Light • Color Dodge • Color Burn • Color If you search "enhancing photos with Merge Modes" on YouTube, you'll find a good tutorial. There are more tutorials regarding Blend Modes for Photoshop than for Merge Modes for Corel PHOTO-PAINT — Pho- toshop is a more widely-used program for adjusting photos. Not to worry. Photoshop tutorials can still be quite helpful. I have found that if I discover a good YouTube tutorial for Photoshop, I can translate and apply many of the same techniques in Corel PHOTO-PAINT. Shon Roti is the owner of 9thStreet- Designs, a sublimation and graphic design consulting and promotional products business, and TrophyBox, a retail awards store. A graphic designer, Shon has spent more than two decades working as a production artist and instructor in the awards and promotional products industry. You can con- tact him at shon@sublimationconsultant.com. By Shon Roti Enhancing social media photos CorelDRAW Tips & Tricks Fig A: The original image. Fig B: The image after implementing the techniques outlined in this article. ALL IMAGES COURTESY SHON ROTI

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