Awards & Engraving

January '20

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32 • A&E JANUARY 2020 CORELDRAW: THE BASICS By Doug Zender Special Effects: Different Ways to Embellish Designs ADDING THE WHIMSICAL LOOK After typing the basic text, using the Shape tool, each individual letter was selected using the small square associated with it, then enlarged, rotated, or moved left, right, up, or down to create the effect, using the options Horizontal Offset, Vertical Offset, and Char- acter Angle that are available on the task bar. After getting all the letters just right to my preference, I added an outline and shadow in black. This consists of first an outside con- tour of the text, broken apart and duplicated, the duplicate nudged right and down, and both blended together; then broken apart and welded together. I detailed this process in my article in the October issue, page 58. My next step was to add a 3-D effect to the lettering. In this case, I chose to use PHOTO- PAINT to accomplish the task. I first selected the text and made a duplicate directly on top (using the + key on my numeric keypad) then converted it to an RGB bitmap at 300 DPI with Transparency chosen. With this bitmap selected, I pressed the Edit Bitmap command — after a few seconds, it opened in PHOTO-PAINT. Here, I first chose Object>Select All, then Mask>Create Mask from Object; then Effects>3D Effect>Bevel Effect. It is usu- ally best to enable the before-and-after preview to monitor changes. The default effect in PHOTO-PAINT has a texture fill; in this case, checking the No-Color Well (the white square with the X) is the best choice for this effect. Once you are happy with the results, click Save and close PHOTO-PAINT. The result appears in CorelDRAW directly on top of the original image. I next selected the resulting bitmap and Power-Clipped it into the original text. (A quick note about Power Clip: some versions of CorelDRAW, by default, are set to auto-center Power Clip contents — this is easily changed in the options settings if needed). This 3-D effect may be equally effective using the Bevel tool included in DRAW but is more controllable in PHOTO-PAINT. There are numerous other ways to render shadows and highlights. We'll explore some of those next. SHADOWS AND HIGHLIGHTS The Drop Shadow feature is a dynamic effect that offers a lot of capabilities, yet there are some limitations. Suppose I want a cut-line around the shadow image. It would create a rectangular line around the shadow rectangle, but not closely around the let- tering shadow. See Figure 2. A ll sorts of special effects exist in the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Some are fairly self- explanatory, others require a bit of creativity to implement. Some of the most effective ways to enhance a design are the addition of three-dimensional aspects. These usually include font and image manipulation, and highlights and shadows. Sometimes it is simply a matter of altering text for a more whimsical look, as in Figure 1. Doug Zender has used CorelDRAW extensively since version 4. His goal is to minimize the intimidation of the program and give users the sense that CorelDRAW is a friend, not an adversary. Doug began as a design artist, then moved into the sign industry in 1992 doing vinyl graphics. You can contact him at Fig 1

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