Awards & Engraving

March '16

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64 • A&E MARCH 2016 Graphic Design CORELDRAW FROM A TO E PHOTOPAINT LENS TOOL In Photopaint, the Lens tool is located by opening an image and going to Object/ Create/New Lens, which opens the New Lens dialogue box that is filled with all kinds of Adjustments and Effects options. Choosing one such option such as Bright- ness-Contrast-Intensity and adjusting the sliders changes the appearance of the original photo. Why not just go to Adjust/Brightness- Contrast-Intensity and be done with it? The answer is that the results are the same, however the Lens tool applies the effect without altering the pixels in the image below it. Going to Adjust/Brightness- Contrast-Intensity permanently alters the pixels in the original image, which is just fine if that's what you want to do. [fig 4] Using the Lens tool, then, makes it pos- sible to keep going back to the image and readjusting the effect since all we're doing is adjusting the lens and not the original image. There are times when this is helpful. As with the more direct route, we can also select just a portion of the image to apply the lens effect to. When we select an area within the image and go to Object/ Create/New Lens, we are given the option to check the box next to Create lens from Mask. When that is checked, the lens effect only applies to the selected area of the image. Again, the difference here is that the original image is still not permanently altered in any way. If we went to Adjust/ Brightness-Contrast-Intensity to change the selected area, the pixels in the image would permanently be altered. [fig 5] In last year's articles on using Photo- paint, I discussed the Object Docker and how useful it is in managing complex images. It provides a layered workspace where it is possible to take a boat image from one photo file and place it in the swimming pool of another photo and so on. None of the components permanently change in the Object docker until we want them changed, and often that isn't until the end of that project after we've had a chance to tweak all of the elements. I even save my final that way so I can return to it if the need arises. I save a copy of it to use as my final file after I've merged all the objects into single image. It is in this Object docker that the Lens tool proves its worth because it can provide unlimited effects to any image layer without permanently altering that layer, allowing for subtle adjustments to be made right up until the end. This is a critical feature when trying to work on complex images. [fig 6] The important thing to remember here is that when a new lens is created, it appears as a new object in the Object docker, and any Adjustments or effects assigned to that lens will be applied to every object below it in the docker. If you want the adjustment or effect to apply to a single image object then that image needs to be given a selection mask before creating the New Lens, thus enabling the Create Lens from mask checkbox in the New Lens dialogue box. When that box is checked, the Adjustment or Effect is applied only to that specific image com- ponent and without compromising that image in any way. [fig 7] Here, too, the procedure is pretty simple once you get used to it, but the possibilities are endless. Jim Sadler is a former university professor of computer graphics and a freelance designer. He is currently offering his services as a con- sultant within the industry. He brings together his expertise in design, computer graphics and industry-related technologies with his ability to communicate through teaching, technical assistance and, of course, through writing for A&E Magazine. Jim can be reached by e-mail at His web address is Figure 6 Figure 7 A&E

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