Awards & Engraving

June '16

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A&E JUNE 2016 • 73 Graphic Design tiple connected curves are possible by making the first click of the new segment on top of the end node of the previous segment. (fig 8) Artistic Media Tool Freehand line - Click/Draw/Release W h e n y o u p e r f o r m t h e a b o v e sequence using the Artistic Media tool, you are creating a path, which essentially remains invisible except when clicked on using the Shape tool, allowing you to manipulate that path. But that's just part of the story. What the Artistic Media tool actually does is apply simple or complex, single or multiple objects to that path, pro- viding you with a whole range of stroke options or loosely stated, a lot of brush strokes to choose from. When the Artistic Media tool is selected, a number of options appear in the Properties bar. First and to the left in the bar are a choice of applicators— Presets, Brush, Sprayer, Calligraphic and Pressure (for use with a pressure sensi- tive stylus). Presets are a group of over 20 simpler dynamic strokes that Corel provides. Brush choices are numerous, with several categories to choose from and many brush shape options within those categories. The same is true for the Sprayer, though it sprays out vector images such as snowflakes, fruit, etc. Calligraphic works with a mouse, but is probably best executed using a graphics tablet and stylus. It's basically painting with a brush fixed at a specific angle. Pres- sure requires a tablet and stylus and allows you to paint using pressure to determine factors such as brush size and dark versus light. (fig 9) As demonstrated above, using the Artistic Media tool is pretty simple. What makes it so versatile is what hap- pens to the style when it's stroked. Strokes can be short, long, straight, curved, smooth, squiggly, and can be made in any direction, resulting in an endless variety of forms and textures—a great tool to experiment with intuitively. That's not generally true when creating vector artwork. Other options are available in the Properties bar with each of these tools, such as determining smoothness (more or less detail in the vector outlines) and stroke width. The Sprayer has many options to help determine flow, number, spacing, etc. Calligraphic allows you to set pen angle and so on. Once the strokes have been applied to the path drawn, they can be manipu- lated using the Shape tool and making changes to the path, thus changing the outcome of the stroke. Other basic changes to the strokes are possible, as with any other vector objects, but with some limitations. Ultimately, you can override those limitations by selecting a stroke and clicking on Arrange/Break Artistic Media Groups Apart, separating the image from the path along which it was created. The stroke becomes a typ- ical vector object specific to the form it took when the stroke was applied. It's also possible to build your own library of brush strokes from vector objects you create. This all takes some getting used to, but using the Artistic Media tool is about as close as you can come to working with traditional media and in a sponta- neous manner. The same is true for the other tools mentioned above, but only in terms of constructing vector paths and outlines. I explained to Mel that she might feel more at home using Corel Photopaint, especially with a pressure sensitive tablet and pen, but when I left, her monitor was filled with all kinds of interesting experiments using the Artistic Media brushes. She was so engrossed, I'm not sure she even heard me leave. Jim Sadler is a former university professor of computer graphics and a freelance designer. He is currently offering his services as a consultant 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 Maga- zine. Jim can be reached by e-mail at jim@ His web address is www. Artistic Media A&E (fig 9)

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