Awards & Engraving

September '16

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64 • A&E SEPTEMBER 2016 CORELDRAW FROM A TO E image, just the lines, outlines and fills. The nodes are there to define the trajec- tory of the lines and to allow us to alter those trajectories. They are built into the object, but remain invisible except during the editing process. Bezier basics include learning how to create straight-sided lines and shapes and then curved lines and shapes. The next step is learning how to edit those shapes using the Shape tool by repositioning the nodes and, with curved lines, learning how to adjust the curves, including learning the difference between Cusp Nodes, Smooth Nodes and Symmetrical Nodes. These last steps are critical to being able to build any shape we can imagine. (fig 3) Building lines and shapes using the Bezier tool can be challenging at first, especially when they are curved. The pro- cess requires imagining what you want to do before you do it and some coordina- tion using the mouse to carry out the right sequence of moves and clicks to achieve the desired effect. When creating, it's best to keep expectations low in terms of how the image looks, focusing instead on how many nodes are necessary to render the desired shape and roughly where they should be positioned for maximum effect. Editing is much easier to do physically, but it can be tedious and time consuming because the editing phase is where we refine the drawing to match our intentions. The fewer nodes we use to describe a shape, the easier and less tedious that shape is to edit. Once lines and shapes have been cre- ated, we can apply color in a number of ways, combine our objects to create images, as in the apple above, and enter a world of manipulation, allowing us to use our images in any way we can imagine. Images can also be cut apart and glued back together by cutting nodes apart and joining to other nodes. This is something that should be learned manually so it is completely understood, but it can also be a tedious/time-consuming process depending on the number of objects, their complexity, and the number of nodes involved. NEW TRICKS Corel has been kind to us as the soft- ware has evolved, providing us with tools that make light work of the editing process, particularly when it comes to functions such as welding two objects together. It's important to know how to accomplish that manually by breaking a curve at a node and joining two nodes together. Overlapping two objects, it is possible, by such cutting and joining, to make the two objects into a single outline, removing all overlapping contour lines. But who wants to go through all those steps? Enter CorelDraw's Shaping commands, which allow us to weld, trim, intersect and so on with just a couple clicks. In a pinch, though, knowing how to cut and join manually can help us solve tricky problems. Even if you never have to resort to manual editing, knowing how helps you understand what is happening when tools such as the Shaping tool are used. (fig 4) The Cropping, Knife and Eraser tools are equally valuable for taking the drudge out of the editing process, not only because they can cut and trim shapes, but because they can also heal the cut pieces by closing the shape along the indicated cut line. There are also a number of tools in the fly-out menu of the Shape tool (second down in the Tool bar) that make it possible to distort objects in a variety of ways. Trying to make such distortions would be difficult to achieve working manually. That list of Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

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