Awards & Engraving

September '16

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A&E SEPTEMBER 2016 • 65 Graphic Design distorting tools has been growing with each new version upgrade, and in Corel X8, the tools have been further enhanced and even made to work with pressure sensitive pens, tablets and monitors, providing a whole new dynamic. (fig 5) Two new, closely-related features have also been added to Corel X8. Both fea- tures are simple, but significant changes that will take even more tedium out of the editing process. The first is the ability to click on one node, hold down the Shift key, and click a nearby node, automatically selecting both nodes and every node in between. By clicking a second time on the last node, all of the nodes following the last one back to the first would be selected instead, and the original ones would be deselected, basi- cally giving you a forward/reverse selection toggle. You can achieve the same results by Shift clicking on all of the adjacent nodes, but that's time consuming. The new feature is more convenient. Once those nodes are selected, Corel finally lets you cut, copy, duplicate and paste the selected segment. This saves the duplicating, selecting, cutting and deleting that has been necessary in order achieve similar results. (fig 6) I do a lot of work creating letterforms and regularly need to copy portions of one letterform to build other letterforms that match. The ability to quickly select just the portion I need, then copy and paste that seg- ment is an immense help in doing this kind of work. These two new features in Corel X8, when combined, will make quick work of these critical tasks. FINAL THOUGHTS Some might wonder why they should bother learning to use the Bezier tools if they are so tedious and time consuming. It is a valid question; in fact, there is a great deal that can be accomplished using Corel- Draw in terms of layout, typography, color, and working with existing images or clip art, in which you would never have to lay your hand on a Bezier node. My first answer is that knowing how sets you free even if those skills are rarely used. In time, something is bound to come up that will require the application of this fun- damental knowledge. My second answer has to do with design. Building images in CorelDraw may not be quick, down and dirty, but because the focus is on editing, the software allows you to get things right. Since much in graphic design focuses on two-dimensions—letterforms, logos, symbols, technical illustrations, etc.—being able to manipulate and adjust until you get the kind of results intended is important. That has never been a down and dirty process. My own work with letterforms and logos has always been a bear of a job before computers and even after computers. In the old days, my battleground was black and white paint on paper and now it is nodes and adjustment handles. In terms of time and tedium, one approach was no better, worse, faster or slower than the other. (fig 7) However, once the image has been built and the time has been invested, working on the computer blows the socks off of what we had to go through before PCs. The ease of application and the unlimited possibili- ties for utilizing the image you've invested in more than makes the time invested worthwhile. 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 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 A&E

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