Awards & Engraving

December '17

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A&E DECEMBER 2017 • a-e-mag.com 65 Graphic Design tool and menu bars, etc. For instance, if you are used to having Arrange in the Menu bar, switching to the latest version of Corel could prove to be frustrating at first. No problem. Simply go to Window>Workspace and choose 'X6 Inspired' and watch your workspace instantly transform to its former pre-X8 self with Arrange in all its glory. Or perhaps you're only intending to use Corel- Draw for very simple tasks. Choosing the Lite option gives you a simpler work envi- ronment with fewer tools. Are you an Adobe Illustrator fan who wants to give Corel a try? Click on the Specialty>Adobe Illustrator option and you will feel right at home. Working on a touch screen? Just click on the Touch option. All of these options still keep you in the latest Corel environment with all of the latest tools and functions available. How- ever, they do provide a level of familiarity for those with already-established work habits who might not be able to take the time to learn to navigate in a completely unfamiliar environment right off the bat. The best part about workspaces is that they can be changed easily and quickly on the fly without disturbing your open documents. WHAT'S NEW WITH THE TOOLBAR? Now that you have your seatbelts fas- tened with seat and mirrors adjusted and tuned into your favorite radio station, let's find out what's new in the Toolbar. The first tool we see is our old friend the Pick tool, but the indicator in the lower right corner of the icon tells us there's more—the Freehand Pick tool and the Free Transform tool. I'm not sure in what version these were introduced, but they are useful additions. As we click and move the cursor when the Freehand Pick tool is selected, it creates an elastic marquis loop that can be manipulated to freely select individual and multiple objects. If we're any good with the lasso, we can dart about in between objects selecting only those we want to include—a little less clumsy than Shift clicking. (fig 1a & 1b) For those of us who can't wait to start manipulating our objects, the Free Trans- form tool is just the thing. When we click on this tool, the Properties bar changes, revealing icons showing the various Trans- form states such as Rotate, Size, Skew, and Mirror. Depending on where we click in relation to the object, that point establishes where the transformation origin is located. If, after establishing that position, we con- tinue to hold the mouse down and drag, we can intuitively control the degree of transformation—rotation, scale, mirror, or skew. This tool is worth getting to know well and is part of the push Corel is engaged in to help make the creation and manipulation of objects more intuitive and less time con- suming. Sure, we can open up the Docker, select the appropriate transform tab, type in the settings, and hit apply or go through a similar process in the Properties bar, but the Free Transform tool is quick and easy. It's not what you want to use if you are aiming for mathematical accuracy, but often we just want to eyeball the transformation, and this Pick tool is just the thing. The next tool down is the Shape tool, but it's not just having a few friends over; it's throwing a party: there's Twirl, Smooth, Repel, Smear, Attract, Smudge, and of course, Roughen. What a crew! In the same spirit as the above-mentioned Free Transform tool, these Shape tools arrived to help make your creative life a little easier. Back when I was teaching the use of the Bezier tool, I had everyone construct their own apple, including stem and leaf. The leaf was really interesting because, though it wasn't hard to create the basic outline, I had them adding details such as the serrated edge seen on some leaves. It was an arduous process, but nonetheless rewarding to see the final results. It forced everyone to learn about adding nodes, changing node types, adjusting curves, cutting sections apart, and pasting them back together. The results were great, but it was a lot of detailed work. With these new Shape tools, we could have made quick work of creating that leaf detail. I've always been cautious about quick fixes when it comes to Beziers, since they often do a less-than-stellar job visu- ally and tend to create more problems than they solve. However, these Shape tools are pretty refined and do a great job visually without causing problems. On the above leaf detail, I found that the Roughen tool, once the Property bar settings were set to produce the desired effect, transformed my outline to exactly the proper serration needed for the job. I also used the Smear tool to create natural- looking curves to the serrations. I'd need to experiment, but low settings on the Twirl shape tool might be even more effec- tive and perhaps quicker for adding curves to those serrations. The best part is that it accomplished the task in record time. (fig 2)

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