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2.5 Interactive Tools

Now we’ll look at tools that add dimension to an object: drop shadow, blend, contour, extrude, etc. I’ll give an overview of showing their interactive elements as well as how to take a more technical approach in the Property Bar.

2.5 Interactive Tools

Welcome to Getting Started with CorelDRAW. I'm Mary Winkler for Tuts+. In this lesson, we'll focus on some of CorelDRAW's interactive tools. Let's start with the drop shadow tool. Use the rectangle tool to draw a square, then go to Window, Dockers, Object Properties, shortcut alt-enter, to change the outline to none and the fill to the color of your choosing. I'll be picking out a bright turquoise for this section. Close the docker when finished. We'll explore dockers more fully in chapter three of this course. Select the square and use the drop shadow tool to pull a drop shadow out from the square. Notice how when I select it from the upper left, the shadow started in the upper left. If I select from the center and drag, the shadow starts from the center. Let's take a look at some of the tool's options. Select your rectangle and duplicate it by hitting control-D. Use the pick tool to move your square over to the right. Keep the second square selected, and in the Property Bar, hit Clear Drop Shadow. Then drag out a shadow from the lower left of the square. Notice how it's angled and more like a cast shadow. Now that we have two types of shadows, let's play with them. Select the first square. In the Property Bar, you'll find options to change the drop shadow's transparency. Higher numbers mean higher opacity. Lower numbers mean lower opacity. You can also alter the shadow's feathering. Higher numbers mean more blur, and lower numbers mean less blur. Play around with these to get a feel for what they do. You can change the color and blending mode of your drop shadow as well. By default, it's black, but I can change it to various shades of blue, yellow, or any color that I want. Change it back to black for now, and let's move on with the lesson. Select the second square. In the Property bar, you'll notice you can manually adjust the drop shadow's angle. Use the slider and check out where various degrees place your shadow in relation to your object. Next to this is the shadow stretch option. This adjusts the length of your shadow. Use the slider to create short and long shadows. Third option is the adjustment slider for the shadow fade. This adjusts the amount your shadow fades at its end as it moves away from your object. Next, we're going to copy the second square's shadow and place it onto the first square. Select the first square. Grab the drop shadow tool from the tool box. In the Property Bar, hit copy shadow properties. When the black arrow pops up, select the second square's shadow. Instantly, your first square's shadow has been replaced by the shadow of the second square. Our next tool is the Contour tool. This tool applies a series of concentric shapes that radiate inward or outward from the object. Select your square, and select the Contour tool from the toolbox. Start the tool at the lower left corner of the object and drag the tool inward to create interior contours. As you can see, this creates squares inside of the square. In the property bar, my default setting was Inside Contour. If you click Outside Contour, but still move it to the inside, it will switch back, and vice versa. If you click up on the arrow for contour steps, you'll notice the contour steps increase. These increase on the outside, since I've once again selected outside contour. I can switch it back again to inside, or adjust the size of the contour itself, so each step is smaller. The third option is To Center, where contour simply fills the object itself. There are also color options. Choosing a fill color from the Contour tool's options in the Property Bar will change the contour color rather than the starting square's color. I'll choose a bright pink so it's easily seen by you. Once again, drag out the contour to the outside. We can see each step of the contour quite a bit better than before. Play with contour styles as you wish, and lets move on to the next tool. The next tool is the Blend tool. Use the Ellipse tool to draw two circles. Fill them with two different colors and set their outlines to none. They don't have to be the same size. Using the Blend tool, drag one circle to the other. This creates your basic blend. By default, the blend is set to Direct Blend, meaning the objects and the colors blend directly into one another. In the Property Bar, you can adjust the blend's direction. This rotates the angle of the blend you originally set. Use the arrows to enter in the degree of your choosing, and watch the blend's angle change. Between two circles, the angle isn't as dramatic as other shapes, but you can see the nodes move as you click the arrows. Additionally, you can increase or decrease the blend amount. The higher the number, the higher steps between two options. Reducing it to two steps, you can see where this tool is useful for creating color palettes or overlapping objects. Increasing the steps again, you move back to what looks more like a gradient between the shapes, rather than multiple circles. In the Property Bar, you can change the blend type. Clockwise Blend blends the colors in a clockwise fashion around the color spectrum, Counter-clockwise Blend blends the colors in the opposite direction, and Direct Blend blends the objects directly, as noted when we began using this tool. If I change the color of the right circle, the blend changes automatically. You can see the difference in colors closer and further apart on either side of the spectrum by changing their blend style. Another blend option found in the Property Bar is Color and Object Acceleration. This adjusts the rate at which the colors and objects blend into each other. You can adjust both option in one go or unlock them and change their rates separately as you please. You'll find greater differences if your objects and colors are different to begin with, versus two similarly sized circles close to each other on the color spectrum. There are always some additional options for each tool. For now, though, we're going to move on to the next interactive tool. I do encourage you to explore all tools fully in your own time. The next tool is the Distort tool. Draw a circle with the Ellipse tool. Using the Distort tool, I started to adjust the push and pull amplitude in the property bar. By default, my tool starts with the push and pull option. I find this useful for creating flower-like or sparkle-like shapes. You can also manually push or pull your distortion from the object itself. If you do so from the center, you'll have a uniform distortion. Set the object back to zero to begin with a new distortion. Select Zipper distortion and pull downward from the top of the object to create a fantastic leaf or fire-like shape. If I pull this distortion from the center, I can create simple sunburst shapes, Selecting the Twister distortion, I can pull and twist my circle around my starting node, whirling my entire shape. I can also create multiple distortion points within an object, allowing me to increase the change from a simple object to a complex one, or add randomness to how I'm distorting something like this circle. You can also change direction in the Property Bar, as well as angle options and number of rotations. Speaking of options, undo distortions and choose Zipper Distortion again. You can modify both zipper amplitude and frequency of the peaks within an object in the Property Bar, enter in numbers in each option, or play with the arrows to change their values. There are also three additional options for the Zipper distortion. Randomized Distortion, Smooth Distortion, or Localized Distortion. Engage each of these options in turn to see what effect they have on your object. From here, let's move on to the next tool. The next tool is the Envelope tool. This tool changes the shape of an object by applying and dragging the nodes of an envelope created around the object. Draw a circle with the Ellipse tool and use the envelope tool to drag nodes from outside the object to alter the circle's shape. Move nodes inward or outward, and you'll find the object follows the new boundaries of the envelope. Additional options include Straight Line Mode, Single Arc Mode, and Double Arc Mode, as well as Mapping Mode options, most of which will be applied once and send you right back to Putty Mode. How you use this tool to create and change objects within your image is up to you. And finally, we have the Extrude tool. Draw a square with the rectangle tool. Using the Extrude tool, drag out a 3D box from your square. This tool easily transforms 2D objects into 3D objects. Adjust the depth and direction of the extrusion with the tool itself, changing how we view the box from sides, bottom and top, or you can head into the Property Bar and play with the options for greater control. For now, I'm going to set the box to the right, and eliminate the outline from the object. In the Property Bar, you'll notice an option for extrusion rotation. Rotate the 3 and your selected extruded object rotates too. Hit the little undo arrow and let's move on. The next option is Extrusion Color. There are three options available. Use Object Fill, Solid Color, which lets you choose the color for the object sides, and Use Color Shading, which lets you choose the gradient colors the sides are shaded with. Finally for this lesson, here's the Depth Control. Play with the arrows to change the extrusion depth by fives, or enter in a number of your choosing. Thank you so much for watching this lesson on interactive tools within CorelDRAW X7. In our next lesson, we'll check out some of the color and attribute tools.

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