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2.2 Shape Tools

This lesson gives an overview of the basic shape tools and perfect shape tools within the Toolbox. This includes rectangles, ellipses, polygons and stars, as well as Perfect Shapes with their special nodes that change each shape uniquely.

2.2 Shape Tools

Welcome to Getting Started With Corel Draw. I'm Mary Winkler with tuts+. In this lesson we will focus on the various shaped tools found in the toolbox. Things like rectangles, polygons, perfect shapes and more. Starting with the Rectangle tool, shortcut F6, we're going to create some rectangles and squares. Simply drag out your shape, rectangle or a square, note that you're creating the shape from a single corner. If you hold down shift, however, your rectangle moves outward from the center and you can control the width and height. If you hold down Ctrl, you'll be able to create a uniform square. It's a simple and fantastic tool that makes rectangles and squares easy. Next, we have the Three Point Rectangle tool. With this tool, we'll drag out a line for the width of the rectangle and then drag out the shape itself, for its height. Like the Rectangle tool, you can hold down shift or Ctrl to manipulate how a rectangle or square is made. With shift both sides of the rectangle move outward from the center. Whereas with Ctrl, you're able to draw a perfect square immediately. Watch as it pops into place, once the width has been established. Next up, is a Ellipse tool, shortcut F7. It's quite similar to the rectangle tool in that it draws a single shape. Ellipses like the Rectangle tool, holding down Shift or Ctrl also changes how the tool creates ellipses or circles. Shift creates ellipses from their centers, and Ctrl creates perfect circles. It's a fairly straightforward tool and one that I use quite often. To go with the Ellipse tool, we have Three Point Ellipse tool. This tool allows you to specify width and then height of an ellipse. Shift and Ctrl again, change how ellipses are created much in the same way they've done for the other shape tools we have explored so far. In the Property bar, when you select the Rectangle tool or the Ellipse tool, you may notice some additional options, let's check them out now. Draw a rectangle with the Rectangle tool. Using the Shape tool shortcut F10, you can pull a node inward in order to manipulate the corners of the rectangle. I've selected Round Corner in the Property bar, so my rectangle is rounding out. You can also select Scalloped Corner or Chamfered Corner to get different corner styles. You can manually enter the corner radius in the Property bar rather than pulling it with the shape tool, or use the up and down arrows to tweak each corners' radius. This allows you to manipulate the shape to its fullest, creating customized shapes from a simple rectangle. Using the Ellipse tool, we'll check out the additional options for the shape in the Property bar. Draw a circle by holding Ctrl. If you select the Pie option in the property bar, your circle is now a pie shape. You can also manipulate the starting and ending angles of the pie shape. Now select the Arc option. Your pie has become a simple arc shape. Again, you can manipulate the arc with the starting and ending angles option, just like the pie. If you hit Change Direction in the Property bar, your arc or pie will become the missing piece from the shape. This is especially useful if you want to duplicate your shape using Ctrl+d and show a circle with a portion of it cut out. Once I've duplicated my shape, I hit Change Direction again and I have two perfect pie pieces. Tools like this are excellent for info-graphics and presentation materials. Next up, is the Polygon tool, shortcut y. This tool allows you to create multiple sided figures quickly and easily. This tool allows you to create multi-sided figures quickly and easily. We're going to start with a six-sided hexagon. You can change the number of sides a figure has in the Property bar. I'm going to a draw a single, large shape in the center, and show you how quick and easy this is. If I decrease the points in my figure the hexagon instantly becomes a pentagon, square, and then a triangle. The same goes for increasing the amount of points. You can quickly manipulate your figure, so long as you haven't yet converted it to curves. The next tool, the Star tool, is similar to the Polygon tool. You're drawing a shape with options to increase or decrease the amount of points it has. Doing so, can create some fantastic sparkle, and some burst shapes, in addition to stars. The secondary option of Sharpness determines how tall or sharp each point is, the higher the number, the sharper the point. The lower the number, the shallower the point. I like to make little golden suns or even badge and sticker graphics, with shapes like these. Play with the Stars tools options and you'll find all sorts of uses for the tool. Next up, is the Complex Star tool. Like the Star tool, it creates multi-pointed figures, this time though, the lines of the figures are drawn through it. It's constructed from multiple triangles. You can, again, change the number of points the sharpness of the shape. You are however limited in how sharp you can make the shape based on how many points your complex star has. Play around with these settings. One thing I love doing with the tool is making Spiro-graph-like shapes by increasing the points and manipulating the sharpness until I get a shape reminiscent of the graphing toy from my youth. Geometric shapes are easy and fun to make with Corel shape tools. Our next tool is the Graph Paper tool, shortcut d. This tool creates a line graph consisting of with shapes for each cell. Each shape is outlined and you can edit the outline in the Property bar when the tool's in use. Select the graph shape and ungroup, Ctrl+u, to break apart each of the rectangles that make up the graph. This is useful when you want to add properties or attributes to cells in the graph individually, or to create a graphic with rectangles bursting outward, delete the shapes and let's edit the tool further. In the Property bar, you can set the row and column cell number, try out six rows and three columns. You'll notice the graph is no longer made up of perfect squares, as mine previously was. You can also change the outlines properties. Change the width in the Property bar's drop down menu. You can also change the solid line to an assortment of dotted or dashed lines. Once again, when you ungroup the graph with Ctrl+u, you can break apart the rectangles from the rest of the graph shape. The next shape tool is the Spiral tool, shortcut a. You can create spiral pads with it. In the Property bar, you can change the style of Outline, solid lines, dotted lines, dashed lines, change line weight, and give your spiral assorted end shapes like arrows or circles. By adjusting the number of spiral revolutions in the Property bar before drawing your spiral, you can affect how many times the path has gone around to create your shape. Try it out now, and draw several tight or loose spirals. You have two options for spiral type. We were just drawing symmetrical spirals, the other type of spiral is a logarithmic spiral. This is the spiral associated with the Golden Ratio in mathematics and can be useful for planning out compositional pieces or drawing beautiful objects like nautilus shells. In the Property bar, you can manipulate the spiral expansion factor, which changes the rate at which a new spiral expands as it moves outward. Let's move on to the perfect shapes. Corel Draw X7 has an assortment of perfect shapes with special properties. Let's start with the basic shapes. I've chosen a parallelogram. Draw it out like you would a rectangle, use the Shape tool, shortcut F10 to manipulate the bright red node in the top left. Each perfect shape has special nodes that change the objects' overall shape in marvelous ways. Choose a new shape, like the Arc shape, from the basic shape options. I like to think of it as a rainbow. Drag it out, use the Shape tool to manipulate the bright red node. You'll be able to increase or decrease the arc easily, as well as change the width of the arc, make the shape into a circle, or even a small wedge piece. You can also do so carefully, so the width isn't changed as you alter the arc. Some perfect shapes are pretty fun and silly. Take the Smiley Face shape as an example. The red special node in this case manipulates the face's smile, changing it from happy to sad and back again with ease. Every perfect shape has its own special features. Check out some of the other perfect shape categories. I found a lot of these especially useful for creating info-graphics and micro-stock graphics, from assorted arrows to flowcharts and call out shapes. These tools allow you to easily box out areas for titles or text and to draw attention to areas of a graphic or illustration. Check out all of the perfect shapes this program has to offer. We'll be using some of them in our final info-graphic project in the fifth chapter of this course. Until then, let's move on to the next lesson. Thank you so much for watching this lesson on the shape tools of Corel DRAWX7. In our next lesson we'll be checking out the text tools, and some of the ways to add and edit text within an image.

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