2007 SLP Curriculum Guide #22 Vectors - Simple Shapes
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To get us going with Vector Graphics we will work first with the basic square we drew in the previous guides. We will start creating some shapes and manipulating nodes to create other shapes. We will also use the Pick tool to change the basic Stroke size and the fill colors for both the stroke and fill areas.


Experimenting with the Basic Shape

  1. After creating a raster canvas white background 600 x 600 draw a vector square that roughly is about 3/4 of the canvas. Then 'Center' it. (Instructions in previous guides.)
  2. Select the Pick tool and click on the 'Properties' button to open the properties dialogue box.
  3. Initially set (or reset) Stroke checked and Fill Unchecked.
  4. Set the Stroke Color to Black.
  5. Then, play (experiment) with Stroke Width and Line Style to see how you create different boarders.
  6. Reset Width to 1 or 2 and then experiment with join. Set a join and then increase the stroke width to see how the corners change.
  7. Reset width to 2 and Center the object

Experimenting with Colors

  1. Again, use the Properties Dialogue and experiment with Stroke Size and Fill.
  2. When working with Fill click on the color box for the Materials Palette and experiment with colors, gradients and patterns.
  3. Also, experiment in the Materials Palette Textures by checking the Textures box and choosing some textures. Note that light textures will produce little show of the texture while darker textures show more.
  4. Finally, experiment with Stroke size and colors similar to the fill exercise.
  5. My illustration is a stroke width of 20, using a pattern and the fill initially was a gradient with textures checked.

Experimenting with Shapes

  1. Using just a black stroke (size = 2) and no fill, I created as examples 5 different shapes using the nodes.
  2. Make sure your square has been converted to a path.
  3. Use the Pen Tool
  4. Right Click and select Edit || Select all to select all four nodes or just click on a node (don't use Edit).
  5. Right Click and select Node Types and select Symmetric and notice how the object rounds out if all are selected (illustrations 3 & 4). You can then click on 'Convert to line' to return to all lines (square). Illustration 3 is just a single node.
  6. Select a node and drag it to create a shape (illustrations 1 &2).
  7. When selecting a node one can manipulate it by rotating the arrow end and create a loop (illustration 5).
  8. Just experiment with selecting nodes and dragging them around to create different looking shapes.


With this guide you now have the basics for using Vectors. We have just used a square shape and manipulated the nodes and used the Properties dialogue box to explore the basics. This final example has been created using just the square shape and manipulating the nodes and using the properties box to change both stroke size and colors including using Textures.

  1. Each of the individual shapes were first drawn as a square then sized to the size wanted for the particular part of the bear.
  2. Each individual shape was then enhanced using the Pen and shaping the specific object using nodes mainly using Symmetric for the node.
  3. Then each particular shape was also enhanced using the Properties dialogue to both set the stroke size and the fill colors often using textures in the materials palette.
  4. The final touch was enhancing the background as a gradient also with a leather texture tweaking it with color and changing the option values some.
  5. This illustration shows that even using the basics one can create interesting results.

Have fun and display some of your creations.


  1. When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
    • Name or Screen Name.
    • Web Site URL.
    • Version of PSP using.
    • List of Tutorials completed.
  2. Post your Work:
    • List what you did, feature, options used, values.
    • Indicate steps taken and results.
    • Indicate things you found interesting, worthwhile and any other comments.
  3. Comment on any particular techniques you used or discovered, any particular results you found perhaps by accident and any ideas you have for creating a particular result.
  4. Post any questions and comments in the SLP Forum.

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