2007 SLP Curriculum Guide #24 More Vector Options
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We now are ready to explore how to use additional Vector Drawing options. We will learn how to add and subtract nodes so that we have more options for creating curves and shapes. We will also learn how to duplicate and rotate a shape, how to cause areas of rotated shapes to have cutouts and in the process create an interesting flower. We will be using the Edit context menus for Vectors as well as Node modes and transforming selected nodes. We first will create a Circle, center it and set stroke to 2 and add a fill. This basic shape then will be used to add nodes and begin shaping it into a flower.

ADDING and MANIPULATING NODES

ADDING a node is very simple. After converting the shape to a path and using the Pen Tool, use the Control Key pressed at the point on the shape path (curve) where you want to add a node. You then will see '+add' by your cursor location. When you click your mouse the new node will be added. Now you can also manipulate the new node.

To DELETE a node, first highlight it and then click on 'Delete'. Another way to delete a node is to highlight it, then click on 'Edit' and then select 'Merge' (however, this method might not always work the way you would like).

To MANIPULATE nodes, highlight a node and then drag it and use its arms to rotate the curve in whatever fashion you choose.

To select MULTIPLE NODES, hold down the 'Shift' key and click on the nodes you want to select. You then manipulate the selected nodes/curve using the node box and arm.

  • First I drew a circle, centered it, then set up the ruler and guides at horizontal/vertical = 50 and snap to = 50.
  • I then added a node to the left and to the right of each main node.
  • Then I dragged each of the added nodes to the center.
  • For all nodes I used the arms to create a symmetric result by setting the ends of the arms to respective grid lines.
  • I used the properties dialogue to set the fill to a gradient.

CREATING CUTOUTS, FLOWERS and a RIBBON

The basics for creating cutouts in shapes is a simple technique:
  1. Create a Basic Shape.
  2. Duplicate it (Edit || Select All, Edit || Duplicate)
  3. Change path's Contour
  4. Rotate (Edit || Transform Selected Nodes || Rotate
  5. Repeat steps 2,3,4 until flower petals created.
  1. Created a basic circle, selected all, set node mode to 'Cusp'
  2. Centered the object, then set View || Ruler, Grid, Snap to Grid
  3. Selected None, Selected top node, dragged it to the center, set the arms to the top of the canvas right and left of the top middle node.
  4. Selected the left node and repeated: Dragged to center, set the node arms to the left edge to the right and left of the node.
  5. Selected the bottom node, then the Right node and repeated the steps for each (drag to center, set the node arms to the edge of canvas.
  6. Created is a basic four petal flower. Then set Properties Dialogue to Stroke = 2, and used a gradient.
  7. Then duplicated object, changed its contour, and rotated it.
  8. I then repeated step 7 until the full flower was created.
  9. Then I converted the Vector layer to a raster layer.
  10. Since the last petal creation also left a section of the flower (an inner area) colored, I used the magic wand to set a selection and deleted that area.
  11. I then set a selection around the flower and flood filled that area with another gradient to fill in the white areas.
One of the best ways to learn to use this cutout technique is to start with a very simple design. Use just a circle and set your stroke and fill. Then Select all Nodes. Then Duplicate it. Then change the contour and notice how the fill disappears. Then, make you shape smaller by grabbing one node (first Select None which also can be done by just double clicking on a node and then grabbing a node and dragging it inward to contract it.

Another way is to use the Edit || Transform Selected Nodes || Contract. The result then will show the larger shape with its fill and a center portion cutout.

Also, one can use Edit || Duplicate and Offset, then Change Contour. The illustration here is done that way with each duplicate/offset then contracted. The background is also a gradient.
This final illustration was first done by creating a shape using the nodes to create loops. Then I duplicated and offset once. I also used various transform options and then filled the shape with a gradient and set the stroke to a gradient and a size that would reflect in a way to create a ribbon like object.

COMMENTS

Take time now to explore both the Vector Basic and the addition Vector Options so far discussed. Just try things out. Drag and move nodes, add nodes, select more than one node using the Shift and click technique and then drag and play with the selected shapes box. The more you experiment and try things out the more you will gain comfortability in using Vectors, nodes and properties dialogue box.

In the next guide we will begin working with the Pen Tool for developing more intricate shapes and techniques. Enjoy!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

  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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