In our previous lesson, we learned about the Pen tool. We used the Pen tool tool to draw the image we want to crop. Here, we will use the Shape tool to finetune the picture we’ve cropped to make the edges smooth.
Unlike Pen tool, Shape tool has couple of additional tools you need to learn about. These additional options support the tool to deliver massive results.
Before we dive into shaping our previous object, lets look at the options that comes with Shape tool.
Click on Shape tool and select the object in the previous topic. You will notice 8 additional light blue items. Two items on each corner, top and bottom.
The item is actually called Node.
- It can be created or added
- It can be deleted
- It can be edited
- It can be moved around
- Nodes can be joined
Types of Nodes in CorelDRAW
Nodes can be changed from a type to another e.g., line node to cusp. There are four node types in CorelDRAW.
To access them, click the Shape tool, select the object and the options to manipulate the object will be displayed on the Property bar below the Standard bar.
- Cusp nodes: make the node’s intersecting line take on the shape of a corner or point when you adjust
the position of the node’s control points.
- Smooth nodes: make the node’s intersecting line take on the shape of a curve. Each control point can
be shortened or lengthened independently, giving you smaller or larger angles to work with.
- Symmetrical nodes: make the node’s intersecting line take on the shape of a curve as well as intersect
the node at exactly the same angle.
- Line nodes: let you shape objects by changing the shape of their segments. You can make a curve
segment straight or a straight segment curved.
An object converted to curves may have multiple nodes, to get exactly the shape you want, you may need to add or delete them.
In addition to add and delete, you can find other options which can help modify the object. These are the four node types we looked at in types of nodes; Cusp nodes, Smooth nodes, Symmetrical nodes and Line nodes.
Let’s take a moment with this line segment to study line nodes and how to convert a line to curve.
- Using the Pen tool, draw a straight line.
- To complete the line, double click or press escape or spacebar on the keyboard. You will notice the tool is deselected.
- Next, click on the line and select Shape tool
Since this object is a straight line; we will be converting it to curve.
- Click on the arrow on the right side
Before, the options were all greyed out – after clicking the end of the line, you will notice the Convert to curve option is active.
- Select Convert to curve
- Drag the left handle which appeared after converting the line upward
- Drag the one on the right downward
This will create an uphill shape from a straight line. You can convert it back to straight line.
To convert the shape back to straight line:
- Click on the left arc
- Click on the line segment option on the Property bar to convert back to line
Refer to photo below to convert to line.
Finally, let’s work with our previous object.
I have made a little change to the shape for the purpose of the upcoming topic.
We will be reshaping each corner to look perfect.
- Select shape
- Select Shape tool
- Click below the bottom node
- Click the add node button to add node
- After creating the third node, click on the middle node and select smooth nodes type
- Double click the node to get rid of it
You will notice our corner is almost perfect.
To tidy up things, we will add a new node at the top as it looks a little jerky.
Follow the image to clean things up.
This time, the Smooth node option will not be active. You don’t need it, just double click as in photo to remove node.
Repeat around to have something similar to the below photo.
This looks a lot like the perfect shape we created using the Pen tool.
To get a clean shape; you must practice severally and master the tools. It takes time and practice.