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CorelDRAW Gold Factory Copyright © 2005 by Jeff Harrison Well... well... well. So you’ve seen those amazing pictures on the site and said to yourself: “I gotta know how to do that... I can’t believe CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT can do things like this.” Believe it. The best part is that extra 3rd party plug-ins, often costing hundreds of dollars are not required. Everything you need is already right there in the programs. This is one of my favorite techniques, thank-you for purchasing this tutorial and allowing me the opportunity to share it with you. Let’s go for the gold! 1. First Thoughts. The final result will depend largely on the steps you take in the beginning. As I direct you through the tutorial, note how the same processes applied to different initial shapes and font choices produce different results as we go along. I’ve included many of the original vector shapes shown in the tutorial so you can use them to follow along. Or, you could create your own text string right from the start and use it from this point forward. Have a look at Figure 1 to see shapes and wording I’ve created in Draw as vector components. Notice that the “Gold Rush” element has some very subtle fountain fills applied. All others are 50% gray. 2. Convert Now, My Child. Select your element(s) and choose Bitmaps | Convert to Bitmap. Use the settings shown in Figure 2 for images more than 5" in any direction, or type in 400 dpi for anything smaller than that. Or use another number that you are fond of. Keep in mind that some effect preview windows in Corel PHOTO-PAINT will look slightly different depending on the resolution you choose... however, you can compensate for any differences there (Just use the screenshots shown here as a guide when the time comes). Why are we converting to RGB instead of grayscale? Good question... it’s because we’ll need to be in RGB anyway in the near future when we add the final gold hue near the end. 3. Launch Photo-Paint. Right-click on the bitmap and access Corel PHOTO-PAINT (PP) right through CorelDRAW. If for some reason you don’t have it installed, then.... install it! It’s a prerequisite for this tutorial. Once you see your graphic in PP, maximize both the window the graphic is in and the entire PP application. Ahhh... that’s better, now we can see what we’re working on! Another handy tip is that if you want to see a pixel-perfect-preview in the PP workspace, press Ctrl+1. The “1” at the top left of your keyboard, not the Num Pad 1. Then there are no Page 1 CorelDRAW Gold Factory Download Workfile Click the link above to download the workfile full of examples you can examine to fully understand metallic techniques. Figure 1 Figure 2

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  • CorelDRAW Gold FactoryCopyright 2005 by Jeff HarrisonWell... well... well. So youve seen those amazingpictures on the site and said to yourself: I gotta knowhow to do that... I cant believe CorelDRAW and CorelPHOTO-PAINT can do things like this. Believe it. Thebest part is that extra 3rd party plug-ins, often costinghundreds of dollars are not required. Everything youneed is already right there in the programs. This is oneof my favorite techniques, thank-you for purchasingthis tutorial and allowing me the opportunity to share itwith you. Lets go for the gold!

    1. First Thoughts.The final result will depend largely on the steps youtake in the beginning. As I direct you through thetutorial, note how the same processes applied todifferent initial shapes and font choices producedifferent results as we go along. Ive included many ofthe original vector shapes shown in the tutorial so youcan use them to follow along. Or, you could createyour own text string right from the start and use it fromthis point forward. Have a look at Figure 1 to seeshapes and wording Ive created in Draw as vectorcomponents. Notice that the Gold Rush element hassome very subtle fountain fills applied. All others are50% gray.

    2. Convert Now, My Child.Select your element(s) and choose Bitmaps | Convert to Bitmap. Use the settings shown in Figure 2 forimages more than 5" in any direction, or type in 400dpi for anything smaller than that. Or use another number that you are fond of. Keep in mind thatsome effect preview windows in Corel PHOTO-PAINT will look slightly different depending on theresolution you choose... however, you can compensate for any differences there (Just use thescreenshots shown here as a guide when the time comes). Why are we converting to RGB insteadof grayscale? Good question... its because well need to be in RGB anyway in the near future when we add the final gold hue near the end.

    3. Launch Photo-Paint.Right-click on the bitmap and access Corel PHOTO-PAINT (PP) right through CorelDRAW. If forsome reason you dont have it installed, then.... install it! Its a prerequisite for this tutorial. Once you see your graphic in PP, maximize both the window the graphic is in and the entire PPapplication. Ahhh... thats better, now we can see what were working on!Another handy tip is that if you want to see a pixel-perfect-preview in the PP workspace, pressCtrl+1. The 1 at the top left of your keyboard, not the Num Pad 1. Then there are no

    Page 1 CorelDRAW Gold Factory

    Download WorkfileClick the link above to download theworkfile full of examples you canexamine to fully understand metallictechniques.

    Figure 1

    Figure 2

  • interpolation artifacts on the image from zooming in orout, youre seeing the image as it really is. This is veryhandy for Web design, as the dimensions you see arethe real ones when you export the file. In some versions of PP, the plastic effect coming up next has troubledoing its thing near the edge of a file. So if everyonecould please add a little extra breathing space aroundour elements, thatll take care of that issue. Go toImage | Paper Size and add somewhere between30-300 pixels for the top and side. Usually I just roundup to the next full inch in the dialog. Good enough.Precision isnt required... just make some more spacearound the edges.

    4. Plastic Please.Ever since discovering the plastic texture effect inversion 9, its been a staple for me in creating manykinds of fancy text", along with other elements.Choose Effects | Texture | Plastic from the menu.Try the parameters shown in Figure 3. TheSmoothness and Depth adjustments will providedifferent looks depending on the resolution of yourfile. Observe the result in the preview window morethan worrying about actual parameters. For theexamples, Ive applied the effect to the components abit differently from piece to piece. For the Gold Rushelement, I chose some very different settingsseeFigure 4.

    5. Tone Curve Surprise.At this stage, our text is generally looking like something resembling pewtersee Figure 5. Letscrank things up a notch with the insane possibilities of the tone curve plugin. Go to Image |Adjust | Tone Curve. Notice the outrageous tone curve setting. Memorize where the dots are.Column 1, top, Column 2, bottom. Column 3, top, Column 4, bottom. See the pattern? Excellent.Carefully center the dots in the boxes as shown in Figure 6. The artwork may look strange againstthe transparent background checker board in the preview window, but continue anyway. There

    CorelDRAW Gold Factory Page 2

    Figure 3

    Figure 4

    Figure 5 Figure 6

  • are two elements that were processed differently in myexample; I applied the same tone curve effect to theSilver Bullet text twice, and on the Gold Rushelement the tone curve had some small changes fromnormal.

    6. More Processing.Since were in RGB, you may have some strange colors on your text. Just select Image | Adjust | Desaturate. This is similar to converting the document to grayscale, then back to RGB. Another thing I often do isauto-equalize the image, Image | Adjust | AutoEqualize. This makes the blacks black, and thehighlights white. The goal is for your item to have aSterling Silver appearance before proceeding. In fact, ifsilver is your goal, the bus stops here! The textshould now resemble Figure 7. (Ive put a blackbackground behind the text so its easier to see). If youare feeling brave, please investigate theBrightness/Contrast/Intensity adjustments as well tomassage your components for the next big step.

    7. Its Time for the Gold.Open the Image | Adjust | Color Hue plug-in andclick the Reset button. Un-check the Shadow box,and slide the Step slider to 50. See Figure 8. Now,remember this following sequence: 2 Red, 2 Yellow,and 1 Cyan. One more time... 2 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 Cyan.Click on the boxes labeled as such in that sequence.Your text/object should now have a lovely gold color.Save back to CorelDRAW, and youre in business! SeeFigure 9.

    8. Other Ideas.A. GlareTry this novel idea I came up with to add a little glow,based on the luminance of the brightest areas of anyobject. For quite some time, Id make a shadow,separate it and layer it over top in add mode (accessedvia PPs Objects Docker"). That route is okay, but Iwas hoping to have less glow over the darker areas.How to do this?

    1. Duplicate the object.2. Run the Effects | Noise | Maximize command. This will broaden the general object

    in a hurry. See Figure 10.3. Apply Gaussian Blur. Effects | Blur | Gaussian Blur. This will smooth out the edges

    from the previous step. See Figure 11.

    Page 3 CorelDRAW Gold Factory

    Figure 7

    Figure 8

    Figure 9

    Figure 10

  • 4. Desaturate the layer, than add a little bit of lightyellow using the Color Hue command. Image |Adjust | Color Hue.

    See Figure 12. I clicked yellow 5 times with thesettings shown.

    5. Put the blurry yellow-ish object into add modethrough the Objects Docker. Slide the opacity of this object to taste. I used 40%. You can seehow this adds a unique glare. Since our glare isa whole separate object, also consider adjustingBrightness/Contrast/Intensity (BCI) so that theglare is really defined to specific areas. SeeFigure 13.

    6. The final result with BCI adjustments is nowlayered over top with 60% opacity. Whereverthere was a hard highlight in the original image,there is a now a nice soft glow. See Figure 14.

    B. Lens FlareThis is fairly straightforward. However, instead of the defaults, try changing the color of the flare to a pale yellow instead of white. Adjust the settings so that the effect is somewhat subtle, and looksnatural. See Figure 15. I added 3 small flares. Can you pick them out?

    CorelDRAW Gold Factory Page 4

    Figure 11Figure 12

    Figure 13

    Figure 14

    Figure 15

    Figure 16

  • C. Tone CurveAgain!I had run the tone curve effect twice in the SilverBullet text string. The effects that can be achieved areoutstanding. Figure 16 is an example of what canhappen. In that case, the original lettering also hadfountain fills before running the plastic effect. Then thetone curve effect was run twice. Figure 17 shows asilver effect (a cool look in its own right), with the tonecurve run once. After running the effect again andapplying some lens flares, Figure 18 is the result. WithFigure 19, I re-ran all effects on separate components.After adding some drop shadows, a compelling imageis the result. The silver tone curve lettering turned out very well.An advanced method: Remember those columns in the Tone Curve plugin? Slide the dots upwards anddownwards within the columns, and see the results asyou go. There are incredible possibilities here, for other kinds of surfaces like glass lettering. Try playing withthis idea from the first time you enter the Tone Curve plugin.

    D. PlasticAgain!Running the plastic filter again either before orafter the tone curve adjustment yields excellentresults. It can provide a liquid metal look. SeeFigure 20. Odd fonts can make interestingmetalsee Figure 21. When you use clipart orWebdings, or Wingdings as part of your originalvector shapes, many interesting possibilities

    Page 5 CorelDRAW Gold Factory

    Figure 17 Figure 18

    Figure 19

    Figure 20

    Figure 21 Figure 22

  • become apparent. The drama masks came from theWebdings library to create Figure 22. Go back andhave a look at diagram 15. This was created with a font containing Egyptian symbols. In Figure 23, I used ashape from the Wingdings library to create a fancyborder. The vector shape is in the workfile. ManyOriental restaurants use red and gold in their decor.

    E. Brighten Top HalfZoom in on Figure 24 to see how the very top lettering seems to reflect an environment. To do this on yourown text, slightly brighten any areas you want afterrunning the first plastic effect. Then run the tone curveand you can see how a dramatic change will take placewith the slightest of brightening adjustmentsbeforehand.I use the brightness effect tool as opposed to maskingoff an area, though that will work too. Press V to bring up the effect tools. Youll find one on the Property Bar.Press it to open up all of the tools. Find the light bulb.Then open up the drop-down menu and pick brighten.Choose a nib, and start painting brightness onto theimage where you require. Many PP users overlook theeffect tools. Theres a lot of power in there! I find themvery intuitive. You may be already comfortable with how PPs nibs feel with painting, cloning, and erasing. You are probably thankful for how smoothly you can change the size of any nib by pressing shift anddragging the mouse up and down.Figure 25 is a very early example of playing with the general idea of this whole tutorial. I was eager to try the effect on a shape, not just text. I had also put in a subtle reflection of a mountain rangereflecting on the word machine". Creating a shape like the one at the very bottom of Figure 25 iseasy in CorelDRAW, but impractical in PP. I cant stress enough how powerful these programs are, especially when used in tandem. When solving graphic problems or creating new artwork,understanding the strengths of each program simplifies things immensely.Figure 26 shows a type of highlight effect that spans the elements. Duplicate your main textobject. Press Ctrl-M to mask it. Fill with a linear fountain fill, at an angle if you like. Put that objectinto add mode, and adjust the opacity.Figure 27 shows the brighten top halftechnique on some antique text.

    CorelDRAW Gold Factory Page 6

    Figure 23

    Figure 24

    Figure 25 Figure 26

  • Remember how the tone curve provides its owncolors? In Figure 28, these are the colors itmade all by itselfI didnt desaturate the image.Figure 17 seen earlier is a similar example.Figure 29 shows the final result of contouring text inDraw with various grayscale values. When the variouscontours are plasticized, interesting ridges appear.Figure 30 is an example of various objects layeredtogether to create a metallic look. One of the objectshas this tutorials treatment applied. Other objectsinclude various degrees of distress, and at least onewith a glare effect.Thats it! Im sure you can see the awesome potentialof these techniques. Create a bunch of examples ofyour own and print them off on good color laser to seehow they are turning out. Have a look at the workfileand see if there is something in there that interests you. If youve come up with something really cool, upload itto a Web site and send me the link to it (as opposed toemailing the image directly to me), Id love to see it!Sincerely,Jeff [email protected]

    Page 7 CorelDRAW Gold Factory

    Figure 27

    Figure 28

    Figure 29

    Figure 30