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
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
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Download WorkfileClick the link above to download theworkfile
full of examples you canexamine to fully understand
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
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
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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
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.
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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
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?
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Figure 11Figure 12
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
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Figure 17 Figure 18
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.
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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
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