By Jonathan Androsky
A few weeks ago I posted the following layout over on
Portfolio Table for a critique. A few folks expressed an interest in
seeing how I achieved the effects in that drawing. Well, it just so
happens that the same client wanted to see another drawing with a
different name, so I figured I'd try my hand at a how to.
The first thing I did was lay the sign out in CorelDraw. Pretty typical drawing. Now what we are going to do here is copy the shapes out of this layout and paste them into a new layout in Corel PhotoPaint. Yes, you can copy vector shapes out of Draw and paste them straight into Photopaint as bitmap objects, neat huh? So at this point you'll want to have Corel Draw open with your layout, and Corel PhotoPaint open with a blank document that matches the overall size of your Corel drawing with a resolution of 72 dpi. This is the resolution that Corel assigns copied Vector objects when it pastes them into Photopaint, so when you paste your shapes they'll all stay the same size. I generally do work like this at about 10" in length, at this size and resolution (72 dpi) you should have an image that prints nicely on 8½" x 11" paper.
Ok, time to start our stone wall. There is a rectangle
behind everything that represents mortar, copy that that bugger out of
Draw and paste it into your PhotoPaint document.
Back to business. Stones and mortar are generally not smooth (duh) so we want some texture on our mortar. Select the mortar, go on up to the effects menu and from there go to Corel's Texture filters, select Stone. You'll get a cute little interface that lets you mess with the filter parameters, like so:
|Now copy the stones out of Draw and paste 'em in. We're
using the same filter for texture here, but with slightly different
|At this point I thought the mortar looked a bit dark, so I
selected it and gave the brightness and contrast sliders (located under
Image / Adjust / Brightness, Contrast, Intensity) a gentle nudge. Here's
where we're at.
Sorta' flat lookin', aint it? Enter the Eye Candy 4000 filter set. Select the stones and swing on over to the Eye Candy filters (under Effects), were going to use the shadow Lab to create some depth. Thusly:
When using this filter or the Cutout filter I almost never
use black as the shadow color, rather I use a darker shade of whatever
color the shadow is being cast upon. If there are a whole bunch of colors
under the shadow, then I'll use black but I'll turn the opacity way down.
Let's look at the finished wall:
Time to Build our sign face. We'll select the outermost shape of the sign, Copy it, and paste it over our wall. Then apply the Shadowlab filter on that object to give her some pop.
|Now, we are going to create our gold leaf bevel. You'll
see a wee little purple outline on the shape we just worked with, in
CorelDraw we'll remove that outline and copy the same shape again and
paste it into PhotoPaint. We're doing this because we want the bevel shape
separate from the shadow so we can fool with it without affecting the
qualities of the drop shadow or the purple pinstripe.
In PhotoPaint, select the new gold shape and go after the Eye Candy filters, we're gonna' use Chrome. There are 3 tabs in this interface that have parameters you can play with, I've included one image of the whole interface, and a second image which shows my parameters on the other two tabs.
Yup, that bevel is way wider than it will be when we're done. That's ok, we're going to cover most of it anyway. Here's how she looks.
|Next we are going to copy and paste in the outside green
and purple boarders. Since we don't need to fool with these, go ahead and
select them together and paste them as one object.
|Now we get to do some sandblasting. Copy and paste the
beige background into PhotoPaint. Now we could use the Texture filter
here, but I didn't like the results. So instead we're going to select the
beige object, and use Corel's paint bucket tool. We want to choose the
texture fill mode (the icon that looks sort of like a purple brain), then
select "edit fill" (the cyan paint bucket Icon). Find the Red
Brick texture, and tweak the parameters like so:
|Not bad. Now to give a bit of dimension, back to the Eye
Candy filters. Select the beige object we've been working with and apply
the Cutout filter. Like in the Shadow Lab, we're using a shade of the
background color instead of black. Make a note of the color used for the
shadow here, we'll need it later.
|Here we go gang, the last bit. We're going to select all of
the flat interior design elements and paste them into PhotoPaint as one
object, then add a drop shadow via Shadowlab. Remember when I said to make
a note of your shadow color back when we applied the cutout to the
background? This is when you'll need it.
I've also pasted in the center of the oval and applied the same Cutout filter to at as I did on the blasted background.
|On to the text. We'll paste in our primary (Meadow Wood)
and secondary (Estates) text as separate objects. The primary text will be
a prismatic appliqué, while the secondary will be incised and Gold
Let's tackle the prismatic first. We're going to use the Eye Candy Bevel Boss filter for this. This filter works something like the chrome filter we used for the bevel, only it uses the objects original fill. Lets take a look.
|You'll notice that I used dark and light shades of the
original color for the lhighlight and shadow, this keeps the colors from
becoming muddy. The B.B. filter can do some strange things to color, so
you may need to play with your adjustment sliders to get what you like,
I've also added a faint drop shadow with Shadow Lab.
|On to the incised text. Select the object and apply a
Chrome filter. We're going to use the same settings that we used for our
bevel, with one exception. We want to change the profile in the Bevel
Profile tab (this works like editing Bezier curves in your graphics
software) to look like this:
|Almost done! I want to say a quick word about the Chrome
filter. This filter uses tiny bitmaps called reflection maps to generate
it's effects. I'm using a reflection map called Roadside2, which is a
color adjusted version of Eye Candy's Roadside reflection map. It looks
These little fellows are buried deep in the Windows program directory along with Eye Candy's other data. They can be found by doing a search for "reflection". You can put any bitmaps that you want in here for an infinite variety of effects.
|Ok, time for the finishing touches. At this point I thought
the secondary copy needed an outline, so I generated one in Draw, Copied
it to Photopaint, and used the Objects docker to arrange its location and
place it behind the incised copy that we just made.
I didn't do anything fancy with the tree, "cuz that aint the tree we're usin'" (to quote the client) aside from a quick drop shadow.
The whole drawing looked a little dark to me, so I selected all of the objects and gave my Brightness and Contrast sliders a bump in the right direction.
I entered the sign industry in 1990 as a vinyl
monkey. You know...weed, mask, stick, rinse, repeat as needed. It was a
small shop in Eastern Pennsylvania, but the woman who owned that shop had
to be the fastest sho-card writer I've ever seen. I learned a good deal
about hand lettering from her.
On the off weekends it was grab the kit and head
to the dirt track where I was the "Emergency name guy". Those
deals went something like this:
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