Join Mark Swift for an in-depth discussion in this video editing nodes and paths, part of Getting Started with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 12.
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- The Shape Tool is at the heart of everything that you do with DRAW. If you want to be a really fine illustrator, or even just get control over the drawings that you're trying to make no matter how simple, you need to understand how the Shape Tool works. And this is another topic that could be a half hour video all in itself. But let's take a quick look at it and see if you can't at least begin to get the tools that you need to master this great tool. First thing I'm gonna do is use one of my drawing tools, I'll use the Freehand Tool.
To just create a shape. And beside that shape I'm going to create a line. There we go. Now I'm going to switch from the Freehand Tool to the Shape Tool. Subject of this page. And I'm gonna zoom in on this particular object. Shift+F2, zoom to selected. And I'll tap F3 to step back out. Now the Shape Tool as you can see differs from our pointer. Tap the space bar. This is our selection tool which I can use to select objects around my page.
We've spent a lot of time with that. I'll tap my space bar again to go back to the Shape Tool. Now the Shape Tool, this Star-Trekkian triangle of wonder here, has a very specific purpose. And I'd like you to just memorize this statement: The Shape Tool is for node and line editing. Anytime you want to reshape an object you wanna work with its nodes and lines, reach for the Shape Tool. I can pick up this node and move it.
Changing the direction of this line. Without having to use the control handles to resize it. And I can work with the line itself. When I click on that line and put a placeholder down, I get some options up here in my property bar. For lines there are only two options, I can convert a curved line to be a straight line or convert a straight line to be a curved line. Gonna go to curved lines. And that allows me to actually edit the line itself, or I can work with these handles. I think a better discussion for the handles is the first shape that I made.
So I'm gonna go shift+F4 to full page. And I can select this shape. And shift+F2 to zoom select it. Now let's take a look at some of the nodes. If I select this node for example, you'll see these handles appear they're called Bezier handles. And it's relative to Bezier curves. This is a topic that you could study up a little bit more on. If I take a Bezier handle and I move it, you can see I can reshape the lines that it's connected to. This node for example is sharing space with this line segment.
And with this line segment. So when I move its handles, it affects both of these line segments. Likewise, if I grab hold of this node and I move this Bezier handle, it's oh wait a second it's doing something different. I can see the Bezier handles for both of these line segments. But it's only affecting this one curve. Hm, how come? Well, that has to do with the property bar and the particular type of node we're dealing with. We have three types we have cusp, smooth, and symmetrical.
A little experimentation you'll see exactly what those types of nodes are. And they allow you to do different things. For example the cusp node is the only one that'll allow you to make a right angle. So whenever you see a square or any kind of an object that has a right angle, you'll know that the node that joins these two lines is cusp. So if you use your Shape Tool you can remove nodes, if I double click on them. You can add nodes by double clicking on a line. And you can reposition those nodes to reshape your object any number of ways.
And really, using nodes to reshape objects is the key to effective illustration. You have to be able to work with your nodes comfortably. So keep working with the Shape Tool and keep working with your Bezier curves until you'll feel comfortable to reshape your objects in a way that you can predict.