Join Mark Swift for an in-depth discussion in this video using corelTRACE, part of Getting Started with CorelDRAW 11.
- In the last exercise, we showed tracing a bitmap in CorelDRAW to get fine, pristine vector lines. In this exercise, we're gonna look at a program that ships with the CorelDRAW graphics suite and it is called CorelTRACE. Now the first thing that I'm going to do is, once again, to import a bitmap. Going out to the exercise files, I'm going to locate a file called, "bw_cloud_sketch." We'll say, "Import" and I'm just gonna click with this placeholder icon and that's going to put in a sketch of the cloud.
And I have simplified the sketch that we worked on earlier on purpose because when you work with CorelTRACE, you want to work with simple objects. It would be better to break everything up. If you were gonna do every single weather icon, then to try to trace the entire document in its former form. - [Man] It's gonna make it easier, too, now that you have this one object, to kind of keep those new vector objects that TRACE will create separate from the rest of your drawing. - [Woman] I'm going to right-click on this bitmap and I'm gonna launch CorelTRACE by just coming up to this menu item called "Trace Bitmap..." And what this is doing is creating a link between the CorelTRACE product and CorelDRAW.
This interface is fairly simple and straightforward. I could go very deep into it, but frankly, it's just kind of a one-click program if you want it to be. What I'm going for is to create a vector out of this sketch and I do want to preface the conversation to say that I converted my original sketch that I scanned into the scanner to a black and white bitmap so that I could get the maximum amount of contrast and make my lines easy for CorelTRACE to understand.
All I'm actually going to do is come up to the Trace menu and choose to trace by one of these methods. And I'm just gonna choose By Outline. And when I do that, magically, what's happened on the right side is that I no longer have a bitmap object, I have vector objects and you'll see that there are 12 objects here. - [Man] Man, that was fast. - [Woman] It was. I'm gonna go ahead and trace this again just to show you a couple of different settings. This slider right here affects the accuracy.
If I wanted to have a more complex and accurate drawing, I could choose to raise the value here. And then, just once again, choose to trace By Outline and notice how I got 72 objects. I really don't visually see the difference. And I've created something that has far too many objects to really be very efficient so... what you might wanna do if you come in here and just wanna work with the bare basics, is to find a threshold that you are pleased with by checking the results and once your happy go ahead and close CorelTRACE.
You're going to be prompted, "do you want to save the results?" If you say, "Yes," what happens is those results appear right in CorelDRAW and that's exactly what's happened here. Notice that in my status bar, it's telling me that I have 13 objects on Layer 1. And I'm gonna go ahead and move this to the side so that we can see that there's also a bitmap object above it. And if I go ahead and just zoom in to these two objects, I zoom in to the original bitmap, you're gonna see that it gets very jaggy.
If I zoom out, and zoom in to the vector, artwork really doesn't matter how tight I get in it's gonna have very crisp, pristine lines. Now, I can also recolor this and work with all of the same coloring tools that I worked with using artwork that I created from scratch. One thing to note is when something comes in from CorelTRACE, it's grouped. And so if I press the spacebar to get my Pick tool, once again, you're gonna see that this is a group of 13 objects on a layer.
What I'm gonna do is go up here to the Properties bar and say Ungroup All. And there's probably a big piece of background artwork here because even though this artwork looks like it's in the shape of a cloud, there's actually -- they also made an object for the white background and one thing that we haven't talked about is viewing this artwork as Wireframe. And once you do that, you can kind of see all the difference objects separated and their outlines and that is easier to decipher than looking at it in the normal view.
But I know if I click right over here and press the Delete key, that now I have the artwork in the shape of the cloud selected and by clicking in the middle, I get the fill, so that if I change the color I can actually go ahead and modify the color this way. And what's really neat is I have a piece of artwork here that would be near to impossible to draw to get it look really rough and gritty like this. But I have all the benefits of this vector and I can scale it to a the size of a billboard or I can use it on a wine label or wherever I want to use it.
It's completely flexible because it's in vector form. And if we were to go to save this, we would just save it as a normal CorelDRAW document and we'd be done. Mark, do you have anything to add to this exercise? - [Mark] Well, you know the one thing that just struck me is there's a few stragglers here that look like they might be part of that cloud. We can use the Combine function, if I select the body of the cloud, and then I'm gonna hold down shift to multi-select the little pieces around it. All of these parts, these windows into the cloud body that we'd normally think of as part of the cloud and here I've selected them all.
I'm gonna go up to the Property bar here and use the Combine function. And what the Combine function does is unlike grouping or welding, it doesn't make them all one object but it treats them all as one object for the fill. So now we can give them one color and they all share that property or you can give them one complex fill like a gradient. Maybe you wanna show them having a very angry cloud here. (Woman chuckles)