Changing the opacity of all features on an Ortelius’ Drawing Layer is now easy as pie. Unlike the master opacity of individual styles, changing a Drawing Layer’s master opacity affects all features and respects the object stack order within the layer.
Gradient fills are often used to shade objects for a realistic look. Using a gradient fill is limited because the gradient steps don’t always run in the same direction as the shape of the object. Here we show how to create blended stroke and fill styles for the desired effect. Read more
Time saving tricks and pitfalls to avoid to create crisp icons for user interface design. While some of the topics are specific to Artboard, this guide will help you create pixel perfect icons regardless of which vector software you use.
Round-cornered rectangles are common shapes in many designs. We give it more love with new fine-grain controls and the ability to square-off individual corners!
This video shows how to “tear-off” the Color Picker to apply color to individually selected text in a single text box.
This video shows how to make a patterned brush style using simple graphics and the ’Path Decorator’ settings.
This video tip demonstrates how to show and hide sidebars, and how to move Tabs within sidebars for a customized workspace.
When considering a new color scheme for your next design project, custom color palettes are a great place to start. Using Apple’s Color Picker, you can manually create new color swatch lists, or download and install pre-made custom color palettes from several sources on the web. Here’s how…
Artboard’s new ‘Skew’ function makes it easy to distort objects and add perspective. Here we combine multiple objects and apply ‘Skew’ to quickly add great looking windows to a tall building.
Cartoon clouds are fun to make and use! Sure, you can use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to draw clouds, and here we show how to use Artboard’s shape tools to get some really awesome (and super easy!) results.
Create this cracked effect on text and shapes quickly by converting and combining shapes, then blowing things apart. Artboard’s simple, direct Regular Polygon ‘Star’ makes easy work out of drawing smashes.
Program : Artboard for Mac OS X
Topics Covered: Convert, Combine Objects
Estimated Completion Time: 15 minutes
The first step is to use a large blocky font with your text. Use the Text Tab to select a font and its style properties. Here we use Arial Black at 96pt.
Next add a Regular Polygon ‘star’ to drawing. With the star still selected, use the Geometry Tab to adjust number of sides (we use 12) and Inner Radius of the star.
With the text selected, choose Convert To > Shape Group from the Geometry Tab. Ungroup using the keyboard shortcut ⌘Command + Shift + G. Each letter is now an individual shape.
TRY IT NOW! Download the Artboard resource file for this tutorial.
With the star still selected, choose Convert To > Shape from the Geometry Tab. Click the Arrange > Move To Front button to move it on top of the text shapes, then stretch it out over letter shapes by dragging its object handles.
Next, choose Convert To > Path from the Geometry Tab (alternatively, double-click to ‘quick-convert’ it to a path). Adjust the individual points to achieve a more randomized smash pattern.
Select all the text and smash shapes and click the Combine > Difference button in the Geometry Tab.
Select again and choose Combine > Break Apart from the main menu. Now, you can begin to move fragments slightly outward (away from center) to emphasize the smashed effect. You can also try rotating them slightly to add a more scattered look.
This can be a great effect when applied to one or two words, and even other shapes (like we’ve done in our tutorial’s background image). Don’t be afraid to experiment. Tweak your design until you are happy with the overall look.
Randomized patterns add texture and variety. This is an especially good effect for representing features with naturally occurring randomness. Artboard has several tools in the Style Inspector to help you make awesome randomized patterns.
Program: Artboard 1.6+ for Mac OS X
Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced
Topics Covered: Style Inspector
Estimated Completion Time: 25 minutes
Start with a Shape
Create a shape to be used for your pattern. Here we’ll use the Regular Polygon tool with a nice green fill style to make a shape. You could use the Freehand Path or Bezier Curve tools to make a similar shape that isn’t quite as symmetrical. In the Geometry panel we’ll adjust the shape to have 6-sides, turn on the “Star” shape option and adjust the “Tip” setting to about 70%. We end up with a clover-like shape that we’ll use for our pattern.
Prefer doing things hands-on? Give it a try…
Make a Sandbox for your New Pattern
Use the Rectangle tool to draw a rectangle for your sandbox. We’ll play in here and you’ll be able to see your pattern as you are creating it. With your sandbox selected, open the Style Inspector and choose ‘Reset’ to reset to the default style. For now your rectangle looks like a dull grey box – but don’t worry, it’s going to get exciting fast!
Add a Pattern Fill
Click the “+” button to add a new Style Component. You’re going to add a “Pattern Fill.” Now, click the shape you made earlier and copy it (CMND-C, right-click > Copy, or Edit > Copy in the main menu). Then paste the shape into the image-well for your Pattern Fill by clicking ‘Paste Image’. With the default settings you are going to get a nice evenly spaced pattern like you see here.
Now, let’s have some fun. You can go ahead and turn off the existing Fill and Stroke by disabling them (un-checking) in the Component list.
We hated to do it, but “Rand” stands for randomized. Why? It’s a long word and we’ve simply run out of room. Okay. So, the best way to get familiar with how these settings work is to play with them. Just keep in mind, very small and closely spaced patterns start using a lot of memory and may slow things down a bit. To get this particular look, we changed the Scale setting to 60%, Spacing to 0, Rand Spacing and Rand Scale to 100%, and Rand Angle to 25%.
Note, in the Inspector you may be seeing units expressed in “cm” or “in” or something rather than “pt” (points) as you see here. You can change your display units by choosing File > Drawing Size & Units in the main menu and selecting drawing units.
Suppress Clipped Images
But what about those shapes cut in half along the edges of our rectangle? That doesn’t look very natural.
Click to enable the “Suppress clipped images” option to keep most images from getting artificially clipped at the edges of a shape. Here we see how it looks on an irregular shape (right-click to quickly Copy Style and Paste Style onto a new shape). Sweet.
When you’re satisfied with your new style, you can optionally click on Style in the components list to name it and save it to the Library.
Now that you understand how to make a randomized pattern, go ahead and experiment. For example, you can also use existing images and even Artboard clip art as the basis for your pattern. Clicking “Image file” in the Style Inspector pane will let you select images from a file on your computer rather than pasting your copied graphic. In that case, small images with alpha-transparency (i.e., no white background) work best.
Here we’ve used the Symbol Stamp tool to add a tree symbol to our canvas. We then copy the clip art and paste it into the Style Inspector to create a different pattern. Since we don’t want these upright trees placed at funky randomized angles, we’ve changed the Rand Angle setting to zero. We’ve also upped the Scale back to about 60% since the image is pretty small already and this pattern does start to slow things down a bit. While for a small area like this or simple effect you could as easily use the Symbol Stamp tool and place clip art individually, it’s easy to see how handy randomized patterns can be.
You’re on your way to creating interesting fill styles. Have fun!