Drawing and Tracing Basics 101 Using CorelDRAW: Part 3

Video and supplemental text courtesy Bob Hagel, Eagle's Mark

You may be fairly new to drawing and tracing with CorelDRAW. Here are the basics regarding working with objects and nodes including descriptions.

Node – A node is a junction or connection point between two line segments, such as in the corners of a rectangle. You lay down nodes with a drawing tool, such as the Bezier tool, wherever you want a line to change direction. The controlling node is located at the end of the line.

Bezier drawing tool – Allows a continuous dropping of node each time you click your mouse.

Drawings can have both straight lines and curved lines.

There are three types of nodes for curves to make drawing and tracing easier:

Cusp Node – Allows you to take sharp turns from before the node to after it. It's a flexible node type. I have it set to show a square for this node type.

Smooth Node – A smooth node assures a smooth transition from the line segment before the node to after it. You will notice the control handles that change the curve are always directly opposite each other. However, it can have different distances of the handle for each node changing only the shape of the line segment it controls. Therefore, the curve will be smooth but not necessarily symmetrical. I have set this node type to show round.

Symmetrical Node – This node type also has a smooth line segment transition. However, when you pull a control handle, the other handle will move to be the same length from the node. Yet both line segments, before and after the node, will have a similar or symmetrical curve appearance. This node type is represented by a diamond shape.

Turning Straight Lines to Curves

After drawing one or more lines, select a node at the end of the line you want to be a curve. On your toolbar at the top, click on the curved line. You can now manipulate the line in the desired shape. You will note in the video, I can now grab the line with my Shape tool at any spot along the line, and when I get my cursor in the right spot, it turns into an “s”. I can now move the line into a curve.

A time-saving tip is that if you want a number of lines to be curves, select all the nodes that will be turned to curves by selecting the first node, then hold down on the Ctrl key and select all the other nodes you want to be included; or, hold down on your Shift key and select the first and last node in a continuous line that you want selected; or with your Pick tool, select the object and click on your Shape tool and highlight all the nodes you want selected. Now you are ready to turn all these lines into curves by clicking on the curve in your toolbar.

In case you missed it, watch Part 1 and Part 2