Vectoring with CorelDRAW 12 and SmartVector Pro

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  • 1. Mail & Copy Business Center Inc. Preparing Graphics for Screen & Pad Printing V1.1w September, 2006 by Judy Hudgins
  • 2. MCBC (JEH) Table of Contents Background Information - Why am I going through this process.................................................................................3 Overview of process....................................................................................................................................................4 Abbreviations ....................................................................................................................................................................................4 Handy CorelDRAW Keystrokes...................................................................................................................................4 CorelDRAW Setup......................................................................................................................................................5 Pantone Palette.......................................................................................................................................................5 Menu, Tool and Status Bars....................................................................................................................................5 Tutorials .............................................................................................................................................................6 Process.......................................................................................................................................................................6 Importing the Image in CD.......................................................................................................................................6 Vectoring the Image.................................................................................................................................................7 Cleaning up the image in CorelDRAW.....................................................................................................................8 Other Hints for CorelDRAW......................................................................................................................................11 vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 2 of 13
  • 3. MCBC (JEH) Preparing Graphics for Printing Background Information - Why am I going through this process Graphic Images Graphics that have been processed by a computer are typically in one of two distinct categories -- bitmap files or vector graphics. Bitmap Images: A bitmap image file is comprised of pixel-based image information. A pixel is the tiny little square of light that makes up the computer screen. The word pixel is an abbreviated form of the words "picture elements". The image is a matrix of individual pixels that all have their own color (described using bits, the smallest possible units of information for a computer). A 24 x 24 icon would have 576 pixels. The larger the image, the more pixels, and, therefore, the larger the file. Sample bitmap files are BMP, GIF (internet graphics), JPEG (mostly used for internet graphics), PDF, PICT (mainly used on Macintosh), and TIFF (the most popular bitmap file format). In the simplest possible terms, a bitmap image is comprised of little squares and tends to be large. Vectored Images: Vectored graphics are images that are described completely using mathematical definitions. Each individual line is made up of either a vast number of points with lines interconnecting all of them or just a few control points that are connected using so-called Bezier curves. Bezier files are smaller because they only contain information about the Bezier curves. Sample bitmap files are EPS (the most popular), PDF, and PICT. Color RGB vs CMYK RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue. RGB refers to color as we see it -- it is the color you see on the screen CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black). These refer to the ink colors used in the CMYK or "4 color process" type of printing. Combining these colors of ink allows for reproduction of thousands of colors and is sometimes called "full color" printing. When you print in CMYK, you are using Process Color (the ink is laid down in a 4 step process, one ink color at a time. In short: RGB = light CMYK = ink vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 3 of 13
  • 4. MCBC (JEH) Spot Color vs Process Color Pantone Matching System was created for matching a specific color and is usually used for logos where it is important that the same colors are used consistently. A Spot color is a specific color, usually Pantone, that is mixed to specifications. Summary For the purpose of screen printing: a. you want a vectored image which smoothes out all the little jagged edges that are part of a bitmap image. Request EPS format (or vectored format) from the customer, but you often will end up with a bitmap that has to be converted. b. you want to convert the colors to Pantone for the purpose of color separation printing Remember this: • You cannot edit the shapes or colors in a bitmap image. • You cannot vector most text Overview of process a. Import image into CorelDRAW b. Convert image to vector (in Smart Vector Pro) c. Edit colors, shapes, etc. in either CorelDRAW or Smart Vector Pro Note: This document assumes that you have Corel Draw 12 and Smart Vector Pro Abbreviations Abbreviation Definition CD Corel Draw 12 DPI Dots per Inch LPI Lines per Inch PPI Pixels per Inch SD SmartDesign SV Smart Vector Pro These instructions are just one (1) way to accomplish things – there are always other ways to do the same thing. Handy CorelDRAW Keystrokes Keystrokes Results Ctrl-W Repaint screen (use when images you have deleted appear to stay on the screen F9 Full screen preview Ctrl-Shift-T Edit text vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 4 of 13
  • 5. MCBC (JEH) Ctrl-Z Undo CorelDRAW Setup Pantone Palette 1. Make sure that you have the Pantone palette loaded and selected as the default palette. b. Click Windows on the Menu bar c. Click Color Palettes d. Click Color Palette Browser - the color browser window will appear on your right e. Click the + sign to the left of fixed palettes f. Click the + sign by previous version palettes g. Check the box that reads: Pantone Matching System - Corel 8 h. Close the browser window This is the only palette you should use You can delete any other palettes that might be displaying by: a. Right click on the palette you want to delete b. Move the cursor over the word palette c. Click on close Menu, Tool and Status Bars 2. Make sure menu bar, status bar, standard menu bar, property bar, and toolbar are showing: a. Click Tools b. Click Options (options box will appear) c. Click + sign by workspace d. Click + sign by customization e. Click command bar f. Check the following boxes Menu Bar Status Bar Standard Property Bar Toolbox It is also best if the Status bar takes 2 lines a. Click Tools b. Click Options (options box will appear) c. Click + sign by workspace d. Click + sign by customization e. Click Command bar f. Click on the words Status Bar g. Set number of lines when docked to 2 vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 5 of 13
  • 6. MCBC (JEH) Tutorials Before you start working in CD, I would strongly recommend that you go through the tutorials. a. Click on Help on the menu bar b. Click on CorelTUTOR c. There are three tutorials that you can run through to familiarize yourself with CD and CD tools and techniques. Before you start working in Smart Vector Pro, I strongly recommend that you review the tutorials in the manual. Process Importing the Image in CD 1. Open CD and SV. You can have SD open, but it is not necessary for this process and is a bit of a machine hog. 2. Position CD on the left half of the screen 3. Position SV on the right half of the screen. 4. Import the graphic file into CD a. Create a new document (click on new document icon) b. Select File – Import – click on the filename of the graphic image 5. Check to see if the image is bitmap or vectored (an EPS file could be either, for example) a. Click on the image b. Click on the Zoom box (as shown to the right), type in 800, and Enter c. The graphic will now display magnified 800%. If the edges are showing in boxes rather than smooth lines, it is a bitmap. See image below OR a. Click on the image, and, at the bottom of the CD page, the status bar will tell you if it's a bitmap OR a. Click in the image, then click on View - Wireframe. If you see only gray, it's a bitmap. If you see lines, it's vectored. vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 6 of 13
  • 7. MCBC (JEH) 6. Check the resolution of the bitmap (this shows on the status bar in CD). If it is not at least 150 x 150, then you need to improve the resolution as you cannot successfully vector a low-resolution image. To improve the resolution: a. Click on Bitmaps – Convert to Bitmap b. Make sure 300 DPI is selected in the “Resolution” box, and click on OK Vectoring the Image 7. Click on the image in CD. 8. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the graphic image into SV. 9. SV : If image is in color, make sure the Color Assignment box is checked before vectoring. a. Click on Tools – click on With Color assignment (make sure a check mark appears to the left of “With Color Assignment” The purpose of this is to allow you to reduce the number of colors or shades of colors in the image when you click on vectoring. 10. SV: Click on the graphic image 11. Click on Tools – Vectorizing If you have the “With Color Assignment” checked, you will have a “Color Assignment” window that shows all the shades the graphic. The goal is to reduce the colors to a minimum number – two or three is best. For example, you might see 10 shades from green in the leftmost column. You want to convert all of those to 1 or 2 colors, if possible. See image right. a. Click on all the colors in the left column that you want to convert to the same color b. Click on the color that you want to convert to the in middle column c. You will see the number of colors that you know have in your graphic above the graphic in the “Color Assignment” window d. Continue this process until you have the number of colors that you want. See example below. e. Click on OK vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 7 of 13
  • 8. MCBC (JEH) 12. The Vectorizing window will be displayed with all the sliders set to 5. Try to convert your graphic at this setting and see what happens If the graphic is ok or excellent, you are done with this step If the graphic is really ragged, you might want to re-vectorize with the sliders set to 3. This results in more nodes (more detail) for you to use to shape the graphic You have to experiment at this stage, to get the best possible vectorized image. Now you usually need to cleanup the image unless you are very, very lucky. You can do the clean up in either SV or CD – it just depends on your preference. Cleaning up the image in CorelDRAW 13. Click on the image in SV and, while holding down the left mouse button, drag the image back into CD. At this point, you will have a. the original bitmap image in CD b. the new vectorized image in CD c. the original bitmap image in SV When the file is vectorized, the image is placed on top of the bitmap that you dragged into SV. As shown on the right, both images are now in CD. The upper image is the original bitmap, and the lower image is the newly vectored image. vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 8 of 13
  • 9. MCBC (JEH) 14. Make sure the image is not grouped in order to work on the individual components. Click on the image. Then click on Arrange and see if the “ungroup” selection is available. If it is, then click on it. 15. Text in the graphic If the text does not look like you want it to, you need to highlight the nodes in the text and delete all the existing text. Then, you have two options -- you can either type in text and find a font that matches that original text OR you can trace the original text. To use an existing font: a. Click on the text tool in CD b. Type in the text c. When you finish typing the text, hold down ctrl-shift-T to bring up the text editing window d. Now, it’s trial and error to match the font. Highlight the text and go through the fonts until you find one that matches. Watch out for things like serifs, the shape of letters (especially “a”, “y”, “t”, “r”). 16. Clean up the graphics, as needed, with the Shape Tool – you will be doing node editing. You might want to convert the image to Wire Frame so you can clearly see the outline (Select View – Simple Wireframe or Wireframe) Use the Shape toolbar. Align nodes is a great tool. Select the two nodes that you want to align – select the one in the correct location LAST! Save your file often – make sure it is has .cdr (CD) extension 17. Move the cleaned up graphic image and the text together so you have what appears to be a finished product. 18. Apply Pantone colors to the images and text, as needed. For both screen and pad printing, this means shades of black. You need one shade of black for each color in the final image. So, if you know the final screen printed item will be in two colors, your graphic should have two shades of black so you can separate the images on the screens or plates. 19. To verify that you have Pantone colors and only the number of colors you need, look at the image in the Print menu a. Click on Print b. Click on the Separations c. Click on the Print separations box and verify the colors If any colors are checked that should NOT be in the design, you need to find them in the image and convert them to the correct color! If any of the CMYK colors show up, you might need to do further clean up. vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 9 of 13
  • 10. MCBC (JEH) For Example, there’s a file on your CD that looks like the image shown to the right The file is called “Printing Doc.cdr” When you are ready to print, you will see an image similar to what is shown below. Note that we are on the “Separation” tab and the box titled “Print Separations” has been checked. In the best of all worlds, you would only see the “PANTONE Process Black CV” in the color box, but you also see the CYMK colors; so, you know you have something bad in your image. In this case, it is obvious – you have an oval. There’s also an invisible oval that has a white outline with white fill. The first step is to delete anything obvious and come back to the Print – Separation screen and see if other colors are lurking. If they are, then click on the right arrow and view the Pantone screen. If the only thing showing there is the image you want to print, and it is entirely there, just make sure the other color boxes are unchecked and go ahead and print. Remember to print the final version on laser film. Pad Printing – For pad printing, there’s one more step, you need to mirror the image. Click on the Prepress tab, and then make sure you have the box by “Mirror” checked. vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 10 of 13
  • 11. MCBC (JEH) Always check to see if there is an issue. It may or may not be something important. 20. Now you are ready to convert the pieces of the image into one image. Marquee highlight the entire image (use the pick tool) 21. Click on Arrange – Group 20. Save the final version of the file. Note: If you need to edit the image further, remember to ungroup the image first. Other Hints for CorelDRAW 1. To draw a rounded rectangle: a. Click on rectangle tool and draw rectangle to size b. Click on shape tool c. Click on one corner and draw it in to round all 4 corners 2. To color text (or any other shape) a. Click on text (or object) b. Click on the color in the Pantone color palette c. Drag Pantone color to text (or object) OR a. Right click on the object b. Click on properties and the property docker will display c. Click on either the pen or the fill bucket and then chose the color d. Click on apply OR a. Click on the text b. Right click on a color in the color palette 3. To Add ClipART a. Click on Windows – Dockers – Scrapbook – Search b. Enter the criteria in the Search window c. Make sure you check “Thumbnails” to actually see the images OR d. Tools - Scrapbook 4. Arrange - Transformations = Rotate, Skew, Scale, Size, Position 5. Refresh Screen – Ctrl-W 6. Copy properties from: Select Edit – Copy Properties from vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 11 of 13
  • 12. MCBC (JEH) 7. Fit text to path: a. Type the text that you want to fit to an object b. Make sure you also have the object on the screen. Your screen should look like the following. You can open the file “Fit Text to Path.cdr”. c. For this exercise, we are going to put the words “In CorelDRAW at the bottom of the circle, and the words “Fitting Text to Path” at the top. It’s easiest if you put the bottom text on first. d. Click on the circle, hold down the Shift key and click on the text that goes at the bottom. Both should be selected because you held down the Shift key. e. Click on “Text” on the Menu bar and then click on “Fit text to path”. Your screen should look like the following. You will also see a change in the Property Bar. f. On the changed property par, click on the down arrow next to the qrst and on the drop down, select the qrst with the up arrow as shown. g. Now, click on the down arrow next to the abc over the arc and, on the dropdown, select the one shown to the right. h. Now, click on the “Place on other side” icon – this is all the way to the end of the property bar. i. Now the text is located on the outside of the bottom of the circle and is right side up. vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 12 of 13
  • 13. MCBC (JEH) j. To put the other text on the top of the circle, just click on the circle. Hold down the shift key and click on the text. Then, click on Text – Fit text to path. That’s it. k. If you don’t want the circle, you can click on the circle (with the pick tool) and then press delete. l. You can also use other tools on the property bar to move the text away from the circle, change text orientation, use presets, etc vectoring-with-coreldraw-12-and-smartvector-pro2937.doc Page 13 of 13