Review of the Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4

This 14th version of the Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4 is the perfect solution for those who want to play and edit graphics but find the Adobe Photoshop interface too complicated. I don’t want to badmouth Photo shop at all but it is a professional package that comes with a price tag and a manual of about 1000 pages. An investment of time and money that is just not necessary for an average user.

The Corel Package as it is now has more then enough functionality to do almost anything you can think of. Its interface is highly accessible, intuative and interactive for everyone. If you can use a word processor you can use this graphics suite.

Perhaps some people think of it as a negative but I like the high integration the package has with online services. Through ConceptShare users can work in an online workspace, which can be shared with other users. Then there is the WhatTheFont service that can online recognize fonts and letter types.

There is no alternative for Flash like web development. I think Corel made a mistake here because if this is one of your interests the package is not for you. It does limit the overall usability of the package, and that is a pity.

The functionality of Photo Paint, the second application in the suite is greatly enhanced and supports over 300 modern digital camera’s Its now easier than ever to work, play and edit with scanned documents as well. The package provides a good support for working with color histogram distributions, and is highly effective without all the hassle of working with professional packages.

Corel is not a market leader and can’t afford to limit its potential user base by using proprietary file systems or limit the import and export possibilities to other file types. This is a big pro Corel can even function as a great translator between programs using all sorts of file extensions.

Further the possibilities for Color control are increased and support for Adobe CMM is introduced.

To wrap it up, Corel has come up with a user friendly graphics suite for those who use these kind of programs to the level of semi-professional use. Because of the support of professional file formats it is a good tool to design and develop flyers, posters or brochures for personal or use in connection associations. On the minus site there is the lack of support for flash or flash like applications.

The Corel Draw Graphics Suite X4 is a program easily lives up to demands of the semi-professional jobs it was designed for.

How to Enlarge Images For Watercolors, Drawings, Or Paintings Using a Grid

When you do art for fun or for profit, it is inevitable that you will come across an image you need to enlarge. Maybe you took an extremely good picture of a landscape, or a friend or client has a photo in e-mail that they want you to paint. When that happens, you will need to be able to fit it to the “canvas.” Whether you are painting a mural on the side of a two story building, or just a pencil drawing on typing paper, here is a pretty simple way to do it.

If the canvas you are going to be working on is of a manageable size, the easiest thing to do would be to draw a grid. If you think of a map, imagine all of the horizontal and vertical lines. Usually, they are labeled with numbers and letters so that you can reference specific “squares” in that map. If you look at a map, you can see that the cities, landmarks and coastlines fall into specific sections of the grid.

You can use that same system to copy a drawing of any size. Photocopy or scan the original image, then draw a grid on top or create an overlay with a transparency. This is especially easy with today’s technology where you can simply scan the image and open it in any of a number of “image editors” such as Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, or even MS Paint. You can then print the image with the grid in place.

Next, draw a grid to scale on the “canvas” of your choosing. For instance, paper if you are drawing in a sketchbook, or on a wall if you are creating a mural. Draw your grid with a very soft pencil or very light paint so that it can be erased or painted over when you are done. If you are using a lighter weight paper, less than 100# weight, you can draw a grid in dark ink on a page underneath. Then clamp the pages together so that you can see the grid through the paper. That way, when you are done, you simply pull the gridded page out and there is no need to erase. The biggest benefit of this method is that the grid is reusable. If you create the grid on a transparency, you can even project it onto a wall with an overhead projector.

Once you have the grid, simply transfer the major features onto the your new surface. Just like looking for major cities or landmarks on a map, look for landmarks in your image. The corner of an eye, the bottom of an earlobe, and even the crease in a dimple can all serve to help place the image in the proper size and composition for your painting.

Lightly sketch in all of the major features and landmarks. You will also want to rough in your value map or placement of all of the shadows, lights and darks in your image. Then remove your grid. If you drew it in place with pencil, carefully erase the lines making sure to not disturb your landmarks or smudge your paper. If you painted them in on a larger project, simply paint over them.

Digitalize It! : (Modification of images with tools such as Adobe CS and Corel)

Then it was a choice among crayons, paints and palettes for an artist and designer to create art. It was a box of crayons that make one happy designer during his early years of formation.

Nowadays, designing has gone to the new age of advanced technology that utilizes computers and programming. As a designer used to handling tangible products such as the ever reliable crayons, computer technology is oftentimes scary and heart palpitating. With all that computer code and HTML tags and styles, it’s no wonder that most designers break out in cold sweat every time they are forced to put computer code around a text in a Word document to get the layout they want.

To help designers and artists alike to make their lives simpler, Adobe offers a complete package that brings designs straight from concept to the online world. On the other hand, Corel has also introduced new programs to help ease the burden of creating works of art with the use of the computer.

The new applications ensure that every designer’s nightmare will be gone, helping him/her to sleep more soundly at night. These programs can help designers utilize simple sites quickly and effectively.

The CS Advantage…

The new Adobe Creative Suite combines Adobe’s graphics applications and an efficient workflow that answers the needs of nearly every creative professional, from conceptualization to implementation, from print to Web. Not only do designers get one program at a time; rather, a whole suite of the latest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and GoLive software. It also includes the new Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional software to Acrobat Professional.

The Creative Suite is Adobe’s attempt to bind the applications together. Now, Adobe’s creative products use not only the same graphics engine but also the same type and color-management engines. Files that are created in one application can open easily in others with all their features intact. With a consistent user interface, moving from one application to another is easy.

And holding it all together is the new file-management and version-tracking technology Version Cue. The Version Cue lets you create and publish content for print and the Web faster, more easily, and more affordably. That’s why Adobe is introducing this one whole package as “the complete design environment for print and Web publishing”.

 Adobe Photoshop for image editing- easily manage your images with the improved File Browser, quickly share design variations with Layer Comps, and instantly improve contrast with Shadow/Highlight correction; perform more precise editing and retouching with expanded support for 16-bit images and monitor changes to your image in the Histogram palette, which dynamically updates as you make adjustments.

 Adobe Illustrator for drawing and vector graphics- with powerful new 3D features, advanced typographical controls, and a host of groundbreaking new design tools, this powerful upgrade from Illustrator 10 delivers the performance you need to make the most of your creativity; import Photoshop image compositions directly to Illustrator- or create drawings in Illustrator and import them directly into Photoshop; create native Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files using settings and options consistent with Adobe Acrobat Distiller software and get fast, consistent print results with features like Fit to Page, Print Preview, and support for Print Settings.

 Adobe InDesign for page layout and design, and Adobe GoLive for Web layout- import your native vector and bitmap artwork directly into InDesign CS software for sophisticated print layouts or into Adobe GoLive CS software for powerful web pages. With the support of Adobe PDF and XML, you can easily output your pages to both print and the Web.

The Corel Advantage…

With the introduction of Corel Painter IX, commercial designers, photographers, and professional artists are able to use their natural talents and techniques to create breathtaking works of art. Corel ensures that the new program is a must-have software for creative professionals, whether they’re in film making, game development, commercial design, illustration, photography, or even fine arts.

With regards to performance and productivity, the Corel Painter IX boasts of significantly improved speed, new and enhanced Brush Control Palettes, Frames-per-Second Control, and Customizable Shortcut Keys. Professional users can extend their creative possibilities with new enhancements that include Artists’ Oils Painting System, Snap-to-Path Painting, improved Digital Watercolor, and Quick Clone.

What is exciting about this new software is that the Corel Painter IX is more compatible with other professional technologies, providing enhanced support to Adobe Photoshop, Wacom (including the Wacom Intuos3), and Color Management.

What’s more, getting started is easier than ever. Corel has provided various support guides to help end-users control their fear of tackling a seemingly intricate world of softwares and programs. Corel has provided a revitalized User Guide, the Painter IX Handbook that includes tutorials from leading creative professionals, access to free training videos, and academic courseware specifically designed for educators.

With powerful applications such as the Adobe CS and Corel, artists and designers alike can now combine both worlds of traditional art and sophisticated technology. The intricate tones of traditional art skills and techniques they’ve developed during their formation years as artists can be integrated with the incredible benefits that digital media can provide. Every creation can now be worthy of the exaltations and awe reserved for those found in galleries and exhibits. In addition, these art forms are now made at a faster and quicker rate than their original counterparts.

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