Playing with Blendsaaronbaltz
The Blend tool is one of the oldest and most useful features of CorelDRAW. Blending objects means transforming one object into another, following a progression of shapes and colors. In this tutorial, Ariel Garaza Diaz explores some of the possibilities.
You will learn about:
- Blending vector shapes to create transitions
- Using blends to simulate 3D effects
- How to use “map nodes” to shape your blends in the way you want
Download a PDF copy of this tutorial and follow along.
The Blend tool is one of the oldest and most useful features of CorelDRAW. Blending objects means transforming one object into another, following a progression of shapes and colors. But the results are very interesting.
- Draw a straight line, and choose “hairline” (on the Property Bar or press F12 for outline properties)
- Draw a second line. You can duplicate previous, with the left mouse button while moving, or pressing the + key on the numeric keypad and moving the line, or Copy/paste (Ctrl+C / Ctrl+V), or Duplicate (Ctrl+D). Then, set width to “2 points” (on the Property Bar or press F12 for outline properties)
- Take the Interactive Blend Tool, on the Effects tools flyout. Then, drag the tool from one line to the other (the order is not relevant at this point). The result should be a gradient of lines.
- Change the color of each line (left click on the Color Palette). Now it is a gradient of colors and width.
- On the Property Bar change the number of the steps. The more steps, the more an object will melt in the other.
- You can blend a lot of vector shapes, including text, for create attractive transitions. For example, draw a Star and a Polygon, and fill with different colors.
- Then, drag the Blend tool from one object to another. Choose less steps (according the objects size) to see how Blend works.
- Blend also allows to simulate 3D effects easily. For example, blend a thin line with a thick line… or just two rectangles with rounded corners.
- If you use two shapes, such as a thin and a thick circle, you can create amazing results too.
- The Blend is really made from one node to other.Then, if the Blend doesn’t follow the direction you want, you can choose the nodes you want to have relationship, on the Property bar, select “Map Nodes” then select the two nodes (one on each shape) with the black arrow.
- “Map Nodes” allows to create smooth results and more perfect Blends, since you have more control of the results.
- Let’s have some fun with blends. Draw a square (hold Ctrl while dragging with the rectangle tool), then change outline color (i.e. Blue). Make a duplicate (click on the + key of the Numeric Keypad or copy/paste), then change the color of the new square (i.e. to Cyan).Now, select both squares and go to Effect/Blend, that will open the Blend Docker. Click on the Apply button without changing anything from default values.
Yes, you didn’t notice any change. That’s right, since both objects had the same size and are aligned. But now, select only one of the squares and rotate it 180º (on the property bar). Although it’s supposed to rotate 180º a square shouldn’t change it, it changes the direction of the blend since it changes the position of the nodes).
- Select again the same square and choose “Mirror” Horizontally.
Now, always selecting the same square, change rotation to 270°.
And, always selecting the same square, choose “Mirror” Horizontally again.
Now, select the Blend group. On the Blend docker, change “Blend direction” to 180º and activate “loop”, then click on the “Apply” button.
Select the same square again and change rotation to 180º. Yes, we have a circle now!
- Select the Blend group again, and go to the Blend docker. Change “blend objects” to 100 steps (by default is 20) and “blend direction” to 360, then press “Apply.
Different values will create different results. And still we have only two squares.
- Until now, we are using both squares at the same size, but what happens if the size is not the same? Change values to 50 steps and 360º with loop, then Apply. Next, select one of the squares and enlarge or reduce it.
- Do you want to see an example using another shape? Ok, let’s use an Ellipse (F7), then use the Shape tool (F10) to create an arc. One again, let’s duplicate (using the + key of numeric keypad or copy/paste), then change colors to better identify each object.
Choosing 150 steps and 360º with Loop, we will have… a donut!
Changing Blend direction to 180º the result is very different
Rotating, mirroring or moving one of the objects creates new shapes and effects.
The only limit is our imagination.
We hope you found this tutorial helpful and we would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below. And don’t forget to visit our social media pages and show us what you’ve learned by sharing your photos, videos and creative projects with us.