Using ArtWorks to Create a Kaleidoscope
My last article described how a user could create some attractive kaleidoscope patterns by following a simple step-by-step approach using Photodesk. A similar result is obtainable with Martin Würthner's superb program........ ArtWorks. But first I want to go over the main difficulties you may have encountered with the Photodesk method.
Illustrations Incorrectly Rendered
Figures 2, 4 and 8 were rendered with missing sprites. Please refer to Addendum at the end of this article showing the correctly rendered diagrams.
Those of you who followed the tutorial realise that to get the new 400x400 canvas to be filled accurately requires careful cutting-out of the segment. If this is not done correctly then the effect can be spoilt by having an unwanted thin white border around sides of the finished kaleidoscope. The key is the diagonal line and its edge. The filled-line-segment tool that is used to create the cutting-line becomes wider as the magnification is increased. Always use the edge denoted by the dashed line to make the diagonal cut as shown in the illustration - figure 1.
Fig 1 200x200 Segment
The Diagonal Cutting Line
The magic wand tool is used to "cut-out" the template. The requirement here is to ensure that any image abutting the diagonal ideally contains colours as dark as possible. Selecting the area becomes more fiddly if the colour is very light and may leave white diagonal lines where the segments are joined. Try and ensure that the magic-wand level setting is greater than 40. The segment shown in figure 2 would be ideal. Level settings of 50-70 would be required for this black diagonal edge.
Creating the Kaleidoscope in ArtWorks
A similar effect can be achieved by creating the segment in ArtWorks bearing in mind that the jpeg used to fill it is kept as small as possible. Large jpegs result in massive file sizes and slows rendering particularly on a RiscPC. My personal preference is to fill the segment with a vector file (Draw or another AW graphic) rather than a jpeg. Transparency will be used to achieve the additive effect and results in a slightly softer rendering. In practice if the original segments are varied and colourful the results can be excellent. The segment is much easier to create in a vector package. So lets make a start. Choose and set aside a couple of jpeg images.
Create the Segment
Fig 3 Displaying the grid
Fig 4 Drawing the segment
Fig 5 Colour bar indicating the colour - None
ArtWorks has a rather neat way of clipping an image to an object.
Fig 6 Image, Segment and Applying ClipView
Cloning and Mirroring to Produce a Twin-segment
Fig 7 Building the twin segments
Creating the Quad Segments
Fig 8 Creating the quad segments
Using the Rotate Tool to Create the First Kaleidoscope
Fig 9 Finished Kaleidoscopes
Using the Other Image for Another Kaleidoscope
Repeat the whole procedure above with the next image in a new ArtWorks document from the section...... "Filling the Segment with a JPEG".
Mixing the Two Images
The only way two images can be mixed in ArtWorks is to overlay a transparency of the second image over the first.
Fig 10 Adding transparency
Fig 11 Result of overlaying the two images
Original vector drawings from.......... Bitfolio, Edition 7 CDROM
Fig 12 Kaleidoscopes Using Vector Graphic Images
Fig 2 Photodesk's Cutting Mode
Fig 4 Layers, Copy and Drawing tools windows with associated icons
Fig 8 Magic-wand tool window
ArtWorks is my preferred drawing package and in the next article I want to illustrate how by making use of a few tools a user can create some simple, punchy and striking artwork. From time to time I will use Photodesk to embellish the final picture. My usual step-by-step approach means the tutorial can be tackled by a varied range of abilities. See you in a couple of months time.