Using the Pen Tool
How to Affect the Opacity of Objects
Welcome to Expression Design. When you first launch the program, you'll find the artboard (white area you draw or create in), the tool box to the left. This is where the main tools for creating and manipulating exist. To the right is the property inspector; here you can organize your artwork/ objects using the layers panel, change the color or other various properties using the appearance panel.
You can customize the interface by docking and undocking Toolbars, and changing Option settings.
Let's get started.
So to begin with open Expression Design and Open the file (File/ Open) BotSketch.design I set this document up for this exercise. The Sketch has a blend mode set to: Multiply, and is locked on its own layer. You need to have "Draw on ME!" layer selected.
Activate the pen tool by pressing "p" , Select the stroke tab in the appearance panel and give it a semi-dark green fill. Remove any color from the fill tab. Stroke width of 6 px.
Click on the top right corner of the Bot sketch with the pen tool to position the first point. Move the cursor to the top left side of the Bot sketch click and drag so that the new segment follows the arc of the sketch:
Release the mouse when you've got the right arc. If you didn't get it exactly, simply hold the Alt key and reposition the mouse over the "Backward" handle ("Handles" have a circular end). There is a Forward and a Backward handle. These handle control the curve of the previous segment (B) or the next segment (F).
If you position the mouse over the last point (Not the handle) you'll notice the cursor icon changes, click and you will delete the Forward handle. We've just created a cusp point. Meaning the point has only a backward handle so the next segment drawn will have an abrupt change in direction.
Position over the next logical point of the sketch, and again; click and drag to match the arc or curve of the sketch. Experiment with the handles. Again you must hold the ALT key while using the pen tool to adjust the handles. The cursor will change to indicate when you're in position to alter them.
Using these tips, trace the Bot sketch. Also notice when you rollover a path with the pen tool it will change to an "Add Anchor Point" tool or if you rollover a point on a path it will change to the "Delete Anchor Point" tool. When I was done tracing the sketch I selected the path and then used the Quick Command Shift + X to interchange the stroke with the fill. I added some objects (Shadowed area and eyes) using the pen tool as well. This is a powerful tool and should be explored thoroughly to get a full understanding of how to use it.
This lesson was designed to provide a quick introduction to using Warp Groups with bitmap images and/ or vector artwork in Expression Design.
This short lesson was created by Jesse Brown, a freelance designer and presenter for Total Training. Jesse's keen design sense and "big picture" sensibility are among the reasons his skills are in high demand. Total Training, Inc. (
www.totaltraining.com), with offices in California and New York, is a pioneer in innovative video-based training for leading software applications. Total Training is best known for its superior product quality, entertaining content, and strategic partnership with Microsoft which includes tutorials in Microsoft software boxes.