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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creating Custom Graphics

Like most, I am not a graphic artist, however I have learned some tricks over the years that enabled me-- to manipulate vector graphics to use in printed material-- and today, in sites.

Keep in mind, I developed software that manipulated and rendered vector [meta] graphics so I had a good understanding of the difference between bitmap and vector graphics. I am not going to bore you with those details here-- however do want to offer some tricks I use to create my own graphics.

When I was still with Rockwell, I purchased my first Corel Gallery Clipart CD along with the corresponding manual. Some of the manuals and specifications I delivered to the US Navy [along with software code and programs]-- included clipart images from that CD.

To manipulate graphics you need a gallery of clipart-- like Corel's, ensuring that the data can be copied or exported to other programs as meta or vector data.

Here are two clipart images I copied and pasted to Microsoft Power Point for further manipulation.

In Power Point- I changed the color of the moon disc in the black cat's background from white to a two color gradient. I also used the same gradient tool to change the pumpkin from gray to the color you see in the image below. The outline around the cat's tail and paws was also lost when I copied to ImageComposer so I changed the outline point size so that it could be seen when copied. Adding the drop shadow also emphasized these lines.

Here is the final image [png file] I exported from Microsoft's ImageComposer.

I added the annotation "Happy Halloween" and the drop shadow to give everything a 3D look. If you have the time to play with things like this -- it can be lots of fun.

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