Get over to our most Frequently Asked Questions

Back to the Beta's main page

All sorts of leftovers, snippets and bits.  Read it like a magazine from page to page.

 Search the web, Camp Ratty, plus over 123K of our archived conversational threads answering your graphics questions

I just don't get that Pen Tool?

1. Let's start by opening an image, New, with white background.

2. Click on the Pen tool.

3. Click on the tool bar for 'Preset'. I know, there aren't any there now, but this is beta. In the future, you'll load from a preset much of the time.

4. Tap 'New'. You'll also hit this one to start new operations with the pen tool. It's the only way some previous operations will know that you're done with them.

5. Uncheck 'Contiguous' and 'Vector'. We'll be making individual- non connected, raster lines.

6. Mode: Pencil icon. (the other two are for node editing vector drawings.)

7. Segment Type: 3 types,
1. Line segments. Point to point straight lines.
2. Point to point, which creates either straight or curved filled or unfilled lines.
3. Freehand Lines. Check this for now.

8. Tracking is a smoothing of twitchy movements. Set it to about 5.
Let's skip a few options, until we get to Line Style. Set to #1 solid line, and set the width to 4 pixels, and check Anti-Alias.

Set the foreground and stroke color swatch to black, Fill swatch to null. (an easy click now.)

Click and Drag in the image window to draw.

You may want increase the Tracking to smooth out your lines if you're
as shakey as I am.

Now check the Contiguous box and draw some more strokes. Note that the point you stop drawing now automatically joins to the start of the next stroke.

Now, let's do a point to point Bezier curve. Check the Mode: Point to Point.

Click in the lower left and while still holding the mouse button, drag about half way up the window. Notice that when you release it looks like nothing has happened. It has, you've defined a starting point and amount of curve influence. Now click and drag on the lower right side of the screen and drag down. Now, when you release, you'll see the arc you've drawn. Until you end a line, you can edit the nodes. (yeah, I know this is beginning to merge raster and vector operations, but I believe it's a good thing! In previous versions, once you'd drawn a line all you could do was Un-do it.)

Keep clicking and dragging to get a feel for it. Note that the end of one line automatically joins to the next click point. To end the line, click on the 'New Contour' icon. (looks like a sloppy C.)

You can always tell what something is by placing the cursor on it and pausing a few seconds.  Well, this should get you going. Have fun. -Jaggiemeister Ron

backCopyright Camp Ratty 2003 All Rights Reservednext page