Blends have been around since the early beginnings of CorelDRAW. Many of us used to think the
Blend effect was only for blending two objects together to create smooth transitions. On the contrary,
Blends can be used for many other effects as well. In this session we will teach you some of the lesser
known uses of the Blend Effect.
Letís begin by blending geometric shapes to create beautiful pattern. Follow the steps below:
Draw an ellipse approximately 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches tall.
Give the ellipse a blue fill with a red outline.
With the ellipse selected, click two times to reveal the rotation arrows.
Click and drag the center of rotation thumbtack to the bottom of the ellipse (see Step 1 in Figure 1).
Click on Arrange | Transform | Rotate to bring up the rotation dialog box.
Enter the number 15 in the Angle parameters box.
Click on the Apply to duplicate button 23 times. You should now have 24 ellipses in a circle.
Marquee select all 24 ellipses and click on the Combine button on the property Bar. Your image should
now look like step 2 in Figure 1.
Repeat the steps above this time filling the original ellipse with pink with a blue outline
(See Steps 3 and 4 in Figure 1).
Scale the second combined pink and blue shape to approximately 1/2 the size of the red and blue shape.
Select both shapes and click on the Align button on the Property Bar.
When the Align dialog box appears, check the center boxes in both the horizontal and vertical rows.
With then two shapes still selected, blend the them together using a 10 step blend. Your finished
image should look like Step 5 in Figure 1.
Let's try another pattern this time with a twist.
Draw an ellipse approximately 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches tall just as you did with the first pattern.
Give the ellipse a pale green fill with a black outline.
Repeat all the steps as before to create the combined pattern effect with the center of rotation
at the bottom of the ellipse.
Make a second pattern effect as you did above but this time give the second ellipse a red outline
and No fill.
Before you rotate the ellipse with a 15 degree rotation make sure the center of rotation thumbtack is in the center default position (not the bottom of the ellipse). Leaving the thumbtack in the center will lower the number of duplicate ellipse to 11 to complete the circle. You will end up with a total of 12 ellipses.
Now combine these 12 ellipses as before.
After combining the ellipses, scale the pattern to approximately 1/4 the size of the larger pattern.
Using the image at the left center of figure 2 as a guide, place the smaller pattern behind the
larger pattern and center them as before.
With the two shapes selected enter the number 10 in the Steps parameters box as before but this
time also enter the number 45 in the Rotation parameters box.
Now click on the Acceleration tab (the second from the left) and move the Accelerate Objects
slider all the way to the right.
Now click on the Apply button. Your pattern should look like the pattern at the lower left of Figure 2.
Now repeat the steps above but this time place the small patter in front of the large pattern
and center them together using the Align dialog box as before.
Now with the two shapes still selected, enter the number 180 in the Rotation parameters box.
Click on the Acceleration tab and move the Accelerate Objects slider all the way to the left.
Click on the Apply button to complete the pattern. Your pattern should look like the pattern at
the lower right of Figure 2.
Now lets have some fun morphing. Figure 3 shows how one might approach an way to invoke the senses
by blending the word Sweet to the Word sour. Before any blending took place a background was created
using a gradient fill of 60% Gray to White. The added visual of Cherries and the Lemon strengthen
the message. In this example a basic 5 step blend was used on the words Sweet and Sour.
I wondered what the image would look like if I blended the Cherries and the Lemon together.
The results are shown in Figure 4. After I blended the objects I separated the blend and brought the
lemon to the Front in the stacking order. If your blended words get covered up, simply select the
blend group of words and bring them to the front using the Order command.
Our next project involves using a blend to create a flower petal which will become a flower, which
will become a pot of flowers. Figure 5 show the steps involved to create the petal and flower. They
are as follows:
Draw two ellipses one inside the other. Iíve marked one A and the other B. (See Step 1 in Figure 5)
Convert both ellipses to curves by selecting each one separately and then clicking on Arrange |
Convert to Curves. A quicker way is to click on the Convert to Curves button on the Property Bar.
Add enough new nodes to each ellipse to create the shapes shown in Step 2 of Figure 5.
Color the larger shape white and the smaller shape purple (See Step 3).
Blend the two shapes using a 20 step blend (See Step 4).
Move the center of rotation thumbtack to the bottom of the blended petal (See Step 4).
Open the Rotation roll-up by clicking on Arrange | Transform | Rotate.
Enter the number 45 in the Angle parameters box and click on Apply to Duplicate 7 times
to create the flower (See Step 5).
Using the ellipse tool, create a small circle and fill it with a radial fill of Purple
to White. Place it in the center of the flower.
select all the petals and the radial filled circle and group them together using the Group
button on the Property Bar. Thatís it, you just created a flower.
Now lets add more flowers and put them in a pot.
Make three duplicates of the flower.
Create a separate Color Style for each of the duplicate flowers individually. If you create
a color style for the original flower and then make duplicates the duplicates behave like clones.
When you change a color within the style it changes the colors of all the duplicate flowers as well.
After creating separate color styles for each flower, color each flower a different color.
Arrange them as if you were creating a flower arrangement. I applied an envelope to the two
outside flowers to give the arrangement a more natural look.
Create a flower pot similar to the one in Figure 6 and fill it with a linear fountain fill of
black to orange. Place the pot behind the flowers using the Arrange | Order | To Back command.
Now we will add a shadow under the pot using a Blend effect. Draw two ellipses one inside the other.
Make the inside ellipse the size of the base of the pot.
Make the outer ellipse extend beyond the flowers (See Figure 6).
Fill the inside ellipse with Black and the outer ellipse with the color of the background.
Blend the two ellipses together using a 20 step Blend.
You're getting better with each project.
Now lets create a coiled rope using the Interactive Blend tool.
Draw two small circles on the page spacing them approximately 5 inches apart. Give them a
fill of light yellow with a brown outline.
Select the Interactive Blend tool in the toolbox.
Using the Interactive Blend tool, click and drag from one circle to the other. Release
the left mouse button to create a 20-step blend (the default number of steps).
Type 200 in the Steps parameter box and click the ENTER key on the keyboard. You could have
used the spin buttons, but typing the number is faster when going from 20 to 200.
Draw a symmetrical spiral with four revolutions.
Right-click the 200-step blend and select the Current Effect Roll-up from the Object menu.
The Blend roll-up will appear on the screen.
Click the Path button and select New Path from the flyout menu. The cursor will change to
a crooked arrow.
Use the crooked arrow to click the spiral. Then click the Apply button at the bottom of
the Blend roll-up. The blend will be placed on the spiral.
Click on the Blend along Full Path check box in the Blend Roll-up. The blend will now travel
the entire length of the spiral and should look like the finished one in Figure 7.
When creating blends on path, the Path may show along with the object on the path. To
eliminate the path from showing select the path with the Shape tool and right click on the X
at the top of the color palette, effectively making the path invisible.
Finally we will learn the technique of Blending just the outlines of objects to each other
instead of the Object's fill. This exercise uses two symbols from the Symbols roll-up. Follow
the steps below:
To follow along, open the Symbols roll-up and scroll down to the Transportation category.
Drag symbols number 114 and 122 onto the page.
Give each symbol a 8 point outline with no fill. Use the default black outline color.
Select the bicycle and press the Plus (+) key on the keyboard to place a duplicate
directly on top of itself.
Give the duplicate symbol a hairline outline and change the default color to white.
Select the two outlines and blend them together using a 15 step blend.
Your bicycle should now have a slight three dimensional look to it (See Figure 8).