2 Replies Latest reply: Apr 11, 2008 12:31 PM by Newsgroup_User RSS

    tapered brush strokes

    jermjerra
      Please help. I really would like to know how to create variable brush stokes in Freehand MX. I have tried using the calligraphic pen and that is awful and even creating a custom brush does not give neatly tapered lines. How do the graphic designers do it? Do they punch organic shapes, do they just trace really well or just use the pen tool really well OR do they have a set of brushes that I dont have? Even tracing an image is difficult as there are bound to be one or two nodes that are not smooth. Even the auto-trace tool is not neat. These are examples of vector images with smooth tapered lines:
      http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/object/5394729_flower.php?id=5394729

      http://www.istockphoto.com/file_closeup/object/4652986_floral_design.php?id=4652986

      How on earth are these created so neatly and perfectly? Are there more brushes one can download for Freehand because the library of brushes now is soooooo limited. What am I missing...please help...

      Thank-you
      Louise
        • 1. Re: tapered brush strokes
          Newsgroup_User Community Member

          > How on earth are these created so neatly and perfectly? Are there more brushes
          > one can download for Freehand because the library of brushes now is soooooo
          > limited. What am I missing...please help...

          Create your own custom brushes. Create a shape(s) you want to use like a wedge for a tapered stroke and conver to symbol. After applying a brush select new from the options and us your new symbol. There are a lot os options how the symbol will behave.

          In general Brush is nothing more than a symbol with a control curve or spline.

          Jukka
          • 2. Re: tapered brush strokes
            Newsgroup_User Community Member
            In addition to creating your own brushes, which is very useful, you can
            create graceful tendrils and spirals several ways in FreeHand.

            Use the Spiral tool as a starting point. Apply a tapered brush stroke.

            Another method that creates even nicer spirals is to use power duplicate.
            Use this method to create a series of small paths to join into a single
            path. Here's an old tip of mine here that shows how to power-duplicate
            spirals.

            http://www.freehandsource.com/_frames/_tips/_archive/tip_week045.html

            I wrote this before FH offered the Transform Effect, but you can do the same
            by combining rotate, move, scale and copy commands. Here's an example to get
            you started:

            1. Draw a vertical line 10 points long. Leave selected
            2. Object Panel>Effects>Transform.

            Add all of these transformation within the same Transform Effect:
            Scale 101% uniform
            Rotate 8 degrees
            Move x:0, y:-8
            Center x:13.21, y:4.596
            Copies 100

            (Hint: When you have a spiral you like, highlight Effect: Transform in the
            Object Panel and make a Style which you can apply to other objects.)

            3. When you have a smooth spiral, Separate Attributes.
            4. Ungroup and Join.
            5. Simplify path.
            6. Apply a wedge-shaped brush stroke.

            If you apply the spiral Transform Effect to a slightly tapered rectangle and
            ensure that all the copies overlap smoothly, you won't need a brush stroke.

            Judy Arndt