"Basic Shapes"

We have the circle, square and star shapes that have "special" things happening when we drag the nodes; couldn't the basic shapes do special things too? As they stand, they are just 'symbols' that may as well be added in through fonts, clipart, clipboard, 'symbols' or a one click off-set: there is nothing special about them that warrants the space used in the toolbar (in my opinion of course ;)

In no particular order...

  • Would  be nice if there was an option to save and load settings (inc a "default") for individual 'special shapes'. Perhaps a docker to drag them on/off from, showing a thumbnail of the shape.
  • R-drag to "copy settings here" could copy all the settings to the same "class" of shape.
  • Couldn't all the "basic shapes" be under the one toolbar call-out?
  • Why is there both a 'polygon' and 'basic star' tool? they are both the same thing. Perhaps a button/value to flatten or input a impact/pointy value for it?
  • Why are there two individual types of "star"? Shouldn't there just be an option to make it 'basic' or 'full'?  (and an option to expand the basic into full or reduce the full to basic)
  • New Triangle Shape;
    • Have the center point on the top point as default so rotation handles spin it about this
    • Enter in one angle and have the others worked out (lock to 90º option, mirror angles) - on interactive toolbar
    • Pull opposing line to increase size of triangle
    • Triangle height (from baseline to primary corner) & line sizes on interactive toolbar
  • New Perspective Shape;
    • Node-edit pulls top nodes together/away (mirrored nodes and mirror lines shown - moving object's center would move the mirror line)
    • Dimension input on interactive toolbar for top line length, bottom line length and height
  • New Cross Shape;
    • As with filleted corners on a rectangle, node-edit to move internal corners (size and locks as per fillets on rectangle)
  • New Arrow Shape;
    • (variables accesable from the interactive toolbar, changed  with dragging nodes...)
    • Draw from point A to point B (Main tip and mid-tail nodes - length value)
    • Head size (how far down line the head comes - % of the length and value)
    • Head width (how wide the head is - value, angle & mirrored outer nodes)
    • Head inset (distance towards point for connecting lines to tail - mirrored inner nodes)
    • Head inset squeeze (how much narrower/wider the tail is at where it joins to the head - as per tail width, and option to lock the variables to tail width)
    • Tail width (% of head, value and mirrored nodes)
    • Option to lock everything except the length so that the arrow remains constant when the line length is pulled.
    • Button to flip start and end
  • New Moon Shape;
    • Two half circles; node to drag one half over the other or out to a circle, snap options for divisions on a circle

7 Replies

  • Hi Gadget, 

    Gadget
    couldn't the basic shapes do special things too?

    The basic shapes, or perfect shapes, in Draw have 1 to 3 "glyphs" which are editable when the perfect shape tool or node edit tool are selected.  They show up as a small coloured diamond.  The glyphs can also be modified from the object properties docker.  CorelDRAW currently has your "Perspective", "Cross" and "Arrow" shape, all editable as you describe.

    Gadget
    Why is there both a 'polygon' and 'basic star' tool?

    As I understand, the star is a commonly needed shape.  Less technical users may not know that you can grab the midpoint of a polygon side, hold ctrl, and drag it inwards to make a star shape.

    Gadget
    Why are there two individual types of "star"? Shouldn't there just be an option to make it 'basic' or 'full'?  (and an option to expand the basic into full or reduce the full to basic)

    The complex star has overlaping sides.  You can't acheive this with the polygon tool or the standard star tool.

    A moon shape is a good idea, and it would be handy if the glyph controls also showed in the toolbar.

    Regards,
    Hendrik

     

  •  If I understand you right, you've got some good points, though I disagree on a few. I do agree that the basic shapes could stand some updating, including your points 1,2, and 3. I disagree that the basic shapes are simply symbols. A few of them are, but most have control nodes that allow for specialized reshaping that you don't get in other tools. I like the ease of use of those, and wouldn't want to have to input individual characteristics much more than is currently possible.

    The polygon tool and the basic star tool are somewhat different. The polygon tool allows for symmetric rotation of nodes and both inward and outward movement. The basic Star tool is strictly an in and out setting of "pointiness" and doesn't allow for the sides to invert the way the polygon tool does. Admittedly, you can make stars from polygons and polygons from stars, but if you've got a quick job to be done, I like to be able to grab the one that's going to do what I want fastest without converting to curves.

    Triangles: Some of what you say could be handy. Right now the best way I know of to draw an isosolese triangle is with the smart drawing tool. At that point, it becomes a basic shape. Why isn't this in the basic shapes list? I wouldn't want the center of rotaion changed by default. Right now, ALL objects have the center of rotation as the center of the object (or at least the center of the selection handles) by default. Changing that for a few objects would play havoc with working with CorelDRAW because you'd never know what to expect. 

    Perspective Shape: Doesn't the trapezoid in the Basic Shapes do this now? I may not be understanding what you're asking for here.

    Arrow shape - I think this would take a whole new tool, far from Basic Shapes, and more along the lines of the line end options (where there is a button to reverse the curve and you can create your own arrowheads.)

    Love th idea of the moon shape! That one really is what Basic Shapes are all about and would come in ever so handy for a lot of projects.

    Val P. 

     

  • In reply to Val P.:

    Stars: I was not proposing that they are 'done away with', just that since there is so much common ground between them they could all be the one tool with three different modes: like elipse, pie and arc are three modes of the one tool. Poligon, star and complex star. Changing from one to another should be just a click.

    Basic Shapes: I wasn't aware that the basic shapes actually had movable parts (*)... but in comparison to the rest of Draw's tools, they are not very (visually) intuative and lack any accuracy.

    The settings would definetly be handy on the interactive toolbar, or even a docker/rollup... but exactly what to display here I don't know...  Perhaps a numerical off-set for each 'glyph' point?

    For continuity, I would like to see these glyph points as a special node that (if applicable) lock to a shape-specific guide-line.

    I would also like to see nodes where I expect them to be - so I can move the shape and snap it properly - they may be locked down, but I would still like to see them.

    Been trying to work out what makes a basic shape special - why can't I implement some of these functions to make my own "basic shapes" and help when I'm node-editing?... I can think on a couple of special properties that some nodes within a shape have:

    • Lock Node - locks their relative position to each other so that object can be scaled/stretched and they remain the same distance from each other. Move one and the other moves.
      Lock all nodes in an object and it will remain the same size - put this frozen object in a group and everything else re-sizes, but it remains the same.
      Rotation would work as normal.
    • Mirror plane - (as per post within the bezier editing thread)
    • Lock Path - define a path (linear direction or curve) and make a locked nodes only move along that path.
      Define an optional start and end point.

    Just about every special effect and edit that you can do within a "basic shape" could be done with these tools. I've not worked out how the 'speach bubble' call-out jumps round the shape, but it's very cool. Can't see how it would be of use outside of a speach-bubble or call-out dimension though.

    If you could apply these things to existing nodes of a shape, then you could create your own "basic shapes" - you could have a library of them... actually these "properties" on nodes could make 'symbols' very powerful.

    The existing shapes... I think all that are not "special" are pointless and some that are could do with a bit of tweaking, but that's for another day.

    (*Tell a lie, I probably was aware, but just forgot: too many features & tools SurpriseWink )

  • In reply to Val P.:

    Val P.
    Triangles: Some of what you say could be handy. Right now the best way I know of to draw an isosolese triangle is with the smart drawing tool. At that point, it becomes a basic shape. Why isn't this in the basic shapes list?

    I normally draw a square, break it, add a node in the middle of one side and delete the ones either side: this way I can get an accuratly sized triangle. I suppose I could just use the polygon on 3 sides then stretch it (or type in the size) as well - that seems quicker and I can snap within a shape.

    I wouldn't want the center of rotaion changed by default. Right now, ALL objects have the center of rotation as the center of the object (or at least the center of the selection handles) by default. Changing that for a few objects would play havoc with working with CorelDRAW because you'd never know what to expect. 

    True. And it's not difficult to move it.

    Arrow shape - I think this would take a whole new tool, far from Basic Shapes, and more along the lines of the line end options (where there is a button to reverse the curve and you can create your own arrowheads.)

    That would be cool. Or have something that could convert ends into shapes; that would be a very usefull tool.

  • In reply to Gadget:

    Just thinking on something Val said - every 'special shape' could also be an end-cap for a line, and every end-cap becomes a 'special shape' - perhaps a special 'class' of special shape? To make it an end-cap, there are two "special nodes" that could be added to a shape:

    • Anchor point: when defining a shape, the anchor point node could be added. This point is independant of any other nodes/lines (but snaps work in the same way). This point is where any end-cap line would start/end.
    • End point: this point defines where the "actual" end of a line is and combined with the anchor point defines the direction/orientation of the shape when used as an end-cap. When a line that has an end-cap is node-edited, this is the 'node' that is used.
      {Think on an arrow with the attachment point at it's tip and a 4pt outline - currently the outline's "square" end sticks out beyond the triangle point of the arrow and flattens the arrow's tip. If you draw the end cap beyond the end of the line to 'hide' the square ends, the arrow points beyond the end of the line. This would eliminate the problem.}

    End caps:

    • Scale/Size of end-caps needs to be defined independant of the line thickness
    • A "lock to line thickness" option that would multiply up the size when the line thickness changes (ie an end-cap for a 1pt line would be half the size of a 2pt line)
    • Option to edit a line-cap already assigned to a line (r-click option?):
      Editing one end-cap style would change the same style of end-caps for all (unless an option was selected to 'create a new end-cap' from the edited one and set that to the the line/end-cap being edited)
    • Option to "seperate/break apart" a line with end caps and they revert into "special shapes" to be edited as per any other special shape


    [edited by: Gadget at 3:03 (GMT -7) on Thu, Feb 21 2008]
  • In reply to Gadget:

    Just posting on this thread to keep things together: going through each of the special shapes...
    {Arrows, banners, flowchart and callouts for another post.}
    Ones to get rid of:

    • Skew - no point; quicker and more flexibility with skewing a rectangle.
    • Triangle - my thoughts on the trapezoid and triangle tool would make this redundant (separate thread/post later).
    • Cross - it works pretty well as expected. But I would like to see it made redundant by selecting 'square' as the 'fillet' method of a rectangle (ellipse is as it is just now, linear would be a straight fillet, scalloped would be an inverse circle.)
    • Cylinder - I think the node 'should' squish the top ellipse as you drag it - not sure what it does just now, but it's not what it should. ;- I don't think that this is of any use since you can draw an ellipse and extrude it ;with ease
    • Bevel - no point; there is a dedicated bevel tool.
    • Smilie - no point; simply drag one from the symbol docker
    • Doughnut - no point; so many ways to quickly do this and could be superseded by the "rainbow arc" idea below
    • Lightning - no point; it's a symbol and I can't think on any control points that would work.
    • Filleted box - no point; draw a box and fillet it with much more control.

    Facelift for existing shapes
    {See attached sketches for the shapes mentioned below}

    • It would be nice to see visual micro-guides on special shapes that refer to their special nodes and how they act (see sketch)
    • A "popup", hint box that moves with the mouse while dragging a special node and shows values dynamically
      • the dimension/percentage you are changing-
      • Option to turn it on/off from the main toolbar-
      • This would be really cool if you could set it's transparency from the 'options'-
      • Keystroke to 'activate' this, make it editable and move the focus to the value.-
      • arrow keys would 'nudge' the value by whatever the nudge is set to -
      • if no numbers are typed in or anything other than the box is clicked on, it vanishes again. -
      • Hitting <return> or clicking away will set the number, hitting <esc> will cancel the edit.

    Perspective trapezoid

    • Instead of just moving the one corner line out, as one node moved out, the other below moved in.
    • Stop point at the middle of the shape rather than having it stop at "square" (ie keep going in to form a triangle)
    • Mid-point node to pull the shape without distorting the side angles.

    Page Curl

    • Initially have the option to drag from any corner: the “placement” point being the corner opposite the curl, so dragging down & left for the elclosing shape would put the curl in the bottom left corner (etc).
    • Option to move either end of the curl up or down the side.
    • Option to move where the end of the curl sits on the page.

    No entry sign

    • Keep the 'thickness' node
    • Option to drag/rotate middle "bar" around the inner circle and change it's angle (if the shape is skewed or not perfectly square, then simply rotating the object would not give the same result)

    Rainbow arc

    • this is actually quite nifty - in fact it would be really handy to have an interactive single level offset as part of the ellipse tools so that you could control it better.
    • If it was, then it could also be used to create doughnuts with ease as well.
    • An interactive single level offset would also be a usefull addition to the rectangle tool

    Heart

    • Without any control points, it's useless; may as well drag a shape from the symbol docker.
    • Have a control point to drag the impact point up and down
    • Another control point to bell the sides inwards.

    Droplet

    • again, without a control point, it's useless.
    • Control point to define the 'smear' length of the droplet, from circle up to big point.

    New: 3D box

    • Simple hexagon with three lines intercepting in the middle
    • pull any of the axis to stretch it.

    New: "Celtic Cross"

    • cross with a circle embedded
    • control point to define the thickness of the cross and circle,
    • control point to determine the position of the circle on the cross
    • control point to size the circle by moving in/out towards the center

    New: "Flanged Cross"

    • cross with serif’s on it like Times font
    • control point to define thickness of the cross
    • control point to specify distance down the leg the flange starts
    • control point to stretch the flange's tail

    New: "Tail"

    • I think it's called a "sports tail"? Trail lines going from a horizontal base to a vertical plane
    • Control point to determine the width of starting line
    • Control point to determine the width of the ending line
    • Control point to determine the impact curve of the ending line
    Special Shapes.pdf
  • In reply to Gadget:

    The basic shape group "Banners"... well it's a little poor isn't it? An up the way scroll, a down the way scroll, a wave box and two jaggie splats. The scrolls are not even very well done - straight lines and a simple fold.

    Everything on this can be done much (raised to the power of ten) better simply by drawing stuff and using the tools available. The jaggie splats are completley out of date due to the zipper tool. The wave box can be done with the envelope tool and scrolls have soooo much more potential.

    Attached should be self-explanitory, but if anyone has any questions, feel free to post.

    Banners.pdf