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Combing Color Layer Elements - X3

Discussion in 'Corel' started by RedlineMan, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. RedlineMan

    RedlineMan Member

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    Hey All;

    I'd like to pick the brain of all experienced CorelDRAW users for the benefit of we rookies. The topic is combining seperate elements into one contiguous piece so that it can be cut as such.

    For the record, I have been trying Graphtec's CutMaster to do my cut setup. It has an autoweld feature, but it does not appear to be too powerful, as it will not always combine elements of the same color.

    As far as I can tell, using X3/CutMaster, I need to combine all the elements of one color into one item in order to cut it as one piece. And so the question is, how do you take differeing type elements and combine them?

    For instance, I have a series of components that make up the item attached below. I am speaking of combining all the black pieces to make one item. They are all created differently, and seem to offer/need varying types of manipulation using the tools available in the "Arrange" menu.

    - The numbers are created in X3, and then outlined. Then the outline is seperated from the color text and closed (made solid) by manipulating (deleting) the internal nodes.
    - The circle is created in X3 and then converted to an object with internal and external nodes.
    - The silhouette of the car and the "Turbo Cup" text are traced and vectorized bitmaps.

    I may be working on a lot of mistaken noobie impressions here, but it seems to me that these all need to be combined into one contiguous outline so that only the borders are cut. This is a VERY tedious and often confusing process, as it seems each type of element requires different types of commands and strategies to make it all one.

    Guide me on, Sayers of Sooth!
     

    Attached Files:

    Tags:
  2. mamos

    mamos Member

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    The quickest way is to select all the objects you want to combine and then press Ctrl+L to combine them

    Press Ctrl+K to break them apart

    mamos
     
  3. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    You should probably WELD all like colors, rather than combining them. Sometimes these will produce different results, with the WELD usually being better for cutting.
     
  4. learned the hard way

    learned the hard way Active Member

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    Move the red 341 and the white 944 cup out of the way...then select everything else and click arrange/shaping/weld. All of your black pieces will then be one object with no overcut lines.

    By the way, on the outline for 341, there is a much easier way to get that effect without the hassle you described....select the 341 and go to the contour tool in the toolbox on the left side of the screen....after clicking the contour tool, make sure it is set to outside (at the top of the screen) and then choose how thick you want the contour. Ends up looking just like what you have, only without having to convert an outline to object and then deleting the inside.
     
  5. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    Get cocut pro , install it, they have a 30 trial, then select weld all colors. then cut.
    done!..
     
  6. RedlineMan

    RedlineMan Member

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    Thanks all;

    Some useful pointers.

    Techman; point taken, and all well and good if you can or want to spend $5-6-700. It's not in my budget. Unless the weld feature is much more powerful there, it is not worth it to me at the moment, for my current "recreational" needs. maybe if people start beating down my door...

    As for the task at hand, I have a perfect example right now. A vectorized bitmap design that I had to add some details to when they were eliminated in the tracing process. I recreated these with the pen tool and then combined them into the original. However, one of these shapes went black when I combined it even though it was created just like the others. Recreating and combining a replacement on top of that does the same thing. Baffling.

    This is just the kind of mystery I am talking about. Any ideas? I can post the design for your investigative pleasure if you like. I'm not getting it at my ealry stage of understanding.
     
  7. wildside

    wildside Very Active Member

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    when you combine two pieces that are on two different layers, after if combines it automatically changes the color to the top layers color and puts it on the top layer as well, you probably just need to move to the back or where ever and solve that issue it sounds like to me
     
  8. RedlineMan

    RedlineMan Member

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    As a continuation of this topic;

    I have found various instances where the Combine function is not available. I am uncertain as to why this is, but I assume there is an exception to one or more of the items in a group that I am trying to combine. I am not sure under what parameters Combine works?

    I have also successfully uses the Weld function to combine items, but again have not found this to wwork at all times, and am unsure as to what circumstances are favorable to its use?

    When faced with these type dilemmas, I have resorted to re-tracing them as one solid object. This has worked more than once with satisfactory results.
     
  9. RedlineMan

    RedlineMan Member

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    Hmmm....

    Not too many repsonses to the combining of elements. Probably because not many people understand it too well. It is a complicated process requiring different actions for different types of elements, or elements in different states.

    One thing I have learned is a trick to successful welding. If you have two objects you want to join with no phantom cut line between them, you need to join two pairs of nodes on each object, and make sure that the nodes are set to straight line so that the connecting lines between the two nodes are straight.

    If you combine two objects with any overlap of the objects themselves, the color from the common area is removed and it will not weld with solid color. It is also very difficult to then split nodes and reconnect the two objects as you would like. If you join two straight line node pairs, then it will weld perfectly, and then you can manipulate the contours of the joined area as you wish after the two objects are made into one.

    Kind of hard to describe. :rolleyes: I have not seen this process well-described in any tutorial either.
     
  10. GAC05

    GAC05 Major Contributor

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    Red,
    not sure what you are getting at in your last post - got a drawing showing what you are doing?

    wayne k
    guam usa
     
  11. javila

    javila Active Member

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    You should know that Combine and weld are two very different operations, in corel or any other program. What you need to be doing is "weld" from under the "shaping" function. It's a couple tools down from combine.


    Edit:
    Combine in Corel is the equivalent of Exclude in any other vector program, why they decided to out it into a different are is beyond me.

    Edit 2:
    You can also pull out a "shaping" toll menu from shaping, and it'll give you a "preview" of what's gonna happen with the shapes.

    Edit 3:
    Quick little mock up. Top one is what happens with "combine" Bottom is what happens with "weld"

    [​IMG]

    Hope that helps =)

    Edit: 4 Jeez =P :
    As to why weld works sometimes and not other times, it's probably because you need to have outlines to work with. Can't do it with text. It's also possible certain "effects" or "styles" are being used on certain portions. (I'm not too up to date on Corel, I keep my vector loving to Illustrator =D )
     
  12. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    One thing I noticed from your post is that you said "retraced". That means some of what you are using is bitmap. Before you weld or combine you need to make sure everything you have is a vector object. This may be one of the problems you are having. When you are drawing you are not converting object to curves. Weld and combine have there places and are not the same tool.
    Jimmy
     
  13. RedlineMan

    RedlineMan Member

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    NOW....

    ...We are getting some good info. The brass tacks behind what is going on. This is what I was talking about. It HAS occured to me that there are indeed certain states that an object must be in before you can successfully perform a certain function on it (weld, combine, etc.), and that these states vary depending on what function. I'm trying to find out what state each object must be in in order to combine, or weld, or...

    Of course I am vectorizing everthing. That is a given.

    Take for example a ring (a circle with an inside and outside border or node path, hollow in the center, such as you would create by seperating a thick outline and making it into an object) and a rectangle. I did one like this where one side welded perfectly, but the other side would not. Why? What was keeping it from working?

    I have made great strides in simply hacking away at things until something works. The trick then is to try and figure out WHY it worked so you can repeat it. That's where I'm at right now.

    Some of these ideas was what I was looking for! It is also good for the person offering the advice, as it is often the case that increased understanding for YOU TOO is the result! :thumb:
     
  14. PGSigns

    PGSigns Active Member

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    If you take two circles one inside the other you can not weld them together. When yo weld you need overlaping objects. In this case you would combine them to make an object. If you draw two circles one inside the other then draw a box accross them and select all of them then you can use the weld command to make an object like you example at the top.
    Jimmy
     
  15. Replicator

    Replicator Major Contributor

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    Also, Lets say you draw a circle and now you draw a bunch of boxes around the circle.

    now go to arrange, shaping, and then choose back minus front and see what happens to your box.

    You will be left with [1] cuttable object.
     
  16. javila

    javila Active Member

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    I think you just need to sit down and learn how shaping(boolean operations) work (weld, divide, behind front, intersect, etc.).

    Pretty sure there's a section in the help file of draw for that.
     
  17. RedlineMan

    RedlineMan Member

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    I think you're right;

    I have been having more success lately in getting objects to weld properly. In all that hacking around I am starting to see patterns imerge that are making it clearer. I'm not sure that I want to know the intimate details of Boolean Logic, or need to, and I do not yet know exactly how everything interacts on that level, but I am starting to get a feel for what it wants. Or, at least I am getting to the point where I have different combinations of tactics in my memory that have been successful.

    It seems that the order of selection of weld objects, or the layering of same on the page has a lot to do with it.
     
  18. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    yes it does,, there are a ton of tutorilas around that explain welding much better than in a post.

    Select bottom, click weld, and click the top layer is a basic operation.
     
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