How to draw a blob in Shape Editor

Getting Started

Select the 'Draw' option from the tools on the left side of the window. Now make a few left clicks inside the drawing area. After two clicks, you will notice two blue circles appear where you clicked and a line connecting them.

This line segment is your first shape. Notice that every shape has at least 2 points. You can also see a curve passing through the fist two points and the location of your mouse cursor. This curve is your preview curve; it shows you what your shape would look like if you clicked with your cursor at its current location.
Continue left clicking to add points your blob. If you make a mistake, press the Backspace key to undo your last point. When you are almost finnished, left click inside the blue circle of the first point of your shape. The circle will turn red as you do this.
You may notice that when you click, a smooth connection is made unlike the sharp one you saw in the preview curve. Also notice that the preview curve is still visable. This is because you may still add points to the shape. The current shape is not finnished until you press, 'space' or 'enter', which will allow you to start drawing a new shape next time you click with your mouse.

Making Adjustments and Setting Attributes

At this point you may wish to adjust the shape of your blob. Press enter and select the 'Drag Points' option from the tools. Notice that the blue circles designating the input points dissappear. Now left click on the curve. The circles reappear and the blob shape is now highlighted in light and dark cyan to indicate that it is selected.
With the shape selected, now is a good time to set the attributes. Click the fill shape checkbox to fill your blob black. Click on the color bar at the bottom of the window to select something more appropriate, like red. Now you have a colored blob with a 2 pixel wide black boarder. Click on the arrows under where it says 'Line Thickness' to adjust the width of this boarder. I set my blob to a 4 pixel wide line thickness.
With the 'Drag Points' tool selected, you can now adjust the positions of your control points by clicking within their blue circles and dragging them anywhere you want. If you drag either the first or last point you drew, they will move together as though they are one point. In fact you shouldn't be able to distinguish them from the other points on your shape as you drag them.

However if you right click these points and choose 'Split' from the popup menu, you will quickly see how special they are.
Immediately the curve becomes sharp at these points and as soon as you drag them, they come appart leaving a straight line segment gap in the black border. To restore your blob to normal, you could use the undo button in the edit menu.
Instead however, we will drag the points back together and right click the points selecting 'Fuse' from the menu. The points become one again, but the curve is still pointy at these endpoints.
To fix this, right click either of the two curve segments connected to the end point. Select 'Make Tangent To...' from the popup menu. A yellow highlighted segment will appear next to the magenta highlighted segment that you right clicked on. Click on this yellow segment to make the curve smooth again.

Details and Transformations

At this point, the blob is looking somewhat bland. Let's draw it a mouth.

Click the background to deselect your blob and choose a blue color from the color pallete. Select the draw tool, and Right click this time to draw a mouth. When using right click, the shape is sharp at the input point. Thus your mouth will be a polyline.
We could draw the eyes ourselves aswell, however we can also generate a circle and transform it.

Hit 'enter' to end the mouth, and choose 'Insert Circle' from the 'Action' menu. A 100 pixel diameter blue circle will appear in the middle of the window.
With the circle selected you can change its color and fill it. Choose the scale shape tool and you should see a cyan rectangle sourounding the circle now. By draging the sides and corners of this rectangle, you can change the size and shape of the circle.
If you click on the top of the rectangle and drag downward, you squash the circle into an elipse. And if you drag a corner, you can shrink it to the appropriate size for an eye.

The circle has 16 control points, and may be hard to see under these points when you shrink it. You can zoom in using your mouse's roller or by pressing the '+' key to help you see it better.
Once you have the desired size and shape for your eye, you can copy it to make a second eye. Choose 'Duplicate Shape' from the 'Edit' menu.

Now that you have 2 eyes (no don't stare at me), select the 'Move Shape' tool, and drag them into position. You can hold the middle mouse button to pan the screen, and you can select 'Default' from the 'View' menu to zoom back out where you can see your whole blob.
The blob is starting to look pretty good but I think it would be more zany if the face were horizontal like textual faces are in text messaging.

Select the mouth, and select the 'Rotate Shape' tool. A cyan circle will appear arround the mouth. Click on this circle to drag the mouth arround the circle.
With the mouth rotated, you will need to adjust the position of the eyes by using the 'Move Shape' tool again.

Finnishing Up

I rotated my whole blob aswell. Now lets make a background for our blob other than the program's graph paper.

Use the 'Draw' tool to draw a green rectangle arround the blob.
When you fill this rectangle, your blob disappears behind it.

To fix this, click the left arrow under the 'Z-Ordinal' label on the left. Every time you click, it moves behind another shape. Keep moving it until it has a Z-Ordinal of 1, making it the first thing drawn.
If you wish to save your blob to a file, now is an ideal time to do so.

If you want to save a bitmap, you can select 'High Antialiasing (4x4)' from the 'View->Antialias' menu. This will render smoother less pixelated lines giving your drawing a better appearance. However it can slow the program down, so it is best to use when you are about to save a finnished bitmap file.





Shape Edit Main