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More Vector Joining Tools – Part 29 – Vectric For The Absolute Beginner


Hey y’all! In this video, we’re going to get into a few more drawing tools. I still get a lot of questions about joining vectors… …either after a bitmap trace, when importing DXF files, or something like that. So I thought this would be a good time to demonstrate a few more methods of joining open vectors… …using three tools down here under Edit Objects. Now, we know where Join Vectors is. And when you click on Join Vectors, you have a tolerance set here. Usually it’s set pretty low… …somewhere around .004 But when you have a situation where you’ve got a large opening… …for instance in this rectangle, here… …there’s not a lot you can do with that join vectors button…. …unless you get in and play around with tolerances. Now if it’s a wide-open vector like this… …and you can absolutely see where the opening is… …then no problem. You can just draw a polyline and close
that vector up. Sometimes the opening is not so readily apparent… …or it may be a confused or complex… …set of vectors that you’re trying to join – you’re trying to close up. That’s where these new drawing tools come into play. They’re located just to the right of the Join Open Vectors button. We have Join/Close vectors with a Straight Line… …Join/Close vectors with a Smooth Curve… …and Join/Close vectors by Moving the Endpoints to a Common Point. I’m going to go ahead and demonstrate the use of all three of those… …starting with Join/Close vectors with a Straight Line. Now, this may look overly simplistic… …but it’s a good enough demonstration of these tools… …so you can get an idea of which one of these might help you. So, for instance if I want to join this open rectangle to make it a closed rectangle… …all I’ll do is select that rectangle… …click Join/Close vectors with a Straight Line… …and there we go. That vector is now closed. I can go into Join Vectors, and I see… …it is one closed vector. That was done with a simple mouse click. That will help out in a lot of cases where maybe you don’t know what the tolerance is… …or just to help you quickly close a vector that needs a straight line. We also have Join/Close vectors with a Smooth Curve right next to it. I’ve drawn this oval, here, and removed a section… I’ll select this, come over to… …Join/Close vectors with a Smooth Curve… It closes that vector right up… …so I’m back to having a smooth oval, here. In the case of this star… I have a vector that I’ve imported… …we can see that the tip got cut off somehow, and I’d like to fix it. I could come up here and draw another five pointed star… …or I could come over here and select that star… …go into Node Editing… …zoom in a little bit… …and when I get that little tilde under the arrowhead… …right-click… …and delete that span. Tap the letter N again to come out of Node Editing… …and with that vector selected… …come back over here to Join/Close Vectors by Moving the Endpoints to a Common Point. Now, what that did was… …let me undo that to show you… If you look at where these end, watch when I join those vectors… …you need to select it first, Mark… …and I go ahead and join those vectors… …they stay at that height in X. They just move inwards. But that’s okay. It looks kind of unbalanced now, but that’s okay. I can go into Node Editing… …put my cursor over this green start point… …click and drag to move it up until it looks more balanced. Tap the letter N again to come out of
Node Editing… …and I’ve repaired my five pointed star. These are just some of the ways that you can use these tools over here… …to help you join vectors that you’re having a difficult time with. Maybe you can’t get it right… …or you’re not really sure where the break in the vector is. You don’t have to use a straight line on a rectangle… This one here has a big gap in it – a span of the vector has been removed. I can select this, come over, and join it with a smooth curve. Looking at it from here, it looks like it joined
with a straight line. But if I go into Node Editing… …and zoom in… …I can pull a handle out, and adjust that curve to wherever I need it. It adds a level of flexibility to the points when in Node Editing that you may or may not need. But you have a little bit of flexibility if you’re attempting to… …copy a pattern, or trace an element or bitmap. It’s just an easier way of joining and closing vectors… …that you may not have heard of, you may not have used, or maybe you knew and just forgot. These are probably the three most underused icons in the entire software package… …mainly because folks forget that they’re there. Now, you know me… …you know that I like to try to put things into context… …so that you can associate a method with a real-life situation where you’re trying to get something done. So, let’s take a look at this pattern over here. In this design, I did a bitmap trace of Kokopelli… …and then copied it to make a real quick design… ..and I’m going to show you how I did that, over here. Let’s go ahead and select all of these… …and delete them. …then we’ll go over here to the website I got the image from. I got this image of Kokopelli from Pixabay… …and I’ll put a link to this image down in the description box below, if you’d like to download it. You do not have to be a member. You’ll just click this green Free Download button… …if you’re not a member of Pixabay… …you’ll want to download it in this resolution – 1371 X 1920… If you are a member, you can download it in full resolution… …but to be honest with you for this particular image… …it doesn’t really help any. I just downloaded it in this resolution, and it worked out fine for me. Again, I’ll put a link to it in the description box below. So, we’ll get started… …by importing the bitmap for tracing… …and here is the bitmap, right here. Probably 99 times out of 100, when I import a bitmap for tracing… …I use the full sized image to do the bitmap trace… …then I will scale it up or down. But I want the bitmap trace to be done at the images full resolution… …without any modification. I try to find the highest resolution image I can get. Now again, in this case, the difference between this resolution and the other resolution that was offered… …wasn’t enough to worry about. So, with my bitmap selected… …I’ll come over here… …under Create Vectors… …and I’ll select Trace Bitmap. I’m going to use black and white, even though it is a color image. I’m going to do some adjusting down here, because I don’t want all of these… …designs inside the outline. I just want the outline. I want a nice, tight corner fit, so I brought that up to 100%. Because I have a lot of noise out here, due to the background texture… …I’m going to bring my noise filter up pretty high. The Bitmap Fading, I’m gonna leave it about where it’s at. I’m going to ungroup the vectors. I do not want these vectors to be grouped. …and I’ll Preview it. And this is what we get. And oh boy, is it ever a mess. So we’ll bring our Color Threshold down… I’ll take our noise level to about right here. I’ll Preview it… At first there’s not a lot of change… …there we go. Now, if I zoom in and take a look, I still have a little bit of noise in these areas… …but that’s not too awful bad. Let’s bump it up one more and see what happens… Click Preview… …and that got rid of some of the noise that we had. Okay, I think I’ll accept that. Click APPLY… …then CLOSE… …then immediately, what I’m going to do… …is come over here and turn off the bitmap layer. As I said before… …the only thing I really want out of this entire image… …is I want this outline here… …and this outline right here, on the inside. Everything else, I want to get rid of. I don’t want to use it. So, with those two vectors selected… I’ll right-click… …Move to Layer… …New Layer… I’ll name that Layer 2… I want to make sure it’s visible, but I don’t want it active just yet… I’ll click OK. Now I can click off… …come up here… …and I’ll turn off Layer 1. I’ll select Layer 2 is my active layer… …and now all we have is this outline. Now we can use these joining tools, along with Node Editing… …to come in and clean up some of this mess in here. We’ll start right here by selecting that vector… …type N to go into Node Editing… …and boy do we have a mess. I’ve got a bunch of jagged curves in here… …so I’ll cut the vector right here… …come back up here… …to where this is a straight line… …and cut vector again. With this vector segment selected… I can just tap DELETE, and that’s gone. Right-click to come out of Node Editing… …now I can select that vector… …come over here, click Join/Close with a Straight Line… …and all of that jaggedness is gone I can select it again… …go into Node Editing… …start right here, cut vector… …come over here… …cut vector… …select this segment… DELETE. Right-click to come out of Node Editing… …select it… …Join/Close with a Smooth Curve. We’ll zoom out to take a look… …and we already look much, much better. I’m going to continue around this outline. here… …doing the same thing. Select the vector… …go into Node Editing… …come down here and find a relatively smooth place to cut the vector… …zoom out, come back up here… …to approximately where this line would project to… …which I think would be right about here… …cut vector… …then I want to delete that entire segment. Right-click again to come out of Node Editing… …select the vector… …Join/Close with a Straight Line. I’m going to keep going, all the way around this entire drawing… …using either Straight Line or Smooth Curve and we’ll clean this entire thing up. [music] With that done, we can come back into Node Editing… …take a look at what we have here, and do a little bit more shaping. For instance, I’m not much for the way that’s such a sharp corner… …and this kind of looks out of place, even though that’s supposed to be a smooth curve. So, we’ll select it… …go into Node Editing… …and I’ll shorten these up a little bit to give him a little bit more of a neck, here… …bring that down, bring that in… …and I think I like that a lot better. We’ll select this… …we’ll bring this one in… …kind of curve it around this way… …pull that back out… …that looks a little bit more fluid. I think everything else looks all right there. When I come up in here and I take a look, I still have a few spikes… …that I can clean up in Node Editing by coming in and deleting that point… …and that point, and that smooths that out. I’ve got another one over here. I can delete this point… …delete that point… …that point. Then smooth things over, here. I don’t really need that one… …or that one. We’ll just kind of bring that back out,
like so… Look around for any large groups of points that don’t really make sense. I’ll move this in a little bit here… …make that curve a little less drastic, where his arm meets his body. That’s a little better. I’ll come down here and look around… …and see if I spot any more of those strange spikes. We have some corners that aren’t very smooth at all I’ll change that to a Bezier… …bring that out a little bit… …to make that a little bit more rounded… …and smooth it out. I see some more odd corners here. I don’t see any more sharp spikes. That doesn’t really need to be there… …nor does that one. That doesn’t need to be there. You get the idea. Just go around and see if you have any areas that need cleaning up. I’m going to come out of Node Editing by right-clicking… …then I will select both of these vectors… …then come back over here to Fit Curve to Selected Vectors. Click on that… …and we see how many points we have. Let’s go ahead and change these over to Bezier curves, and preview it… …and that’s going simplify that design a lot. I’m going to go ahead and accept that… …and that looks much, much better. It’s a lot more fluid. I still have a little spike down in here that I can get rid of… …so I’ll go into Node Editing… …delete that point… …delete that point… …and I can probably do without this point too. That’s a little bit better. We’ll go ahead and we’ll accept that the way it is. Right-click to come out of Node Editing. But you see how… …you can take a jagged mess like that… Let’s sharpen up the point on his hair right here. We’ll go back into Node Editing… …we’ll cut that vector at the corners… …then delete that segment… …then we’ll come out of Node Editing, select that vector… …join those two at a common point… …and I don’t even have to move that point. That one’s not bad. I think that’s workable. Now I’ll select them both again… …and I’m going to group these to lock them in proximity with one another. I can select again… …and holding down SHIFT… …I can reduce the height a little bit to scale him down… …then I want to grab him by the center box and drag him straight over. About right there looks good. Let’s go ahead and center him vertically with the material. That moved him slightly. Close that… …and with the group selected, I want to Mirror him. I want to flip about the job center. I want to create a mirrored copy. I’ll flip it horizontal… …close… …and there’s the beginnings of my design. I have two of my Kokopelli designs cleaned up, ready to carve. I’m going to go ahead and end this video right here. I hope you got something out of it. The main point I’m trying to convey here is if you’re having trouble closing vectors… …or you’re trying to clean up a lot of vectors that are really ragged looking… …you can use these three icons here to your advantage. If you’re not sure which one to use… …try all of them. Try close with a Straight Line first. If that doesn’t give you the look you’re going after… …try close with a Smooth Curve. If that doesn’t give you the look that you’re after… …try moving the endpoints to a common point. Remember; after you try each one of these individually… …for instance, if you close with a straight line… …select the vector, go back into Node Editing… …and make any minor adjustments there. Again these are probably the most underused tools… …and they really do help a lot for closing problem vectors… …that you just can’t seem to get closed any
other way. Don’t forget that this afternoon (Sept 8th, 2019) at 12 noon Pacific, 3 p.m. Eastern Time… …I’ll be hosting a live Q&A on these tools… …Node Editing this particular pattern… …or anything else I covered in this video. Again, that’s noon Pacific, 3 p.m. Eastern… …right here on my YouTube channel. I’ll put a link to that live Q&A session down in the description box below. This is a good time, if you haven’t already… …to subscribe to my channel. And when you click that Subscribe button down there… …click that little Notification Bell button right next to it. That way you’ll get a notification before I go live, and when I go live… …so you can join us for the Live Q&A session here on YouTube. Once again, I’d like to thank you very much for taking the time to watch… …whether you subscribe to my channel or not… …y’all take care.

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