Back >
< Back
Contains 0 items
Subtotal: $0.00



When Your Customer’s Artwork Isn’t Up to Par

The projects we all tackle may be quite different, but one commonality is that we are often provided with low-quality artwork that needs to be rebuilt. Recently I worked on just such a project where a number of techniques in CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT were used to create the result. I’m going to go through each of those techniques in this article. You may not have the need to create a boxshot as in my project, but the techniques could be quite helpful in many of your projects.

When Your Customer’s Artwork Isn’t Up to Par

You Can Rebuild It. You Have the Technology.

By Foster D. Coburn III, CorelDRAW Unleashed

(Originally published in the November 2015 issue of Recognition Review.)

The projects we all tackle may be quite different, but one commonality is that we are often provided with low-quality artwork that needs to be rebuilt. Recently I worked on just such a project where a number of techniques in CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT were used to create the result. I’m going to go through each of those techniques in this article. You may not have the need to create a boxshot as in my project, but the techniques could be quite helpful in many of your projects.

Creating Boxshots

If you ever need to create a boxshot, my favorite tool is called True BoxShot (http://tbs.trueboxshot.com/). You would use CorelDRAW, Corel PHOTO-PAINT, or another graphic tool to create flat views of each piece. Then True BoxShot will turn those flat views into an awesome 3D version of a box, DVD, book, or other product. If you have this need, explore their website.

The Original Artwork

On the Graphics Unleashed site, we resell a variety of products, and I get artwork for these products from the manufacturer. Some give me great artwork, and some give me low-quality artwork. FIGURE 1 shows the two boxshots I needed to rebuild because the original artwork was 180 pixels square. This is fine for a thumbnail, but I need 1000 pixels square for products sold online. The small thumbnails I had looked very odd next to products with higher quality artwork. Though these boxshots weren’t great, they will be very helpful in the rebuilding process.

FIGURE 1: Two different boxshots supplied at a lower dimension than desired

The New Original

When I asked for a better boxshot, I got one only for the “professional” product. But it was enough to allow me to create the products I needed. You’ll see a screenshot of the new original in FIGURE 2 showing the transparent background. Having the transparency is great because it allowed me to add whatever background I desired in CorelDRAW.

FIGURE 2: The new original boxshot has the dimensions desired and transparency.

Cloning an Area

Because there are two different versions of products involved and I was only given one boxshot, I had to remove “pro” for the second box. FIGURE 3 shows a zoomed view of the before and after.

FIGURE 3: The original boxshot with the word “Pro” and the result after removing it with Clone

The solution for the digital removal is the Clone tool in Corel PHOTO-PAINT. When you first click, it sets a source point from where pixels are cloned and then you click and drag to point on a different area with pixels from the source. This has to be done carefully and with small strokes as the source area can sometimes infringe on the area you are trying to remove. Some of the strokes needed to follow the diagonal edge of the area I was trying to replace. Should you ever need to reset the source for cloning pixels, just right-click the new source location.

If you look carefully at the “after” artwork, you can see a little blotchiness where my cloning wasn’t perfect. I could have done better, but I knew this was a detail that would be overlooked by most everyone when not looking at this extreme zoom level. It wasn’t worth the extra time to make it perfect. Obviously each project is different, and you have to weigh the quality level required against the time it takes to get there.

Rebuilding the Background

The original boxshots had gradient backgrounds with various shades of blue on the “Pro” product and various shades of green on the “Standard” product. Using the original icons as reference, I created two rectangles behind the new box graphic in CorelDRAW. Then I used the Eyedropper tool in CorelDRAW to capture the starting and ending color for the two gradients (fountain fills) in the background.

Once the Eyedropper had captured the color, I filled small rectangles with the color so I would have the color available for later use. FIGURE 4 shows the Eyedropper tool, the original icon, and the four rectangles filled with shades of blue.

FIGURE 4: The colors of the fountain fills have been saved in rectangles for later use

If you are using CorelDRAW X5 or later, the colors you used to fill the rectangles will be added to the Document Palette on the bottom of your drawing window by default. Then I added fountain fills to the two background rectangles I drew and dragged the colors from the Document Palette to the start and end point of the fountain fills. FIGURE 5 shows the top rectangle selected with the Interactive Fill tool so you can see the colors for the start and end of the fountain fill.

FIGURE 5: A rectangle got a fountain fill using the same colors as the original icon

A more complex example of a logo being rebuilt can be seen in FIGURE 6. The logo supplied was 117 separate objects broken into bands of color. By welding all objects together, the look was recreated with a fountain fill with many colors.

FIGURE 6: A fountain fill with many colors was created using the same technique

Adding Text

The last step was to add either the word “standard” or “professional” to the box to distinguish between the two products. Once again the Eyedropper was used to capture either the red or green from the original boxes. I then typed the text and sized it appropriately. The last step was to add a dropshadow; the best result seemed to come from using what CorelDRAW refers to as a small glow in the drop shadow presets. You’ll see the settings in FIGURE 7.

FIGURE 7: The “glow” drop shadow added to the text

A glow seems to indicate a light color, but I used black to get the shadow I desired. The default feathering is much larger than I wanted so I changed it to 10. Adjust the settings until you get the result that is right for your project.

Rebuilding

When I was done with the rebuild, I exported the icons from CorelDRAW at 1000 pixels square and you can see the results in FIGURE 8. Not only do the new icons look better in print, they look fantastic online and are a better match to the products offered in the online store. The next time you’re provided with substandard artwork, try some of these techniques for results your client will love.

FIGURE 8: The rebuilt boxshots


Foster D. Coburn III is the author of 13 books on CorelDRAW, the latest being CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed. He also writes the free Graphics Unleashed Blog (http://graphics-unleashed.com) and provides fonts, artwork, and add-ons of interest to CorelDRAW users through the CorelDRAW Unleashed site at www.coreldrawunleashed.com. Connect with Graphics Unleashed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/graphicsunleashed and follow Foster on Twitter at @fostercoburn and Instagram at @fostercoburn.

Awards and Personalization Association

The Awards and Personalization Association is the organization for retailers and suppliers of personalized and customized items. By providing education, meetings, and access to a vibrant network of professionals, the Awards and Personalization Association is the one place to ensure the growth of your talent, your business, and your professional community.

Learn More

© Awards and Personalization Association
Contact Us
Awards and Personalization Association
8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300

Chicago, IL 60631

info@awardspersonalization.org
847.375.4800
(Fax) 847.375.6480

Connect with Us