Cheat Sheet: Using The Art Studio
Click on a number on the illustration below to find out what a button in the Art Studio does and how it works
The Canvas: This is where you draw. It will change shape to suit the template or photo you are drawing on.
Selection Arrow: This tool is used to select objects (shapes, clip art, text) to move or edit, move objects, or resize objects (by clicking on the corner box of a selected object, holding down the mouse button, and dragging to re-size the object). To select multiple objects, click in a blank area of the canvas and drag a rectangle around the objects you want to select.
Direct Selection Arrow: When you want to mold a shape, you use this instead of the regular selection arrow. It exposes the anchor points in a shape and lets you move them independently, or move the control points of an anchor point to alter the curve of the line going through it.
Pen Tool: The pen tool lets you draw shapes by setting the anchor points individually. For example, to draw a square, you'd click one corner and then the remaining three, moving around them in a clockwise or counter-clockwise motion. If you hold down your mouse button and drag when you click to set a point, you can alter the position of the control points, changing the curve of the line going through the point you just created.
Convert Anchor Tool: On some shapes the anchors and their control points are very strictly defined, like squares and rectangles. Using this tool, you can click on an anchor point, hold down the mouse button, and drag, to adjust the control points and make them easier to edit.
Add Anchor Tool: Let's say you want to make a shape a bit more moldable. This tool allows you to add more anchor points to it so you can have more points on the shape to grab and drag.
Remove Anchor Tool: Let's say you want to turn a square into a triangle. A square has four points, but a triangle has three. Use this to remove one of the square's points.
Line Tool: Use this to draw individual lines. To use this tool, click on the canvas where you want to start a line, hold down the mouse button, drag to where you want to end the line, and release the mouse button. The thickness and color of the line are controlled by the shape line options.
Ellipse Tool: Use this to draw circles and ovals. To use it, imagine the circle you're drawing is in a box that touches all four sides of the circle. Position the pointer at the top left corner of the box, click and hold down the mouse button, and drag down to the bottom right corner of the box, then let go of the mouse button.
Rectangle Tool: This is for drawing rectangles and squares. Click at the top left corner of the rectangle and hold down the mouse button, drag the pointer to the bottom right corner of the rectangle, then let go of the mouse button.
Polygon Tool: This lets you draw multi-sided shapes. Start by clicking on the canvas, holding the mouse button down, and dragging the pointer to create a polygon, then let go of the mouse button. If you want to change the number of sides (from 3 for a triangle to so many it seems like a circle), right after you let go of your mouse button, press the down arrow on your keyboard once for each side you'd like to remove or the up arrow once for each side you want to add. The shape will disappear, but when you move your mouse (no need to click), it will reappear with the number of sides you want. Move the mouse to set the size and orientation, then click the mouse button while holding down the space bar on your keyboard to set the final shape.
Text Tool: Select the text tool and then click on the canvas to put a line of text containing "Change This Text" on it. You can then use the selection arrow to move it, the rotation controls to rotate it, and the text control tools (28, 29, and 30) to change its appearance.
Clip Art Tool: Clicking this brings up a menu of all the clip art in our clip art library. In the lefthand window is a menu to select categories and subcategories. Click the two-tone folder icon to expand a category, then click the rectangle next to a subcategory name to see the items in it. When you've found a piece you like, click it (it will highlight) and then click the "add to drawing" button. The piece of clip art will be added to your drawing. You can then use the selection arrow to move or re-size it or the rotation controls to rotate it.
Shape Fill Controls: These control the inner color of shapes created using the pen tool, ellipse tool, rectangle tool, and polygon tool. To the far left is a square with a color in it. Click on that and you'll get a grid of colors to choose from. Just click a color square to choose it. If you know a hexadecimal color code you prefer (like "#FFFFFF") you can type it into the white rectangular box at the top. Next to that is the opacity control which controls how see-through the color is. Click the down-arrow next to the number, and you'll get a slider control. Slide it to the left to lower the number, and to the right to raise it. 100 will be totally opaque (can'y see through at all) and 0 will be totally transparent (completely empty of color and fully see-through).
Shape Line Controls: This controls the line that borders a shape or the thickness of lines drawn with the line tool. The controls work exactly like the shape fill controls above, except for two things. On the opacity control (the number and down arrow directly to the right of the color picker) you can only choose 0 or 100 (no line or opaque line). And there's a second slider control to the right of the opacity control that controls the line thickness.
Glossary Of Terms Used Above
- Anchor Point: An anchor point is a point on a shape that controls the location of the line going through it. For example, a circle has 4 anchor points (top, bottom, left, side, right side). To make it egg shaped, you would move one of those points outward.
- Control Points: Each anchor point has two control points that help determine the curves of the line going through it.
- Template: The FunDraw Art Studio offers a variety of templates for drawing on. These are just 4-sided shapes with different width to height ratios. For example the ratio of the square template is 1:1 (as wide as it is tall), but the bumper sticker template has a ratio of 11:3 (the right shape for an 11" by 3" bumper sticker).
© 2006-2007 Greg Bulmash