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Part 1:

My boomerang won't come back
      - It needs a PATH !

1 2 3 4

 A B C D E


As I work almost exclusively with screen images, multimedia and web designs, I always use pixels as standard measurements in PHOTO-PAINT.

Tip: To translate my screen images to print, simply multiply the number of pixels (x and y) by 4.167 (300/72) for a similar sized image in inches at 300dpi.

- Create a new blank image of 600x600 pixels with a white background (File/New).


Our boomerang is based on a path for a simple triangle. This simplifies the process of creating smooth rounded corners. Start with a grid to position the points precisely. The grid will be set to 25 pixel spacings in order to achieve the curvature and shape required.

- Show the grid. Select View/Grid and also View/Snap to Grid (ctrl Y) are at it.

- Show the rulers. Select View/Rulers (ctrl R) then double-click any ruler to bring up the ruler and grid settings dialogue box.

- Click Grid in the left hand pane to show the grid settings. Alter the spacing for both horizontal and vertical to 25 pixels. The Show Grid and Snap to Grid checkboxes should both be set. Click OK. If you can't see all of your new image or the grid, select ‘To Fit' from the Zoom Dropdown on the Toolbar.


Create a triangular Path.

- Select the Path Node Edit Tool from the ToolBox. When the Paths Property Bar appears (Figure 1) the Add Nodes icon should be selected. If not, select it.


Figure 1. The Edit Nodes Property Bar.


- Draw the triangular path. Click the x300, y100 point on the grid to start the path at the apex of the triangle.

Then click on the following points: x50, y300; x300, y300; x550, y300.

To complete the triangle and to close the path, click again on the start point at x300, y100
(Figure 2).

Figure 2. The triangular path with 4 nodes.


- Click the Node Edit icon and select all 3 points by scribing a marquee around them. Click Elastic Mode on , then To Curve, then Smooth. Now the shape appears a bit like a triangular donut or a hotdog.

- In order to view all that we need to for the next step, change the zoom setting in the Zoom Dropdown on the ToolBar to 50% (or 33% if you have a smaller screen). The image should appear like Figure 3.

Figure 3. The triangular path with 4 nodes converted to smooth curves.



Now to shape the corners properly.

- Click away from the curve to deselect all points then select the centre bottom point. Drag it to x=300, y=225. Next select the lower left point. Drag the lower node handle to x=125, y=300. Drag the outer handle to x=-25,y=300. Select the lower right node. Drag the lower handle to x=475, y=300. Drag the outer handle to x=625, y=300. The shape should look like Figure 4.

Figure 4. The final shap of the boomerang path.


Save the Path.

- Save the path by clicking on the Save Path icon on the Property Bar. I used the name ‘Boomerang.pth'. This will help if something goes wrong later or if you need to start over. At least you won't have to recreate this path!.


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