What's New in
A Visionary Voyager production
COREL Photo-Paint  Tutorials Main Page Corel 9 Review Main Page by David Mutch Ph.D.
Corel Down Under User Group,
Melbourne, Australia
Corel 9 Review Main Page  

 Enhanced Visual Overlays for Masking,
 Cropping and Gif Export.

The visual cues and assistants in Photo-Paint 9 don't just stop with balloons. Visual enhancements to many tools are a great improvement and make the processes of masking, cropping and gif creation much easier. You can now see exactly what the effect of your changes will be well before you commit to an operation.

The overlays can be customized through the redesigned dialogue for the Tools > Options > Workspace > Display settings where the user can:

  • alter the path colour (new),
  • alter the crop tint (new - see below)
  • Object Tool Tip Preferences (refer to the previous section)
  • alter the overlay colours,
  • set the display of channels to appear in the channel colour when the specific colour channel is selected,
  • change both the size and the foreground/background colours of the chequered transparency grid,
  • all of the other options available in version 8 such as mask and object marque colours, grid and guideline colours etc.

Figure 37. The mask overlay automatically appears when changing Mask Shape settings.

Mask Overlay
PP9 now automatically displays a coloured mask overlay when using many of the mask tools. The coloured mask overlay updates instantly whenever an adjustment is made to any Mask > Shape > ... command, providing the instant on-screen preview 'eye' icon is selected (the default setting) (Figure 37).

I found this to be one of the most helpful changes ever, especially when trying to determine the precise effects of mask feathering changes. The use of the mask marque is now completely surpassed by this feature.


Figure 38. The mask overlay automatically appears when changing Mask Shape settings.


Cropping Mask
When you select an area for cropping, the outer (area to be cropped) is now displayed as a darker tint, making the outcome of the crop easy to visualise (Figure 38).

The colour of the crop tint can be changed to whatever you like.


Figure 39. Gif Export transparency mask.


Gif Export Transparency Mask
PP9 now has a visual gif transparency indicator in the Gif Export dialogue box (Figure 39). This is most helpful for previewing the results of transparent pixel selection. The transparency is shown as a chequered region when using the Eyedropper selection method.

If the image contains a mask and you prefer to use the masked area method (usually inverted) to define the gif transparency index colour, then the transparent region appears as solid colour (black by default) in the Results pane rather than as a checkerboard pattern.

The actual colour used as the transparent index can be changed at any time once the Masked Area radio button is selected. (Note that this button is unavailable if no mask is present in the image before attempting Gif Export). The colour can be changed by clicking on the Color Table button and selecting a different colour from those available (Figure 40).

Figure 40. Gif Export transparency mask display with a different colour selected as the transparent index colour.

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Produced by David Mutch of Visionary Voyager Corporation Pty Ltd
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