PI6 Wrap Your Own Dingbat

The PI6 Wrap and Bend options make it easy to turn a basic squiggle, a font character or a Custom Shape object into a lovely shape that looks like an original dingbat! You can even use these unique faux dingbats to make a web page.

Wrap and Bend a dingbat

To start, choose File, New and make a new True Color file 300 X 300 pixels, canvas=black.

Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, select Decoration 7 and click OK. 

custom shape dialog box

custom shape objectDraw a path about this size. Not very impressive so far, but it will look better soon! 

To change the color, open the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, Metallic. Double click on Copper 6. The object will look like a dull mustard color. Because the bevel is too large for this small object, and not much surface area is showing on top, it isn't very shiny. To remedy that, press and hold on the Border down arrow until the slider appears. Drag the slider to the left slowly until the border is about 10. Showing more of the surface area, and less of the bevel, makes it look shinier.

drag border slider

The object looks a good bit shinier now. 

add copper preset

Now we'll do some magic with this little object. Choose Object, Wrap, Bend. When the Bend dialog box opens, change Count to 6, and Bending Amount to 100 (arrows). By changing the Count to 6, the object will be repeated 6 times in the Bend. 

Bend dialog box

Just so you understand how the Bend command works, it's good to know what editing the default values does to the object. Changing the Bending Amount to 100 will force the 6 repeats of the object into a complete circle; so will a value of -100 result in a circle. If the Bending Amount was left at the default of 50, you would get a downward curving (frown) half circle, and if the value was -50 you'd get an upward curving (smile) half circle. Since we're making a complete, tightly packed circle, the default spacing of 0 was left alone. Similarly, we'll leave the Starting and Ending height of the object at the default of 100 to maintain uniformity in size of the repeated object.

Click OK to perform the Bend. Now you have what looks like a lovely, one of a kind dingbat for a border or button. Now we'll add some other objects to tie it all together.

Click Shape in the Attributes toolbar and select Circle. Drag a 3D Pipe circle object just big enough to fit into the center of the dingbat. Remember to use the Border slider to take the border way down to the left, 1 or 2 pixels wide, so that the proportions match those of the other object. Use the Transform tool, Resize option if necessary to size the circle so that it fits exactly. It should touch the other object on the inside edges.

add 3D pipe circle object

Right click and Duplicate the 3D Pipe circle object. In the Attributes toolbar, select 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list. Drag the Border slider all the way to the right to "plump up" the circle object.  From the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, Color, double click on Red Brown. From Reflection, double click Remove Reflection. Click Bump and double click Diagonal 1. 

change color, remove reflection, add bump

I was delighted to see the return of the PI4.2 Button Designer, Any Shape presets. Let's use one of them to turn this green object into a sparkling jewel for the dingbat. Choose Web, Button Designer, Any Shape.  Scroll through the preset thumbnails at the bottom of the dialog box and choose the one shown selected below (arrow). Leave  the default values and click OK.

select this preset thumbnail

Now you're got a jewel for the center of the dingbat. Select the Pick tool and drag the jewel over to position it in the center of the 3D Pipe circle object. Use the Attributes toolbar's Order options to Send to Back, so the jewel is behind the 3D Pipe object.

add jewel to center of dingbat

Return to the Path Drawing tool. While Circle, 3D Round is still selected, draw a circle 3D path the exact same size as the gold dingbat shape. Use the Transform tool to resize if necessary. In the EasyPalette, Metallic, double click on Silver 4. 

Select the Pick Tool and send the new silver 3D Round circle object to the bottom of the stack.

Right click and choose Select All Objects. Right click again and choose Group. Now that the objects are grouped, they will move together as a unit if you drag them around in the base image.

send to bottom of stack

Right click on the Grouped objects and Duplicate. Drag the duplicate into an empty area in the work space, where it will open in its own window. Leave the grouped objects for later use. 

Return to the original image and click in the base image to deactivate the objects. Select the Path Drawing tool again to make a "connector." Click Shape and choose Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape dialog box opens, select Decoration 9. In the EasyPalette, Material Gallery, Metallic, double click on Copper 6. 

Draw a path object about this size. Right click and Duplicate. Drag the duplicate to an empty area in the work space, where it will open in its own window. We'll be using it later.

connecting object

Select the Transform tool. Rotate the connector object 25 degrees clockwise. Position it at the center of the bottom of the dingbat.

drag connector to bottom of dingbat

Right click on the Grouped dingbat objects and Duplicate. Drag the Duplicate underneath the connector object. Switch to the Pick tool. Right click and Select All Objects. In the Attributes toolbar, click on the Center Horizontally Align option. 

align horizontally

Your objects are arranged like this, perfectly centered in a vertical line.

all aligned

Right click and Merge All.

Now it's time to put this together and turn it into a border background. Choose the Crop tool. You'll want to select from just above the top dingbat to just below the bottom one. This will leave just enough space between then, combined, to add another connector. Make a selection like this one, keeping in mind that by using the Crop tool, you can drag on the control points to resize the selection area as needed.

crop box

Hit Enter or click on the Crop button in the Attributes toolbar to crop.

Now choose Web, Shift Image. Shift the Vertical Offset by about half the pixels that the image is tall. Shift just enough so that you can see the gap between the dingbats. Click OK.

shift image

Drag the spare connector onto the image and position it so that it fills the gap you just created with Shift Image. If the connector doesn't fit neatly into the gap, choose Edit, Undo Before, Crop, resize the Crop box and try again. 

Here's the border now, with the extra connector placed in the base image to cover the gap. Right click, Merge All.

shifted and connector added to gap

To make the border, choose File, New and create a new, black True Color image 1200 pixels wide by the exact number of pixels high that your border is presently. In this case, I made a new image 1200 X 241 pixels. Copy the border into the Clipboard (Ctrl+C) then Paste it into the new 1200 pixel wide border (Ctrl+V). Whatever you do, don't move the pasted border, or it won't tile seamlessly. Right click, Merge. 

Remember all those spare objects from the dingbat? You can use them to make buttons and a header for your border background. Right click and Merge as Single Object, then resize as needed.

Save your border in the Image Optimizer. Here's the image as a border background with buttons and a horizontal bar added.

Don't stop with this border -- the possibilities are endless! Here's the same dingbat with a beaded edge. The beaded edge was simple to make: Just one tiny 3D Round bead, repeated 48 times and bent, then sent to the bottom of the stack.

add a beaded border

Here are a couple more ideas for using the Wrap, Bend command to make dingbats, with the original shown just to the left of the "bent" object.


This tutorial uploaded 10/06/00


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