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Friday, June 5, 2015

Reduce Bitmap Resolution with the Bitmap Manipulator

Foster had an interesting post about finding some very high-resolution bitmaps in a CorelDRAW file that a client had sent him. It can easily be a concern, especially with modern digital cameras being able to generate very detailed photos.

Some years ago, we created a macro to help with these situations. The Bitmap Manipulator has powerful options. Its the fastest tool to convert numerous bitmaps to another color model, and/or change the resolution of bitmaps inside your CorelDraw file.
It has the capability to find bitmaps inside Groups, Powerclips, and Tables.
  • It also features a single Undo.
  • 8-bit Alpha Channels are preserved when found in an image.
  • A handy Adaptive Unsharp option helps restore detail in downsampled images.
  • Images under the new desired resolution can be ignored. For example, this allows images over 300 DPI to be reduced, while leaving existing images under 300 DPI alone.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Convert bitmaps to vector halftones with Rstones 3

Create vector dots/shapes as a halftone representation, right inside CorelDRAW. You can make custom shapes as the halftone dot too (you need to make a custom catalog of your custom shape). I created the triangle shape for the example below.

The resolution of the halftone is selectable in a unique way, you can choose how many intermediate steps you desire between a minimum and maximum dot size.

The Rstones 3 macro was intended for rhinestone artists, but offers the ability to do things like this:

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Converting art to a single bitmap inside CorelDRAW

A discussion of technical considerations when converting art to a single bitmap inside CorelDRAW. Also includes a demonstration of how overprinting black before converting can prevent white fringing and registration problems later.

300 DPI is OK for images, but if text is flattened along with the image for something like business cards, I'd give 600 DPI a try. The reason: the integrity of the fonts on small text is going to be better. It takes a little longer to RIP at their end, but as you can see below, I think the extra 10-20 seconds is well worth it. Most professional color lasers output at 2400 DPI these days, so IMO there's no reason not to send these devices something better. The large companies gang-run lots of different cards at once, I suspect at 2450 DPI.

The most professional way is to preserve fonts as vector shapes (whether pure fonts or as curves). Thoughtfully flattening bitmap items under any text curves can dramatically simplify the file and prevent surprises. Then text or other curves come out at the highest resolution of the device.

On the other hand, I know that pre-press is a thankless task. If a job outputs well, no one says much. If there is even a tiny problem, the world collapses on our heads. This is why I can see why some shops request one flattened bitmap of the project, for sheer output reliability.

Users sometimes complain about visible rasterization, and why it can exist on vector shapes. They don't know that those problems are usually related to CorelDraw's Rendering Resolution for certain effects such as Tranparencies, Lenses, and Drop Shadows. That's another story, for another movie. These issues are different, and are more or less noticeable based on the dimensions of a project.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Change color of shirts using Photo-PAINT

This video was created based on a request in this thread at the forums.

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Monday, May 18, 2015

Create bulk QR codes and barcodes in CorelDRAW

The video explains it all. When you're ready, buy e-cut here. Thanks!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

Shelby's Autosize Macro - What's it for?

This is a macro I've used - for years - in order to see how artwork will look on a vehicle or storefront etc.. It's very helpful for the creative process. Customers also have a much better idea of what you're proposing. When the artwork during the design stage is in the context of the final environment, it reduces misunderstandings later and makes it easier for the customer to approve the order. Another key benefit: I design at 100% final size. This means the artwork is ready to output. There's no guessing over scaling.

Purchase the macro here.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ecut 6 has some updates

There are several useful updates in version

The most useful: nesting. Added (as before) the height of the resulting output block. The unused area will be crossed out. You can select best result from list. You can make several attempts and select best version using arrows, nesting will save them all.

Several fixes and features for innovations in pricing. A button was added that allows you to collect data in a single window with multiple files.

Function variables can now generate a specified number of rows, allowing you to add the line automatically if there are not enough.

For existing owners of verison 6, Go to your macromonster account for ecut. Follow instructions in the PDF.
To buy Ecut 6, go here.


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