#Corel X8 vector graphics vs photos

In my last post about the new Innerscape cover, I vented about the trouble I was having getting the silver effect I wanted. Your suggestions were brilliant so I thought I’d do a quick update of my progress. The pic below is a test graphic to illustrate the difference between the two methods and how they might look in the finished product:

The silver ‘wire’ was created using Corel X8’s fountain fill. It is clearly silver, even when I reduce the size down, i.e. it scales well. Unfortunately it is absolutely uniform, something a real ‘wire’ would never be.

By contrast, the gold ‘wire’ is a photo taken of a thin needle shape covered in foil. The foil was silver, but the lighting created this decidedly golden effect [evening, overhead light and table lamp, both with bulbs of ‘warm white’]. I only know this with the wisdom of hindsight. 😦 If you look closely at the column on the right, you will see that when I increase the size of the gold wire, it becomes more and more pixelated, i.e. it doesn’t scale well. [Clicking on the image should display a larger version]

Finally, I created two, identical slices of the circuit board. Both were made by creating the individual components and ‘grouping’ them together. The silver, vectored one is shown below:

Although each of the tubular components comes from the one, basic shape, I fiddled with the fountain fill to a) make the image more realistic, and b) to reduce the uniformity. The golden slice is also made up of individual components, but essentially I just cut them out and stuck them together. I really like the way the image turned out, and I like the golden colour, but it’s not what I was after.

Which will I use?

This question is not as either/or as it looks. In designing the covers for the Innerscape print version, I wanted each one to:

  • have a unifying ‘theme’
  • be different
  • tell a subtle visual ‘story’

Thus, as book 1 is about Miira leaving the real world and entering a virtual one, I want her facing towards the stark, artificial image of the circuit board. That’s why the image has to be instantly recognizable as part of a computer. Books 2 and 3, however, will show a gradual blurring of the lines between real and virtual, with the changing circuit board being the unifying ‘theme’ that binds each image of the series.

At least, that’s the idea. Whether I can actually pull off this ambitious idea is moot. To make it work I’ll have to create two, completely different images of the circuit board – one with the silver wires and one with the gold. As each small wire will be made up of at least 3 components, it’s going to be a huge job. Not impossible, but it will test my patience as the original circuit board image has very few wires that are exactly the same.

To be honest I think I’m crazy to even think about doing this, and yet…how often do you get to create your first print book? Sitting here, calmly typing about my options, I know I’d hate myself if I gave this project anything less than my best, and fudging the graphics would definitely be a cop out. So…I’m going to be a busy girl. 🙂



About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

16 responses to “#Corel X8 vector graphics vs photos

  • Candace Williams, author

    Wow, Meeks! The concept and skill involved are outstanding. I can hardly wait for the post of the finals, *and* the one about how you feel for accomplishing all this! And not just the design and execution of the covers –
    there’s the writing itself. You rock like a rocking thing set on rock. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • https://www.facebook.com/ecellenb/

    Wow! You are impressive. I have a feel for what I want on my covers, but don’t do them myself. I can’t wait to see you final product.


    • acflory

      -blush- thank you! I’ve been an amateur Corel user for years, literally, so this much is fairly ‘easy’. Couldn’t even begin to do the stuff that the real experts do. I just hope I have enough skill to make what I see in my head. 🙂


  • Candy Korman

    I admire your ambition! Really… With a background in advertising, I long ago decided NOT to try my hand at book cover designs. Go for it. I think you’re on your way.


  • DawnGillDesigns

    you lost me at Corel 😉 My default is always to make it, but I really don’t have any IT skills So I’d have to resort to actually soldering a real board! Good luck.


  • Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    I know how frustrating working with images can be. I know just enough about Photoshop to tinker for hours and make scant progress 😉


  • davidprosser

    No matter how frustrating and/or difficult, you’ll do it. You have so much patience for things like this while I can be put off doing it if the name sounds difficult. Have fun.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


  • anne54

    The gold is more interesting and dramatic, but probably not what a circuit board looks like. (It is a while since I have studied one — I just use the machine without any idea on how it works!)
    I think you should definitely go for it. Partly because, as you say, you will regret not getting the image as close as possible to the one in your head, but also because you are obviously enjoying it, frustrating and all as it is!


  • Scottie

    Hello Meeks. Will your program let you import and edit a picture off the web? I googled “circuit board solder” and got some grand images of solder runs. The best were only silver at the end of the runs but if you could change the color if the programs let you. Anyway I think what you did looks great. I love how creative you are. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Hi Scottie. Yes I can import pics from anywhere but no, I don’t have the expertise to change the colour of bitmaps. I did try Photoshop many years ago but it went right over my head. That’s why Istick to vector graphics coz that makes sense to me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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