Tag Archives: Corel Draw 8

From strawberries to Tukti to Redbubble

In between harvesting strawberries and making passata from our homegrown tomatoes, I’ve been making another Tukti. This is the first one I made:

This is the new one:

And the reason I made a new one is that I’ve discovered Rebubble, a print-on-demand company for things rather than books. πŸ™‚

As with Amazon, you provide the design, and Redbubble does the rest. I’m not sure if any of my designs will appeal to buyers, but there is at least the potential of turning my graphics into a passive income.

I can’t show you any of my ‘products’ yet, but I will say that the Tukti look great on socks! I figured if nothing else, I’d buy Tukti socks for winter and become a walking advertisement. πŸ˜€

Ok, enough fun. Time to harvest some more tomatoes.


A new decade requires a new Meeka pic

I don’t advertise my birthdays, unless they’re the ones that end in zero, so here is an updated pic of me with Golli… at age 70 [me, not the cat!]:\

And before anyone asks, no, I have not gone blond in my old age. That’s white. Neither of my parents went completely white, but my paternal grandmother did. She had the softest, whitest hair imaginable, so I hope I’ve taken after her. There are still darker bits at the back but by next decade, I expect to be white all over!

Golli is getting on too. Despite being the runt of the litter and slightly brain damaged from a car accident when he was young, Golli has outlasted all of his siblings. He’s the last man standing.

I asked the Offspring to take this photo because Golli is notoriously hard to photograph – he blends in so much. Once I saw the photo, I realised it would do nicely for me too. πŸ˜€

For my birthday this year, the Offspring and I went to a huge, outdoor Trash & Treasure and picked up some gorgeous plants. It was the first real ‘outing’ we’ve had in a very long time, and despite being masked and using gallons of hand sanitiser, we had a wonderful time.

My 70th was not an amazing d-birthday like 40, 50 and 60, but it was still memorable because despite Covid, it was fun. We also departed from tradition on the food front: instead of cake, I asked for and demolished some hot jam donuts from a food van. That was enormous fun too. πŸ™‚

Simple pleasures long denied. That’s all you can ask of a major milestone.

And now, back to work. After months of doing nothing but mowing and working on the odd video, I’ve started back into graphics again. I’m working on a ‘skeleton’ for the Vokh so I can do a more realistic image of them in different poses. I’m making the skeleton in Corel Draw rather than a 3D program because I don’t want to go down another rabbit hole so soon after emerging from the last one. Hopefully, my 2D efforts will be good enough to get the ‘physics’ of the pose right.

If it works, you’ll be the first to see. If not…you’ll know about that too. lol


Why did I ever think this would be easy?

It took me an age to get the musculature of the Vokh right, but once it was done I assumed that slapping on some wings would be easy. Har de har har….

When working with Corel, I create one half of everything then copy-flip it to the other side. As a result, this image is only half finished. I was going to complete it, but then I realised it was an effective way of showing the muscles themselves instead of just the suggestion of muscles beneath the skin of the wings.

Anyway, I’ve been sweating blood over the damn wings since the Offspring – a real artist – pointed out that this fudge didn’t work:

I had to admit that the Offspring was right, but it left me in a quandary because I couldn’t work out how to do it properly. Then I found this picture of a bat:

Turning the reference pic of the bat upside down gave me an idea of how the skin would ‘pull’, but I forgot that the lighting was upside down too. -facepalm-

To cut a long story short, I have done little else but obsess about this pic for days. Now, at last, I can breathe a sigh of relief and relax, at least until tomorrow. πŸ˜€


The Grand Hall of the Settlement

I’ve been playing with digital ‘collage’ for days now, and the image below comes close to what I see in my head:

It’s not perfect but I did manage to create the ‘ramp’ which features in book 2. This ramp has been in my head for years :

‘A moment later, all thought of Vokh politics fled Kahti’s mind as the tunnel opened out into a cavern of mammoth proportions. Glowworms placed at regular intervals revealed a number of passages leading out of the cavern, but the young Trader could not take its eyes from the huge ramp that snaked around half of the cavern before disappearing through an arched opening near the roof.’

From the second book of Vokhtah, title still up in the air.

All of the scraps of texture and shape [65] that went into the final, composite image were manipulated in Corel Draw 8. No idea what I’ll do with the image, but it will be handy as a reference if nothing else. Just relieved it’s done.


So close…

…but I’m going cross-eyed so I have to stop for the day! This is the map of Vokhtah at about 95% complete, if you don’t count the rest of the globe. πŸ˜€

The map is HUGE, but you don’t know how huge until you start zooming in, like so:

And then, because I’ve worked my butt off on this, we’ll zoom in a little bit more…

See that waterfall? Pinky looking thing almost dead centre of the pic? That small, not-so-important image is made up of a photo of a lake that I vectored in Corel, layered with transparent textures, reworked a number of times to make the textures blend into the background in Inkarnate…and all that’s before I made the actual fall of water. Just a tad pleased with myself. lol

Okay, enough crowing. Inkarnate is a fabulous graphics tool that’s worth every cent of the measly $5/month subscription. Like all tools though, the more you try to get out of the software, the more you have to learn. For example, to turn that picture of a lake into a usable ‘stamp’ [that’s what the graphic objects are called], I had to work out how to avoid having a nasty white edge all around the vectored image.

Without going into a full-blown how-to, these are the basic steps:

  1. I found an image of a meteorite that had a great texture:

2. I cut out small sections of the texture and made them almost transparent:

3. Next, I made a background colour that would make the texture blend in to the background colour of the Inkarnate map:

4. Then, I placed the vectored image of the lake onto the top layer of images, grouped all three and exported them as a .jpeg image.

5. Finally, I uploaded the new ‘stamp’ to Inkarnate and spent a few more hours finessing the placement so there would be no straight edges to betray where my custom stamp had gone. Oh…and then I had to get the waterfall right, but luckily there were some nice ready made stamps for that.

The map still needs the trade routes pathed in, and labels, and a legend to explain what all the brightly coloured bits are, but that’s a job for tomorrow. Have a great weekend everyone, and remember to stay safe!


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