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  Transparent Sphere Effect With Canvas™ 6

I was looking at the sphere shapes in the opening graphic when loading Canvas 6 and it inspired me to do the following tutorial. With the integrated vector and bitmap environment you can achieve a transparent sphere effect very easily with Canvas 6. At Deneba's ftp site (ftp.deneba.com) registered Canvas 6 users can obtain extra inks and textures in the "Goodies" section. I downloaded the goodies and found some nice looking sphere gradients. One of the files from the RGB gradients is used in this tutorial.

1. Using the Oval tool ovaltool.gif Shift-Drag a new circle into the layout area. Use the "No ink" for the fill and stroke. Then click Edit > Replicate and choose one copy with no offset. That makes two circles, one on top of the other in the stack. The Mac® version has a dashed bounding box outline...


2. Bring up the Inks palette and load the file RGBspher.GRD into the Texture inks (more help here). Then click a fill gradient of your choice. I chose the one shown under the mouse pointer.


3. Nice looking sphere for one click - eh? The PC version has a blue bounding box outline...


4. Now load a photo or line drawing of your own choosing with File > Place. This one was from the NASA web site called "beyond.jpg". Send it to the bottom of the stack with Object > Arrange > Send To Back. Then using the context menu select the middle circle in the stack. Shift-click the photo to select both the circle and the photo objects.


5. Next click Object > Clipping Path > Make. That masks the photo to the shape, size and location of the gradient filled circle at the top of the stack.


6. Next select the top circle. Using the Elliptical Transparency tool eliptranstool.gif drag a vector transparency mask over it. Shape it so the opaque area is over the highlight in the sphere.


7. Next, you can render the composition as a bitmap. Click Image > Area > Render. Select RGB color in the dialog.


8. Click the new rendered object with the Wand tool wandtool.gif to put it into edit mode. You can soften the edge of the image by creating a circular selection marquee with the "Anti-Aliased Canvas Objects" setting in the Painting tab of the Preferences dialog (more help here). Click anywhere in the transparent section, then click Image > Select > Inverse. Next click Image > Select > Modify > Contract and contract the selection by 2 pixels. Next click Edit > Copy, then Edit > Paste to place a copy of it into the layout area.


9. I like the look of it against a black background. You can save it as a JPEG or PSD file or use it just about any way you want.

sphere09.jpg  cwclogo.gif

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