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  Using a Blend For Irregular Shapes in FreeHand® - Part One

Gradient fills are often used to shade objects for a realistic look. Using a gradient fill is limited because the gradient steps don't always run in the same direction as the shape of the object. Many times you will encounter irregular shapes and you would like to give them a gradient fill only to achieve unsatisfactory results. This technique is useful in these situations.

1. In this example we have a drawing of a power cord such as one found on a personal computer. One object uses a gradient fill for shading.

2. However, the cord itself is curved so a gradient fill would not give the desired result. In this case it uses a blend as a fill.

3. To make the cord, start by drawing a curved object with the Pen. Clone it twice and send one of the clones to another layer.

4. Give the top object a stroke width of 2 points and a stroke color of 40% black. Give the bottom object a stroke width of 8 points and a stroke color of black.

5. Select both objects and click Modify > Combine > Blend.

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