Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Free Software for Drawing and Art

Following from yesterday's post, I decided to look a little deeper into what can be done using an ordinary 'Office Suite' for graphics.  So this morning I decided to have another look at LibreOffice 'Draw'.  This is the program I used to create the text that is filled in so it looks as if the letters are cut out of a photo.

This morning I read a post where someone was wanting to buy a graphic design program that would let him make a mockup of a mobile phone case that he could put various images on to show customers what the case would look like.

The problem is that there are templates available to do this for iPhone and some others, but not the phone his prospective customer has.  And the graphic program that uses the templates is hundreds of dollars.

So I wondered just how difficult it would be , or even if it was possible, with Libre Draw.  So I...

Made a rectangle roughly the size and shape of my mobile phone.
Added holes where the camera, flash and speaker holes are on the phone.
Covered the thing with part of a photo
Did the 'Shapes > Intersect'  thing
Converted it to 3D  (instead of Curves)
Adjusted the depth of the sides
Exported it as a PNG to retain the transparent areas
Cropped the image closely to get rid of most of the page outline.

It took about FIVE MINUTES!   So simple.  And all in a free program.
As shown by the images below, LibreOffice Draw will let me rotate the image to any position and export the rotated image.

This can be taken further, because the rotated images can then be used to create a n animated GIF where the image seems to be spinning.

In the past this would have needed something like CorelDraw or Inkscape or that wonderful Vector graphics program, Xara.  Since Xara for Linux has been discontinued and although it can be installed, it no longer works on many versions of Linux, (and Xara, Corel etc. are expensive for Windows), it is interesting that almost all the functions available are there in this free office suite.

Here's the result.  Draw is a vector graphics program, like Xara and so the image can be scaled bigger and smaller and the edges don;t get 'jaggy'.

The image looks like a sunset, but it is actually sunrise taken from the boat on the mooring at Shute Harbour during a big dust storm we had in 2009.


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