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Creating a Transparent Image in CorelDraw

There are times where you want to supper impose text or an image onto a photograph When we do this we want to make teh background photo lighter so that our top image or text is readable. To do this we can create a tranparcny out of the bottom image. This article shows you how to do this.

Here is an Image with a Transparancy


Let us look at how we create this effect. Figure 1 shows us a completed image that has a Transparent image in it. Figure 1 is a picture of a sublimated clip board.

Here is Our Photo


The first thing that we need to do is grab our photograph. Figure 2 shows the photo that we will be working with
Okay let us say that we want to create a coaches clip board for one of our customers. The person receiving the award is the local basketball coach of a local high school. Thus it is appropriate that the background image be something that is basketball oriented.
As Figure 1 shows our finished product will incorporate the above image as a semi transparent background while we super impose the court drawing on top of the image.
Creating the transparent background is actually quite easy. First import an image into CorelDraw.

Lock Our Image


Next, because we will not be working with the image anymore it is best to make the image inaccessible. To do this we will “lock” the image so that we can not select it. The easiest way to do this is to just right click on the image and select the “lock” function. See Figure 3. Why do we want to lock the image out? Basically we want to lock the image because we will be placing a number of items on top of the photograph. By locking out the image we make it less likely that when we go to select one of these top objects that we will not accidentally select the photograph. To unlock the image just right click on it again and select “unlock”. Note: if I was creating a structured drawing I personally would create a layer that just held the image and made that layer inaccessible. You would do this in the object manger.

Create A Rectangle


Next go to the tool bar and select the rectangle box tool. See Figure 4.

Draw A Rectangle and Fill It


Now draw a rectangle so that it encompasses the whole of your drawing. We need the rectangle to cover the whole picture. You will not be able to see the photo once you have completed this step.
Next we need to get rid of the outline that is around the rectangle. The easiest way is to go over to our colour palette toolbar that is located on the right side of our CorelDraw window see Figure 5 and right click on the “X”. This will eliminate the outline box. So select the rectangle and right click on the box as outlined in Figure 5.

Open Up Your Lens


The next thing that we need to do is open up our lense effect. This effect will create our transparency. For those that read my article on “getting out the red” you will remember that we used the lens effect to help desaturate out the red eye that was in our subject. For this exercise we will be using the same tool but we will be using a different lens effect.
So go to up to the “EFFECTS” menu and than select the “LENS” command that is in the pull down menu.
You will notice that you will have the lens dialogue box “dock” to the right side of your workspace.
Figure 6 shows you what my screen looks like.

Select Transparancy


Set you lens dialogue box exactly as I have set it up. If you do not have the transparency effect selected than click on the pull down menu beside the effect. Figure 7 shows the transparency effect that is in this pull down menu. You can see that there are a number of effects that are available. In a future article I will be going over these effects. However for this lesson we will just concentrate on the transparency lens.

Here is Our Transparancy


For this excerise we only need to be concerned with making sure that the we have transparency selected and that we have set  our colour to white.
The only thing else that we need to activate is the “rate”. In Figure6 I have set the rate to 50%. You can change it to what ever you want. Just remember that the lower the number means that you will have less of the image “coming” through the transparency lens.
The only thing left to do is to click the “apply” button and the effect is created.
If you want to watch the effect in real time than all you need to do is click on the “lock” button and change the rate in the lens effect dialogue box by either typing in a new number or just clicking on the up or down arrows.
You will see that the lens effect basically allows a certain amount of the image to come through. Now just for fun let us change the colour in the lens effect dialogue box to yellow – see Figure 8.

Another Example


You can see that by changing the colour to yellow that I have caused a yellow tinge to become prevalent in the image. Thus transparencies are excellent if you want to create or eliminate a colour cast in your image.
Another neat effect that you can use the transparency effect to do is to create a plaque that has an area where you want to place some text. Let us say for example that you have a wedding photo and you want to place a verse over it. Figure 9 shows you the finished effect.

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