Drawing with the Natural Media tool

The Natural Media tool lets you apply various effects to a curve. For example, you can create curves that look like strokes from a calligraphic pen or a pressure-sensitive pen. As well, you can apply text, shapes, or images to a curve using the Natural Media tool. If you need to change the position or shape of the curve, you can edit the Natural Media stroke's control path. For more information, see "Shaping lines, curves, and curve objects" on page 117.

The Natural Media tool has five modes:

• Preset mode — draws curves that change thickness based on preset line shapes you can choose from a list box on the Property Bar.

• Brush mode — applies text or shapes to the curve when you draw it.

• Object sprayer mode — applies a series of images to a curve when you draw it.

• Calligraphic mode — draws curves that change thickness based on the direction of the curve. This creates an effect similar to that of a calligraphic pen.

• Pressure-sensitive mode — draws curves that change thickness based on feedback from a pressure-sensitive pen or a keyboard.

You can select the type of Natural Media stroke you want to use by clicking the appropriate button on the Property Bar. You must first click the Natural Media tool to display its Property Bar controls.

• You can draw lines that have both straight and freehand sections with the Natural Media tool by using TAB to toggle between straight and freehand mode as you drag the mouse. Holding down CTRL constrains the line to 15-degree increments.

• If you change any of the Property Bar settings for the Natural Media tool, while nothing is selected, then these settings become the default tool settings.

• Using the Arrange, Separate command you can separate the Natural Media stroke from the control path, allowing you to shape the Natural Media stroke independently of the control path.

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