Now, this is one feature Ulead’s PhotoImpact 6 & 7 has that the *other” very expensive, VERY popular program doesn’t (closest thing is the “Distort Tool”, but it’s abilities lie in much different areas than this, and cannot do what PI’s Bend tool can), and, I believe after looking at some of the many available tutorials written for making the above seamed cables in that “other” program, they’d KILL for it! I have used this tool in so many ways since I first discovered it for myself in PI 6... this, is one WAY cool tool, folks!. :)

The seamed cables above were all made with the bend tool for each curve, and then piecing them together afterward. The seams in the cables are all made the same way too,- they aren’t single lines hand drawn and placed.. no way.. WAY too much work! They are one path object which I created and then applied the Bend tool to, which automatically repeated them in accordance with the number of copies I specified in the “count” field, and then laying the resulting object onto the original bent cable object I previously made with just the “right” merge mode ( :) ).

Unfortunately, for some strange reason, the “Bend” tool/command isn’t available anywhere in the “Effects” menu like the other effects are; in fact, it’s not avialable anywhere in the program. I don’t know why, because, this tool is so powerful (see some of the other samples at the bottom of the page here)!

In order to directly access this poweful tool, you have to load it’s toolbar button into your PI toolbar on your own (see below, I show you how to do it there). The “indrect” way of accessing it is through the EP:Wrap Text, as that uses the Bend effect engine, which is why I showed it to you in the quick tutorial above.

“Ok, LCGuy, so how does this thing work?”

When you create a path object, and then select the “bend” tool, it can work in two different ways for you:

1- It will bend the object in an upside-down “U” shape, approaching a circle, to the extent that you enter into the “Bending Amount” field. The range is from 0 - 100, which correlates to how much of the circle the final bend will measure to (25 would = a quarter of a pie, 50 = half circle, etc..); or...

2- It will bend the PATH that the multiple copies of the object you are using will lie on, into an upside-down “U” shape, approaching a circle. YOU decide on how many copies (“Count”), and how much (Bending Amount”), as well as the space in between the copies (Space”).

You can not only “bend” single paths into an infinite number of perfectly proportionate shapes like I did above, but, you can also duplicate them in a full or part circle, which can save much time and deliver automatic accuracy/symmettry, while still keeping the full final object as an editable path object (way cool!):

Here is how to add the Bend Tool to your toolbar:

1. (Above)- File: Preferences: Customize Standard Toolbar

2. (Above)- Find the “Bend Object” Tool on the left side, and select it (and any other tools you’d like up there, too, while you are at it!) Then click the “Add>>” button, to actually add them to your toolbar. You can change the order they appear on your toolbar, too, by selecting them on the right, and using the “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons in this diologue box. When you are done, click “OK”.

Here are a few more very simple examples, in addition to the objects in my first image above, of interesting things that can be quickly made with the fabulous, PI exclusive, Bend tool:

Yet, more interesting but otherwise useless information by Howard Prince (LCGuy), for PI users everywhere.


Current list of LCGuy Mini-Tutorials for
Ulead PhotoImpact and/or Strata 3D Pro:

Files for download: