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Creating custom pattern fills

I am using Canvas X Pro 16 again after a couple of years away and I'm struggling to remember how to make custom pattern fills.  I'm trying to make pattern fills for terrain types (e.g. mountains, hills and swamp) but all the standard fills are much too fine and dense for what I want.  


I seem to recall having done this in the past from a jpeg image that I scanned but I can't figure out how as the pattern manager doesn't seem to work that way--it seems to want me to pick a pen and ink and pattern from a bunch of presets.. It's possible that I did it with an earlier of canvas but presumably that kind of functionality hasn't disappeared..  Honestly, if I could just get it to fill polygons with decent sized (say 8 point) inverted "v"s with some space between them for mountains that would be and rotated "C's) for hills that would be great.  Can anybody sugest how I can do this?


John Carey wrote:


I seem to recall having done this in the past from a jpeg image that I scanned but I can't figure out how as the pattern manager doesn't seem to work that way--it seems to want me to pick a pen and ink and pattern from a bunch of presets.. It's possible that I did it with an earlier of canvas but presumably that kind of functionality hasn't disappeared.


If you are inquiring about the pattern inks in the Ink tab of the Attributes palette, then that functionality has not changed since the earliest versions of Canvas in the late-1980s. When you go to pattern inks you should see the cursor become a pencil when you hover over the pattern well; the pattern well is where you see the pixels that create the pattern. You can see the custom pattern I just created below.

image

Whatever default pattern is the default when you go to the Pattern manager can be quickly erased by sliding the Grayscale slider to the right and then back to 0. When you have the pattern you desire, you can then save it by clicking Add Preset..


The issue with using pre-defined or custom patterns is that they are restricted to an 8 × 8 grid. While that adequate 30+ years ago, it results in imperceivable patterns on modern computers that support much higher resolution and color palettes than was possible in the late-1980s.


What you mentioned about using an image to create a pattern is more likely to be a texture ink. Ideally, if you are using symbolic patterns, then creating a custom hatching ink would serve to better, particularly as hatches are vector patterns, and therefore, resolution independent.


You are a bit behind having Canvas X 16. I tested this in Canvas X 2019 and Canvas Draw 6, but Canvas GFX still has the Canvas X 16 Product Support and Resources available online. Select Canvas X Help to go to the interactive User Guide, then search for the following topics: 

  • Working with Hatch Inks,
  • Working with Texture Inks, and
  • Working with Pattern Inks
That should be enough to get you started, as well as helping you to determine which ink type works best for your goal.

John, to follow up on Michael Dawson's excellent response here is a procedure I wrote for myself to achieve what you are trying to do:


  1. Find an image of the pattern you want as an ink e.g. the inks created by Andreas Plesch from the US Geological Survey Open File Report 99-430 or any image of bricks that you can pick up off the internet.
  1. Open the image containing the required pattern in Canvas.
  1. Open: Window>Palettes>Attributes.
  1. Select Ink
  2. Here you need to experiment a bit. You may need to bring in the pattern as a "texture" or a "symbol". I have not found a reason why one works better than the other. But generally I have found more success creating a "Symbols Ink" which can be used for fills or lines.
  3. Click on the "Symbol" icon, fifth from the left.
  4. Click on "create" button.
  5. Move the cursor off the Attributes Palette dialog box. A message shows next to the cursor "choose pattern".
  6. Move cursor over pattern you want to use and click on it.
  7. Under the Ink tab you will see the image you selected.
  8. Alternatively try the same procedure, steps 6 to 9 having selected texture ink icon, fourth from the left in Step 6.
  9. Go to the bottom of the Attributes dialog box click on the line or fill tool to select whether you want the pattern you have selected to be a line ink or a fill ink.
  10. Click on "Add Preset" in bottom left hand corner.
  11. You have now added the pattern to the Symbols Ink from where you can select it as a symbol ink for either lines or fills in the future.
  12. I have achieved consistently better outcomes if I open a rectangle filled with a previously created pattern and select that individual bitmap object. 

 

I have used this method with Canvas 11, 12 and 14 in Windows XP and now Windows 7 x64 with gif, pdf, bmp and cvx patterns.

 

Just checked the method in Canvas X GIS 2018 under Windows 10 x64 - still works.



Thanks so much for your responses.  This should get me working again.

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