Consejos y Trucos
Gradient Hatch

January 25, 2010

ZWCAD 2008i finally comes. As an upgrade version based on ZWCAD 2008, the new ZWCAD 2008i has made great progress in various aspects, which bring me great excitements. What I want to share with you most is the new function of Gradient Hatch.

Gradient Hatch provides fills which gradually change between different depths of the same color or two colors. By applying gradient change in color to a hatch, the reflective effect of light could be obtained at the filled areas, which makes a drawing much more eye-catching. You can use Gradient Hatch to create presentation-quality illustrations without rendering, and can use it as a substitute for shading as well because more flexible options are offered

To Start Gradient Hatch
Users could activate Gradient Hatch by the following means:
Drop-down Menu: “Drawing” >> “Hatch” >> “Gradient” tab
Tools Bar: Click the “Hatch” icon >> “Gradient” tab
Command Line: Type “Bhatch” >> “Gradient” tab

The New Hatch Dialogue Box
At my first sight of the new Hatch dialogue box, I have a feeling that the Hatch function is much more powerful than ever before. Gradient Hatch function and a variety of advanced options have been integrated in the interface with basic options, making Hatch operation much more easier and quicker.

                                                                                           New Hatch Dialogue Box

About the “Gradient” Tab
Switch to Gradient tab in the Style option frame, you can create gradient hatches. As can be seen in the figure, colorful hatch patterns and compact options are very attractive.

                                                                                                     “Gradient” Tab

1, Color
One Color: To use one color to generate gradient hatch. Click the colored block with “color 1” beneath, then you can specify a color you want in the “Select Color” dialogue box. The color depth could be altered by moving the slider next to the colored block.
Two Color: To use two colors to generate gradient hatch. Color selection is also available for settings.

2, Preview of “Gradient Hatch” Patterns
Combination effects of gradually changing color are displayed, of which there are 9 patterns in total.

Centered: To make a gradient hatch symmetrical.
Angle: To set an angle for the gradient hatch orientation.

          Centered                           Not Centered                     Centered+45                   Not Centered+45

More Options
The options previously designed for ordinary hatch also apply to Gradient Hatch.
Basic options:

1, Island
(1) Island Detection: To detect islands within the objects selected.
(2) Island Display: Appearance of Patterns of hatch
Normal: Start filling inwards from the outer boundary. Filling will stop when it reach an inner island, and it will not start again until it reaches another nested island.
Outer: Only fill the region within which a point is picked. Filling will stop when it reach an inner island.
Ignore: Fill the region within which a point is picked, ignoring all inner objects.

                     Normal                                                 Outer                                                 Ignore

2, Dynamic Preview
In previous version, I have to switch between the drawing area and the Hatch dialogue box when I had to preview hatches, which could be time-consuming and tiring sometime. Now, in ZWCAD 2008i, by checking this option, I can view and alter hatches immediately with the Hatch dialogue box keeping displayed all the time.

Other Options:
Other options include:
1, Associative or Create Separate Hatch: 
                 Check “Create Separate Hatch”                                 Uncheck “Create Separate Hatch”
2, Draw Order.
3, Boundary Set.
4, Inherit Options.
5, Boundary Retention.
6, Gap Tolerance.
These are the options which are available in ZWCAD 2008 as well, but I am very pleased to see that they have been put into the new hatch interface, because the operation now becomes more conveniently.


An Example: Using Gradient Hatch to Draw a Tree
1, Draw the contour of the tree (as the left figure shown below);
2, “Bhatch” >> “Gradient” tab
3, Choose “Two Color”, and pick green and yellow color under the “Index Color” tab in the “Select Color” dialogue box.
4, Choose “Hemispherical” pattern, pick a point at the upper part of the tree, preview and right-click to confirm.
5, Press “Enter” to restart “Bhatch”. Choose “One Color”, and pick brown color under the “Index Color” tab in the “Select Color” dialogue box.
6, Choose “Reversal of Cylindrical” pattern (the pattern beneath “Cylindrical”), pick a point at the lower part of the tree, preview and right-click to confirm.
The finished drawing is shown below (right side).


                                                                  A Tree

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