Another More Complex Contour Tool Tutorial

This complex square was an another attempt to show the flexibility of the contour tool. I took a simple pattern and made this colorful piece of art.  This was built from the bottom up and shows how to use the  contour tool like an expert.  Previously, in the tutorial for the roses, I worked from top to bottom.

The project is 6 layers, knocking out in each layer a little more with each level.  It creates a wonderful effect and is more complicated but still easy to design.  But if you prefer, just download my file and cut away.  Assembly instructions are later in this tutorial.

You will need:
Paper Selection for Geometric Shape Using the Contour Tool

This project can be made with any paper.  The color for this project can be anything you like.  But you do need 6 different colors.  I used a wide variety but you could do this in shades of the same color if you want.  Match the colors in your room where you will hang it.

Designing With the Contour Tool

If you have never used it, the contour tool is in the lower right corner of Design Space and is a very useful tool!    First you need the basic Access image.  Search Morocan Star Tile and it will appear.  It is image number M232C9FE.  It has three layers.  Delete the other two keeping the top one.  When loaded it looks like this:

Morocan Star Tile to use the Contour Tool on

make the remaining part of the image about 7 inches tall or whatever size you need  Then make1 copy.  The first copy is the top so nothing is changed on it.  Make it white and you can hide it if you need the space on the mat for now.  

The second copy is the bottom layer.  Make it black (or whatever color you want but darker is best).  Then with that layer selected, hit the contour button.  An image will appear of the whole image.  It may take a minute or two.  With it selected hit the contour button and then at the bottom hit the hide all contours button.  This will fill in the whole image. It will look like image 1 below. Close the contour window.  That layer is now done.  Make a copy of it and you can hide one of them. 

And Continue with the Contour Tool

Select the  copy and make that copy blue.  Un select a particular part of the design.  I selected the little pentagrams and the box between them.  It will look like the 2nd image below.  Make sure you keep the pattern consistent on all the rows of the design.  make a copy and you can hide one of them.

Then make the image green and repeat the above process with another part of the pattern.  I chose one of the “arrow” corners of the main pattern and one of the squiggles of the other pattern piece and more of the squares of the border between them. As long as you do the same throughout the rows you can select any parts you like.  When it is done it will look like image 3 below.  You can copy that layer and hide one copy now.

Finishing Up With the Contour Tool

Continue doing this with the colors and small parts of the pattern until you have most but not all the holes open.  You can see what I chose below.

Unhide all the layers and you are ready to cut.  If you want you can center them all and put the layers in order (from top to bottom:  white, yellow, red, green, blue, black)

Assembling the Shape Made Using the Contour Tool

You can glue the layers together with foam tape or liquid glue.  Foam tape adds more dimension to the project but you end up using a lot of it.  

Once the layers are all together, use a piece of cardstock that goes with your color scheme for a base.  Frame the piece with a frame. If you used foam tape you should put foam tape between the mat and the glass along the edges to make a regular frame stick up far enough to give the project room or you can use a shadowbox frame.

And your Geometric Art made Using the Contour Tool is done.  And you designed it yourself!  

Unlike the previous contour tool Roses tutorial, I worked from back to front and showed you that the contour tool remembers what the original shape was and what you had previously changed.  This lets you copy an image and make further alterations to the image.

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