updated on 14 January 2019 | reading time: 7 minutes

Basics

Shapes & Paths

Preset/Basic Shapes

Gravit Designer allows you to make several geometric shapes to kickstart your creations. Often such shapes are referred to as “primitives”. While those shape might seem simple they have a hidden powers built-in – for example, you can add extra arms to a star or round the corners of a rectangle. Basic shapes include rectangles, ellipses, and polygons (and polygon variations such as triangles and stars).

Rectangle (R)

To create a rectangle click + drag somewhere on canvas. Release the mouse button when ready. You can make a perfect square if you hold / SHIFT while dragging. By default, the rectangle will be drawn from top left corner to bottom right corner but you create rectangles from the center if you hold / ALT key while dragging.

 

Tip: If you want to move the rectangle while you are creating it – hold SPACE key and move to the desired position.

 

Rectangles in Gravit Designer has hidden properties which can be controlled with subselect tool D – corners. You can control how the corners of the rectangle look. Select the rectangle and hit ENTER key. You are now in edit mode where you can manipulate the corner radius. Select one of the red control points and drag it toward the center of the rectangle. All the corners are now rounded. Alternatively, you can change the radius of the corners in the Appearance section of the Inspector panel by moving Corner slider or by typing a value in the text field next to the slider.

 

By default, all four corners of the rectangle are using the same radius values but you can unlock and control them individually. Click on Advanced settings icon next to the radius slider and uncheck the Uniform Corners checkbox.

 

In Advanced settings, you can change how the corners behave while you scale the rectangle. If Autoscale Corners in checked corners will scale with the shape when it is resized, otherwise the corners will stay the same even if you change the size of the shape. Autoscale is appropriate when creating an illustration or an icon for example. But you probably should turn Autoscale off if you making some sort of User Interface. Autoscale corners is turned on by default for every new rectangle.

Ellipse (E)

To create an Ellipse click + drag somewhere on canvas. Release the mouse button when ready. You can make a perfect circle if you hold / SHIFT while dragging. By default, the Ellipse will be drawn from top left corner to bottom right corner but you create Ellipse from the center if you hold / ALT key while dragging.

Tip: If you want to move the ellipse while you are creating it – hold SPACE key and move to the desired position

Ellipse tool allows you to draw fully closed ellipses or circles, as well as truncated ellipses (2), arcs and pie shapes (3).

If you hit ENTER key (or Double click on an ellipse or select a Subselect tool) you can see the 2 red control points which allow you to modify open part of the ellipse contour. Alternatively, you can use Angles fields in Inspector panel to make more precise editing.

Once the ellipse is open you can use the Shape buttons in Inspector panel to choose how the gap will behave. There are 3 options: Open, Closed and Pie.

 

Note: You can see the difference between the open and closed only if the ellipse has a border.

Polygon

To create a polygon click + drag somewhere on canvas. Release the mouse button when ready. Hold / SHIFT to constrain drawing to 15 degrees.

A polygon is always drawn from the center outwards.

Tip: If you want to move the polygon while you are creating it – hold SPACE key and move to the desired position.

By default, Gravit Designer creates a polygon with 6 sides (hexagon). Once you create the shape you can change the number of sides in the Inspector panel.

Polygons have hidden anchor points in the center of each side. To see these anchor points you have to be in edit mode (Click ENTER key or Double click on the object or use Subselect tool), You can move these points with the Subselect tool to change the shape. Hold / SHIFT to keep movement symmetrically aligned.

There are many controls related to the polygons in the Inspector panel:

You can change the number of polygon sides with Points slider. It can have values from 3 (triangle) to 25, but you can type any number in the text field next to slider if you need more slides.

You can change the radius of the corners with the Corner slider, If the hidden side anchor points have been moved off the straight edge, they will also be affected by the Corner settings. The corner appearance will be inverted.

The real power is hidden in the Advanced setting panel. Here are placed all the controls which give you the power to construct polygons with unlimited possibilities.

If you untick the Plain Edges checkbox the Size slider will be shown. This moves the middle side points in (and out) from the center of the polygon. This is the same as dragging on a hidden point with / SHIFT held down. This allows you to make star-like shapes.

It is best to experiment with the setting in Advanced settings to see what every control can do to your shape. The possibilities are endless.

Triangle & Star

These tools are a convenience presets of a Polygon tool. They have the same controls but give you instant triangle or star without the need of tweaking the settings first.

Advanced corner settings

Advanced corner settings can be used in several cases. Rectangles, Polygons (including Triangles and Stars) and on any Straight point from a path.

By default, the Corner slider for these objects controls corner roundness. However, if you click the Advanced Settings icon beside the Corner slider, the slider can control different settings:

 

Round – the default rounded corner.

 

Round2 – a curved indent cuts into the corner

 

Bevel – corner points are truncated (cut off, or beveled)

 

Inset – an angled indent cuts into each corner

 

Fancy – an angular “loop” is created at each corner (think of a W shape with a looped center peak)

 

Paths and preset shapes with sharp corners have an option to Autoscale Corners. You can change how the corners behave while you scale the shapes. If Autoscale Corners in checked corners will scale with the shape when it is resized, otherwise the corners will stay the same even if you change the size of the shape. Autoscale is appropriate when creating an illustration or an icon for example. But you probably should turn Autoscale off if you making some sort of User Interface. Autoscale corners option is turned on by default.

  1. Original object
  2. Resized, using rectangles with rounded corners and Autoscale Corners on (the default) for the hair and face (chin)
  3. Resized, rectangles with Autoscale Corners off

Line

Lines are essential design elements that have a distinct start and end points. Every line segment can be straight or curved. From a vector point of view: lines are opened paths. In Gravit Designer, you can create a line with several tools: Line tool L, Path tool P, Bezigon tool B and Freehand tool.

Line tool (L)

To make a line click + drag in the direction you want. You will see a preview of a line. Release the mouse button when you are happy with the result. If you hold  / ALT key while dragging the resulting line will be symmetrically drawn from the center. If you want to constrain line in 45-degree variations (vertical, horizontal, or at 45 degrees) you can hold the / SHIFT key while drawing.