Making the
Perfect 10 Minute Egg. 
Eggs-actly The Way You Like Them
 
If you need a reason to trudge through the CorelDream 3D documentation and finally make use of this software program that's been standing idly by for the past three versions, here's one you can employ. You can go from nothing to a basket full of eggs, as shown above, in somewhere between ten and 15 minutes using CorelDream. We're not saying you couldn't do the same or an equivalent image in Photo-Paint or Draw, but what we are saying is that you won't match the short amount of time spent on this project. And, you get the extra bonus of re-using the basket, the eggs, or both in different images and different views at a later date.

Everything you see in the basket of eggs image is made up of only two basic forms: a sphere and an extruded rectangle. So no drawing talent is required.

We'll start with the egg, as in our mind there is no argument which came first. Select the sphere icon from the Perspective menu in Dream's main drawing stage and drag it onto the perspective stage. Enter Ctrl+I to bring up the Numerical Property box and also click on the object's name in the Hierarchy window and rename this object "egg" in the Edit Object Name dialog that pops up.

We'll change the color of our egg from the default red to something more egg-like by using the Shader Editor. Click on the Windows menu and then on Shader Editor to open this dialog box. Click on the Color tab and the color box below it to open the Color dialog box. Set the color of your egg in RGB value in a range from 255,255,255 (pure white) to the beige we have chosen (255,229,213)  (shown below left). The color you use is up to you.

Now we need to squish our sphere to an egg shape. Notice in the Numerical property box the SizeX, SizeY, and Size Z values are all equivalent. This means the shape is equal in height, width, and depth. Our egg shape needs to have one of these dimensions to be one-third larger than the others. It doesn't matter which you choose for this, as it will only affect the orientation of the egg shape. For a front view, change the Y and Z sizes so that if your sphere is the default 40 units, the Y and Z sizes are reduced to 29. You will need to check off the Keep Proportions box to do this (shown below-right).
 

   If for some reason you want a less perfect egg shape, perhaps with some speckles, the way to do this is to go back to the Shader Editor, expand the box so that you can access the Bump tab, then click on Type>Natural Functions>Spots. You will then see two sliders to choose spot size for your egg surface and to blend the spots into the egg. The higher the blend setting, the more the bump surface is blended into the texture of your egg.

If you'd like to have one smooth egg and one speckled egg, simply click on the egg before adding spots and choose Duplicate from under the Edit menu. Move the duplicate off to one side and then speckle the duplicate, leaving the original intact.


Once you have your egg the way you want it, use the duplicate command to make more eggs, moving each a little left, right, back or forth, up or down (switch Views from Top, to Left to Front to do this) until you have a collection. A half dozen or so will do. Holding down the Shift key, individually select each of the eggs and then select Arrange>Group.
 

A BASKET CASE

As unlikely as it seems, our basket starts out as an extruded rectangle. To create one, click on the Free Form icon from the Toolbox and drag it onto the main perspective stage. A dialog box will appear asking for a name for your object. Call it "basket" or ignore it if you wish and click OK. In the Free Form modeling area, choose the Rectangle tool and draw a thin wide rectangle as shown in the image to the right. The rectangle will automatically extrude itself out into space.
 
 


The original rectangle you drew can still be seen by its outline. This outline is called a cross section. You will probably see an extra "plane" appearing parallel to the rectangle. This is the cross sections plane of reference.

We need to add four more cross sections. To add a cross section on the end of the extrusion, click on the Cross-Section>Create. A cross section will now appear at the end of the object.

For the three additional cross sections, Click again on the CROSS SECTION menu again and click on Create Multiple.  A dialog box will appear with a space for you to enter a number of cross sections. Enter three. Three new cross sections will appear spaced between the ends of your object.

We are going to create an irregular, waffled shape from this rectangle. Notice that when you click on the purple line on the right side of the object (in reference view) nodes appear. These nodes correspond with the cross sections. Click on a node and hold down your mouse button and you can drag it to a new location. Click on all three of the center nodes to make a semi circular shape as shown in the image below-left. Symmetry isn't important, in fact you want the shape to be off course a bit.

When done moving the cross sections, click on the Free Form menu to select the Add Point tool (shown above-center) and click on the purple line (this is called a Sweep Path, by the way) to create five new points or nodes between each cross section node. Then, with the Selection tool carefully pull them slightly in and out of the original path to make a semi folded looking object. You have to click off the line, often, to clear the point selection or you could wind up moving two or more nodes by mistake. If this occurs, simply click on Undo from the Edit menu. However, be warned Undo only works for one past sequence. You cannot correct multiple errors with Undo.

When you've completed making all the folds, click Done. In the main perspective stage, look at the Numerical property box when your object is selected. Just like the egg, we want to make one dimension of the object very thin. In this case it is the SizeX that will be affected. Click Keep Proportions off and reduce the SizeX to 1/10th the SizeY or less. A round number is also quite acceptable. This is another process where you need not be exact (below-left).

With the object is resized in its X axis, Duplicate the object (Edit>Duplicate). Note on the Numerical Properties box the areas for Yaw, Pitch and Roll. We are going swivel the duplicate object around on its Z-axis (Yaw) 180 degrees. To do this, enter a value of either 180 degrees more than the current Yaw value or 180 degrees less than the current Yaw value (swiveling left or right doesn't matter). However, you will have to enter the way that allows for entry that is less than a positive 180 which exceeds Dream's limit. If your object is at 0, enter a negative 180 (-180) and this will be accepted. When done, you should have two objects rotated (image above-right).

The same way that you colored your egg, color each of the basket parts a different shade, using the Shader Editor. The choice of colors is up to you.

You're almost done. From Front view, move the two mirror objects so that their ends are close, but not exactly, aligned. You want some excess. Note, below-center, just how far off the two objects are from exact matching. This is actually a benefit. Once you have the two basket pieces aligned (make sure to check from the Left, Right, and Top views to make sure they are aligned in all axes fairly close), select the two objects and group them (Arrange>Group).

 Change your viewpoint to Top (View>Top). Select the basket pieces and click on Edit>Duplicate. Use the Single Axis Rotation tool to carefully rotate the duplicate so that the ends are almost, but not quite, past the ends of the original as shown on the left. Once you have done that, you have also loaded into CorelDream the information it needs to make a carbon copy of your duplicate process. If you choose Duplicate again from the Edit menu, or use its shortcut keys Ctrl+D, you will see that the next duplicate will rotate the same amount from the first duplicate as the first was rotated from the original.
Now, have some fun, and enter Ctrl+D repeatedly to form a complete circular basket.  If you to go around more than once, feel free as the odds of your duplicating the pattern are very low. The end result of two complete rotations will probably produce a denser weave and a higher byte count for your file. Your final version should look like the image above-right in Top view and above-left in Front view.

Now that you have a basket, you will need to select all the members, either by marquee-selecting them, or by using the Hierarchy window (usually at the left of the screen) to select all the "basket" duplicates (use the Shift key for multiple selects). When they are selected, group them (Arrange>Group). Call the group "basket."

With the basket grouped, use your Numerical properties box to reset its coordinates in space. It will make things a lot simpler. Set the coordinates to 0,0,0 for X, Y and Z. With the basket centered, drag the egg group near the center of the basket and by using different views, place it within the basket. Duplicate the egg group and place the duplicate in a different position.  If you have trouble working around the basket, use the Numerical property box and send the basket off in one direction or another (above-left) knowing you can always bring it back to 0,0,0.  Then create as many egg groups as you wish. When done, bring the basket back and fine tune the placement of the eggs (above-right).

 

Like many processes in the Corel environment, talking about how to do a process takes much more time than actually doing it, especially when you have a little practice down. The project above really is a ten to 15 minute job, counting rendering time at 400 dpi, 24-bit color. Now you won't have to be scrounging around the yard looking for eggs in an easter egg hunt, because you can easily create a bunch right here in Dream.