We refer to shaping tools in Linearity Curve as the ones that allow you to modify the appearance of existing vector shapes and lines by combining multiple shapes.
These shaping tools include Boolean Operations, the Masking Tool, and the Shape Builder Tool. You can create intricate, complex shapes by masking or setting the intersecting behavior of multiple shapes.
Boolean Operations are a powerful tool for any product or graphic design project. A complicated-looking shape can be constructed quickly using one of the five Boolean Operations.
In computer programming, the term “Boolean” is defined as a data type that can be either “true” or “false”.
In our product, there are five types of Boolean Operations:
- Unite merges two selected shapes into one.
- Subtract removes the overlying shape from the underlying shape. As you can see from the image below, the area of the top path is removed from the one underneath.
- Intersect removes everything that doesn't intersect and shows only the part where the shapes overlap.
- Divide separates the intersecting parts of the overlapping shapes into separate objects.
- Exclude removes everything that intersects. The area where the shapes don’t meet is retained. It's the opposite of Intersect, leaving the parts where the original shapes don’t overlap. (Sometimes, the operation is called Difference in graphic programs.)
You can find these options at the top of the Path section (1) inside the Inspector. Every time you select multiple objects, they will be highlighted. You can find the Boolean Operations also in the Top Toolbar (2).
Practice with Booleans
Since play is the best way to learn anything, let's create this fun stamp design using Booleans. It's the best and easiest way to practice with simple shapes to get the hang of this seemingly complex design concept. So watch till the end, and you'll notice how this video will shed light (pun intended) on the process of designing and illustrating with the most commonly used Boolean Operations we've got.
Select the objects you want to group by dragging a window around them with your cursor or using the Multi Select Mode. Then, click the Group button.
Once the shapes are grouped, the letter
In design software, Masks are used to show parts of an object within a specific overlying shape. Applying a mask to an image in Linearity Curve (formerly Vectornator) can be helpful to give it a beautiful texture or pattern.
Clipping masks are the simplest way to mask objects and photos. A clipping mask is a shape that only reveals the underlying artwork (the mask is on top, the artwork is below) within its boundaries - in effect; it is non-destructively cropping the artwork to the shape of the mask.
In Linearity Curve, the Mask / Unmask button (1) is inside the Inspector’s Arrange Section . When you select two objects simultaneously, the Mask Buttons will be highlighted. Additionally, you can find the Mask Buttons in the Top Toolbar (2) and the Menu Bar > Path (3).
How to create a Mask
Any closed shape can be converted into a mask.
To do so, select first the element you want to mask and, secondly, the shape you want to define as a mask and click the Mask button.
How to identify if an object has been masked
In Curve, the letter M in the bottom-right corner of the bounding box of your object signifies its masked state.
The selected object is under a mask when you see the Unmask button highlighted.
How to edit a Mask
To edit a Mask Shape, double-click on it. To exit the Isolated State, double-click again on an empty area on the canvas. If you wish to unmask the masked object, select the object and click on the Unmask Button located to the right of the Mask Button.
The Shape Builder is a powerful tool that allows you to create complex shapes within seconds.
With the Shape Builder Tool, you can merge or erase intersecting parts of multiple selected shapes.
You can create complex shapes within seconds with our powerful Shape Builder Tool. Unite multiple shape parts or subtract them from each other. This technique helps develop shapes for geometric logos, lettering, and illustrations.
The functionality of the Shape Builder Tool is similar to that of the Boolean Operations , where you merge two shapes into a single one.
Learn more about Boolean Operations in the corresponding Learning Hub section →
The Shape Builder Tool on Mac is accessible below the Shape Tool in the Toolbar or by pressing the M keyboard shortcut.
When you have activated the Shape Builder Tool, the two following modes will be available:
- The Merge Mode
- The Erase Mode
You can switch between Merge Mode and Erase Mode while drawing via a shortcut. Hold down the ⌥ key while drawing to swap modes.
In Linearity Curve (formerly Vectornator), the Merge Mode is set by default. When you switch between tools, Linearity Curve remembers the mode you selected last. For example, if you set the Erase Mode, use another tool, and switch back to the Shape Builder Tool, the Erase Mode will still be active.
When you close and reopen a saved document, Curve automatically reverts to Merge Mode.
Below, we’ll explain the differences between the Merge and Erase modes.
The Merge Mode
With the Merge Mode, you can unite the intersecting parts of multiple selected shapes and convert them into a single complex shape, similar to the Boolean Operation Unite.
The Merge Mode is set in Curve as the default mode of the Shape Builder Tool.
When the Shape Builder is activated and multiple overlapping shapes are selected, you can draw (by clicking and holding) across the shapes to connect the intersecting parts. Release, and the result will be a single shape.
Before activating the Shape Builder Tool, you must select the shapes to merge multiple overlapping parts into one shape. The Multi-Select Mode is an easy method to select multiple shapes.
Unselected shapes will not be affected by the Merge Mode. The resulting united shape will automatically reflect the colors currently set in the Fill and the Stroke section .
As soon as you activate the Shape Builder Tool, the outer lines of the selected shapes will be displayed with a blue stroke, regardless of their current set stroke color.
When the Merge Mode is activated, a thicker blue outline marks the overlapping shape parts you are currently merging.
How to create new shapes with the Merge Mode
- Create first the shapes you want to merge later with the Shape Builder Tool.
- Select the shapes you want to merge with the Shape Builder Tool.
- Activate the Shape Builder Tool in the Toolbar or press M . By default, the tool is set to Merge Mode.
- Click and draw across the shapes you want to merge and release when all the shapes are included. The selected shapes are now combined into a single shape.
The Erase Mode
With the Erase Mode, you can subtract the overlapping parts of a shape. This feature functions similarly to the Boolean Operation Subtract.
Click once to subtract a single intersection from your selected shapes. Click and drag your mouse along multiple individual intersections if you want to erase multiple shape parts.
When the Erase Mode is activated, a thick red outline marks the intersecting shape parts you are currently erasing.
Unselected shapes will not be affected by the Erase Mode.
Practice with the Shape Builder Tool
In Linearity Curve for Mac, instead of drawing complex shapes on your canvas for hours, you can speed up the process by merging or erasing intersecting shape parts with the Shape Builder Tool and transforming them into elaborate artwork with only a few clicks!
You can creatively combine the Merge Mode with the Erase Mode for your individual needs to create a visual composition or a logo. Use the Merge Mode to generate complex shapes by merging overlapping shape parts or the Erase Mode to subtract overlapping parts you wish to exclude from the final result.