Introduction and Main Shape Types

The Big Idea

The main, unifiying idea behind Organic Studio is that of an envelope put around a main strand.

The main strand is a curve that defines the "center" of the shape. This curve can be open or closed, and can be controlled by changing control points on the curve as well as their tangents.

An envelope is a contour put around this curve on one or both sides. An envelope cannot be changed directly through control points, but instead is a procedural shape controlled by assinging it a function and changing parameters of that function. For example, you can assign a wavy envelope and change its shape by specifying how tall each wave is.

An envelope is divided into parts vertically and horizontally for more flexible manipulation for a total of six parts. Vertically, the envelope is divided into top and bottom parts, and horizontally, it is divided into start, middle, and end parts.

The length of each part can be adjusted, and each part can have its own separate function assigned to it. For example, the user can make a envelope that starts with an arrow, has a wavy body, and ends with a flat end.

The following diagram illustrates the main concepts:


Shape Types

There are three main shape types currently supported by Organic Studio: organic strands, text, and along-the-path shapes objects.

Organic Strands

An organic shape is a curve with an envelope put around it. An example is the depicted in the diagram above. You draw the curve, and Organic Studio puts an envelope around it. You can then change it to your liking, and when you want to adjust the overall shape of the original curve you drew, the envelope will automatically adjust with it! No need to move and re-adjust all the individual points on the envelope.

You can create an organic strand either by drawing it by hand (and Organic Studio will smooth it out for you automatically) or by creating one of the preset shapes which will be converted to an organic strand once you're done. This can be a rectangle, an ellipse, a polygon, a star, a polyline or a spiral.


Organic Studio also supports text - both single-line and word-wrapped paragraph. To create a single-line text object, select the text tool, and click once on the canvas. Now you can start typing text.

To create word-wrapped text, select the text tool, click and hold left mouse button, and then drag a box within which text will be inscribed. You can change the dimensions of this box any time you like.

Along-the-Path Shapes

Another special, and very powerful, shape type which Organic Studio supports is along-the-path shapes. Simply put, you create on shape - for example, a star. Then you create one or more other shapes, for example, an ellipse. You can then copy the ellipse along the outline of the star with a number of useful and unique options. This allows the user to produce rich, complex looking shapes very quickly and efficiently.

Furthermore, once along-the-path shapes are created, their original properties can be adjusted after the fact. You can even edit the curves which shapes are copied along, and they will auto-adjust shape copies on the fly.

For more details about this shape type, please see the description of the corresponding tool.

(c) 2008 Ketara Software