Gift Wrapping With Xara
Gary and Frances (Gare and Angelize) are going to get you into the holiday spirit this month, just in time to create your own greeting card or gift tag for that Big Day in December.
Download and unpack the Holiday-Gifts.zip file. Inside, you’ll find Xmas Gift Boxes. xar and three handsome seamless tiling textures&nash;Holiday Foil Textures, which along with a special tutorial this month, will provide you with everything you need to almost auto-create a holiday graphic.
Here’s how to spice up the boxes with the seamless textures:
- Open the Xmas Gift Boxes.xar file. You will see that each box is a separate group, and this will make it easy to work on each box separately. The boxes are also on their own layer and the file has a high Nudge distance built in so just about every version of Xara can be used this month for these decoration steps. As a little gift to fellow Xaraists, the illustration uses Named Colors, and I’ll explain this at the end of the tutorial.
- See Figure 1. (Version 7) Double-click on a box to open an edit inside window, now you can access all of the different shapes that make up the box and edit them as if they were ungrouped. (All versions) You can also click on a box to select it, and then nudge it away from the other boxes and then press Ctrl+U to ungroup the shapes.
- Browse to the folder on your computer where you saved the holiday foil textures select one and drag and drop into the edit inside window in Xara.
- Select the front face of the box. Go to the Bitmap gallery and with the front face of the box still selected select the holiday foil fill and click the Fill button at the top of the gallery. The front face of the box will now be filled with the bitmap, as shown in Figure 2.
- You can now use the Fill tool to adjust the fill as you wish. Make sure that Repeating tile is selected in the drop down list that is on the Fill tool Infobar.
- See Figure 3. To replace the shading that has now been lost, clone (Ctrl+K) the bitmap filled front face of the box and apply a Stained glass transparency to the clone, drag from the bottom up with the Transparency tool to give it a Linear transparency.
- Figure 4. Now go to the Page and Layer gallery, and you will see that the clone is at the top of the stacking order select it and drag it down in the list until it is underneath the ribbon, as shown in
- Repeat Steps 5 through 7 on the side and top. If you copy the first filled shape (not the clone) to the clipboard, you can then select the remaining shapes that make up the box, and then right-click and choose Paste>Format/Attributes from the Context menu to paste in the fill, not the shape itself. The keyboard combo for this is Ctrl+Shift+A.
- Figure 5. Squashing a bitmap fill is the technical term for holding Shift while dragging on one of the control handles. Clone each shape and use a Stained glass transparency like before to add the shading. Now use the Fill tool to align the fills and skew/squash them to get the correct perspective, as shown in
- See figures 6 and 7. Once you are happy with your beautifully wrapped box, press Ctrl+S to save and return to the main Xmas boxes document. Figure 6 shows the finished gift box and Figure 7 is my version of the completed scene. Now you are ready to wrap another gift—it’s probably a pair of gloves or a tricycle—and you should be finished well before December 24th.
Name the Colors for Bows of Any Color
Naming colors in a Xara document is an excellent pre-planning measure so that in the future, if you or a client doesn’t like a certain color you’ve used&mdash:or a shade of that color—the illustration can be dramatically recolored in only a few simple steps. And this gift box illustration has a Named Color–bows–which you’ll see at the very beginning of the Color line at the bottom of the interface.
Let’s say you’d prefer gold bows over the red ones. Follow these ridiculously brief steps:
- Nothing needs to be selected. Open the Color Editor by clicking the icon to the left of the Color Line, or by choosing Utilities>Color Editor (Ctrl+E is the keyboard shortcut).
- See Figure 8. Click the drop-down button to the right of the scrolling list of colors at top. Then choose bows, the red icon toward the top of the list.
- Figure 9. Choosing your own bow color adds a nice personal touch that the recipient will appreciate.
And it makes the gift harder to return after the holidays if the drawing of the socks inside are the wrong size.
On the Color Editor, change the color model to HSV if it’s not the current model. Use the color field and the hue slider to pick gold, or green, or whatever color you like to change all the shades of the Named bows color, as shown in
Discuss this givaway in the Xara Xone forum on TalkGraphics.com
Good Morning Sunshine! that has brought a smile to the faces of print and online subscribers for 14 years. She uses Xara products extensively in her work for her firm, SunWings Graphic Design. She loves to teach and share her love of Art though her YouTube channel, her contributions to The Xara Xone and her work on Xara’s TalkGraphics forum as a moderator. You can drop her a line through her website or better yet stop by the Xara Xone forum on Talkgraphics and chat with Angelize there.(Angelize online), is the co-publisher of the weekly,