As always, we will be using Pixels as our units of measure. Right click on the screen and select Page Options... from the pop up menu. In the Units tabbed section, select Pixels for the Units and 0-255 for the Color Units. In the Grid and Ruler tabbed section set the Major Spacing to 100pix (key it in exactly like this please) and the Number of Subdivisions to 10. Press OK to close the dialog and apply the changes.
To see a tutorial on Xara Basics visit Workbook 20.
NOTE: You will notice from time to time I apply arbitrary colors to objects. I do this to make the objects easier to see. If I do not specify a fill for an object, you do not have to apply a fill or outline color.
When I show an ellipse or rectangle that has just been created, that has no fill, it is because I have set the fill to none before I exported the illustration. By default, all ellipses, rectangles and Quick Shapes have a black outline and a black fill. There is nothing wrong with your copy of Xara.
Naming Conventions. I use bold face to indicate the names of tools, galleries, keyboard shortcuts, and dialogs. Items such as unnamed icons and drop down lists, which have names when you let your cursor rest over them for a moment, are displayed in italics.
The Infobar is the context sensitive menu at the top of the screen and changes to reflect the options for the selected tool.
Some of the tool icons have changed in Xara X1, and this may cause some confusion for new users. If you are using an older version of Xara, click here to see my Rosetta Stone for translating the old buttons into the new.
While you should be able to create all the steps in previous versions of Xara, some of the tool icons have changed, and this may cause some confusion for new users. If you are using an older version of Xara, click here to see my Rosetta Stone for translating the old buttons into the new.
Using the Shape Editor Tool (F4) drag a diagonal line approximately 100 pixels tall. Click the start point on the screen then click the end point. While the line and the Shape Editor Tool are selected, you can drag either end of the line or drag on the line to curve it.
Click on the line with the Selector Tool (the arrow pointer) to enable rotate/skew mode. Drag the Center of Rotation circle and cross hairs down to the bottom of the line to reset the rotation point. Drag the upper right hand rotation arrow handle to the right as shown. Before you release the left mouse button, click the right mouse button to drop a duplicate. Repeat this step until you have about 12 randomly spaced lines as shown above, bottom left.
Select some of the lines again, and scale some of the lines from the top so some are a bit longer and others are a bit shorter. Drag either of the top outside control handles (the small black boxes) to resize proportionately.
TIP: If you have Xara Xtreme 3.2 or Xtreme Pro 3.2 you can drag the rotation arrow with the RIGHT mouse button which automatically drops a duplicate when you release the right mouse button. You can also rotate in scale mode by placing the cursor on the inside of the control points.
Make 5 duplicate sets of lines (Ctrl d to duplicate - or drag a selection with the right mouse button as detailed in the previous tip). The different line colors are only so you can see the different sets. Change the height and width of the lines so you have 6 different sets of lines as shown above.
When you have your 6 sets of lines, use the Selector Tool to drag a selection rectangle around all the lines and from the Arrange menu, select Convert Line to Shape.
One by one, select one set of converted lines and Arrange > Combine Shapes > Add Shapes or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl 1.
Draw a vertical line about 175 pixels. This is for measurement only and we will delete it after this step.
Arrange the line groups randomly using the vertical line for the height and as the general center of the groups. Rotate and offset some of the groups of lines and make one or two duplicates to add density. Delete the vertical line when you are done.