The Xara Trompe L'Oeil Room June 2001

to download a Zipped HTML version of this tutorial

Ultimate Eyeball? Ultimate Chrome?

Thanks to people like Big Frank, Ross Macintosh, Eric Bramhill, Steve Newport, and others, I find I can no longer get away with simplistic tutorials. No, it seems you Xara users want more and more detail and more complex tutorials. Each month I have to push the envelope a little bit farther.

If you have seen the light bulb on the Tip of the Day window when you open Xara, then you have seen the granddaddy of this month's tutorial. The light bulb on the Tip window was one of my first Xara illustrations and my first contact with the Xara folks who contacted me and asked permission to use the image on the Tip menu. Of course I said yes and the rest is history.

The light bulb has had many incarnations and refinements over the years, eventually, with the addition of an eyeball, becoming my company logo. I have used this logo for several years with not a thought of changing it again. But then Ross had to start his Eyeball thread in the Xara Conference, and Big Frank and Jay had to go mano a mano with their explorations of chrome with Klaus egging them on from the sidelines. What could I do, but attempt to go them one better.

Whether or not I have succeeded is up to you to decide. I'd love to hear your verdict.

One reader wrote and asked why I did not provide an estimate of how long it would take to do one of the tutorials. I responded that how was I to know how long it would take. It could take hours, days, weeks, years? It all hinges on how fast you work and how comfortable you are working step-by-step. It usually takes me anywhere from one day, if I'm really pressed for time--or on my game, to two or three days to prepare a tutorial. This month's tutorial took me three full days and is one of my most ambitious ever. I do not recommend this tutorial for new users or users with short attention spans. It is a difficult one, but one that should provide some good insight into how an illustration, such as this one, is constructed.

I have tried to cover each step as thoroughly as possible. But as happens, I often leave out a critical point or give you the wrong color values. If this happens, please let me know as soon as possible so I can correct the tutorial and post a revised version on the site. Because this tutorial is so long (there are 56 illustrations) I have eliminated much of the description that may be critical for new users, but should be understood by intermediate and advanced users. Although the image is very complex, it is, as is any complex illustration, nothing more than a series of small steps. (Getting them in the right order is the trick!)

Finally (sorry to be so long-winded), the XaraXone is about to change again. I hope to have the new design implemented by the 15th with lots of new and exciting areas. So do check in during the month to see the progress. And please let me know if there is anything you feel is missing that would make the Xone better for all of us. And finally, finally, thanks again to Xara Ltd., for sponsoring these tutorials and the XaraXone. You guys are the greatest!

©2001 Gary W. Priester
Tutorials are for private use only. No text or images may be used or reproduced in any form (except as tutorials) without the express written permission of the author.