Have you noticed that this is another theme Workbook? All the tutorials involve recreating a surface, or sky or water. Moving right along, in this last tutorial, we'll create what I think is pretty good wood.
The hardest part of creating wood is to get a convincing wood grain. If you look at the grain in a soft wood, such as pine, you can see how the grain starts as a hard edge and then softens. I put a fair amount of trial and effort into this before I came up with the solution covered here.
Step 1 (Same size rectangle). Apply a Fractal Plasma fill using the two colors shown. Stretch the horizontal fill path arrow and make the vertical fill path arrow very short and angle it as shown. This could actually be a piece of light colored hard wood and if you alter the colors you can make a variety of hard woods. But we are here to do grain. This is just the background.
Step 2 Using the Freehand and Brush Tool, and with a Smoothness slider setting of around 40%, draw a gently waving line as shown above. Clone the line and move it all the way to the bottom. Change the line Width to 1pt and the outline color to the RGB color shown.
Step 3 Select the Blend Tool. Click on the right end of the top line and drag down to the right end of the bottom line to create a blend. Change the number of Blend Steps on the Infobar to 30. Press Enter to apply the change. Click the Position Profile arrow icon. Select Profile 3 from the drop down list. This moves the lines closer together as they approach the top and bottom.
Select the blend and Arrange > Convert to Editable Shapes. Then Arrange > Ungroup (or Ctrl u).
Step 4 Delete every third line. I've indicated the deleted lines with blue dashed outlines.
Step 5 Change the outline color for the second line of each pair to the very pale yellow used in the background. As it is hard to see these lines, I have indicated them with the red arrows.
Step 6 Create blends for each pair of lines. Increase the blend steps to create a smooth transition. Select each blend and apply a Profile 1 profile. This enhances the smooth transition. (You may need to increase the blend steps).
Step 7 Copy the rectangle to the clipboard (Ctrl c). Marquee select the rectangle and the lines (drag a selection around these with the Selector Tool) and from the Arrange menu, select Apply ClipView.
Paste the copy of the rectangle on top using Shift Ctrl v. Apply a Flat, Stained Glass transparency. (If you want the wood to look a little older, you can paste another copy or two on top).
And here are some suggestions for things you can do with your wood. I've created a bitmap copy of the wood and used it as a fill then applied some bevels.
And there you have it. We've done sandstone, marble (well kind of), water, clouds and wood. And who could ask for anything more?
Well, you could always ask for more. Please send your requests, suggestions, questions, corrections, stock tips, physical complaints to your editor (still me), using the feedback form on the next page. And, don't forget to download a trial copy of Xara ScreenMaker.
Gary W. Priester