The WebXealot  Page 5

Xara X. The Mould Tool (Continued)

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8

Xara's Envelope effects apply instantly every time the envelope is modified. While this is desirable for simple shapes, when working with complex shapes, this constant redrawing can be a major source of person frustration and vexation.

The Detach Mould button permits you to edit only the envelope shape until you are happy with the shape. Press the button again and apply the changes at once.

Sometimes you may want to copy an Envelope's shape and give it to another object as illustrated on the left.

The operation is simple. Select the enveloped shape you wish to copy (it must have an envelope shape applied), select the Mould Tool, and press the Copy Envelope button.

Select the object to which you want to apply the envelope shape, and press the Paste Envelope button on the Infobar.

NOTE: As with many of Xara X's tools, you can now select an object with the Mould Tool instead of selecting it first with the Selector Tool (the pointer).

In addition to the 8 preset Envelopes the are two additional shapes, Default Envelope and Default Perspective, which let you modify the envelope shape. (You can modify the preset shapes using this method as well).

Select the shape to be molded, select the Mould Tool then press the Default Envelope (or Default Perspective) button on the Infobar. Click one of the four corner points with the Mould Tool and little gray lines with tiny red squares will appear. These gray lines and red squares are control handles which modify the shape of the envelope and its contents. Drag these handles to any new location and the envelope redraws in real time.

Default Perspective adds an editable straight sided envelope which can be modified to simulate perspective. When you modify the envelope a little bit, a vanishing point appears which represents the point on the horizon where the top and bottom parallel sides will converge.

You can modify the envelope by dragging the four corner points or by dragging the vanishing point.

This is useful for creating an actual perspective drawing as you can establish a pair of crossed guideslines for the drawing's vanishing point and then drag each objects vanishing point to the crossed guidelines to achieve perspective.

Default Perspective can also be used to distort a bitmap image and snap it to any four-sided object. (This only works with perspective envelopes).

Enable Snap To Objects (press the red magnet icon on the Infobar or right click on the page and select Snap To Objects).

Apply a Default Perspective envelope to the bitmap.

Drag the corners of the bitmap and snap them to the corners of the frame object.


Finally this. Tony Robberts, you might know him as Tony London in the Xara Conference, has created a series of custom Envelope Shapes which you can download for free from the XaraXone Shareware Page. You can copy and paste these envelopes using the technique used above. There is also a mini-tutorial on the Shareware Page.

You can also create your own custom shapes and save them for future use. If you come up with some really cool shapes, let me know and we'll post them for all to appreciate and use.