Graphics Programs Reference
Creating Photorealistic Effects
Using Xara Xtreme, it's not difficult to visually suggest a design that doesn't look like a
“vector drawing.” You can achieve practically any photorealistic effect you desire, lifting
your subjects and objects off the drawing page through the use of perspective, shadows,
highlights, and textures. This chapter takes you through the steps to building reflections and
transparent objects such as water droplets. Overall, you'll gain a better understanding of
lighting —natural lighting we observe in the real world—to make your graphic ideas come alive.
Download and extract the contents of Chapter07.zip, which contains everything you need to
work through this chapter's tutorial steps. Optionally, download environments.zip, is a bonus
collection of images you can use when creating shiny 3D objects.
Working with Shadows
Shadows in an illustration are a visual clue to the viewer about how objects are ordered, from
near to distant, by hiding and revealing areas. Shadows suggest a light source cast into a scene,
and the accurate placement and shape of a shadow orients the audience. Xara Xtreme offers
two modes of auto-shadow creation—Floor and Wall Shadows—that you can adjust to simulate
shadows cast on smooth or rough surfaces.
Using the Shadow Tool
The Shadow Tool has three modes, plus sliders to customize the shadow you create. By default,
when you choose the tool and then drag directly on an object, you apply a Wall Shadow (a drop
shadow) with default values for color, opacity, and the amount of blurriness the shadow has.