Tip from Ross Macintosh
Step One - I created a text object and a bitmap-filled background rectangle. Important: Make a clone of the text object and set it aside. You will later need to make clones of that clone - so put it someplace handy.
Step Two - Selecting both the text object and the background shape, apply the menu command arrange>combine shapes>subtract shapes. That will create a 'hole' in your background shape. Apply a drop shadow to that object.
Step Three - Make a clone of the text object you had set aside earlier and apply a drop shadow to it.
Step Four - select the shadowed text from step three and convert it to editable shapes (using the arrange menu or Ctrl-Shift-S). That operation creates a group - you need to ungroup it once (using the arrange menue or Ctrl-U). Select the text-like grouping of shapes and the 'shadow' bitmap object. With both selected apply the menu command arrange>combine shapes>subtract shapes - it will result in a single object looking like my step four graphic.
Step Five - Position the result of step five over the result of step two. Position it so the step four 'shadow' is shadowing the filled shape and not the 'hole' in it. (I cloned it in place to create a darker shadow without returning to step three to make a new darker one).
Step Six - Now comes the fun stuff! Create a rectangle filled with the same bitmap used for your original background shape (in step one). Put that new shape to back (arrange menu or Ctrl-B). With it still selected click on the fill tool button to display the bitmap fill's handles - you do this because you may want to reposition the fill slightly. What is desirable is for the fill not to line up with the similar fill patern of the step-one object. (You may not have to reposition anything - they might already be out of alignment. That is a good thing).
Now take the clone of the text you has set aside earlier and place it on top of everything else - Ctrl-F will bring it to the front. It will be the front face of your extruded text. Note how the sides look highly polished and appear to be reflecting the background's pattern. Cool eh?
Step Seven - You can finish up by touching up that front face with gradient or bitmap fills etc. I added a small bevel to mine. There, you are almost finished with the minitutorial...
Step Eight - Sit back and look at what you've created. Crack open a nice cold German beer and enjoy the moment. Life is good - you are a Xarian!
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