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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Fancy Corners with Masks

    I wanted more control over the corners of the shapes I use without having to rely on the Xara Smart Shapes, like OCC > Components > Print & Web Components > Shapes > Shape 7.

    The method is simple to apply but does require a bit of thought.
    If you place one shape over another, select both and press O, the top shape will punch through the bottom shape.
    If the top shape is all Black, you get a totally transparent cut-out.
    If all White, the cut-out is still there, just not visible.
    In-between is a level of transparency from opaque to clear.

    Extending the approach.
    Create a curved corner square and four smaller ones centred over the larger's corners.
    Rotate these 45 degrees. This make it quick to select angled or circular cut-outs.
    Name each in the Page and Layer gallery, if you care to.
    Select all the shapes and press O or pick Arrange > Apply opacity mask.

    In the Page & Layer Gallery, open the Opacity mask group and select each corner mask in turn and rotate, it change the curvature or scale in place by Shift-dragging a corner.
    If you change a mask Fill to White it disappears and the underlying shape can have its corners adjusted as normal.

    Adjustable Cornering Toolkit.xar

    The design file shows the steps taken to work up a variable corner design.

    Acorn

    P.S. I added edging and as you can see, it is removed by the masks.
    I leave how you get a complete stroke to another day.
    You suggestions will be of assistance.
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    and press O
    for anyone not sure that is 'apply opacity mask' - in classic keys that is alt+O
    -------------------------------
    Wyrd bi ful ard

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by handrawn View Post
    for anyone not sure that is 'apply opacity mask' - in classic keys that is alt+O
    Surely Arrange > Apply opacity mask was a good indicator?

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    I never used opacity maskes (might be because I have my roots in pure vector programs like Freehand and Illustrator) but tried it due to your post. INterseting and opening a lot of possibilities! Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    Surely Arrange > Apply opacity mask was a good indicator?

    Acorn
    true.. must have skipped that sorry... although it might be easier to follow if you had said that in the first instance of your post...
    -------------------------------
    Wyrd bi ful ard

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by handrawn View Post
    true.. must have skipped that sorry... although it might be easier to follow if you had said that in the first instance of your post...
    handrawn, I did what I did for a reason. The purpose was to establish the concept as a hook. I took the big O as a visual metaphor for a hole so it would have a resonance. I then went onto the minutia and described the step-by-step actions, which is where most would then knuckle down and try things out.

    It is useful to mention Alt+O for Classic Key configuration. The Classic Keys set-up has been a Xara option since at least 2015 and XDPXv10. The point is Xara loads in Standard Keys by default so if any user elects to chose Classic Keys and saw a Quickey reference in a Post, they have the onus of validating that keypress against their changed configuration.

    It is probably more remiss not to have mention this Opacity Masking approach does not appear to be not part of XWD(P). If you open my XAR file in XWDP (not checked in XWD) then Opacity Masks are editable, it is just you cannot create them.
    Where to stop though?

    I would prefer more comment on the technique, good or bad.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    I took the big O as a visual metaphor for a hole so it would have a resonance
    in your case definately not an empty vessel

    where to stop indeed....

    like michael I hardly ever use opacity masks so I was thrown at first not recognising the s/c; I like what you have done, I will bear them in mind for the future
    -------------------------------
    Wyrd bi ful ard

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    Why not go for the arrange/combine shapes/subtract shapes.... approach Acorn? The outlines are still retained which your method destroys.
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    Egg

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    Quote Originally Posted by Egg Bramhill View Post
    Why not go for the arrange/combine shapes/subtract shapes.... approach Acorn? The outlines are still retained which your method destroys.
    Egg, your approach destroys subsequent editing. I was trying to show mine could emulate the Xara Smart Shape for changing corners on the fly..

    With mine, you can also change Line widths, position, individual mask colour/transparency/fill, squishy/squashy, none of which the Smart Shape can achieve.
    It is a hankering back to the original Xara functions without the Smart Shape straitjacket Xara imposes.
    Yours could with a lot of back and forth.

    Horses for courses.

    Acorn
    Acorn - installed and active Xara software: Cloud+/Pro+, XDPX, XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7, Xara Xtreme 5, back through time (to CC's Artworks).
    Raise software faults with MagiXara: http://support.magix.net/; if Cloud+/Pro+: https://xara.com/contact-us/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    3,980

    Default Re: Fancy Corners with Masks

    Good stuff, Acorn.

    Looking forward to how you'll apply the lost outlines. I tried a number of things with 'Shapes' but didn't succeed.

 

 

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