We’ve put together a short 2 minute video below showing how easy it is to create glossy buttons with rounded rectangles, transparencies, feather effects and gradients. Many vector packages have very long winded ways of approaching these techniques but Xara Xtreme is highly intuitive in the way it approaches these tools.
Xara Xtreme also allows for very large work areas so you can be working on a main design and have lots of little bits you are working on just off canvas. Great for mocking up web pages or illustration work.
File sizes are also kept very low even when the canvas size and elements are very detailed which helps the software run at such a fast speed. The latest version sees several additions to the non-vector side of the program which offer even more uses such as basic photo editing and even website template generation.
What about the downsides? Well, the fact the latest version is Windows only is holding the software back from Mac users (and there are a lot of designers using Macs) plus the fact that Adobe Illustrator has become the industry standard which may put some people off trying it. But, if you are a Windows user I highly recommend you download the free trial, read up on some tutorials and give it a go!
This screencast (without audio commentary) shows how quickly you can adjust curves, gradients and transparencies to produce a glossy button in around 2 minutes with Xara Xtreme. If you use Xara Xtreme you can download the source files at the bottom of this page.
Please view in full screen mode for best results.
You can download the source files used for this screencast in .xar format:
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