It’s actually pretty simple using Xara, and using it’s ability to link colours, you can easily create a whole range of coloured buttons in a very short amount of time.
To start, open the Layers gallery (F10), and add 2 new layers. Then rename all 3 to Base, Inner Glow & Reflection, with reflection being the topmost.
First of all, create the shape of your button, if you’re going for rounded corners do those too. Just right click on the object and choose “Change Curvature”, then use the new handles to drag the corners to the size required. I’ve chosen a crimson red for this tutorial. We’ll use the link feature later to create more colours.
You may notice in the images I’m creating two buttons, the circular one only varies very slightly from rectangular ones, and don’t worry, I’ll make sure I tell you when it does.
It’s also worth saving the colour if you went for something non-standard because we’re going to need it later on.
Next, we’ll create the colour highlight (or lowlight, if you prefer. ). Clone your first object and move it to the “Inner Glow” layer, this is where we take advantage of the “Link to another colour” feature, and the saved colour from earlier. Adjust the colour of the glow until it suits, I have made mine lighter, but you can also get some good effects going for a darker shade too.
Once you are happy you’ll need to feather the edges of the object, I set mine to about 23pix for this example. You get a much better glass effect if you adjust the transparency of the glow too.Use the transparency tool and use a linear fade from the bottom, over half the height of the underlying base object. I found it best to keep the line vertical, but go wild, try a slight angle too.
For circular buttons, try moving the glow object off center a little, you also don’t need to alter the transparency, the feathering is sufficient effect.
That’s it for part 1, the button just needs the reflection now, but it’s not as easy as it sounds, so I’ll leave it for part 2, which is now online.
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