One of my many favorite new features is Solid Live Shape Drawing. If you draw a rectangle, ellipse or QuickShape over an existing object, a photo let’s say, the shape you are drawing is semi transparent as shown above. This lets you see what is under the shape you are drawing and is invaluable for aligning to the object below. Simple. And so practical. Have you ever wondered when you were drawing a shape what the perimeter was, or what the volume or area was? Me neither. But in case you are curious, there is a new display on the Infobar P A that reveals  these amounts. In the case of the 200 pixel square above, the perimeter is 800 pixels, and the volume is 40,000 square pixels (OK my calculator must be wrong. It is obviously 39,999.5) Hmmm? The Photo Tools Among the new features, the two most improved areas are the Website tools and the Photo Tools. In this section, we’ll have a look see inside the Photo Tool fly out. The Clone Tool You’ve been asking, no make that begging for this feature for some time. And now you’ve got it. Here’s how it works. Click the Clone Tool. Draw an area around the object you want to erase. In the photos above I wanted to erase the brown thing next to the beetle and there was a small rock above that. Once you have created the shape, drag the clone tool over the area you want to clone. If you don’t like that area, drag over a new area until you get the fill area you want. The shape itself is feathered and you can adjust this on the Infobar to make it more or less feathered. The most excellent thing about the way Xara does this is the cloned area is a live area that is grouped with the photo. You can edit it at any time or Ctrl click on the cloned area and simply delete it. Press the Esc key to leave the cloned area and to create a new one. I also removed the bump just below the beetle. Great tool! The Content Aware Photo Resizing has been updated. And a new control has been added: Content Zoom. Content Aware Photo Resizing extends the image width leaving a prominent feature such as the humming birds untouched while extending the clouds on either side. The new Content Zoom control also zooms in on the primary content as shown on the right side in the top example.
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© Gary Priester 2010