Nova Fisher has worked within communications with Xara for over 15 years. She has previously founded and managed some successful early-to-market businesses including an internet service provider (ISP) which was founded in 1994, and the creation of one of the earliest online web authoring solutions in 1996, that enabled anyone to create a professional website without the need for any design or technical skills.
In this interview, Nova talks about the new Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 product.
Geetesh: Nova, can you tell us more about the new Xara Photo & Graphic Designer product—and what is your favorite feature?
Nova: I’ve thought long about this and I can’t isolate one favorite feature – however, I can narrow it down to my two favorite features which are the Photo Editor and the SmartShapes.
I have produced a quarterly 12-page magazine and many newsletters and leaflets using Xara Photo & Graphic Designer. I’m often given poor photos to work with and I just love the integrated, fast, non-destructive Photo Editor that enables me to do an automatic real-time photo enhance or adjust the photos manually (brightness, contrast, sharpen, blur, saturation, temperature, etc) plus real-time scaling and rotation. The magic erase makes it quick and easy to seamlessly erase unwanted objects from photos, such as telegraph poles, wires and even people! I love the new Magnetic Lasso for quick and easy cutting out of any object in my photos. In my profile picture I used this to cut out my face and then I was able to quickly adjust the brightness and transparency of the background to make it lighter. The panorama maker is impressive too – just drop a series of photos on the page and click one button to get a perfect, seamlessly joined panorama.
I find the SmartShapes extremely useful, in particular, the Text Panels and Photo Panels that contain text and photos. I just enter my text /photo and the panel adjusts accordingly or I can select one of the side or corner handles and stretch or reduce, or change the shape and rotate it as required. The Speech Bubbles are really useful when annotating a document or drawing.
Geetesh: Unlike other graphic programs, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 365 is a combined vector and bitmap editing solution. What is the advantage of using a combined solution?
Nova: Almost every modern creative document be it a website, poster, brochure or a corporate report, consists of a combination of vector graphic design, that is illustration, and photos. It is very inefficient and far less productive to be required to use two separate programs to create the one document.
At its heart, Xara Photo & Graphic Designer is a vector-based program and unusually uses vector graphics even for editing photos. This has significant benefits in that all the edits are retained, and everything is resolution independent, and it is object orientated editing.
Geetesh: Xara Photo & Graphic Designer seems to be a popular choice for illustrators. Why is that so?
Nova: Xara Photo & Graphic Designer started its life primarily as a vector illustration product. Although it has grown into something that encompasses all aspect of graphic design both vector and bitmap, as well as photo editing, it still retains a fan base of amazingly talented illustrators. It’s always inspiring to see their work, especially their love of cartoons. Take a look at some of the amazing illustrations at the Xara Artist Gallery.
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