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Live effects

You can apply many effects to an object or text.

To open the Effects list

  1. At the bottom of the Effects section, click the Add Effect Cc294793.d5e94a0e-39f1-4fd7-b917-cb423f03ea03(en-us,Expression.40).png icon.

  2. Point to Effects, and click one of the live effects on the list.

The following effects are available from the Effects list.

  • Gaussian Blur   Simulates looking at an object through an out-of-focus lens. Edges are softened by using a mathematical formula based on the Radius setting in the Gaussian Blur dialog box. The larger the Radius setting, the more blurry the objects or images become.

    Applying Gaussian Blur to three objects: a bitmapped image, a rectangle with a gradient, and a text object on top of the rectangle. The original objects (above) and the blurred objects (below).

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  • Drop Shadow   Makes an object appear as if it were offset slightly from its background and casting a shadow from an imaginary light source. You can control the effect with the following six settings:

    • Softness   Lets you control the blurriness of the shadow—similar to applying a Gaussian Blur to the shadow.

    • Offset   Controls how far from the original object the shadow should extend.

    • Opacity   Controls the density and transparency of the shadow. A value of 1 is a solid shadow. A value of 0.5 equals 50 percent transparency.

    • Shadow Color   Controls the color of the shadow.

    • Light Angle   Determines the angle of the light. A value of zero positions the shadow to the right of the object; a value of 180 positions the shadow to the left. A value of 315 is a typical value, positioning the shadow down and to the right of the object.

    • Noise   Adding a small amount of "noise" to your shadows makes them appear more natural, as if the shadow is falling upon a rough surface. Usually a value around 0.05 is enough, but larger values can be useful for special effects.

    Applying Drop Shadow to three objects: a bitmapped image, a rectangle with a gradient, and a text object on top of the rectangle. The original objects (top) and the objects that have the live effect visible (bottom).

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  • Bevel   Simulates a three-dimensional appearance, as if the object were offset slightly from its background. You can control the effect with five parameters: Width, Contrast, Softness, Profile, and Light Angle.

    • Profile   Controls the shape of the edge transition, including Linear, Curved In, Curved Out, and Bulge Up.

    • Light Angle   Set this option in the top-left corner (100 to 170 degrees) to create a raised appearance, and in the bottom-right corner (290 to 340 degrees) to create a lowered appearance.

    Applying Bevel to three objects: A bitmapped image, a rectangle with a gradient, and a text object on top of the rectangle. The original objects (top), the beveled objects that have the Curve Out profile (middle), and with the Bulge Up profile (bottom).

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  • Unsharp Mask   Sharpens edges in images. This was originally a photography darkroom effect that combined a slightly blurry (unsharp) version of an image with the original. This gives you sharp details in high-contrast areas (such as edges) and minimal changes in low-contrast areas (such as smooth gradients). Settings include the following:

    • Radius   Controls the width of the sharpening effect. Too high a radius causes halos around edges. A radius of 1 is usually appropriate.

    • Amount   Adjusts how intense or full of contrast the edge sharpening is. The higher the Amount, the more edge pixels will be pushed to white or black.

    • Threshold   Specifies how many tonal steps apart, on a scale of 0 to 255, adjacent pixels in the image have to be before they are considered an edge (and therefore get sharpened).

    The original image (left) and the image with an Unsharp Mask live effect (right)

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  • Outer Glow   Creates a halo of color around objects or areas of color. You can control the effect with four settings: Size, Opacity, Glow Color, and Noise.

    Applying Outer Glow to three objects: a bitmapped image, a rectangle with a gradient, and a text object on top of the rectangle. The original objects (top) and the objects that have the live effect visible (bottom).

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See also

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