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Using Bevel Alpha

Both Bevel Edges and Bevel Alpha give a layer a dimensional, lighted quality. Bevel Edges tends to create sharp-cornered bevels, useful primarily with simple geometric shapes. Bevel Alpha's effect is subtler, and becomes especially useful to give text a dimensional character.

To use the Bevel Alpha effect:

1.
Select a layer containing an alpha channel (Figure 11.40).

Figure 11.40. Select a layer containing an alpha channel.


2.
Choose Effect > Perspective > Bevel Alpha (Figure 11.41).

Figure 11.41. Choose Effect > Perspective > Bevel Alpha.


The layer's Bevel Alpha effect appears selected in the Effect Controls window (Figure 11.42).

Figure 11.42. The layer's Bevel Alpha effect appears selected in the Effect Controls window.


3.
Set the following properties for the effect:

Edge Thickness sets the width of the beveled edge, giving a sense of depth.

Light Angle sets the implied direction of the light source, resulting in highlights and shadows.

Light Color sets the color of the light on the beveled edge.

Light Intensity sets the brightness of the light on the beveled edge.

4.
If you want, animate the effect properties over time, using the techniques you learned in Chapter 7.

Beveled layers take on a dimensional character (Figure 11.43).

Figure 11.43. Beveled layers take on a dimensional character.



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