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In this course, author James Fritz shows how to create HTML-based websites with Muse—a toolset familiar to anyone who has used Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator. The course covers the design process from start to finish, from setting up web pages and populating them with graphics and text, to creating dynamic menus and adding special features such as widgets, slideshows, animations, embedded video, social media integration, and more. James also explains how to create an alternate layout for display on mobile devices, publish and update your site, and view analytics on web traffic.
One of the more fun aspects of designing is getting to apply special effects. While Photoshop probably wins the contest for the most effects possible, Muse does have a few tricks up its sleeve. In this movie, we'll take a look at Transparency, Drop Shadows, Bevel, and Glows. Let's go to the Effects page and we'll begin by selecting this top rectangle and drawing it on top of everything else. Now right now it's behind everything, so we're going to go to Object > Bring To Front. Now, if we want this to be above everything, we can't see the content below but we can use Transparency to lower the opacity, so we can start to see the content that's underneath this color.
At the top of the screen is our Opacity slider. As I lower this, we'll start to see more of the content. 0 means we can see everything below, but we no longer see the object, 100% means we see the entire object and nothing underneath, and 49 is about halfway in between. Let's put this back up here and take a look at another effect. With this object selected, we can go to the Effects menu and we're going to choose Shadow and turn it on. When you turn a Shadow on, it helps the image pop off the page, and we have quite a few settings to change its appearance.
We can go to the Color, and if you don't want it to be black, we'll give it a gray shadow, a tan shadow or any other color shadow that you like. For now, I'm going to stick with black. We can change the opacity of it, so it could be more intense or less intense. Size will change the sharpness. WhenI change the size to 0, it will become a straight sharp edge. As I increase the number, it will slowly dissipate. The angle will change the angle of the shadow; 45 degrees is a good number, but let's take a look at a few other options.
We can see it's moving from the left to the right and all around. The distance is the space between the shadow and the object. If I put this at 0, it will be directly behind it. As I increase it, it moves it further away. We'll turn the Shadow off and add a Bevel. A Bevel gives it a 3D or raised look. This is frequently used in buttons. The Opacity will change how much of the bevel that you see. As I lower it, it slowly starts to fade away, and as I increase it, it becomes more intense.
The Size is the thickness of the bevel and the Angle is the location, and we can change the distance between the border and the faded edge. Our final effect is a Glow. A glow is similar to the drop shadow except for it's even all the way around. We'll change the color to pink, so we can see it a little easier. If we want to have the glow to the inside, we can just click the checkbox and it moves it to the inside. As much fun as transparency and special effects are, keep in mind that they will not make a bad design better.
Try to use effects sparingly, and use them when you want something to pop out and be different. Think about it this way; if you were to bold every word in a paragraph, nothing would appear bold or stand out since everything is bold. The same is also true with effects.
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