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By Mike Rankin | Thursday, September 15, 2011

InDesign FX: Exploring Bevel and Emboss settings

If I were faced with a scenario where I could choose only one of InDesign’s effects to use for the rest of my career, I’d definitely choose Bevel and Emboss. All the other effects certainly have their uses, but in my opinion, Bevel and Emboss is the most indispensable of InDesign FX because of its versatility. With it, you can not only create 3D effects, but also simulate textures. Many of the coolest techniques shown in the InDesign FX video series have one thing in common: the use of Bevel and Emboss.

It’s probably just a coincidence, but I think it’s perfect that Bevel and Emboss is located smack in the middle of InDesign’s Effects menus, because it is the central component of so many cool effects.

In this week’s free video, I go through each of the controls in the Bevel and Emboss dialog box. I show each of the effect’s four styles: Inner Bevel, Outer Bevel, Emboss, and Pillow Emboss.

Because these styles are just starting points, I also show how to customize them by adjusting settings like Technique, Direction, Soften, Depth, Angle, and Altitude.

A key concept I highlight in the video is the fact that you can set the Shadow and Highlight of the effect to use any blending mode and color. This flexibility is incredibly useful for simulating materials. For example, to simulate something like gold, you can change the Highlight settings from the defaults Screen and [Paper] to Multiply and [Black], so instead of creating a highlight, you create a second shadow.

On the other hand, you could do the opposite: set the Shadow to use Screen and [Paper] and create two highlights with the effect to make something super glossy.

For lynda.com members, I have another new video this week exclusively in the Online Training Library® on exploring Inner Glow Settings.

And I’ll see you here again in two weeks with another InDesign effect.

Interested in more?InDesign FX complete course • Courses on InDesign in the Online Training Library® • Courses by Mike Rankin in the Online Training Library®

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