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Creating a Magnifying Glass Effect in Freehand MX

Using effects and fills to make a lens By Dave Nagel
A reader wrote in to me recently asking how she could import a magnifying glass effect that she created in Freehand MX into Flash MX. To which I responded something along the lines of, "I have no idea." And as of the time of this writing, I still have no idea. Fortunately though, that's not what this article is about. Instead, we're going to take a look at how to create that magnifying glass effect.

Now, this is about the third tutorial we've done on creating a magnifying glass effect, the first two being for Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. Unlike the previous ones, however, this one doesn't require that we fudge the actual magnification portion of the effect. In Freehand MX, the magnification is real, and it's interactive, so you can use it to magnify any underlying content.

For this example, I'm going to show you how to create something that resembles a designer's loupe. The principle is the same regardless of the shape of the object you create.

1. Start by drawing a primitive shape. In my case, I'll be using a circle with a stroke of 14 pixels (basic black).

2. Next, I'll add an Inner Bevel effect. With the stroke selected, choose the Add Effect menu in the Object palette, and select Bevel and Emboss > Inner Bevel. To create a ridged effect, use the settings you see below.

3. Click on the Add Fill menu in the Object palette, and change the type from "Basic" to "Lens." Of the options available, select "Magnify," and set the magnification to the amount you prefer.

This give you your basic magnification. I've placed text behind our object to show you how we're progressing.

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