Posts Tagged ‘Bevel and Emboss’

Creating a boat medallion part 2: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, November 1st, 2013

Creating a shiny golden medallion- part 2

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.


Picking up where he left off last week, Bert takes us through the steps to add details and a nice shine to the golden boat medallion. He begins by adding a second color to the stroke on a new layer, which adds depth to the design with the help of a layer effect. Next, he adds a label to the bottom of the medallion and applies a similar embossing effect. Finally, he paints in the shine to give a sense of realism to this piece. Join us next week for the third and final video of this project!

Creating a Pillow Effect: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, September 20th, 2013

Create a pillow effect in Photoshop

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.


This week Bert shows off a simple technique to create a pillow effect suitable for a baby shower invite. He begins by creating type on a channel and adding a Gaussian blur to soften the edges. Next he refines the edge with levels, and fills in the selected area with a baby blue color. Finally, he completes the effect with some layers effects including a stroke, bevel, and drop shadow.

Check out the entire Pixel Playground series at lynda.com.

Add a double bevel to text: InDesign FX

Published by | Thursday, July 4th, 2013

If you can master only one of the Adobe InDesign transparency effects, it should be Bevel and Emboss. It is by far the most useful and versatile of the bunch. In fact, the only thing that might be better than a handsome bevel is, well, two handsome bevels. Creating a double bevel effect is the topic of this week’s free InDesign FX video.

InDesign FX: Figure 1

InDesign FX: Figure 2

This effect is achieved by stacking two copies of live text, each with an Inner Bevel and a Drop Shadow.

InDesign FX: Building better bevels

Published by | Thursday, September 29th, 2011

As I wrote in my last post, I think Bevel and Emboss is the most versatile and useful of InDesign FX. But it does have one weakness. When Bevel and Emboss is applied to a path that intersects itself, the shadows and highlights make the path segments seem fused together. So if you try to make something like this garden hose, the 3D effect of Bevel and Emboss is quite unconvincing.

While this isn’t especially useful behavior, it’s not fair to call it a bug. When InDesign has only has one path to work with, this is what would be expected. A single path has no stacking order. It’s a perfectly flat object existing in two dimensions. So there’s no way InDesign could possibly figure out which segment should be on top of (or behind) which other segments.

In this week’s video, I show how to get around this limitation. The trick is to create your own stacking order with new, independent paths that look like they’re all one object. The key is to use the Paste Into command to mask out the ends of the new paths.

When you do this for each overlapping segment, you create a totally seamless 3D effect.

Also, it’s worth noting that sometimes when you do this trick, it can look like the new paths are misaligned with the original path, giving away their presence and ruining the effect. Don’t worry. If you follow all the steps shown in the video, the new paths will be perfectly aligned. The apparent misalignment is just a screen redraw problem that’s more likely to occur if you work at odd zoom percentages. If this happens, just press Shift+F5 to force InDesign to redraw the screen and display the effect correctly.

For lynda.com members, I have another new video this week exclusively in the Online Training Library® on how to punch holes in InDesign objects.

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

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

InDesign FX: Exploring Bevel and Emboss settings

Published by | Thursday, September 15th, 2011

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®

InDesign FX: Exploring The Effects Panel

Published by | Thursday, August 18th, 2011

InDesign’s FX can be so much fun, it’s tempting to just dive right in and start working with them, even if you’re not all that familiar with the controls. You can certainly accomplish a lot armed with nothing more than curiosity and patience, but to really get the most out of these tools you should spend a few minutes to familiarize yourself with them. That’s the purpose of this week’s free InDesign FX video. You use this information every time you work with InDesign’s effects. When you know where everything is and how to use it, you’ll naturally have a more enjoyable and productive time.

The video starts with a tour of the Effects panel controls. You’ll see all the places where you can adjust blending modes and opacity. I’ll show you where and how to target FX to the various levels of an object to produce different results.

Cool effects

There are also some nifty efficiency tips in the video. After watching it, you’ll discover how to tell which effects have been applied to an object without opening the dialog box. You’ll also know how to save time and effort by copying FX from one object to another with a simple drag and drop.

I also demystify two settings that have puzzled many InDesign users over the years: Isolate Blending and Knockout Group. They both are used to limit the effects of blending modes to specific objects on a page, and they’re well worth mastering.

Finally, I demonstrate the workings of Global Light. This is an important tool for making your effects consistent throughout a document by giving them the same light source via Angle and Altitude settings.

Global Light

Getting a handle on Altitude in particular is the key to mastering the Bevel and Emboss effect. You’ll also understand how Global Light can sometimes cause objects with effects to unexpectedly change when you move them from one document to another (and how to prevent this from happening).

For lynda.com members, I have another new video this week exclusively in the Online Training Library® on how to create long cast shadows using Type on a Path. And I’ll see you here again in two weeks with another free InDesign effect.

InDesign FX complete course
courses on InDesign in the Online Training Library®
courses by Mike Rankin in the Online Training Library®