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Creating better bevels

From: Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

Video: Creating better bevels

When it comes to designing things like icons and buttons, you have to be on your game, and your designs have to be "pixel perfect." Therefore it's imperative to get things like bevels and 3D extrusions and things like that to look as good as possible. And there are some layer styles that are built into Photoshop that are meant to do that right off the bat, like the Bevel and Emboss. But those don't really give me the finite level of control that I'm looking for. So therefore, I have to utilize other layer styles to achieve this. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to create a new document. And it really doesn't matter how big this is.

Creating better bevels

When it comes to designing things like icons and buttons, you have to be on your game, and your designs have to be "pixel perfect." Therefore it's imperative to get things like bevels and 3D extrusions and things like that to look as good as possible. And there are some layer styles that are built into Photoshop that are meant to do that right off the bat, like the Bevel and Emboss. But those don't really give me the finite level of control that I'm looking for. So therefore, I have to utilize other layer styles to achieve this. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to create a new document. And it really doesn't matter how big this is.

I am just going to show you a demonstration. So I am going to do 400 pixel 100 pixels tall. That should be big enough. And I'll grab my Shape tool and select the rectangle, and I am just going to draw out a rectangle, something like this. So let's pretend that we're drawing a button. I am going to come over to the Layers panel and double-click, and I'll give this an orange color, something like that. There we go. And now I am going to zoom in. Anytime you're working on something small, it's always best to work on it on a large scale.

Since this is vector, it will be easy to see everything. I am going to come over here to the right- hand side of the rectangle that I've drawn and I am going to double-click to the right-hand side. When I do that, I am going to turn on the traditional Bevel and Emboss. Watch what happens. When I do that, I get the sort of halo-looking thing here and a dark edge around the bottom, and it looks very generic. It looks almost like something you see on an old GeoCities homepage or something like that. So I could come in and make changes to this, like shrinking up the depth and decreasing the size and softening it up or sharpening it down, but I really don't like these controls because I'm in here having to drag sliders around while simultaneously looking over to the left, controlling the angle of the shading with this little orb-looking thing here.

It just doesn't suit me. So, as opposed to using Bevel and Emboss, I've learned to use things like Inner Shadow and Inner Glow to achieve to achieve the same type of effect. So the first thing I am going to do here is I am going to create a stroke around the outside, and I will set this to an inside stroke, just so it snaps to the corners all the way around the outside. I am then going to change the color of this, and I will sample this orange to get a base, and then I will just kind of click to make it darker. Something kind of like that. There we go! Hit OK. All right! So now it still just looks like a rectangle with a border on the outside of it, but watch what happens.

I'm going to choose Inner Shadow. When I choose Inner Shadow, there's a couple of things I can do to make this look like it's beveled. I'll go up to the Blend mode and change it to Normal, then I'll click on the color, and I'll sample the orange color here, and then I will pick a lighter version of that, something like this. Hit OK. Now, let's change the Choke to 100. When I do that, see that nice crisp line that comes in right there? I am also going to increase the Opacity to 100% so I can see it all the way.

And now, since this is a shadow, I can come in here and I can just click and move it around. First, I will turn off the Global Light. Notice that snaps back to this little L shape. And now I can just position this wherever I need it to go. So if I need that to be something like that. Now, I can decrease the size as well. I'll decrease the size to 1 and then I can bring that out just like that. See how that creates that little beveled edge right along there? I can also throw on an Inner Glow if I wanted to, to add a little bit more depth right there.

So if I throw in the Inner Glow, change its Blend mode to Multiply, change its color to something like the orange, change its Choke to 100, see how it's coming out right there? Then I can change the Size a little bit, something like that tucks it back underneath, and I might even make that darker. There we go, something like that.

So now, I've got this beveled edge around the outside and also this background, so it looks like it's almost set outside of that background a little bit. If it's too dark, you can adjust the Opacity. You can kind of dial it back, then you hit OK, and there we have our nice three-dimensional-looking button. If you needed to increase or decrease the bevel, you can do that simply by adjusting the shadow and the glow. Now, let's add some text. Grab the Type tool. And if I try to type inside of here, it's just going to type inside the shape. So what I need to do is click outside of that to start the text. And I will just type in "CLICK HERE." And I'll move it to the center, something like that, and Command+T or Ctrl+T and I will blow it up.

Okay, it doesn't matter what font you're using or anything like that. Now I'm going to double-click out to side of that. I am going to add a drop shadow. This time switch the Blend mode to Normal, change the color to the same dark color that I have on the outside, uncheck Global Light, change the Angle to something like -90, change the Size to 0, and then just dial back the Distance, something like that. 1 pixel might be enough.

There we go, and hit OK. So now it almost looks like that is carved into the button. If I change the font to something a little bit more bold--I will change it to Helvetica Bold-- you'll be able to see it a little bit easier. There we go! See the dark edges around the outside? Now, if I zoom out, I have a nice clean three- dimensional looking button with text that's inset inside of it, and I did that all with layer styles. They can all be changed, they can all be altered, and they can all be thrown away at a moment's notice because as we know, layer styles are nondestructive edits that we perform to our images.

So, the next time you need to create something that looks a little bit more three-dimensional, try utilizing Inner Shadows and Glows as opposed to the actual Bevel and Emboss. You will be amazed at the amount of precision and accuracy you get.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 for Web Design
Photoshop CS6 for Web Design

75 video lessons · 52888 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 9s
    1. Welcome
      48s
    2. Using the exercise files
      21s
  2. 25m 50s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 8s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      3m 9s
    3. Exploring the PSD-to-HTML workflow
      2m 25s
    4. Setting up Photoshop for web work
      5m 29s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      2m 36s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      4m 24s
    7. Setting up a responsive web layout
      3m 31s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      3m 8s
  3. 20m 39s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      4m 13s
    2. Understanding web color
      4m 0s
    3. Creating a color palette
      4m 56s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      3m 34s
    5. Applying color to shapes and graphics
      3m 56s
  4. 20m 36s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 9s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 19s
    3. Searching and filtering layers
      3m 11s
    4. Using layer comps effectively
      3m 4s
    5. Using automatic layer selection
      2m 53s
  5. 29m 2s
    1. Using vector shapes vs. pixel shapes
      3m 31s
    2. Creating vector shapes
      5m 2s
    3. Working with fills and strokes
      4m 36s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      7m 47s
    5. Importing images
      3m 57s
    6. Cropping and resizing images
      4m 9s
  6. 28m 48s
    1. Planning your project
      3m 13s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      6m 40s
    3. Using a grid system
      8m 28s
    4. Developing a layout with shape layers
      4m 4s
    5. Making pixel-perfect adjustments
      6m 23s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Using point text vs. paragraph text
      2m 10s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      2m 47s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      2m 41s
    4. Inserting placeholder text
      4m 2s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      2m 37s
    6. Creating and using paragraph styles
      6m 11s
    7. Creating editable 3D text
      2m 51s
  8. 26m 54s
    1. Understanding layer styles
      7m 0s
    2. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 23s
    3. Creating better bevels
      6m 9s
    4. Simulating metallic textures
      5m 8s
    5. Saving and applying layer styles
      2m 48s
    6. Turning layer styles into independent layers
      2m 26s
  9. 50m 23s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      54s
    2. Organizing page structure
      2m 29s
    3. Adding master elements
      5m 37s
    4. Creating navigation
      4m 36s
    5. Working with photographs
      4m 0s
    6. Working with text
      8m 31s
    7. Creating media placeholders
      7m 22s
    8. Creating buttons
      7m 15s
    9. Creating form fields
      7m 54s
    10. Simulating pages with layer comps
      1m 45s
  10. 33m 38s
    1. Understanding slicing
      2m 4s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      4m 15s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      4m 3s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      5m 3s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 17s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 56s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      5m 34s
    8. Using the Image Generator (NEW)
      3m 26s
  11. 10m 40s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      1m 25s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      2m 54s
    3. Assembling a sprite
      4m 51s
    4. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 30s
  12. 18m 6s
    1. Creating a basic action
      5m 28s
    2. Exploring batch processing
      2m 55s
    3. Creating droplets
      3m 20s
    4. Using the Fit Image command
      4m 5s
    5. Using the Image Processor
      2m 18s
  13. 6m 56s
    1. Integrating PSD files with Dreamweaver
      3m 22s
    2. Integrating PSD files with Fireworks
      1m 59s
    3. Integrating PSD files with Muse
      1m 35s
  14. 50s
    1. Goodbye
      50s

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