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How to create an embossed stem effect is our starting point. We've got the rings on one layer, the type on another, and then the background layer has a Gradient Overlay and a Pattern Overlay applied to it. I'm going to go to the Layer Style dialog box for the question mark and to Bevel and Emboss and the style I'm after is, not surprisingly, Emboss. And I want this to be a Chisel Hard. I'm going to increase the Depth to about 260.
I'm going to leave the Size pretty much where it is and then I'm just going to apply a little bit softening to that. I don't want to see the shadows and the highlights of the bevel and emboss so strongly, so I'm going to sample the colors of those from the background of the paper. And now to make the question mark look like it is being pushed up from the paper, I'm going to go to my Blending Options and turn the Fill Opacity down to zero, so we're not seeing the color of that question mark but we're just seeing the color of the paper itself.
And the letter is defined by its Bevel and Emboss highlight and shadow. Next, I'm going to apply a Drop Shadow and I don't want the Drop Shadow to be as pronounced as this so I'm going to change the color. I'm going to sample the color from the paper, then I'm going to soften the shadow by increasing its Size, and I'm going to reduce the opacity of the shadow down to about 30%. And we can just about see what that's doing. It should be subtle.
And finally for the question mark I'm going to add an Outer Glow and as we've done before, I'm going to sample the color of this from the color of the paper and I'm going to soften it quite a lot, 40 pixels, and I'm going to change the blend mode of this to Multiply and reduce its opacity to about 35%. And now if I just turn that on and off, we can see what that one's doing. Okay, so there are all the effects, applied to the question mark. Now all I need to do is copy those effects to the rings and to do that I'm just going to hold down my Option+Drag or my Alt+Drag and drag the fx badge to the Rings layer.
So all that remains for me to do now is just reduce the Fill Opacity of the rings layer. Dial that down to zero and then all we are seeing is the embossing effect and not the actual fill color of that layer. And there is our finished embossed stem.
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