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In this movie, I'm going to introduce you to gloss and surface contours, both of which affect Bevel and Emboss. And while they're a little tricky to understand, even a little bit of experimentation with these options can make a big difference in your images. So, I've gone ahead and zoomed in on the word spiders here and I'm going to expand it. And notice that we've got three effects, one of which appears behind the letters Drop Shadow and two of which appear inside the letters Bevel and Emboss and inner shadow. We need to turn inner shadow off, if we're going to have any understanding of what's going on here so that we can Bevel and Emboss by itself.
Then go ahead and double-click on Bevel and Emboss, in order to bring up the Layer Style dialogue box which as you can see I've scooted well over to the right, so that we can see what we're doing. There's our gloss contour and rather than affecting opacity as our contour does for our shadows and glow effects, gloss contour affects luminosity. So, I'm going to go ahead and click on the little graph icon to bring up the contour editor dialog box. So just as with the histogram, the left side of the graph indicates black and the right side indicates white, and then you're mapping those luminous levels from black at the bottom to white at the top.
So currently black is black over here in the bottom left corner and white is white up here in the upper right corner. And then of course, your mid tones would be here in the center. Let's say I want to darken the overall effect. And I just go ahead and click to set a point in the center here and then drag it down and that's going to darken the effect uniformly. While allowing the highlights to survive over here, in the upper right corner. Another option is to brighten the shadows and tone down the midtones. And so, what I'm going to do is take the blacks all the way up to white.
Now at the top of the graph, now that's not really showing us any bright shadows at this point and the reason is because the shadows were pretty light in the first place. So, I'm going to drag this down and then in other words I need to move this area up if I'm going to lighten those shadows and then I'll go ahead and move this over and I'll drag this up a little, its a little tricky working with curves some time. And I'm going to take this guy up. What I'm trying to avoid is any flattening, like I'm having at the bottom of the graph here, because that'll end up posterizing the effect by which I mean, you'll change a bunch of luminence level to black in this case.
You can see that we're going from bright shadows down to dark mid-tones and back up to bright highlights. It's unlikely you're really going to spend that much time inside the contour editor when you're mapping a glass contour. What you might prefer to do instead, is just choose from the presets that ship along with Photoshop, and I'll give you a great example here. I'm going to Esc out of the dialog box and switch over to this other image, which is showing us our gold text, but it doesn't look gold at all. It looks like yellow plastic. We can turn this yellow plastic into gold in a matter of seconds.
I'm going to double-click on Bevel and Emboss, in order to bring up the dialog box here. And I'm going to switch the gloss contour from linear to ring double. And this is a great use for ring double, by the way. It's almost as if it was designed for gloss contours. And then I decided I wanted to reverse the direction of the light, so I switched the direction from up to down. And ended up with this effect here, and that's all there is to it. A moment ago, we were seeing this effect and then, you know, ten seconds later we end up with this thanks to the application of a preset gloss contour.
Alright, I'm going to switch back to my spider image here. Double-click on Bevel and Emboss again. Now, let's take a look at the Contour option which is inset under Bevel and Emboss. And the reason is, it's not an independent layer effect, rather it allows you to apply a surface contour that is a contoured volumetric surface on these letters, for example, to the Bevel and Emboss effect. Now just so we can see what we're doing, I'm going to open up this size value. So I'm going to set it to 50 pixels, which pretty much consumes the entirety of the letters as you can see here.
So now we're steeping up and then steeping down. It's almost like each one of the letters is a kind of pyramid. Now I'll click on Contour, in order to select the function and turn it on. And then, I'm going to change my Contour setting to the rig preset. And notice now what we get. This very map that we're seeing right here is the shape of the contour, it's the shape of the surface of these letters. So, we're actually mapping this into the letter forms. So it's as if we're creating a kind of 3D extrusion.
And that's the reason, by the way that rounded steps preset even exists. Notice when you select it, you end up getting these round forms like so. And then if you want to compress these forms inside the letters, you can change the range value. So, notice as I take this value down in 10% increments, we're progressively slipping the contour into those letter forms. I'm going to take this value up to 80%. That looked best to me. And then I'm going to switch back over to Bevel and Emboss.
And I'm going to change the Gloss Contour to another one of the presets, rolling slope. And then finally, I'm going to take the altitude value down to 40 degrees. And I'll change the direction from up to down, in order to produce this effect. It seemed to me at this point that the Drop Shadow needed some work, so I'll go ahead and switch to the drop shadow. And change its blend mode from multiply to linear burn to give it some more color. And then I'll take the opacity value down to 70% and I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac in order to accept my change.
And then press Ctrl+0, Cmd+0 on the Mac, in order to zoom out. And that is my final effect. And just to give you a sense of what we've been able to accomplish here, I'll press the F12 key in order to revert the image. So, this is the before image and this is the after image. Thanks to our ability to apply gloss and surface contours to the Bevel and Emboss effect.
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