Join Nigel French for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a bevel effect, part of Logo Design Techniques.
- Let's create this 3-D bevel effect. I'm going to come to the layers panel and I'm going to turn off the type layer and the finish layer and come to the start layer. The start layer is the shape of the wings. To create this, I traced half of it and then reflected it, joined the two together, and we have applied to this a steel radial gradient. The gradients I'll be using come from the gradients metals swatches.
OK, I'm going to start out with a line segment tool, and I'm going to draw a line like so, constraining that to a straight line by holding the shift key. To this, I'm going to apply a 10-point stroke, and I want the stroke color to be a 30 percent gray. I'm then going to apply a variable width profile to it, width profile number four. Let's zoom in on that and see what we have.
I want the width profile direction to change, I can't do that right there, but if I come to my stroke panel, I can do it there. And I also want to edit that width profile, so I'm going to come to my width tool and make it a little wider as it reaches the center. Now just before I go any further, let me say a word or two about the background. We're going to have three copies of this background. There's the one we're looking at, that will provide the background radial gradient.
There's one that will become part of the whole structure of the whole pattern, and there's a third one that's going to go on top that will be a clipping mask. For now, I'm going to come to my layers panel and drill down to my start layer, the contents of my start layer. I'm going to lock the background shape that we have. I'll press "r" to access my rotate tool, and then alt + click on that anchor point. I want to rotate copies of that spoke through minus eight degrees.
Having got one, I'll press command or control + d until we bring it to the center. I'll then press command or control + a, since I only have the one layer visible I'm only selecting content on this layer, and I'm now going to reflect that across the vertical axis, making a copy. I will then select all of that and we will group that together.
Let's now come to our background. I'll select the background, and I'm going to copy it and paste it in front. On the copy that is in front, I'll give it an eight-point stroke and no fill. I'll come back and lock the original background. Now I'm going to create an ellipse drawn from the center point. This should have no fill, and the same gray eight-point stroke.
I'll press C to access my scissors tool, and I'm going to break the ellipse there and the equivalent point on the other side. Delete the top portion, now switch to the pen tool, and we'll pick up that open path and connect that to the outside shape. To do so, we're going to click and drag. And I didn't quite get that right, I'm going to have to come and move that down in minute, but I'll do the same on the other side.
First of all deselect the stroke, click on the open end point, and then click and drag. Let's just zoom in on this one, select it with the direct selection tool. I'm now just going to nudge it down. Also with the direct selection tool, I'll pull down that center point and possibly just adjust the nature of that curve like so. So I'm now ready to select all, and from the object menu, come to the path option, and outline the stroke, turning all of those strokes into fills, and then come to the pathfinder panel and uniting them all as one.
The next thing I want to do is clip all of the pieces of the art that go outside the wing's shape. So I'll come to the layers panel. We have this version that is locked. We're going to select that, copy it, select what is now my compound path, and paste in front of that, command or control + f. Now on the copy that I pasted in front, this is going to become the clipping mask shape.
But I need to first of all set its fill to the 30 percent gray, and its stroke to the 30 percent gray as well, and we need to have an eight-point stroke. And I now want to expand that so there's just one shape that is the size of the artwork that we want to clip, and one more step before I can make it into a clipping mask, and that is to unite what was formerly the fill and the stroke together.
Now on my layers panel, I can extend the selections to the compound path beneath by holding down the shift key and come to clipping mask, make. Now to add the bevel effect to the contents of that clipping group. So I'm going to come and click on edit contents, and then to my effect menu, 3-D, extrude and bevel. Essentially, I want the position to be front. But I do need to add just a little bit of angle to it so that we can really see the effect that we're applying.
Right now I'll turn on the preview. You see, we're not really seeing much of an effect, and won't until we just adjust this. So I'm going to adjust the X axis. I'm actually going to do it numerically so that I can get it the same as I did before, I'm going to go for minus five. And then I'm going to change the perspective so that it's not entirely uniform. I'm going to change the perspective to 60. Unfortunately, the preview at this point may let me down, and in fact it has.
But I know that from doing this previously, I want to reduce the number of blend steps, because I don't want to end up with something that's too complicated. I'll reduce that down to three, and then I'm going to change the lighting direction to be head-on, like so. And things now do restore to something like normal, so when I click OK, let's keep it selected but press command or control + h to just hide the selection edges.
So there we see the bevel effect, and I've deliberately made it as simple as possible by reducing the number of blend steps. So I now want to add a gradient to my artwork. I didn't want to apply the bevel effect to the artwork that had the gradient because it would have rasterized the gradient, so my workaround is this: I'm going to expand that clipping group. I just want the contents of the clipping group selected, command or control C, command or control + f.
I'm now going to apply the gradient to that. Just before I do, though, let's remove the extrude and bevel effect from the copy. And then I'll come and apply the chrome gradient to that and I'm going to change the blending mode to overlay. I'll press command or control H to hide my edges. Now I could go one step further here and divide this, so that we get more of a reflection.
I think I'll do that, so I am going to go back to my layers. I find it useful to work with the layers here when we've got some relatively complex artwork going on. I'll turn my edges back on. I'm going to lock that one. I just want this one here. I'm also going to lock the clipping mask. I'll choose my line tool and just draw a line there, and then let's move that line down.
So with the line and the artwork that has the gradient applied to it, I'm now going to divide that. And that's going to allow me to select just that half and I've double clicked on that to get to my isolation mode, and then reverse the direction on the gradient. So now let's come back to the artwork. Now let's leave isolation mode and I'll come back to my layers and I'll turn my type player on.
Now what was so tricky about this was having the three versions of the wing shape, one that provides the gradient in the background, one that actually gets its stroke outlined and combined with the rest of the artwork, and then one that serves as the clipping shape. And I've found that using the layers and drilling down through those layers really helped me keep track of what was what.
- Generating logo ideas
- Choosing the right typeface
- Designing with simple shapes
- Adding shine, texture, beveled edges, and transparency
- Designing with negative space
- Choosing logo colors
- Preparing final files