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How to Edit Bevel and Emboss Effects in Photoshop CS6

Because Photoshop CS6 offers five bevel and emboss styles, you have a ton of options. Some are similar to those found with the shadow and glow effects, whereas others are unique. The Layer Style dialog box is divided into four panels.

How to use the Structure panel in Photoshop CS6

This panel contains the most relevant options:

  • Technique: These settings of Smooth, Chisel Hard, or Chisel Soft determine how soft or hard the edge of the bevel is. Chisel Hard works well with type and harder-edged elements. The image used a depth of 700% and a size of 8.

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  • Depth: Affects how raised or sunken the edge of the bevel or pattern appears.

  • Direction: For these settings, Up positions the highlight along the edge closest to the light source and the shadow on the opposite edge. Down does the opposite, positioning the shadow near the light source.

  • Size: Controls the size of the bevel or emboss effect.

  • Soften: Blurs the shading of the effect.

Add highlight and shadow on the Shading panel

Because of the 3-D nature of bevel and emboss effects, Photoshop has settings for Highlight and Shadow (each with separate Blend Modes and Opacity options) and Angle. Because bevels and embosses are more dimensional, an additional setting of Altitude affects the light source.

Create special effects with the Texture panel

In the Texture panel (click Texture on the left side of the Layer Style dialog box), you can apply a pattern onto your layer that creates a texture. Adjust the scale and depth of the pattern, and link the pattern to the layer, if desired.

If you link the pattern and layer, the pattern moves when you move the layer. The Snap to Origin command aligns the pattern origin with the document if you select the Link with Layer option. If you don’t select the option, the Snap to Origin command aligns the pattern to the upper-left corner of the layer.

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Use Photoshop CS6’s Contour panel

Contours change the distribution of the colors in the effect. You can use the various presets offered to create interesting, and sometimes bizarre, shadows, glows, bevels, and other effects.

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When to use the Edit Satin Effects panel

Use the Edit Satin Effects panel to adjust the color, blend modes, opacity, angle, distance, contour, and size.

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