image part 1b-title
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Copyright © 2001, David Mutch & Visionary Voyager Corp. P/L

This part of the tutorial shows how to make soft outer bevels for objects or text using separate shadow and highlight objects.
With these methods you can create things that appear to be either above or below the plane of the page.

Associated with part 2 is a TIPS page on using Photo-Paint's different Fill Tools. Click here.


1. Create a new image.
Once again I used 200x200 pixels, 72 dpi and a background colour of 30% black.
If you have just previously created the image in the first tut of this series, the settings will automatically be remembered by Photo-paint so you just need to click OK on the Create New Image dialogue box.


2. Change the Paint colour to Powder Blue
(11th colour swatch from the top after the grayscale swatches). Left-click on the Powder Blue colour swatch on the colour palette. The paint swatch on the status bar changes to Powder Blue.


3. Create a new text object.
Select the Text tool and click inside you image.
Change the Text Tool Property Bar settings to: Font = AvantGarde Bk BT (or other narrow font), size = 150. Type the letter ‘B'.

Note: For text, this effect works best with a fairly narrow font.


4. Align the letter object to the centre of the image.
With the letter object selected, choose Object > Arrange > Align and Distribute and choose the ‘To Centre of Document' radio button then press OK. The ‘B' object is centred to the image.
5. Duplicate this object twice.
Either press CTRL+D twice or choose Object > Duplicate from the menu twice.


6. Rename the duplicated objects.
Double click the topmost ‘B' object in the Object Docker so the Object properties dialogue appears. Rename it‘shadow'.
Repeat this for the
other duplicated object, naming it ‘highlight".


7. Reorder the objects.
In the Object Docker, drag the original 'B' text object to be above all the other objects as shown here.

8. Turn on Lock Transparency.
Click the Lock Transparency icon (so it appears ‘in') either on the bottom left of the Object Docker or on the Mask/Object Toolbar.


9. Fill the 'black' object with black colour.
Make sure the Object Picker tool is still being used . Right-click on the topmost black colour swatch on the colour palette to change the Fill colour to black. Select the ‘shadow' object in the Object Docker, the fill this object using the Fill command from the menu ( Edit > Fill, then press OK in the 'Edit Fill and Transparency' dialogue) or use the Fill bucket tool from the Toolbox. The ‘shadow' object changes colour to black and retains its original boundary.

Click here to learn more about Photo-Paint's Fill Tools.


The tutorial continued...

10. Fill the white object with white colour.
In a similar manner to step 9, change the colour of the ‘white' object to white. If you prefer, after you change the Fill colour swatch to white, you can use the Edit > Repeat xxx command ( CTRL+L ) to repeat the previous action (Fill) .

11. Unlock the transparency.
Press the Lock Transparency icon again so it appears as NOT depressed (it's an on/off toggle switch!)


12. Blur the 'shadow' and 'highlight' objects.
Select the ‘shadow' object and apply a Gaussian Blur effect with radius of 3.0 or so ( Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur ). Repeat this for the 'highlight' object - after selecting it in the object Docker you can use the Effects > Repeat > Last Effect command or CTRL+F


13. Reposition the 'highlight' object.
Ensure the Object Picker tool is still the current tool. Select the ‘highlight' object in the Object Docker and, using your keyboard arrow keys, move it down 2 pixels and right 2 pixels (two key presses each).


14. Reposition the 'shadow' object.
Select the ‘black' object in the Objects Docker and move it up and left 3 pixels each direction using your keyboard arrow keys. You should end up with the image shown here ->


TIPS & Notes:

1. To increase the size of the Outer Bevel, move the highlight and shadow objects one or more pixels further.

2. You can try different angles and object opacities to achieve variants of the overall effect.

3. You can 'reverse' the effect by reversing the positions of the highlight and shadow objects.

4. For an indented soft bevel effect, reduce the object transparency of the shadow object to about 70% and the highlight to about 90% (use the slider in the Object Docker) and move the shadow far enough so that none of it shows on the opposite side of the topmost object.

5. This effect is fairly dependent on getting the right blur radius for the corresponding character thickness - the thinner the characters, the thinner you should make your blur radius. Fat characters can easily use blurs with a radius of 4 or 5 pixels while thinner, smaller characters will appear best using smaller blur radii such as 1.5 - 2.5


Here are some more examples:


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Copyright © 2001, David Mutch & Visionary Voyager Corp. P/L