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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday Helper - Bevels

One really cool tool in Photoshop is Bevels.  Bevels can take a flat one dimension shape and add some height and form to it, taking it to a 2-dimensional shape.

I use Photohop Elements 10, your software bevels might be slightly different.  You'll find the bevels in the layer styles (which is the button with the 2 overlapping rectangles).

You will be presented with a set of 10 bevel styles.  Here are the names of those 10 styles.

If you take a layer and apply one of these bevels to it, here's what they will look like without any tweaking.  I've applied the matching layer style to each block so you can see the difference between the bevels.

After you've applied any kind of layer style, you'll see an FX placed to the far right of the layer in your layers palette.  If you click on the FX, you can then edit your style.

For layer styles, you can adjust the lighting angle, size and direction of your bevel shape.  

Here's an example of some edits.  The changes can be very subtle so you have to look closely to notice the differences.

Not that we know more about bevels, what can you do with them??  The place I use bevels most is on photos, mats and frames.  I like to take a paper frame or one that I've matted behind a photo and give it some body and substance by adding a bevel.

Here's a blue paper frame:

Now look at it after I've added a bevel.  Notice how the outer edges got a little lift and the inner mat has some body too.

Here's an adorable paper frog.

And now the frog with a bevel.

And finally a paper journal tag.

It gets a bit of a lift on the edges when you add a bevel.

Phew, that's a lot of talk about bevels!!  But they can be very fun to work with and experiment with.  And when you have a powerful tool called "UNDO", you can always give them a try and start over if you don't like it.  Wouldn't it be nice if life had a handy undo button??!!  Have a great week!

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