By using a combination of shapes drawn with the Pen tool, and applied Bevel and Emboss effects, you can create an image of a sword in Photoshop. This tutorial, for intermediate-level Photoshop users, details techniques that can help shorten the time required to draw, shade and add textures to an object. Basic knowledge of the drawing procedures used with the Pen tool is required to complete the illustration.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Adobe Photoshop
- Computer with graphics capability
Open a new document in Photoshop sized to meet the needs of your printed image or digital screen display. Begin by drawing the shape of the sword's blade on a new layer above the background layer, with the Pen tool. Set the drawing mode to "Work Path" by clicking on the corresponding icon in the tool settings box at top left below the menu bar.
Fill the base colour of the blade by selecting a light blue-grey from the colour palette. Activate the Paths palette if it is not visible by selecting "View" from the menu bar at top, then "Show Paths." In the Paths palette, click on the filled circular icon at lower left to fill the shape outlined by your drawn path.
Create a bevel to the sword's blade by selecting "Layer" from the menu bar at top, then "Bevel and Emboss." In the dialogue box that appears, set the Style to "Inner Bevel" and the Technique to "Chisel Hard." Adjust the sliders for the settings that are appropriate to the size and shape of the blade you have drawn. This is best accomplished by checking the box for the "Preview" option at upper right of the Bevel and Emboss palette, then watching the effect that adjusting the sliders will have on the blade. In the example presented here, the Depth was set to 80 per cent and the size to 18 pixels.
Draw a hilt for the sword on a new layer, using the Pen tool, and fill it with a yellow-gold colour. Create a metallic shading and texture by selecting "Layer" from the menu bar at top, then "Bevel and Emboss." Set the Style to "Inner Bevel" and the Technique to "Soft." Set the Gloss Contour to "Ring Double," which can be found by clicking on the small drop-down arrow icon next to the default Gloss Contour icon. Ring Double is selected by clicking on the third icon from the left, on the bottom row.
Draw a pommel (handle) for the sword on a new layer, using the Pen tool, and fill it with the same yellow-gold colour that you applied to the hilt. Use the same Bevel and Emboss settings that you applied to the hilt.
Add a glinting effect to the sword's blade by selecting "Filter" from the menu bar at top, then "Render," then "Lens Flare". Position the small cursor (shaped like a "plus"symbol) at the tip of the sword and adjust the slider for the brightness of the Lens Flare to suit your purposes.
Add a second Lens Flare effect on the edge of the blade, to represent light reflected off of a sharp, angled metallic surface, using the same procedure as in the previous step. Your finished Photoshop sword is ready for use, and by merging the layers that contain the sword elements, it can be copied and pasted into other Photoshop files for use in digital illustrations. (Merge by hiding the background layer, then select "Layer" from the menu bar at top, then "Merge Visible.")