Adobe's Photoshop is one of the leading programs in the design industry, thanks in part to features that include the ability to apply bevels or embossing to text and shape elements. When creating graphics for the Web, particularly banners and buttons, designers find these tools especially useful.
The "Bevel and Emboss" feature in Photoshop allows you to apply highlights and shadows to text, shapes and other elements to give a 3D appearance. The text or shape appears to come toward you. Bevels and embosses in graphic design are similar to bevels in woodworking, in that you are altering the face of the object.
Because bevels and embosses result in a 3D appearance, you may use them to create navigational buttons for applications and websites. When paired with text and mouse-over effects, these buttons stand out from the rest of the website and can act as though the user has pressed them. Bevelled or embossed text can serve as headings and titles to draw attention to specific sections.
Photoshop allows you to alter aspects of the structure of the bevel and emboss. Adjustments for bevel or emboss depth, direction and distance as well as angle and colour, result in a range of possibilities. When you increase the depth of the bevel, Photoshop generates more drastic curves than a bevel with a smaller depth. You can choose from default styles and structures or customise your own bevel or emboss.
Photoshop includes several default styles, with preset structures, including inner bevel, outer bevel and pillow emboss. Each style has a different shape and overall appearance, and you can experiment with these styles or use them as a basis for your personalised effects. Furthermore, you can increase the 3D effect of a bevel or emboss by adding a drop shadow to your object after applying the bevel. The drop shadow further adds to the impression that your object is sitting above or in front of the background of the image, rather than on the same plane.
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