Studying the Emboss Layer Style

Using Layer Styles in Adobe Photoshop is the most popular method of adding effects, such as Shadow and Stroke, to a layer without resorting to complexity. With the right knowledge and experience, any effects can be achieved. But for such achievements it is necessary to understand what each setting of a particular style means and how it affects the overall picture of your work. In today’s tutorial, we’ll learn about Stamping settings, which includes the Outline and Texture style.

Embossing is considered the most powerful and adaptable layer style tool in Adobe Photoshop. In most cases, Embossing is used to add a 3D effect, by illuminating individual parts and adding shadows, but the settings do not end there. If you take into account most of the style settings, then you can create such effects as the reflective surface of chrome or glass, a sharp stone and much more!

The main Embossing settings window, in the image below, shows what possibilities this style gives, such as the height of the cone, the direction of light, texture, and more.

Step 1 – Style

In Group Structure (Structure) drop-down menu Style (Style) is established Style and location of the bevel and includes:

Outer bevel (External bevel): The bevel is installed on the outside of the figure.

Inner bevel (Internal bevel): The bevel is set from the inside of the figure.

Emboss (Stamping): bevel is installed both from the outside and from the inside.

Pillow emboss (Contour stamping): as in the previous style, it is installed on both sides, but in the opposite direction.

Stroke emboss (Emboss): applies, provided that the Layer Style is used.

Stroke (Stroke), bevel is set to the stroke.

We recommend that you view all the styles in practice with the option enabled. Preview (Viewing), so it will be easier to understand what each of them represents.

In the example below, the work of two styles is demonstrated, Inner bevel (Internal bevel), which sets the bevel from the inside, and two-sided Emboss (Embossed).

Step 2 – Technique (Method)

Next menu Technique (Method), allows you to set the overall look of the stamping, includes:

Smooth (Smooth): bevel smooth, edges rounded.

Chisel hard (Hard cut): The bevel is hard, the edges are sharp, beveled.

Chisel soft (Soft cut): beveled edges, but relaxed.

View in mode Preview (Preview) and see for yourself.

The following example demonstrates the technique for performing the two most used methods. Smooth (Smooth) on the left, and Chisel hard (Hard cut) on the right, gives the effect of the text, as if he had just been carved out of stone.

Step 3 – Depth (Depth)

Depth slider allows you to reduce or increase embossing. The smaller the percentage, the smaller the 3D effect and vice versa.

In the example below, you will see how increasing the Depth parameter affects the three-dimensionality of the text.

Step 4 – Direction
This feature allows you to choose how the embossing will be extruded towards you or from you.

The following example demonstrates the work of two directions, “Up” selects text from the surface, “Down” presses the text.

Step 5 – Size

Setting the Size parameter sets the total size of the embossing. The fewer pixels are set, the smaller the bevel, close to the edge of the shape, but the higher, the larger the embossing becomes.

In the image below, the text on the left has a small bevel, while on the right the size is much larger.

Step 6 – Soften

If Embossing has created sharp corners, with the Soften function, everything will be much softer. Will help create a soft bevel.

In the following example, you can see how the Softener parameter helps to smooth and create a soft bevel.

Step 7 – Angle and Altitude

Group Shading (Shading) is responsible for the lighting. The Angle and Height options set the direction of the light. Angle sets the horizontal direction of the light source; Height sets the vertical position of the source. If desired, you can drag the crosshair in a circle without using numerical values ​​to make it more convenient for you. Enabled mode Use Global Light (Global Illumination) synchronizes the Angle and Height settings with other Layer Styles, such as Shadow or Gloss.

The example below shows the effect of changes in the Angle and Height parameters on the direction of the light source.

Step 8 – Gloss Contour (Gloss Contour)

This tool is the secret to the success of creating stunning glass and metal effects. The gloss contour sets the transition of the shadow and light of the Stamping. A linear contour creates a natural bevel, while a contour in the form of a sine wave can create an attractive reflective effect. When the option is on Anti-aliased (Smoothing) the jagged edges will be smoothed.

In the image below, you can see how the text on the left, which has nothing in common with the metal, turns into a powerful effect when changing the Gloss Contour settings.

Step 9 – Highlight Mode (Highlight Mode) and Opacity (Opacity)

Drop down menu Highlight mode(Backlight mode) sets the light overlay mode. Screen(Screen) is the default, but other modes are at your disposal as well. Linear dodge(Linear clarifier) ​​or Color dodge(Lightening the basics) to give a lively picture. You can also change the color of the lighting. Mostly white is used, but if you want to imitate different shades of light, you can change the shade of color. Slider Opacity(Opacity) adjusts the light intensity at the edges.

The following example clearly demonstrates how changing the Backlight Mode and Opacity changes the style a bit, but also gives warmth to the work.

Step 10 – Shadow Mode (Shadow Mode) and Opacity (Opacity)

From the drop-down menu Shadow mode(Shadow mode) You can select the shadow overlay mode on the bevel. The default is set Multiply(Multiplication). Optionally, you can change the blending mode to Linear burn(Linear dimmer) or Color burn(Blackout basics). You can also change the color of the lighting. Mostly black is used, but if you want to imitate different shades of light, you can change the hue of the color. Slider Opacity(Opacity) adjusts the intensity of the shadow.

In the image below you can see how the tree is covered with a thin layer of moss as the parameters change.

Step 11 – Save and Restore Defaults

Each of your Layer Styles settings can be saved and loaded by default. Make Default (Use by default) Adobe Photoshop will save the actual settings and will use them every time the program is turned on, by default. Reset to default(Restore default value) will return the changed settings back to their original default settings. Especially useful if you decide to experiment, and then return everything back.

Step 12 – Contour

The contour in Emboss style sets the overall look for the bevel. Anti-aliased(Smoothing) smooth out all the irregularities of the contour. Slider Range(Range) determines the scale of the contour. In general, it is better to see once than read a hundred times.

The following example clearly shows how with a contour with an inverted letter “U” the bevel takes on another shape and moves away from the edge.

Step 12 – Texture (Texture)

The texture is the next subsection of the Emboss style, which allows you to impose not just a texture on a bevel, but a relief map of a texture. The relief map makes the surface ribbed, raising or lowering some areas of the layer, creating an interesting effect.

On the menu Pattern (Pattern) You can select a texture from the Adobe Photoshop set to use as a bump map.

Snap to Origin (Snap to the origin) to align the texture with the document.

You can click on the little button Create new preset from the current pattern (Create a set with the current pattern) to create a new texture set, incorporating the current texture into it.

The following settings Scale (Scale) and Depth (Depth) allow you to change the size and intensity of the relief, respectively.

Parameter Invert (Invert) changes the white areas to black and vice versa.

When the parameter is activated Link with Layer(Link to layer), when you close the Layer Style window and move the shape around the document, the elevation map will move with the layer. With the Layer Style window open, you can drag the texture onto the canvas as needed with the mouse.

The example below shows what effect the texture gives your work. On the left, when the depth is set to “0”, it does not affect the style, unlike the example on the right.


We hope you understand everything. We wish you success in studying our favorite graphics editor Adobe Photoshop.

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