Simple Beveled Text

Simple Beveled Text

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Difficulty: Beginner

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In this short beginners level tutorial we show you how simple it is to give text a 3D, beveled appearance.

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Step 1

Create a New Pixelmator document (File > New). I have added a subtle gradient to the background layer using the Gradient Tool (G).

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Using the Text Tool (T), add your chosen text. For the font, I have chosen Arial Black at 96pt.

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Step 2 - Bevel Highlight

Create a new layer above the text.

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Select the text outline by CMD clicking the text layer’s thumbnail. Fill the selection with white.

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With the Marquee Tool selected (M), nudge the selection down and to the right by 1px.

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Hit Backspace to clear the selection.

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Select the text outline and goto Filter > Blur > Gaussian.

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Change the opacity to 60%.

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Step 3 - Bevel Shadow

Create a new layer above the text.

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Select the text outline by CMD clicking the text layer’s thumbnail. Fill the selection with black.

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With the Marquee Tool selected (M), nudge the selection up and to the left by 1px.

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Hit Backspace to clear the selection.

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Select the text outline and goto Filter > Blur > Gaussian.

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The shadow looks slightly out of align, let’s fix this. Clear the selection (CMD D) and using the Move Tool (V), nudge the shadow down and to the right by 1px.

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Step 4 - Drop Shadow

Let’s add a further level of depth by adding a drop shadow.

Create a new layer below our text.

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Select the text outline and fill the selection with black (CMD ALT F).

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De-select the current selection (CMD D) and with the Move Tool (V), nudge the shadow down and to the right slightly.

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Add a Gaussian Blur (Filter > Blur > Gaussian).

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Change the opacity to 60%.

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Step 5 - Clipping Mask

The final step is to add a very subtle gradient overlay using a Clipping Mask.

Create a new layer above our text.

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Right click the layer and select Create Clipping Mask.

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Using the Gradient Tool, create a linear gradient from white to black as I have below:

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Change the opacity to 8%.

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Conclusion

There we have it. A beginners level tutorial to creating really simple beveled text, but don’t stop there! Why not try layering various bevels or playing with different Clipping Masks to see what effects you can achieve. Thanks for reading, see you next time!

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Comments

  • kimti leung says:

    The First.

  • AJ_X says:

    Great Tutorial!

  • James Webber says:

    Hey I like the tutorial, I’d be curious if you had some sort of an outline in mind when you create images like this.  Basically how you decide what individual elements are needed and specifically what they add to the overall picture.

    For example, you have two individual shadows, a highlight, and a light gradient over your original color.  How are these individually useful to the effect, and how to they combine together?

    Also, why the garish purple?  (sorry, but do not like)

    • Ashley Rich says:

      James,

      In order give the illusion that our text is beveled and popping out of the page we have to think about how a light source would lighten/darken the text if it were a real object. Logically, if the light source were in the top left hand corner the upper left edges would catch the light and leave shadow regions in the lower right parts. Straight away you can see the need for the highlight and first shadow layers. 

      The second shadow isn’t really a necessity, it just adds to the impression that the text is sitting up off of the background layer. The larger and stronger the shadow the higher it will appear to be off of the page.

      The gradient, although subtle helps further suggest that we have a light source in the upper portion of the page.

      As for the color… Each to their own :)

  • Peter J says:

    Hi,

    This is a great tutorial for Pixelmator, which is a great app, but I think there might be a step missing. I was trying for ages to figure it out, and I think I did (after a refreshing night’s sleep!).

    In Step 2, after creating the outline, filling it with white, and then moving it down and to the right, you need to re-select the text outline by command clicking on that layer before you hit backspace. Otherwise, you simply wipe out your new fill entirely. This step also needs to be repeated for the bevel shadow in Step 3.

    In case this is a versions thing, I’m using Pixelmator 2.0.5. Hope it helps.

    Once again, thanks again for all the great tutorials! They’ve been an immense help!

    Peter.

    • Ashley Rich says:

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for the comment. In step 2 you are nudging the selection down and to the right by 1px, not the layer itself. Therefore the selection is never cleared so there should be no reason to re-select it. In Pixelmator if you have a selection active and one of the selection tools active the arrow keys nudge the selection and not the layer. Hope this helps.

      Thanks again for the feedback.

  • Andrea Paris says:

    Wow!! Thank you so much for this tutorial I love it.

  • Cod3monk3y says:

    Nice tutorial! I’ve been using PXM for a bit, but started to delve into some tutorials today. The command-click of a layer icon to select the contents was a pretty cool trick. Here’s the image I created based on this tutorial:

    Thanks!