Saturday, August 28, 2010

3D? Is it really necessary?

Sheet of paper, layout on paper, pretty much a 2D effect. But you can give the impression of a third dimension with bevels and drop shadows.

The most important is the drop shadow. This is what will make it seem like your elements and photos are popping off the page.

Below is a section without the drop shadows (except on the innter part of the flowers and leaves as provided by the designer).

Next is the section with an offset drop shadow. Vertical 3, Horizontal 3, Opacity 80, Blur 25. The color of the drop shadow is as important as the drop shadow itself. I have chosen a green from the layout then set the lightness to about 25. This type of drop shadow is most preferred.

Another option is a drop shadow without an offset. This is more subtle. I used Vertical 0, Horizontal 0, Opacity 90, Blur 15.

But what about beveling? This is where you take a flat object make it appear to have height and depth. PSP comes with it's own inner bevel and outer bevel plug-in but there are many other 3rd party plug-ins that can be installed, such as Super Blade Pro. Below without and then with PSP's inner bevel.

As you can see from the fifth image there are many controls within the inner bevel. Moving these will give you changes to your bevel. You can even change the color of your object. If you are going to do so though I would suggest you start out with the object being white.

Super Bladepro is one that I use most often. It is a plug-in that can be purchased from Flaming Pear. If you purchase it, you will be able to find many sites that have presets available for free or you can make and save your own. When using SBP the object you want to bevel must be selected or you will bevel the entire page. Not pretty, trust me. And under most circumstances you are going to want the object to start out white. Below is the title using a SBP preset that I made myself.

Template by Andrea Gold; "Inspired add-on" (c)Tracy Collins; Fonts: Century Schoolbooks, Comic Sans

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