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  • i'm looking for a special effect/filter


    i am looking for a very special effect, and i'm not sure how i can achieve it with photoshop cs2 or other freeware programmes ...

    the effect i want to achieve:
    imagine you are in some kind of level editor, in a game, and you create a green field of some kind. now you take the "mountain" tool, and you can drag (after setting the sun to one spot) mountains out of the green field. the mountains look like mountains, because the green on one side gets darker (shadows), and on the other lighter (sun). with another tool, you can build valleys.

    i am looking for this effect in order to create sidebars and top navigation bars on my weblog - it doesn't have to be some "pro" 3d stuff, but i didn't find anything proper in the photoshop filter, and the "emboss" layer function isn't working well enough.

    here are 2 examples of what i'm looking for - just better looking, higher resolution, more options than with photoshop.


  • #2
    you can do that in photoshop with layer effects (double click layer) and go down to bevel and emboss - check mark that and select it to change settings..hit OK! There ya go! Have fun!
    | Valerie |
    "Make sure the fortune that you seek is the fortune that you need"
    -Ben Harper


    • #3
      Thank you for the extremely fast reply - sorry for my bad English, that layer effect was what I meant with "emboss layer function" in my first posting.

      The effect is okay, but it doesn't really look properly, even if I play around with the settings. I remember doing an effect like this a few years ago (7?) with some font creating programme (evaluation), and it was far better, smoother, more realistic et cetera.

      Do you know any other programmes (nothing like 3D Max, Blender or Posre please, it would take years for me to read the tutorials) which can do that better than that layer effect?

      And thanks again for your nearly instant reply


      • #4
        I can offer you more help if you can offer me a better reference image that displays exactly what you are going for. Because based on what you've showed me, I can't visualize what YOUR view of better than this is.... :P

        If you want a 3D sphere, you can use Illustrator 3D revolve capabilities...
        | Valerie |
        "Make sure the fortune that you seek is the fortune that you need"
        -Ben Harper


        • #5
          I'll try to explain the whole mess a bit better:

          I want to create proper 3d menus for my blog (which I have to redesign completely - again).

          Now, I'm want to "emboss" everything that is NOT outside the 2 vertical lines and that is NOT in the main frame where the main text is; that leaves us 50px on the left side, then the 200px at the top, and the 300px menu on the right side.

          I will create 3 different graphics and divs and put them together, that isn't the issue - I just wanted to show you what I actually aim for.

          Now, for the effect .. the photoshop emboss effect somehow looks .. too cheap. No proper reflection on the side where the "light" comes from, no proper, smooth shadowing ... I guess I want the whole thing to look a bit more realistic.

          I don't find a picture on the internet ... hmmm ... perhaps you understand what I mean if you think of the keywords "chrome" and "cool animated movies" ?

          I found this on google which shows how I created this stuff with that ancient font creation program 7 years ago (some Ulead product, I think):

          (the pic is shit, but the quality is not the point - just want to show how that tool in the other program worked)

          it worked like a level editor really, you could design some shape you want to make "mountains" with (square, circle et cetera.), then basically the same options as the "emboss" layer ones in ps (just way more), and in the end, the whole thing looked more or less photo realistic.

          Thanks Design VHL, your help is very much appreciated !


          • #6
            Try the filter -> Lighting effects.

            You can assign a channel as a height map (white = high, black = low), and set light angle, colour, etc, to get a much more realistic effect than with a simple bevel and emboss. It's really more effort than I'd go to for buttons on a web site, but it would probably give you the kind of thing you're looking for.


            • #7
              Sorry, I'm really no PS pro ... I don't know how to assign the channels as height map.

              Here's the PS2 CS lighting menu I am fighting with at the moment
              Last edited by Torvon; 01-21-2008, 10:38 PM.


              • #8
                This is fun.
                Free for non-commercial use.


                • #9
                  It's actually pretty straighforward. Try this and you should see what I mean.

                  1) Create a new document. In that document, create a new layer, and call it "Button".

                  2) Create a rectangular selection on the button layer. Fill it with your favourite colour.

                  3) Without deselecting, switch to your channels palette, and press the new channel button at the bottom of your palette. You should now have a white rectangle on a black background. Press ctrl (cmd on mac) and d to deselect.

                  4) Go to filter -> blur -> gaussian blur. You need to blur with quite a large value, but the exact number depends on your document size. I picked 18px.

                  5) Now click back on the RGB channel at the top to see your document again. You should now see the box you created back in step 2. Switch back to your layers palette and make sure you are on the right layer.

                  6) Go to filter -> render -> lighting effects. At the bottom rightof the dialogue box is "Texture channel." Choose the channel you created earlier. This is your height map.

                  7) Fiddle with the settings to get what your want. Mostly you'll probably want to pull around the circle thingy on the left.

                  8) click "OK" in lighting effects, and marvel at your button.


                  • #10
                    PrintDriver, that is FUN! There goes the rest of my evening!!
                    This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                    "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PrintDriver
                      This is fun.
                      Free for non-commercial use.
                      UGH, (memories of first graphic course rekindled). Not that it wasn't fun, but seeing other people's animations with it was barftastic...nothing says acid trip like some guy who mapped a rainbow texture on his landscape with an erratic camera angle at 60 fps.


                      • #12
                        @ Hewligan:

                        I'm having troubles with your description.

                        New document, new layer, make button via selection->fill.
                        Go to channels, new channel -> I see the selection still, but the inside of the selection is black, as the background of the new channel is - the inside doesn't turn white.

                        That seems to be the problem - what am I doing wrong?



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