What we'll do: Get around Inner Bevel's limit of bevels that are only 31 pixels wide.
What you'll need: PSPX, PSP9, or PSP8.
Start with a figure surrounded by transparency. You'll apply the bevel to this figure. It's probably easiest to start with a vector shape that has no stroke, like this:
If you'd rather start with a raster figure, try these steps instead of the ones here.
Duplicate the vector layer. Then double-click the vector object button on the duplicated layer to bring up the Vector Property dialog for the duplicated object. Click the Fill color box and change the fill color to medium gray (R: 128, G: 128, B: 128)
Click OK to close the Vector Property dialog. The image and Layers palette now look like this:
With the duplicated layer active, choose Image | Resize. Reduce the size by whatever factor is appropriate for a bevel that has a maximum width of 31. For example, if you want a bevel for your full-size shape to be no more than 62 pixels (2x31 pixels), set the new size to 50%. If you want the bevel to be no more than 93 pixels (3x31 pixels), set the new size to 33%. If you want the new bevel to be no more than 124 pixels (4x31 pixels), set the new size to 25%. Be sure that Resize All Layers is not selected:
Click OK. The image and Layers palette now look like this:
Convert the duplicated layer to raster by right-clicking its layer button in the Layers palette and choosing Convert to Raster Layer:
On the converted raster layer, apply Effects | 3D Effects | Inner Bevel. Set Width and other settings to give you the effect you want.
Resize the beveled gray shape to the size of your original shape using Image | Resize. Multiply the percentage you used in Step 3 by a factor that will bring the figure back to its original size. For example, if you used 50% for the reduced size, use 200% to get back to the original size:
If you used 33% for the reduced size, size up 300%. If you used 25%, size up 400%. Again, be sure that Resize All Layers is not selected.
Set the blend mode of the gray beveled shape layer to Overlay. The result will look like this:
Optional: Merge the two layers together with Layers | Merge | Merge Visible.
That's the basic approach. Here are a few optional steps you can use to refine your bevel:
If the shadows and highlights aren't distinct enough, duplicate the gray beveled layer (before you merge the layers). The blend mode for the duplicated layer should also be Overlay. Adjust the opacity of the upper layer if necessary. You can also try using Hard Light or Soft Light instead of Overlay on any gray beveled layer.
If the bevel isn't smooth enough, toggle on Lock Layer Transparency on the gray beveled shape layer and then apply Adjust | Blur | Gaussian Blur, using whatever setting looks best. (NOTE: This works correctly in PSPX, but transparency lock is not correctly observed in earlier versions of PSP.)
If the beveled shape turns out to be somewhat larger than the original shape, then before merging the layers, go to the original shape layer and select the transparent area outside the shape: right-click the object button on the Layers palette and choose Create Raster Selection, invert the selection with Selections | Invert (or press Ctrl+Shift+I). Make the gray beveled shape layer the active layer, and then press Delete to remove any part of that layer that falls outside the original shape. If you also have a duplicate gray bevel layer, then make that layer the active layer and press Delete to also remove any part of that layer that falls outside the orginal shape.
Here's an example of a 62-pixel bevel where I've duplicated the beveled shape layer, applied Gaussian Blur to each of the beveled shape layers, and deleted areas that fell outside the original shape:
Lori J. Davis
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