Understanding Bevels

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Some style effects, such as Bevel & Reflect Environment and Bevel & Refract Background, offer the ability to create bevels.  This page takes a closer look at the bevel options.




Hard vs. Soft Bevels


Hard Bevel

Hard bevels create sharp edges and follow the

shape closely, even around sharp corners.

Soft Bevel

Soft bevels create rounded edges, but don't follow

the shape closely around sharp corners.



Hybrid Bevel

Hybrid bevels can be created by using both

hard and soft bevels in the same style layer.




Remapping Bevels



Remap Bevel properties can be used to give bevels additional sophistication.  When it comes to bevels, a remapping curve can be thought of as the bevel's profile.  In other words, the curve is what you'd see if you sawed the beveled shape in half and then looked at the cut end sideways.



Remapping a Bevel

A remap curve with ripples will give the bevel an interesting rippled appearance.






Best to Remap Hard Bevels

Remapped bevels often make the most sense when following corners closely.  In these cases

they will work better with the hard bevel option (left) than the soft bevel option (right).



Why do my bevels not match my curve?


It's important to understand that in most cases only the second half of the remap curve will be used, as shown in the following illustration.  This means that if you are trying to achieve a very specific beveling, you will want the desired bevel profile to be squashed into the second half of the curve.



Bevels Start Half Way

Because most bevels use the second half of the remapping curve, only the gentle hump of

the curve's latter half appears in the bevel.  The spikes of the curve's first half do not appear.



The reason that only the second half of the Remap Bevel curve is used is that the curve's first half is applied to the ordinarily-invisible portions of the shape that immediately surround it.  These regions become visible when the shape is given a soft edge, in which case the entire curve will be used.



Remap Bevel Feathered

Here's the previous example with a feathered area.  The feathering, which causes the shape to smoothly

blend into its surroundings, reveals parts of the shape that were previously invisible.  Now we can see the spiky

first half of the curve making a difference in the semi-transparent regions around the shape's periphery.




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