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Neurotic (0) Inmate
Newly admitted

Insane since: Oct 2004

posted posted 10-15-2004 23:12


I need some help. I was wondering how one could take a simple graphics, such as a plain color, and give it a realistic plastic look? The plastic look I am looking for is such as one of those Lance Armstrong "LiveStrong" braclets. I am would also like to know how to nicely make the text look engraved or etched into the plastic. Thanks.

(Edited by undergroundapple on 10-15-2004 23:26)

Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Beyond that line...
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 10-16-2004 08:47

Greetings and Salutations to the Newly Admitted!

I don't have a link right now for any good plastic effect tutorials and I'm sitting in my college cafe so I can't open PS and tell you step by step what to do. So I'll have to use my super memory recall powers to summon them out of the abyss that is my mind!!

Note: All this is useful if you have some knowledge of Photohsop

First off; I have no idea who Lance Armstrong is so I can't relate to the said braclets. But if you want to make a plastic effect then you have to know a few things.

First, the effect our eyes see of plastic is a play of shadows heck everything we see is a shadow matinee!

You've got to incorporate these shadows in such a way using Photoshop that they seem to be plastic like. How, this is seeing you're subject is light in color, is by adding a faint (not too faint) Inner Shadow. If you want it to be glossy then all gloss is is a very bright spot on your subject. Just use Bevel and Emboss and the curved contour to get that effect plus play around with Soften to make it nice and smooth just like plastic was meant to be!

Now you have a plastic object but it's partially invisible because it has no depth. Depth is how you see everything around you. The farther away somthing is from your eyes the more the depth. To mimic that in Photoshop we have Stroke and Drop Shadow. Since it's plastic and by what I read you are looking for a photo realisim then stroke shouldn't be too much thick just 1 or 2 px depending on the size of the subject, and it should be faint in color. If the subject is light then the stroke should be darker, preferably black, to show the depth.

Now to top it all off a fuzzy Drop Shadow indicating it's density. Since it's plastic it's going to be semi-transparent then the shadow must be pretty darn fuzzy so increase size and lower opacity to show the transparency. If the subject is not transparent then lower the size and increase the opacity.

Finally make sure the lighting is according to the light source of the gloss if there is any. That will ensure the photo realisim of the image. Do this is you intend to make the image photo realistic.

If you take note of these few concepts i.e. Lighting, Depth, Density, Gloss etc making photo realistic images will be much much easier. And of course if all this mumbo jumbo just pass over... your luck!!

No seriously if you still don't understand I could type in a short tutorial on how to do it once I get to my own PC.


Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: buttcrack of the midwest
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 10-16-2004 17:38

There are also about a million kinds of plastic. Not being a Lance Armstrong fan, maybe you could show me an example?
Specific help is way better/easier if we`re all on the same page.

Welcome to the Funny Farm.

Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Right-dead center
Insane since: Nov 2002

posted posted 10-16-2004 19:31

He's talking about these bracelets


Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Beyond that line...
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 10-17-2004 05:10

What bracelets the page don't load??

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 2 steps away from a los angeles curb
Insane since: Nov 2003

posted posted 10-17-2004 08:20

Now on to the engraving part ?

I've tried messing with layer styles, millions of combos, and still have dificulty finding realistic engraved lettering. I've gotten better on the 3d embossed and floating look. errr.... better in a limited sense, as in better than when I first started, but no where near the quality 3d lettering I see elsewhere. Especially those nifty rotating gold letters I get from XARA 3D... mmmm, 3d letter software...

But... I dont see a whole lotta engraved letter software or filters... and my attempts are haphazard at best, and poorly embossed most of the time...

Any quick tips on making engraved letters?

Is This Thing On?

Webbing; the stuff that sticks on your face when you stroll through Spider Forest

Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Beyond that line...
Insane since: Apr 2004

posted posted 10-17-2004 10:11

Strange how life takes sharp corners. One moment were talking about the Physics of Plastics and Lance Armstrongs bracelets the next were on a 3d train to engraving!

Oh well, UnkownComic if you've read all that stuff I wrote then by now you're clear on plasticsbut your question is engravings! OH MY!!

Both engraving and emboss are a play of shadows like everything else. You just have to keep note of where the light source is or you'll get something like the Lunar Landing photos, one direction light source shadow's in several directions!

Now emboss isn't very easy by me if you want the all powerful guru look I like to call or photo reality. Too much detail to tend to, you'll find yourself using alot of Lighting Effects although you can make an emboss very easily using Layer Effects but you'll need to do alot more to make them more appealing.

Engraving on the other hand is very very easy. Here's the simplest way to engrave:

-- Fill background with texture or color
-- New Layer (Soft Light)
-- Fill with any shape (color white)
-- Duplicate Layer and invert color
-- Select top layer and using arrow keys assign light source

There you now have an engraved shape. By assign light source I mean set the direction of the light i.e. left to right, top to bottom etc etc it can all be done using the arrows. If you want more detail add some texture to the engraving and using Ocean Ripple/Crystallize or the lasso tool roughen the edges to make it look more etched. Remember engravings are smooth and etchings are rough but of course you already knew that.

Hope that was helpful.

[edit]Just noticed this, me Paranoid rank change[/edit]

(Edited by templar654 on 10-17-2004 10:25)

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