Backgrounds: I came up with this tutorial when looking through Shirow's "Intron Depot 2 ". I noticed he uses a lot of CG backgrounds now which were really cool. However, I don't have 3D Studio Max or even Bryce I found a way to fake it in Photoshop..and now I share with you.
You will need Photoshop version 5 or higher to follow this tutorial and some familiarity with channels and layers.

Step 1: Define Shapes

Using your pen tool. Hold down the shift key and make a funky shape like you see here. Holding down the shift key constrains the line to a 45 or 90 degree angle. It helps keep thing clear later. When you are happy with your shape...hit the enter key by your numeric pad. This converts the penline into a selection of marching ants.

Step 2: Round the corners

Click on your channels pallate and create a new channel (alpha 1). Fill your selection with White and deselect it. Apply a gaussian blur of 5 or so pixels till the edges aren't so sharp. Hit Ctrl-L to bring up your levels dialog box and slide the black arrow and the white arrow toward the grey arrow in the middle. Notice how your edges become crispy again but now the corners are all smooth? Nifty.

Step 3: Repeat as necessary

Do this a few time till you have all the shapes you want. Load each selection (by ctrl clicking on the alpha channel) on its own layer and fill it any old color. You should have something similar to what you see on the left.

Step 4: bevel those badboys

Right click on a layer containing a shape. Choose "Effects" from the pop-up box.

Enter a value similar to what you see here.

Mouse over the image to the left to see the effect in effect.


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