I'd like to create a play card design and am taking Magic: The Gathering cards as a role model. In this example you can see two 3D styled name plates (please not the red arrows):

enter image description here

I'd like to do something else with Inkscape with these plates I created:

enter image description here

I was somewhat lost finding the right tooling for that. I tried the 3D Effects in the Filter section but they somewhat screwed everything up.

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    The example doesn't look like it was created in Inkscape or other vector software, nor does it look like a 3D effect. I would suggest usig simple bevel and emboss effects in raster image editing software such as Photoshop, or GIMP (which is free).
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 29, 2020 at 0:43
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    You have got a good suggestion to save your time and nerves. You will not lose quality because SVG effects are finally rasterized. BTW The subtle surface texture is as important as plausible 3d-like shading if you expect finished look. Inkscape simply hasn't the needed intuitive control, every effect details are convoluted together in a complex way.
    – user82991
    Apr 29, 2020 at 9:59
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    You can recreate the highlight & shadow pretty easily in Inkscape (I personally would do it manually with blurred strokes, rather than use any filter) but the textured background would need to come from raster software. You could import a texture and use clipping I suppose, but some things are just easier in (for example) Gimp.
    – z3z
    Apr 29, 2020 at 10:26

1 Answer 1


If you want to wrestle a little, but much less than what's needed to be able to create and edit firmly SVG effects you can try this. Essentially it's already suggested by others in comments but here's some details. Let's have the next plan for our bevel:

enter image description here

NOTE: We have here colors only to keep the explanation clear. Our goal is a metallic looking grayscale object. It can be colored later as wanted.

In the left the red and green areas should be the edge slopes and the blue area should be the plain top. Green area is separated because it should have sharp corners against the red area. We want to adjust how much the border of the blue is rounded. That's why blue and green shapes overlap.

The blue shape is made by applying Path > Dynamic Offset to a copy of the red shape. The green shape is drawn with the pen. Later we call in the text the shapes of our plan with names Base C, Top C and Sharp End.

The next job is to select the wanted light direction. It's difficult to change it later. Our light comes from top right.

The next cartoon presents the building of the final bevel:

enter image description here

  1. Draw with the pen generously oversized grayscale shapes which coarsely present the lights and shadows of our bevel. Shape Sharp End is used as one of them (=lifted to front). Oversize is needed because blurring (for easy gradients) makes a part of every blurred shape useless near its edge. Snap to node help drawing.

  2. Shape Top C is lifted to front and colored to grey. The shading except shape Sharp End are grouped for easy blurring. All items are easily reachable via the Objects panel. Even clipped and grouped shapes can be selected individually.

  3. The grouped shading pieces are blurred. The group has got blur with the blur slider of the objects panel

  4. Hiding the extras: Shape Base C is lifted to front, all is selected and Object > Clip > Set is applied. It's a good idea to make a spare copy of Base C for coloring before applying Clip > Set.

  5. Shape Top C is selected and filled with a gradient for better metallic appearance

  6. Blur is inserted to Top C for rounded bevel appearance. Sharp End could get the same if needed, but the rounded corner would need a highlight zone for plausiblity. That should have been inserted in step 1. But a blurred white piece could be inserted also now. I skip it.

  7. A copy of Base C is colored to yellow and placed on the top with blending mode Color. That's very poor gold. but acceptable non-polished brass.

The amount of work would be 90% less if one works in GIMP with a bump map or in Photoshop (or in free Photopea)with layer style Bevel & Emboss.

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