I'm creating a block of wood viewed from the front. I'm creating some pseudo-depth by using a darker shape with the top and bottom at opposing angles. i.e. "fake" 3d essentially.

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I want to convey that the edges of the shape have a rounded bevel - like a router was used all the way around the front face of the shape.

Something similar to this...

enter image description here

However, I want the viewing angle to be front view straight-on.

I have no problem creating a 3D shape for reference if I want to view this at any angle other than straight on front. The issue with all the 3D tools I've tried is that I get zero depth when looking at the front face straight on. So.. fake 3D seems necessary. But I'm not sure how to convey the round bevel at a straight-on viewing angle.

If I round the corners of the dark shape, then alter the light shape to cover the gaps created.. I get somewhat of an impression that the front face is rounded along that dark shape edge...

enter image description here

This kind of works, but doesn't really feel as if the entire front face is beveled, just that right side..... sort of.

How can I better show the overall shape as having a rounded bevel?

I am trying to work with basic shapes and am specifically avoiding things like 3D with it's shading and meshes due to their complexity. Standard gradients are fine.

1 Answer 1


This is adapted from old attempts to draw the backside of a phone

enter image description here

  1. Two rounded rectangles with slight gradient fills

  2. The rectangles are placed a little off. The fake depth in 4. looks wrong if they are symmetrically

  3. The smaller rectangle is blurred (see NOTE1). In the right there's the fake depth block

  4. The fake depth is placed and trimmed to fit. The left side corners must be tangential with the roundings, but the right side can be coarse.

NOTE1: Someone may want to try to blend the rectangles with a smooth color transition. Blending makes linear shift between the colors and at least for me it doesn't look as round as blur. Both methods need trial and error search for a good result. Photorealistic rendering in a 3D program can create plausible shading with low effort.

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