first off my apologies for my poor english.

I'm tying to learn a better way to recreate automatically this square frame shown on the left of this picture (1) so I can use it for irregular shapes in the future (3). Notice that inner and outer corners of the frame are straight (2).

layer ontop of the other method

I did this first frame with two layers one ontop of the other. The one on top had a white fill and was slightly smaller in size, the one below was red (with a red fill too) with a Bevel & Emboss effect. Putting the smaller white fill layer on top would conceal the layer below except from its bevel border, creating the illusion of an empty frame. This, however, only works for rectangular shapes.

So next I thought I'd could try to combine paths to get the frame shape (4). But then, when I applied the Bevel & Emboss effect to the whole layer, the result I got was (5). You can see the inner corner of the bevel is rounded (6). And keeps round no matter how much I change the size of the inner path.

I kept playing with different Path Operations like Substract Front Shape and Exclude Overlapping Shape but got same result every time.

path operations method results

How can one substract front shapes with a Bevel & Emboss effect and get a inner sharp edge like in (2) instead of a round inner corner like in (6)?

Thank you for your time!

  • expand before you combine.
    – Webster
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 22:03
  • I'm not really sure I understand what the problem may be. I've read this a few times and am still unclear.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 5:20
  • Expanding does nothing, Webster. Tried it before posting here. Sorry Scott. I'm trying to learn how to do the first's picture type of corner, but i all i get is the secong. If I try to achive this frame shape by combining paths with Exclude Overlapping Shape the Bevel & Emboss effect of the outer path gets overlapped by the inner path. Changing size of the inner path makes no difference.
    – Maa
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 7:52
  • @mercadona: Please edit the information about what you wish to do and what you tried into your question.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 8:33
  • Possible duplicate of How to keep sharp corners using edge bevel on Photoshop?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


The rounding is not switchable off via the user interface. Some programmer level underhood knowledge is needed. Your "smaller rectangle+reversed light+fake background workaround" is your only option if the things must stay fully editable.

You can merge the 2 beveled layers and delete the mid area. It should be easily selectable. But this fixes the effect and makes a raster layer.

Consider to learn more general ways to create the illusion of 3D. You can paint the shading yourself. You can also import stuff from a 3D program. It can be colored and rendered in Photoshop using its inbuilt 3D functionality.

I haven't one, but surely there exists frame generating add-ons.

If you have a possiblity to use Illustrator, go there! Illustrator's 3D effect Extrude & Bevel does what you wanted here and offers plenty of new possiblities. The result is easily copyable to Photoshop, if needed. See an example:

enter image description here

How it was made:

  • draw a rectangle
  • goto Object > Path > Offset Path to make a bigger rectangle at a constant distance
  • in Pathfinder panel subtract the smaller rectangle from the bigger to get a frame
  • goto Effects > 3D > Extrude & Bevel, see the setting dialog

Note: Also the light settings are essential. To make all edges visible there are 2 lights and the ambient light is reduced

  • That's exactly it, thank you! Seeing it can't be done with PS I'll switch and try it with Illustrator.
    – Maa
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 20:59

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