Effect --> 3D --> Extrude&Bevel. Set the view to Front and choose the More Options.... Define a bevel shape add more lights when needed to the little sphere, define a custom shading color. It's not the cleanest solution, though, as it will produce objects overlapping each otehr in the same place. A better way would be to duplicate the source, use Offset Paths and blends between inner and outer contour.
Sorry for not explaining what i actually had meant... (and for my English as well)
I was wondering how to achieve Photoshop-like looking of smooth bevel.
Rounded & Tall-round Bevel shapes in AI's Bevel & Emboss effect do not look as smooth as can be achieved in Photoshop, neither with diffuse nor plastic shading... And even with the maximum of 256 blend steps.
Blends of the offset paths do look much smoother, but "Offset path" can only be applied on paths, not text.
Thanks for help.
Since i first read this thread i have been sure that the question was How to make a Photoshop-like Bevel on text, meaning that Type object would still remain Type object after applying the bevel.
At least that is the question I have been looking for the answer to.
When I apply Effect>Path>Offset Path on text, that shows only the offset path without the original text, but it is still a single Type object.
And that's not enough to make blend.
To make blend i need at least two objects.
I found two ways to do that:
1. I Expand the Appearance of the text and it would become a group of compound paths, that represent both original text and the offset one and that can be then blended between, but they are no longer editable as text after expanding the Appearance.
2. The second way is to duplicate the text object before offsetting it's path and put the copy above the original. Then Apply Effect>Path>Offset Path on the topmost text, change its color and then blend both types. This way partially solves the problem, because as a result I have a Blend of two Types, which are separately editable.
I'm not sure if you can get the exact same affect that you are looking for, but when I want to do bevel/embossing/cutout text styling while maintaining text editablitility, I apply transformations to the textblock object and store those transformations as a style.
So, for embossing, etc, I select the textblock with the object point (black arrow) and under the Appearance tab, I duplicate the main text's fill property, then change the color to white, the blend method to screen and opacity to 40%. I apply the offsetPath transform to it and offest the path by 2px. Finally I use the "tranform" transformation filter to translate the new fill -2px vertically -1px horixontally (this gives the outerbevel-highlight appearance when positioned behind the original fill in your appearance panel. Finally, I do the same thing in reverse with the initial fill: Color:black,opacity:darken 40%, FX: offsetPath +2px, transform:y:2px, x:1px. This gives the lower shadown outerbevel.
Here is a sample of this method in Illustrator in comparison to the bevel layer style in Phtooshop.
Photoshop is clearly better, but in Illustrator, this method still looks pretty good. It at least looks good enough to get your type set the way you want it before converting to parths and tweaking your final image.
Don't forget, once you get your style setup in appearance, you need to create a new graphic style and then you can easily apply it to any text object.
Also, play with adding svgblur transformations to the two fx layers for smoother beveling.
Not sure if this answers your question or if this helps or not.
Del_Boy I have also always felt like it was a pain to create shadows in Illustrator, of course Photoshop is easier but then I don't have the versatility of vector art, Astute Graphics a British company has developed a whole collection of tools for Illustrator that make special effects easy, A plugin called Stylism for drop shadows, its just one click and then its easy to modify your shadow. Another feature I love is the Phantasm plugin which allows you to modify color either by individual element, layer or the entire image just as you can in Illustrator. I love their plugins.