Yet Another Journal of Nothing in Particular…

Simple 3D Buttons in Photoshop

I’ve been using this technique to create some quick icons for personal use. You might find it useful.

Note: I’m assuming you have basic knowledge in using Photoshop and its tools.

  1. Create a New File, 128×128 pixels
  2. Create a New Layer [Ctrl+Shift+N], name it ShapeBase.
  3. Draw an ellipse using the Elliptical Marquee Tool (Q) on the center of your document. Leave some spaces around the shape.
  4. Fill it with any colors of your choice.
  5. Now activate Move Tool (V), make sure ShapeBase Layer is selected.
  6. Hold down Alt and press the Down/Up directional arrow on your keyboard to Copy and Move your current shape to a new layer. I pressed ten times to get this shape, you can create thicker buttons by copying more than 10 times.
  7. Now link all layers except ShapeBase, and Merge them together [Ctrl+E]. (Fig.1)
    Figure 1
  8. Ctrl+Click on ShapeBase Layer to make an active selection out of it.
  9. Make sure ShapeBase Copy Layer is Active, activate Dodge Tool (O), paint around the top part of the circle to make it a bit more 3D-ish. (Fig.2)
    Figure 2
  10. Activate Burn Tool (O), paint around the edges of the shape to make it darker. (Fig.3)

    Figure 3
  11. Deselect your current selection [Ctrl+D], Ctrl+Click on ShapeBase Layer again.
  12. Create a New Layer on top of all layers, Fill it with White.
  13. Nudge your current selection to the top about 3 pixels, press Delete (Change tool to Marquee Tool, and nudge using directional arrow).
  14. Set the topmost layer’s blending mode to Overlay, and turn down the opacity a bit. (I used 25%).
  15. Delete ShapeBase Layer.
  16. There you have it.

You can add a border around the whole shape to make it look a bit .. solid? (Can’t think of a better word). Here’s both results for you to compare.

Another button:
Feel free to post any questions you might have :)

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