Saturday, April 2, 2011
Today we're going to make a Glossy Button.
This tutorial was written for Susan McGregor, owner of Digi Style Designs
You can download the button for this tutorial by emailing me and I'll email it to you.
(I'm sorry to have to do it this way but I'm having some problems uploading to MediaFire right now and can't seem to get his link to work... I hope to have the problem fixed soon... But in the meantime, my email is
(It is CU Friendly and includes the PSD, PSP and PNG formats)

Open the file JC_Button20_Template
Here’s the button. It’s flat and boring.
We need to add some shading and highlights to help it appear more realistic.
First we’ll start by adding some shadows.
Hold down your CTRL button and click on the Button Outer Ring layer’s Thumbnail (as indicated by the arrow)

This should activate your layer (you’ll see the marching ants).

Now go to the top menu bar and choose “Select – Modify – Contract” (1)
Choose 100 as your contract pixel #.
Click OK
Go to the top menu again and choose “Select – Inverse”
Now do a CTRL+J on your keyboard (This will duplicate the selected area)

Rename this layer to “Shadow” and double click on the Layer Thumbnail to bring up the Blend Options (See arrow)

Go to the Color Overlay Tab and choose black as your color. Click OK

Go to the top menu bar and select “Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur”

Choose a Radius of 75 and click OK
This softens out your shadow so it blends in.

Since we don’t want the Shadow to spill onto the transparent parts of the image we’ll want to clip this.
We’re going to turn off the Shadow Layer (1)
Hold down your CTRL key and click once on the Button Outer Ring (2)
You should see that the layer is now active (Marching Ants) (3).
Do the CTRL+J on your keyboard to duplicate the Shadow so it’s the same exact shape as the Button Outer Ring.

Rename this layer to Shadow (1) and delete the original Shadow Layer (2).
Now you’ll notice the shadow is on both the outside as well as the inside of the button.
This is not what we want so we need to fix that before we move on.

Choose the Marquee Tool (1) and draw a circle around the button so that it only surrounds the inner shadow (2).
Use CTRL+X on your keyboard (CUT).
 This will delete the inner shadow and leave us the outside shadow.

It’s still a little harsh so let’s lower the opacity of the Shadow layer. I’ve lowered it to 50% but if you want the shadow to be less or more you’ll have to change my settings to best suit your taste.

Now we want to add a shadow to the inside buttons.
While holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard click once on the Button Inside layer.
You should see the marching ants around this layer.

Now click on Select – Modify – Contract (1)
Choose 50 as your Contract Pixels. (2). Click OK.

Now go back to Select and choose Inverse.

Now we want to color this layer as we did previously.
Double click on this layer to bring up the Blend Mode Options.

Change the Color Overlay to Black and click OK

From the top menu bar choose “Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur”

Choose a Radius of 75 Pixels. Click OK

Turn off this layer (1)
Highlight this new layer (1)
While holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard click on the Button Inside Layer (2).
This will activate your layer (Marching Ants)
Use your keyboard and do the CTRL+J (Duplicate).

You’ll want to lower the opacity of this shadow as well. I chose 64%, but again, it’s up to your taste as to how much or little you want the shadows showing.

Now we’re going to add some Highlights to the Button.
Choose the Ellipse Tool  and set your foreground color to white.

Draw a large round shape out like I have here.
Make sure you’re on the layer right above the Button Outer Ring.
Duplicate this layer.

Change the color of the Duplicated shape. I chose red because it’s easy to see.
You can use whatever color you want, we’re not going to be keeping this layer.
We’re using it as a clipping template.
Bring the red shape down a bit so that you can see only a crescent sized area of the white.
Make it look like I have here.

If you haven’t Rasterized your layers (as I hadn’t in the previous steps) you’ll want to do a Right Mouse Click over the Layers and click on “Rasterize Layer”.

Turn off the Red Layer (1)
Highlight the Original White Shape (2). While holding down your CTRL key on your keyboard click once on the Red Layer Thumbnail (1).
Using your Keyboard hold the CTRL key and press X (Delete).

Change the name of the layer to Highlight 1.
Here is your highlight so far.
Notice how it starts to make it appear glossy?
We’re not done though…

Duplicate your Highlight 1 and bring it over the middle section as I have.
You’ll need to shrink it in.
I’ve added some Highlights to the Layers Pallet here.
 They are in the PSD file as well…
I didn’t go into creating them with this tutorial for time sake.
I will do another tutorial on that soon.  

Click on Highlight 3 in the Layers Pallet (1)
This is the Highlight that is in the crease of the Button Holes. (2)
Change the Blend Mode to Soft Light (3)

Now locate the Shadow layer for the Button Holes (1 & 2)
Change the Layer Blend Mode to Multiply (3). This won’t look great until we add some color to the button. We’re going to do that next.

Double click on the Button Outer Ring to bring up the Blend Mode Options for this layer.

Choose Color Overlay and pick a color you want for the button. I’ve picked a purple.
Click OK when you’re done.
Now do the same thing for the Button Inside Layer.

Now go back to the Button Hole Shadow and lower the opacity a little. Here I’ve put it at 48%.

Here is the glossy button…
If you like it you can stop. However, if you think the highlights are a little brash go to the next step.

Choose Highlight 1 (1) and change the blend mode to Soft Light (2)

That’s it.
If you have any questions, please send me an email
Thank you for trying my tutorial.
Just Creations


Connie said...

Thank you again, Justie, for another great tutorial. I've read through it and will give it a try just as soon as I have a moment. I continue to appreciate all the hard work you put into these. I really appreciate your work!
Thanks again.

justcreations1 said...

Thank you Connie!!!! :)

Carolyn said...

Love the tutorial and would like to try it using your button but I can't find where to download it. Help!! Thanks!

CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies (please, notice the new url for my blog), under the Page 6 post on Apr. 27, 2012. Thanks again.

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