Thursday, July 21, 2011
Making something appear glossy.

Today I’m going to show you how to take an element and make it appear as if it’s glossy instead of flat. I did this with a button in a previous tutorial but this time I’m going to show you a bit more.
If you’d like to download the template that goes along with this tutorial you can do so here!
First open your image. If you’re not using the template that goes with this tutorial you’ll want to adjust the sizes according to what looks best with the size of your image. The size of the template I’m using is 3600x3600 300 DPI.

Notice how the frame appears flat? We’re going to fix this… But first... a slight lecture ;)
When I first started doing this I asked my husband what was wrong with my images, why did they appear flat looking… He gave me a lecture on lights and shadows… I’m going to give you the condensed version because it changed how I look at everything.
In order to make something appear 3D you have to have both shadows and lights. If you only had shadows it would appear too dark and flat. If you had too much light it would appear too light and still flat. You wouldn’t be able to see definition. So… take a ball or something and set it by a window and watch how the sun lights up part of it and the shadows appear on parts of it. Now shut the blinds and turn off the lights and you’ll see how you can’t define the ball… Take the same ball and place it directly in the sunlight and you’ll see how the light makes it too hard to define… Also, when doing this notice that some of the highlights are softer and some are not. This is because the closer the light to the object the harsher the highlight will appear. The same theory goes with the shading.
Ok… lecture over… let’s get back to the tutorial.

We’re going to add some highlights first. Grab your Ellipse tool and draw a white (FFFFFF) circle out just slightly larger than the hole. (Hold the shift key down while drawing out the shape to get a perfect circle).  
While holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard press the J to duplicate your new shape.
Change the color to any color you want (it doesn’t matter what color you use since we’re only using this as a guide and it will be deleted when we’re done).
Move this new shape up a bit so that you see the highlight as I have it shown.
Do a right mouse clock over both shapes in the Layers Pallet and choose "Rasterize Shapes"
Turn off this shape (2). Now go back to the highlight (1) and click once to make sure you’re on this layer. Now while holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard click once on the duplicated shape (2). This should activate your shape (Marching Ants) (3).
Now while holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard press the X (Cut). This will delete the active part and leave a nice shape for the highlight.
Rename your new shape to Frame highlight and duplicate this layer (CTRL+J). (1 and 2).
Now go to the second highlight (2) and transform it (CTRL+T). Once you’ve done that do a right mouse click over the image and choose “Rotate 180 from the menu (3).
Since it’s now a bit too large for what we want we will click on the layer and while holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard click once on the layer thumbnail in the layers pallet to activate it.
Now from the top menu choose Select – Modify – Contract and enter 15.
Now choose from the top menu Select – Inverse and while holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard press X. This will delete the outside of the highlight so it will be shrunk in some.
Now we want to blur out this new smaller highlight. Choose from the top menu “Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur” and choose 3. Click OK.

Now we want to blur out the larger highlight. Choose that layer from the layers pallet and choose Gaussian Blur from the Filter menu again but this time choose to blur it by 6. Click OK.

Now we want to add some color to the frame. Double click on the layers thumbnail in the Layers Pallet (see arrow) to bring up the Layer Style Option Box. Choose the Color Overlay and choose a color you like. We are not done though… Now we’re going to add the shading.
Choose Inner Shadow and choose a slightly darker shade of the color you chose for the Color Overlay. Now make sure that your Blend Mode is on Multiply and put your Angle to 120, your Distance and Choke are both 0, and your Size is 250. Now we want to go to the Inner Glow section.
From here we want to use the same color you chose for the Inner Shadow. Change the Blend Mode to Linear Burn and put the Opacity to 31. Make sure your Choke is at 0 and put your size to 250. Now you can click OK.

If you turn off both the Frame Highlights in the Layers Pallet you’ll notice how it appears 3D but not glossy. This is because you’ve added the shading around the edges and the top part is lighter so it will serve as the highlights… This is fine if you are not wanting a more shiny look.
Turn back on your Frame Highlights. Notice the difference?

So now we want to add a bit of soft highlighting to the frame. Using your Ellipse shape tool draw out an oval in white as I have done here.

Now from the top menu choose Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur and put the size to 250. Click OK.

Turn off this new shape (1).
While still on this layer (1) hold your CTRL key and click once on the Layers Thumbnail (2).
This will activate your layer (Marching Ants).
While holding down the CTRL key press J to duplicate the shape in the activated shape. (Marching Ants). This will cause the highlight not be spilled over into the transparent parts of the image.

Rename this layer to Frame Highlight 2. Go to the Layers Blend Mode and change it to Soft Light (1). Now lower the opacity to 50% (2).
That’s it… your frame should appear as if it’s 3D and glossy.
Downlad my example and the Template to follow along here!
I would love to see what you’ve created using this tutorial.
Thank you!


JoyfullyOrange In Heaven said...

Thanks a bunch Justie, I'm a newbie and am trying to learn designing. I'm going to find your other tutorials so I can learn more.,

Many Blessings, Deborah/JoyfullyOrange

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 11 post on Apr. 27, 2012. Thanks again.

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