Dec 21, 2010

3D Buttons - Photoshop Tutorial

The long overdue tutorial is here: 3D Buttons!
This tutorial is for beginners to intermediate users, but you can never be too good for any tutorial, you just might learn something new.

Click the title to see the full tut on how to make this using Layer Styles and some shape layers:

So I couldn't get to upload my video tutorial, so I've decided to write out all my tuts until I get a reliable and fast connection.

Anyway, if you read the Upcoming for this one you'll know that we're going to be creating buttons in Photoshop using layer styles, so it's great if you've just gotten to know Layer Styles and it's some practice.

Now my buttons are not the ordinary ones, because this time i made my text look like it's cut into the button. I hope you figured out how it's done.
I also added some highlights to the "Sign In" button and a shadow to the "Register" button.

Okay, let's get started.

Create a new document at 1280 px by 800 px

To get some perspective, we'll need a gradient background. So create a new layer and with a white-black gradient set to linear, we're going to click and drag from the top-bottom so we have white at the top and black at the bottom. Then, set the layer's opacity to 10%. Subtle, but it does the job.

Pick the Rounded Rectangle tool and set it's radius to 30 px and the color to a light cyan (# 00e3f1) from the options bar...

...then draw out the button in the middle of the page, something like this:

It's really big now, but it's just for demonstration purposes. You can work with smaller shapes and values on your own.

So we're gonna use a few styles here. Let's go to Layer > Layer Styles > Drop Shadow...
We're not going to do much in the Layer Style window but set the angle to 90 degrees.

Next, let's jump down to Gradient Overlay and set the Blend Mode to Overlay. That way we have some lighting on the upper side and shading on the lower side, which makes the button looked curved.

Also, apply a stroke and set the size to 1px:

So far so good. But we're not done yet.
Add a Bevel and Emboss. It looks good but we'll need to make some changes. We want some depth showing on a small edge around the button, but not too much. I experimented a bit here with the settings and eventually ended up with this:

I changed the Technique to Chisel Hard, Depth to 200, size to 6, and down by the shading I changed the altitude to 45.

Mess around with the Gloss Contour, it gives some interesting results that could be used for mouse-over events.

Okay, now we're done with the styles so click OK.

Select the text tool and type out "Sign In" or "Login" or anything you want in any font. I went with "OK" using Arial. I then aligned them to the center. So select all the layers in the layers pallet and with the Move Tool (V), click on the Align Vertical Centers and Align Horizontal Centers buttons in the options bar:

We'll also need to change the font color to a darker cyan (#00383b) for blending purposes.

Now, in order to assist in blending these two, we're going to clip the text to the button layer. So hold down ALT and click right in between the OK text layer and the button layer, that's going to clip them.

So what do we gain by clipping?
Well, clipping basically applies the layer styles ON TOP of all clipped layers. Simply put, the OK text is now bound within the boundaries of the shape and has also been placed BETWEEN the button layer and the layer styles. So all the Bevel and Emboss and Gradient Overlay are ON TOP of the OK.
You can see this by dragging the text up, the highlight from the bevel can be seen above. You'll also notice it gets darker as you drag lower or brighter as you drag up, that's because of the Gradient Overlay.


Okay, now what we need to do is make the OK look like it's cutting in, and that's simple enough.
Go to Layer > Layer Styles > Inner Shadow.

Thanks to Global Light, our Angle is already 90 degrees. We can increase the distance to 11 px and the size to 8 px.

It looks good already, but we can add more. Let's apply a Bevel and Emboss and set Style to "Outer Bevel", the size to 3 px and the Direction to DOWN. We'll leave all the rest as they are.

That looks awesome!

So let's add some extra stuff.

Okay, there's two things we can add. Let's go to the rectangle tool and change the color to black. Then we're just going to draw it with it's top edge cutting the centre of out button and going all the way down past the bottom edge of the button:

Set the opacity down to 2% and clip it to the button:


(The layer can be above the OK and clipped. It won't clip to OK but to the shape layer, since the OK is already clipped. Now both OK and the shape will be clipped).

Okay, that looks nice. Let's set a highlight.
Hide the shadow and draw an ellipse that cuts through the button like this:

Now, set opacity to 33% then MOVE THE LAYER below the OK layer in the layer pallet and clip it. This will make sure the highlight is below the text.

You might want to add Inner Glow to the button to add the look of the highlight so it doesn't look so flat.

So that's it!

If you'd like to change around the button, I'd suggest you select all the button's layers and Group them together then duplicate the group. Now you can change the colors of all the layers by double-clicking on the colors of the shapes and don't forget to change the color of the text as well.

Anyway that's it for this tutorial. I'll see you on the next one.

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