photoshop creative

How to create metallic objects in Photoshop

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
August 28, 2012

Here’s a demonstration of using Gradient Fill layers and Layer Styles to create a metallic cone shape

Gradient fill metal

Step 1 – Create outline selection

There are quite a few ways to create a circle in Photoshop, but we’re going to reach for the Elliptical Marquee tool. Hold Shift to form a perfect circle on a blank white canvas to begin.

Step 2 – New Gradient Fill layer

With the selection active go to Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient. Enter a name into the dialog box, for example ‘Metallic button’. If you’re creating lots of the same objects with different styles, then this naming process will come in handy later on.

Step 3 – Load gradients

Notice how the Elliptical Marquee selection has become part of the Gradient Fill’s mask. Load up the Metal styled gradients by clicking on the drop-down arrow next to the Gradient preview and then clicking on the small cog symbol. Find Metals just under Color Harmonies.

Step 4 – Adjust settings

Select the ‘Silver’ gradient once you’ve chosen Metals. Set to Linear, the gradient is fairly ordinary. Set Style to Angle, and to change the position of the gradient drag it across the image. Tick Dither and adjust Angle to spin around the reflection.

Step 5 – Add Inner Shadow

To help add further 3D-ness, an Inner Shadow can be placed inside by double-clicking on the Gradient Fill layer. Here are the settings:

Step 6 – Drop Shadow

Finally, a Drop Shadow will just lift the object slightly from the canvas and balances the exposure around the edges. Here are the settings used for this object: