Photoshop is a very useful program. Some of you might know it as an image editor. Well that’s true, 5 years ago! Earlier version of Photoshop is so powerful that you can create almost anything with it. I do a lot of icon designing lately and it’s all done in Photoshop. The advantage of using Photoshop to create icon is you can combine pixel painting with Photoshop’s vector tool. This tutorial show us how easy it is creating a magnifying glass icon in Photoshop.
Just A Preview Of What Our Efforts Will Produce
Take a look at the icon we will be created in this tutorial.
Photoshop Tutorial: A Nice Magnifying Glass Icon
Below there are about 30 simple and easy-to-follow steps to learn how to create a nice icon. Take your time and improve your skill as icon designer following my tips and advices. Enjoy the tut!
Step 1: Organizing Layers in Group
Designing icon can be quite tricky because we will dealing with many layers. It’s a good idea to keep organized by grouping every layer that we will create. Open Layers panel and create press ctrl+G to create a group. Name the group magnify glass. Inside magnify glass group create three groups, glass frame, glass, and handle.
Step 2: Drawing Handle
Using rectangle tool create a rectangle shape. Add layer styles Gradient Overlay.
We need to change the rectangle shape to a cylinder. Click middle top and middle bottom to add points. Select those two points using white arrow tool and move it down.
Draw an ellips shape and add layer styles Gradient Overlay. Make sure the ellips is under the handle.
Activate pen tool and draw a small white shape on top of the ellips shape. This small shape will be a light reflection on the handle.
Using pen tool draw long thin white shape. Add layer mask and paint black on part outside the handle. Change layer’s opacity to 40%. This will be another highlight on the handle.
On top of the handle draw a small cylinder. Add layer style Gradient Overlay using setting shown below.
In the middle of the small cylinder draw smaller and wider cylinder. Add Gradient Overlay. Underneath it, paint black using soft brush for its shadow.
Duplicate handle shape that we created earlier and move it to the top of the layer. Remove its layer style and make sure its color is black.Select points on top and move the down until its size is very small. Change its layer’s opacity to 40%.
We’ve done creating the handle. Make sure you put all the layers inside the handle group.
Step 10: Drawing Glass Frame
Draw a circle shape.
We need to modify circle we just created to a ring shape. Select the circle path. Copy and paste the path, downsize it, and from option bar select subtract.
Add these layer style.
Using same steps we did earlier, draw smaller ring. Add white Color Overlay.
Activate direct selection tool and modify some points in smaller circle to create a crescent moon shape.
Add layer mask and paint black part indicated below.
Again, draw another reflection on the opposite side.
Step 17: Drawing Glass
Draw circle shape. From layers panel change fill to 0% and add Inner Glow.
Create a crescent shape by drawing two overlapping circle shape with subtract selected in option bar. Make sure the shape’s color is black and change its opacity to 10%.
Draw white shape like you see below. Change its opacity to 10%. Now, this shape is almost negligible but it adds what some people call pixel perfect.
Create new layer and paint few white dots. Change layer’s opacity to 20%. Again, this is another pixel perfect.
Step 21: Convert Icon to Smart Object
Right click magnify glass group and choose Convert to Smart Object. That’s it we’re done. You can stop here if you want, but I’ll continue adding some steps to add more realism to the icon.
Hit ctrl+T and rotate our icon.
Let’s add a picture into the scene to see how the magnify works. Here, I use a screenshot from my firefox.
This is not flying magnify glass! We need to add shadow on the floor. Create new layer under the icon and paint black using low opacity brush.
Paint smaller black dot using higher opacity brush on place where icon touch the floor.
Now create selection for icon’s shadow on the picture. Fill it with black then deselect (ctrl+D).
Soften the shadow by adding Gaussian Blur. Add layer mask and paint furthest shadow with black to hide it.
Using ellips marquee tool, select picture inside the glass. Clik Filter > Distort > Pinch. Use minus size to make the picture bulge.
Almost forget, create elliptical selection under the picture and fill it with black.
Deselect (ctrl+D) and click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
We have just create an icon using only Photoshop. As you can see we combine vector and pixel painting here. I hope you like the tutorial and learn one or two new techniques. If you are following this tutorial, let us know the result. Put the link in the comment below, I would love to see it!
Posted: 2010-04-29 08:40:33