Consistent chroming results on a variety of shapes
and text, this tutorial uses an eyelet.
In this tutorial we’ll learn to use the Channels
Palette and Curves adjustment.
1. Open a new document, at least 200 dpi for good
printing, and make a new layer, named Eyelet
2. Use the Elliptical Marquee to draw a circle,
holding Shift to constrain it to a perfect circle shape.
3. From the Options Bar at the top of the screen,
click Subtract from Selection, and draw another circle inside the
first, holding the Shift key to constrain, and use the space bar
to center it.
4. On the Eyelet layer, fill with a gradient: choose
Chrome from the Gradient flyout picker and Radial Gradient in the
Options Bar. Start the gradient line in the center of the eyelet
ring, hold shift, draw a line straight down ending outside the eyelet
ring so the copper color just hits the edge of the ring. Undo and
redo until it looks like the screen shot. The chrome will look better
if the gradient is off-centered.
5. Type Ctrl-A to select all, and type Ctrl-Shift-C
to copy all the layers (background and Eyelet).
6. Click the Channels tab in the Layers Palette
to view the Channels Palette. Click the page-looking icon to Create
New Channel; the screen will go black and a new channel called Alpha
will appear. Type Ctrl-V to paste into this channel.
7. Choose Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur, radius
3.5, click OK.
8. Click the Layers tab to return to the Layers
Palette. Click the background layer. Choose Filters>Render>Lighting
a. Important: Texture Channel should be Alpha.
b. Center the default spotlight over the eyelet and enlarge or reduce
it to give the enough light on the eyelet for high contrast, but
not so much it’s too white and washed out. Click OK. Since
the preview is difficult to see, undo and repeat this filter until
the contrast is correct. You can also back up in the History Palette
later to this point and redo this filter if you’d like to
change the chroming effect.
9. Important: Double click the Background thumbnail
to create a layer, name it Eyelet2.
10. Ctrl-Click on the Eyelet layer to select the
ring shape, or right click>Select Layer Transparency. Ctrl>Shift>I
to select inverse. On Eyelet2 layer type Delete or Edit>Clear.
Delete Eyelet layer by dragging the layer thumbnail to the trash
11. Type Ctrl-M or Image>Adjustments>Curves
to bring up the Curves dialog box. Click and drag from the 45°
angle line to add two points and position to resemble the curve
as shown. The exact settings will vary slightly with how you applied
your gradient, lighting effects, and personal preference.
12. Type Ctrl-U or Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation
to bring up the Hue dialog box.
a. Important: check the Colorize box.
b. Change the Hue to around +200 to add a bluish sheen (or whatever
color you like, keeping in mind what might be reflecting in the
chrome: outdoors, indoors, colored paper, etc.), and lower Saturation
to around -21.
13. Double click the Eyelet2 Layer thumbnail to
open the Layer Styles dialog box. Add a Drop Shadow and Bevel/Emboss>Inner
Bevel. Your chrome effect is complete! Now use this technique on
any surface to add metal effects to your layouts.
14. Optional: In this sample I brushed on some light
blue on a new layer under the eyelet and added some lighting flares
with a star brush on a new layer over the eyelet, as in the Sparkle
15. Optional: after step 10, open the Hue/Saturation
dialog box, Colorize, and adjust Hue and Saturation to another metal
color such as gold, copper, brass, etc before completing the remainder
of the tutorial. The Curve used will differ from the one in the
tutorial; adjust the settings until you have something you like.