Start a new image and make it around
300 by 300 pixels or larger if you like to work with bigger images,
making the first layer a raster layer. To begin I chose a dark color
to start my button. I drew a circle using only the fill of my color
with the circle shape. The actual finished button will be lighter
than the color I chose.
I then added a second layer and created a small
circle with the circle shape to make the first of 4 button holes.
This circle I made white but the color doesn't matter, we will be
deleting them later. Make one then select it.
Copy and paste 3 more, or 1 more if you want to make a 2 hole button,
and arrange them as so.
Before cutting out my button holes I chose to add a gradient to
the button. Choose the first layer and add a gradient in a circle
shape with a lighter color fading out to transparent. Make sure
to off set the center to where you "light" would be hitting
it. Notice the off set in the tool box.
Select your circle in the first layer and add the gradient with
the fill tool.
Go back to your layer with the 4 white circles and select them.
Once they are selected leave them selected and click your first
layer with the button in it.
This will pass the selection to that layer and you can delete the
4 holes from the button simply by hitting your delete key. Keep
in mind that the white circles will still be on the second layer
and you need to select it and delete those as well.
Now you have a button that looks a bit domed but not quite. The
holes aren't 3D! Lets fix that next. Add another layer and move
it under your layer wth the button on it. Click your button layer
and select the button with your selection tool. Then click the 3rd
raster layer and add a drop shadow to it. Instead of black choose
the color you first began with and make it a bit darker and then
make the shadow at the setting shown below. Changing the xy offsets
will make your button look thicker or thinner depending.
Now that you have added the shadow you will notice that the bottom
left edge isn't looking like a button at all. We need to get rid
of that. CLick the eye and make the button layer (layer 1) invisible.
You will now see 4 small half moons and the large half moon we want
to get rid of. Select the shadow layer (layer 3) and delete the
larger moon using the freehand selection tool.
Make your button visible again by clicking the eye and there we
go, the button is starting to take a good shape. At this point you
could bevel the button layer....
...or keep it as is.
Now we want to add a small touch to really bring out the 3d of the
button. We are gonna add a gradient to the small half moons in the
button holes. Choose a gradient, use the lighter color as the first
gradient we did and make it look like so...
Select and fill each moon with the gradient individually. A tip
on selecting them individually is to use your freehand lasso and
roughly outline it then just click once on the object and it will
select it exactly. Then you can fill it. After that merge your button
layer with your holes shadow layer, by right clicking on the button
layer and "merge down".
Here we go. A very nice button.
If your button still doesn't look quite "thick" enough
on the dome. Add a gradient of a darker color to transparent and
circle gradient fill it on another layer above your button layer.
Now add a layer for the black drop shadow. Select the button and
click the shadow layer that you just made to pass the selection
to it. Add a drop shadow at about 7/7 opacity 80 and a blur of 20.
If you went the beveled route you will end up with this version....
Now you can even make your new button a tube by merging down your
layers into one and exporting it as a picture tube using File>Export>Picture
tube. Now you can make your button different sizes without the need
of remaking it again and again. And for a quick button color changer
just use your change to target brush for any number of colored buttons.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. For a final tip you can make
flat buttons with this same tutorial by leaving out the gradient
fills (except for the button holes) and leaving in that large half
moon we deleted before ( add a gradient fill to it like the small