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How to Create an Icon in Photoshop

Learn how to create icons in Photoshop from certified trainer Scott Strong of The Training Farm in NYC in this Howcast Photoshop tutorial.


Hi, my name is Scott Strong and I'm a trainer for The Training Farm. Today I'm going to show you how to make a cool looking icon.

We have here a picture of a bird on a transparent background and I'm going to start off by adding a couple of layer effects to this. So I'm going to double-click the layer in the layer's palette. Brings up a window. I'm going to start with a gradient overlay. For the gradient overlay, I'm going to alter that by first clicking in the window for the gradient. That'll bring up the separate window. You can see the gradient right here on the top. This refers to the opacity of the gradient of any of the colors on here. We're not going to mess with that. Down on the bottom, that refers to the actual color that we're going to use. So I'm going to double-click this square right here. And I'll move my mouse over to this color that I have sampled. I'll hit Okay. And that'll bring that color into the bottom part of the gradient. Double-click on this square. Move my mouse over to the color swatch and I'll sample that. I'll hit Okay. And now I have a nice gradient from top to bottom on the bird. I'll hit Okay.

Next what I want to do is I want to give this a little bit of a glow around the edges. So what I'm going to Choose Next is inner glow. And if I select the inner glow it brings up the parameters for that. What I'm going to do here is I'm just going to double-click this color. And I have a color that I'm going to paste in. It's this nice kind of aqua color. If I hit Okay you don't see an awful lot of change just yet. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to increase the size. You'll see that that brings in some of that glow along the edges. And then I'm going to hit Okay.

Next what I'll do is I'll create a new layer. What I want to do on this layer is I want to create a nice shine across the top so we get a bit of a glossy look to it. I'll start off with the paths. So we have Path One in the window here. I'll choose the elliptical tool, right there. And I'm just going to shift and drag a circle over that.

Next what I'll do is I'll get the selection tool and I'll move that into position. Now, unfortunately, right now it's set up so that it's one flat color. What I want is a gradient going in there. So what I want is a white shape in here so I'm going to double-click the swatch, the layer swatch. And move that over to the white area.

Next what I want to do is I want to have this gradate down from top to bottom. So I'm going to create a layer mask and inside of this layer mask I'm going to use the gradient tool. Hit G on my keyboard and that'll bring up the gradient tool. And with white and black selected, I'm just going to click at the top and shift-drag down. So now we have a gradient in that shape.

Next what I'll do is I'm going to reduce the fill which is going to lighten that up a bit. And I'm going to change the blending mode over to linear dodge, Add. And maybe that needs to have the fill reduced just a little bit more.

And there you have it. That's how to create a glossy icon in Photoshop.

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