Here is a bit more artistic Photoshop tutorial plus myself giving away the source files… cool right?
So this is what we are going to create
I created this effect during my first days at the company I currently work, Pocket App Ltd. When I joined Pocket App team there was a need to redesign the company’s website and its assets such as case studies, newsletter etc. So one of the elements I wanted to add was a clean representation of pockets which could be customised for every kind of icon or design you like to put in.
So lets jump to the tutorial now…Set icon
Feel free to use any object you like, since this technique is flexible and can be used for any kind of object. For the needs of this tutorial I will use an Apple icon. If you’d like to follow alongside with me download the source files and find the Apple icon file.
I have now opened a new photoshop file with 500×500 px canvas size. I will change my background layer colour just slightly to a darker hue(#f7f7f7).
I will now import my icon and place it like this. (Tilted by 20 degrees)
I will name this layer “Icon”.Add shadow
Next step is to create the shadow effect.
I will select the Rectangle tool from my tool panel and create a shape like that. (Its height here is 40px)
Then, rasterise this shape layer. Now I will apply a Gaussian Blur on this layer shape. Select layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and click. On the options panel use 13px of blurriness. The result should look something like this
Now lets bring this shadow more in our needs. Activate Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a selection like this. After doing this hit Delete key (or Backspace for Win users) to clear it.
Looks good but it still needs something. Now select again a Marquee tool but this time the Elliptical one. With this active make a selection like that
With the layer “Shadow” selected and Marquee tool still active right click anywhere inside the canvas and select “Feather…”. In the option panel apply a feather radius of 15px. Click OK and hit again Delete key to clear the selection.Add emboss effect
Ok, I think that we are ok with the shadow for now, so lets move and create the emboss effect. What we actually need to add to our design is some ‘bulging’ in our pocket so it looks more realistic.
First step is to select the path of our “Icon” layer. To do this move your mouse over the “icon” layer thumbnail and click while holding Command(Mac) or Control(Win) key on your keyboard.
The emboss effect needs to start from the shadow line and below. So I will need to clear the rest of the path. I will activate my Rectangle Marquee tool. A cross with a -(minus) icon will appear. With this make a selection from the top until it reaches the shadow line, and then release your mouse. Now only the bottom path is selected.
Now with this path selected you will need to do more than one actions. Firstly create a new layer, name it “Emboss” and fill the selected path with black.
Then select the “Icon” layer, select its path(Cmd + Click), and hit Delete key. This will clear the bottom part of our icon.
Now let’s add the emboss effect. Deselect the previous path(Cmd + D) and select the layer “Emboss”(black fill) from the layer panel. Bring its “Fill” down to “0″. Then bring up its blending options and apply a “Stroke”. 5-6px black stroke should be fine.
Rasterise “Emboss” layer and erase the pixels above the shadow line like this
Now on this rasterised layer apply “Gaussian Blur” of 9px.
Last thing I would do is to bring down the opacity of “Shadow” layer to lets say 90%. Not much.
So that’s it! Our pocket is simple and clean as we wanted it.
The cool thing about this effect is that it works great with every colour variation in its background.
As well as with every object you’d like to put in your cool pocket.
Finally here is how I used this effect to enrich the case studies of Pocket App.
*Notice the idea that when an app is not available for a specific platform the pocket looks empty. Create this effect by simply keeping only the shadow line you created and bring down the opacity of its layer.
I hope that you found this tutorial interesting and fun, let me know what you think!