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Photoshop Tutorial

Glassy Sphere
Skill level: Intermediate
Duration: 10 minutes
Requirements: Photoshop version 5 or higher
Goal: To create a glassy sphere with shadow

Stage 01.
Let’s begin by making a new document 500 x 500 pixels at 72dpi. Make
sure you have your rulers turned on (Press Ctrl & R). Right click on the
top ruler and select Pixels.

Drag a new guide from the left hand

ruler towards the centre of the canvas
until you feel it lock in the middle. To do
this, simply left click and hold your
mouse button inside the ruler, and then
drag towards the centre of the canvas.

Do the same with the top ruler. You

should end up with 2 guides intersecting
the middle of the canvas

Stage 02.
Create a new layer and name it ‘Sphere’.
Select the Circular Marquee Tool and
draw a circle big enough to fill about 50%
of the canvas. Make sure you hold down
the Shift key while drawing the circle. This
will constrain it to be the same hight and

Now drag the circle towards the centre of

the canvas until it locks into the centre.
Stage 03.
Decide on a colour you want your sphere to be, and change
your for ground and background colours to suit. I choose
green for this tutorial; therefore I will have to choose a light
green foreground colour and a very dark green for the
background colour.

Select the Gradient tool and choose

its Radial Gradient option. Now
drag a radial gradient starting near
the bottom of the circle towards the
top. You will end up with a filled
circle like this

Click on the Background layer and

then create a New Layer.

Name this layer ‘Shadow’. Hide the

layer named ‘Sphere’ by clicking the
small eye icon next to it in the layers
palette 

Stage 04.
Change the foreground colour to
Black and choose the Paint
Bucket tool, then fill the circle.
Now press Ctrl & D to deselect.

Go to the Layer menu and select

Add Layer Mask, and then
Reveal All.
Now grab the Radial Gradient tool again drag from the exact
centre of the black circle towards the outer circle, and let go of
the mouse button about 2 or 3 pixels from the edge 

Stage 05.
Press Ctrl & T and you will be in
Transform mode. Using the Move
tool, squash the circle downwards
my dragging the top resize handle

Press Enter when you are happy

with the height

Stage 06.
Enable the layer called ‘Sphere’ by
clicking the eye icon next to it in
the layers palette. Select the Move
tool, and then use the Down Arrow
key on your keyboard to nudge the
shadow downwards

Stage 07.
Make a new layer above the
‘Sphere’ layer and name it ‘Glare’.

Using the circular Elliptical

Marquee tool, draw a circle a few
pixels inside the sphere. Hold shift
to constrain the circle.
Stage 08.
Fill the circle with white, and then
deselect (Ctrl & D)

Now add a mask to the layer. Go to

Layer menu, Add layer mask, and
select Reveal all.

Grab the Linear Gradient tool and

fill from the top of the circle to
about hallway down

Stage 09.
Change the opacity of the ‘Glare’
layer to about 60%

Now select the ‘Sphere’ layer and

change the brightness & contrast
(from the menu Image,
Brightness/Contrast) until a
desired level is reached.
Final Image.

This tutorial was produced by Michael Ott