• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

DVD Disc

This is a simple version of how to create a DVD disc. I've seen different gradients used for this effect, but the rainbow one I'm showing here seems to be the most popular. At the end of this technique I show how to make the disc appear as if it's protruding from some DVD packaging because that's what everybody seems to be doing these days to make it clear that the package contains a DVD, not a VHS tape. If you want to learn how to create the DVD packaging from a flat photo, flip to Chapter 6, “Portfolio Effects.”

Quick Tip: Changing the unit of measurement for a field, without taxing your memory

You may already know that when entering a measurement in a field, if you want your measurement to be 1 inch, you can enter “1 in.” If you want 80 pixels instead, you can enter “80 px”. But what if you can't remember the little two-letter codes for each unit of measurement? Just use this tip instead. Type in your figure, then Control-click (PC: Right-click) right within the field and a pop-up list of units of measure will appear. Just choose the one you want from that list. Pretty darn handy.

Step ONE.
Open a new document with the same resolution and color mode as the DVD packaging image that you'll use at the end of this technique. Create a new blank layer by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Press Shift-M until you get the Elliptical Marquee tool, hold the Shift key, and drag out a circular selection like the one shown here.

Step TWO.
Press “g” to get the Gradient tool, then up in the Options Bar click directly on the Gradient thumbnail to bring up the Gradient Editor. When the Gradient Editor appears, create a gradient that goes from a medium gray to white to medium gray, and click OK. (Note: to change the color of a Color Stop [those little house-looking things under the Gradient Bar] just double-click on them and it brings up the Color Picker. To add another stop, just click directly under the Bar.)

Drag the Gradient tool through the circular selection starting at the top of the selection and drag downward at an angle (as shown here). Don't deselect yet. Create a new blank layer, then go under the Select menu, under Modify, and choose Contract. When the Contract dialog appears, enter 4 and click OK to shrink your selection by four pixels.

Quick Tip: Jump to Overlay mode shortcut

In many cases, you have to change the Blend Mode of a layer from Normal to Overlay. I usually show you how to do that by choosing Overlay from the pop-up menu in the Layers palette, but actually, there's a way to change to Overlay mode without going to the Layers palette at all. Just use the keyboard shortcut Shift-Option-O (PC: Shift-Alt-O), and your active layer will switch to Overlay mode. Before you do this keyboard shortcut, make sure you have the Move tool selected (press the letter “v”). The reason is that if you have one of the paint tools selected, you'll end up changing the Blend Mode for that tool instead in the Options Bar, because just like layers, paint tools have Blend Modes, and they share the same keyboard shortcuts.

Step FOUR.
You'll build a different gradient for this layer, so get the Gradient tool again and click on the Gradient thumbnail in the Options Bar to bring up the Gradient Editor. Just edit the existing gradient by changing the far left Color Stop to white, the center Stop to dark gray, and the far right Stop to white. Drag the center Stop over closer to the left white Stop (as shown here) and click OK.

Step FIVE.
Take the Gradient tool and drag from the top of the selection downward at a slight angle (as shown here). Since you contracted the selection by four pixels, it only affects the area within the selected area, and you can see the original gradient behind your new gradient.

Step SIX.
Choose Stroke from the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. When the Stroke dialog appears, lower the Size to 1, leave the position set at Outside, click on the Color Swatch and choose black in the Color Picker, lower the Opacity to 50%, and then click OK to put a thin black stroke around your inner circle gradient.

Quick Tip: Scan lines filter trick

If you want a quick way to create scan lines, believe it or not there's a filter you can apply that does a pretty good job at creating them. Here's how to use it:

  1. Open the image to which you want to apply scan lines, then create a new blank layer above it.

  2. Press “d” then “x” to set your Foreground color to white, then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill the layer with white.

  3. Go under the Filter menu, under Sketch, and choose Halftone Pattern. In the dialog box, set the Size to 2, Contrast to 50, and Pattern Type to Line. Click OK to apply vertical black-and-white lines to your layer.

  4. Change the Blend Mode of this layer from Normal to Overlay and lower the Opacity to taste.

Give this method a try and see how you like it compared to other techniques.

In the Layers palette, you can copy this stroke, with all its settings, and apply it to the original, larger gradient circle layer. Click directly on the word “Effects” on the smaller circle layer, then drag-and-drop it right onto the larger circle layer (the one below it in the layer stack) to apply the same stroke.

With your selection still in place around the smaller circle layer, create a new blank layer, and in the Layers palette drag it to the top, making it the topmost layer. Get the Gradient tool, and press Return (PC: Enter) to bring up the Gradient Picker. Choose the Transparent Rainbow gradient (as shown here).

Step NINE.
Click-and-drag this rainbow gradient through the center of your selection (as shown). Don't drag from the top of the selection to the bottom—start just above the middle and drag downward just below the middle (as shown here).

Quick Tip: Rounding corners

If you use the Rounded Rectangle Shape tool with its default settings, you'll probably think the corners aren't rounded enough, so it's helpful to know that the roundness of the corners is controlled in the Options Bar. Increase the Radius size to make them more round and decrease the Radius to make them less round. While we're talking rounded corners, there's a selection tool in ImageReady that I wish Adobe would move over to Photoshop—it's the Rounded Rectangle Marquee tool, that makes, well…do I even have to describe it?

Step TEN.
Go under the Filter menu, under Distort, and choose Pinch. Enter 100% for Amount and click OK. Now, go under the Filter menu again, under Blur, and choose Radial Blur. Enter 40 for Amount, choose Spin for Blur Method, Good for Quality, and click OK.

Go under the Select menu and choose Transform Selection. Go to the Options Bar and enter 50% for both Height and Width. Press Enter twice to apply the transformation.

Go under the Select menu, and choose Feather. Enter 20 and click OK. Press Delete (PC: Backspace) to soften the center of the rainbow effect. Press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to deselect.

Quick Tip: Makin' copies

Once you've created a Web tab or button (or almost anything else on a layer such as the DVD we created in these pages), you can make duplicate copies super-fast by using this shortcut: First, hold the Command key (PC: Control key) and click on the layer you want to duplicate (this puts a selection around everything on the layer). Then, hold Option-Command (PC: Alt-Control) and drag off copies as you need them. Yeah, baby!

Choose the Elliptical Marquee tool from the Toolbox, hold the Shift key, and create a small circle in the center of your DVD. Press Delete (PC: Backspace) to knock out the Rainbow gradient.

Go under the Select menu and choose Transform Selection. Go to the Options Bar and Enter 90% for both Height and Width. Press Return (PC: Enter) twice to apply the transformation. Now, click on Layer 2 (the smaller circle layer) in the Layers palette and press Delete (PC: Backspace). Then, click on Layer 1 (the larger circle layer) and press Delete (PC: Backspace). This will knock out a hole to the Background layer. Press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to deselect. Click on the top layer in the Layers palette and press Command-E (PC: Control-E) twice to merge the three layers down into one layer.

Get the Move tool and drag this one layer (the full circular disc) over onto your DVD box document (check out Chapter 6 to see how to create your own DVD packaging). In the Layers palette, drag the DVD behind the box layer. Press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up Free Transform. Control-click (PC: Right-click) in the bounding box and choose Perspective from the pop-up menu. Grab the bottom-left corner point and drag downward (as shown) to give the disc a similar perspective effect as the box.

© Brand X Pictures

Quick Tip: How Web browsers display backgrounds

Just about everyone has a different-sized monitor for their computer, and just about everyone sees your Web page in a different-sized browser window. (Some have it fill their entire screen, but most leave it set at the default size the browser manufacturer specified.) The point is that some people have a 21" monitor and some have a 15", and to make sure you never see a huge blank spot, browsers automatically tile (repeat vertically and horizontally) whatever size image you use as a background. They tile like tiles on your kitchen floor (you do have tile, don't you? That carpet-in-the-kitchen thing gets really messy).

Because we know the browser is going to tile our background, filling every inch of visible space, we don't need to create huge backgrounds in Photoshop. Instead, we can create tiny little backgrounds that appear seamless when displayed on a page. This helps the file size stay small and helps the page load faster.

In the Layers palette, create a new blank layer and drag this layer down in the layer stack until it appears directly beneath the DVD box layer. Get the Polygonal Lasso tool (from the Lasso tool flyout menu) and draw a selection where you want the shadow for the DVD box to appear (use the selection shown here as a guide).

Press “d” to set your Foreground color to black, then press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill your selection with black, then deselect by pressing Command-D (PC: Control-D). Next, to soften the shadow, go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. When the Gaussian Blur dialog appears (shown here), drag the Radius slider until the shadow looks soft. Try around 5 for low-res images, 20 for high-res, and click OK.

To make the shadow less prominent, go to the Layers palette and lower the Opacity of this layer to around 20%, to give you the lighter effect shown here.

Quick Tip: Why it looks fuzzy when you transform images

When using the Free Transform tool, don't let it freak you out that the preview you're seeing while manipulating your image is horribly pixelated—that's just a low-res preview Photoshop displays while you're transforming so things keep moving as fast as possible. When you finally hit Return (PC: Enter), it then redraws your image at its full resolution and the pixelation should disappear (unless of course, you did something that actually increases pixelation, such as scaling up a 72-ppi document by 300%, but I know you wouldn't do that).

Here's the completed image with the DVD that we created in this technique and the DVD packaging from Chapter 6.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint