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Making Blue Metal

Oct 18th 2005
Blue Metal:


Create a new 600x400 image (I used an RGB background color of R 52, G 61, B 93). I have found that for my taste it is easier to make your image larger than you want it and then size it down, especially for this technique. Next create a new layer and make a perfect circle about 225x225 pixels using your elliptical marquee tool. You can either hold down your shift key while making the circle or use the marquee options tab and change it to fixed size and use the values of 225 & 225. Now fill the circle with your color (I used an RGB of R 42, G 49, B 76).

Now with your image still selected drag it into the create new layer error-file:TidyOut.log tab to duplicate it. Don't deselect it yet. Hit the D key on your keyboard to change your colors back to the default colors (black and white). Now click on the airbrush tool and select an airbrush. I used the airbrush for this next step. Now on your new duplicated layer airbrush some white and some black similar to the example picture here. Leave your image selected.

Go to Filter/Blur/Guassian Blur and use a value of 33.0 pixels. Now your top layer should look like the picture I have here. You can go ahead and deselect your layer now by hitting Ctrl+D. Now you should have a total of three layers. The background layer, layer one (the flat colored layer), & layer one copy (the one we just worked on). Make sure layer 1 copy is the selected layer and hit Ctrl+E to merge it with layer one. Now you should be down to 2 layers. The background and layer 1. And layer one should look like the picture example here.

Drag layer 1 into the create new layer tab a total of 4 times. You should now have 6 layers, the four you just made plus the original layer 1 and your background. See the picture example to make sure yours looks like this.

Click on layer 1 copy and change the layer mode to overlay and change the opacity to 25%. Click on layer 1 copy 2 and change the layer mode to soft light and change the opacity to 50%. Click on layer 1 copy 3 and change the layer mode to color dodge and change the opacity to 25%. Click on layer 1 copy 4 and change the layer mode to color dodge and change the opacity to 10%. With this layer still selected Ctrl+Click on it to select it. Run the Filter/Blur/Guassian Blur filter on this layer and use the 33.0 pixels like we did before. Your picture should look like the one here now. (I suggest playing with different blending modes and opacities to get different looks).
Now click on the background layer to make it your active layer. Close the eye next to the layer to hide it. Now click on layer one to make it your active layer (you should see no background at this point, just the sphere). Go to Layer/Merge Visible or hit Ctrl+Shift+E to merge the visible layers together. Now you should be back to only 2 layers. The background (which you can show again by clicking where the eye was) and the sphere.
Next click your rectangular marquee tool (making sure you are working in layer one and not the background), and make a selection similar to the one I have here. You want to make sure you keep it pretty thin and you get the exact center of your sphere or the next step won't work correctly. Once you have your selection made hit Ctrl+C to copy it and then hit Ctrl+V to paste that selection on a new layer. Hit Ctrl+D to deselect your image.


Now you should be back to 3 layers (the background, the sphere, and the new layer you just made with that slice of the sphere we copied). Grab your move tool and align the sphere into the left hand upper corner of your background and then move the slice into position next to it. You should have an image similar to the example here.
Make sure you have layer 2 selected (the slice) and go to Edit/Free Transform and resize the width of your slice by pulling it to the right.
With layer 2 selected and all aligned up with layer one go ahead and hit Ctrl+E to merge the slice and sphere together. Next go to Layer/Effects/Drop Shadow and I used the values of Opacity=100, Angle=120, Distance=8, and blur=6. Your image should now look like the example I have here.
Now for the image size I used on my site I needed it to be smaller. So I went to Edit/Transform/Numeric and I used a value of 50% making sure the Constrain Properties box was checked. And I repeated this exact same step on more time. This picture is the final full size end result.