Deke's Techniques 100: Creating a Shiny Button with Inset Text in Photoshop

After 19 days on the road, sleeping in a total of 11 bedrooms---some safely ensconced within swanky hotels, others boorishly meandering among ordinary pit stops---I have just this moment returned to the sweet embrace of my hometown (and townhome in) Boulder, Colorado.

Which means it's time for me to get serious and shift my focus from enjoying the holidays to preparing for them. Hence this week's movie, "The Panic Button," as best summed up by the official description prepared so eloquently by lynda.com:

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke takes the beautifully glowing jewel that he created last week and turns it into a beautifully glowing Panic button. Because this time of year, if you're going to freak out, you want to (at the very least) do so in a pretty and decorative way.

Deke begins this project where we left off last week, with the glowing cabochon that he created out of pure Photoshop pixels, vectors, and effects. Because few people wear Panic buttons around their necks---although, perhaps, that would be handy---the first step is to turn off the Gold Necklace layer. The result is that last week's glimmering jewel becomes a standalone button:

amber cabochon Photoshop jewel

Next, Deke selects the original ellipse that represents the amber part of the button and gives it a white-to-transparent Gradient fill.

Fill the ellipse with a gradient in photoshop

Using the Transform command, he moves the new gradient-filled ellipse upward to create a highlight along the top of the button, which begins to distinguish it from its jewel predecessor.

Gradient moved up to change the highlight

Deke blends in the highlight by increasing the ellipse's Feather value to 5 pixels and reducing the Opacity to 80 percent.

Feather value change

The text begins life as a simple text layer. Deke turns it into a Smart Object and then applies a Radial Blur so that the edges of the outer letters distort.

Blurry text in photoshop 

Next, Deke increases the effect by adjusting the black and white points of the Underlying Layer style. The result is a full-fledged Panic button.

Photoshop layer style added

But really, is that what you want to think about this time of year? Panicking? The beauty of this effect is that everything is editable, including the text. So a simple change of letters, and adjustment to the hues, and some fine-tuning to the layer effects gives us a button that immediately makes any day a holiday. Now that's a cure for the holiday panic!

Next week, I celebrate a holiday that gets secondary attention this time of year, Hanukkah. In Illustrator, no less. I call it "Vectors of Lights." (That's not the actual name of the movie but, darn it, that's what I call it.) Come back and see.

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