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[Part 4 of 8]

texture
Layers dbox
button faces
Adding a tortoise-shell texture to the button faces

Layers dbox
airbrush
Airbrushing specular highlights on a separate layer

Layers palette
rollover state
The Layers palette showing the three states of the panel of buttons, with the rollover state visible

 

5 Adding a tortoise-shell texture. To add interest to the plastic material of the button faces, we added a layer above the icons layer by clicking the New Layer icon. To add a tortoise-shell effect as we did, choose colors by clicking the Foreground and Background squares in the toolbox. Then run the Clouds filter (Filter, Render, Clouds) and adjust the color and contrast to create a mottled texture (Image, Adjust, Hue/Saturation and then Image, Adjust, Levels). Choose Multiply for the layer's blending mode so that the dark areas of the texture will darken the plastic underneath. To apply the texture to the button faces alone and prevent it from affecting the icons or the drop shadows and glows, make a layer mask that limits the texture to the buttons themselves: Ctrl/-click the name of the buttons layer to load the button graphics as a selection. Then with the Texture layer active, click the Add Layer Mask icon, on the left at the bottom of the Layers palette.

6 Adding specular highlights. Hand-painted specular highlights can turn the plastic from dull to shiny instantly. So that it's easier to fix any painting mistakes, add another transparent layer to paint on. Then choose the airbrush, a small soft brush tip, and white paint (pressing "D" restores the default colors, and pressing "X" exchanges them, making white the Foreground color). Click with the airbrush to add highlights.

7 Making the other button states. The rollover state for these buttons can be created by changing the color of the icons. First duplicate the icons layer by dragging it to the New Layer icon. Then duplicate it again. Give each new layer a name that indicates the button state it represents (to rename a layer, double-click its name in the Layers palette and enter the name change); we used "Icons/Over" and "Icons/Down."

For the rollover and mouse-down icons layers, experiment with changes to the color fills and glows (click the "f" icon to open the Effects dialog box). For the Icons/Down layer we changed the Color Fill to green and changed the Outer Glow to a lighter green in Hard Light mode. For the mouse-down icons layer, we changed the Color Fill to gold and changed the Outer Glow to red in Color mode.

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