In this tutorial you will learn how to add that trendy smooth gloss effect to your shapes, text and objects in Photoshop. It’s a universal effect and can make most aspects of a design look really sleek and attractive.
The first step to this tutorial is to create your shape on a blank canvas. *Note that this isn’t how you have to do it all the time, but for the sake of learning this is the quickest and easiest way to grasp the technique. For this tutorial, we’ll use a rounded rectangle shape:
*Note, this can be done with any shape you like. We are using the rounded rectangle as an example only. The technique can be applied to text, shapes and most objects in Photoshop.
Now that you have your basic shape, you can start to construct the glossy effect that this tutorial is all about. Your first task in this stage is to make the selection for the area that you want to add the gloss to. This is the trickiest part of the whole effect, so you need to be a little careful.
To select the entire area of the shape, move yourself over to the layers window (accessible also from Window > Layers on the top menu) and left click on the shape layer only once. While holding down the CTRL key on your keyboard left click the shape layer once more and it will create a selection around the shape for you. The outcome should look like this:
Now that you have your basic selection as seen above, it’s time to trim some of that away so that you get your base for creating the amazing gloss effect that you want. The next thing for you to do is to create a new layer by clicking the “New Layer” icon that can be found at the bottom of the Layers Window:
Once you have your new layer you are almost ready to start adding your gloss effect, however you still have to limit your selected area. To do this, select the square marquee tool from the toolbar and set the controlling power to the one shown here:
Now that your tools are set, it’s time to select the area you want to gloss. For the sake of the tutorial and for you to pick the technique up quicker, drag a square selection from above the current selection down to about half way into the shape and let go of the left mouse button. You should end up with a result that looks like this:
*Note, other selections can be made by experimenting with the circular marquee and the lasso tools.
Now it’s time to actually make this gloss effect visible. Select your gradient tool from the toolbar and set the controlling power to the one shown here:
It’s important for your foreground color to be set to white. This will be the only colour that you can use to achieve the gloss effect properly. Now that you have your selection and your tools ready it’s time to get to business.
Take your gradient tool, and drag downwards from just above the top of your shape, to just below where your selection ends. Once you have done this hold on CTRL and then tap the D key, this will deselect the area. You should achieve a result looking like this:
Now I know that you’re thinking “It looks ok, but it’s not as nice as it could be.” Well prepare to use your new found selection skills a little more to enhance the look and feel of the current gloss overlay.
Select the area of the whole shape again by using the CTRL and left click function on the layer of the actual shape. Once this is done go to the top menu and navigate your way to: Select > Modify > Contract.
In the input box enter 2 px and then hit enter.
Now for the fun part, inverting the selection. To invert the selection all you need to do is know how to use keyboard shortcuts. Luckily for us those kind programmers at Adobe built one in for this specific function. To invert a selection press and hold CTRL and SHIFT and then hit the I key on your keyboard.
Once you have done this tap delete and it will remove 2 pixels of the gloss effect layer, and you should have something that looks like this:
You can play around with other shapes using other colors and other selection areas to achieve different looks and feelings with your designs. The sky is the limit!