This week’s free Deke’s Techniques video is one of those delightful projects where Deke manages to create something precious entirely within Adobe Photoshop. In this case it’s a rounded shimmering jewel.
Deke starts with nothing more than the plain black ellipse you see on the left, and builds the glowing amber cabochon on the right using little more than Photoshop layer effects (and a suitable background of marble and gold chain, of course).
First, he applies a red fill with a subtle gradient to the ellipse.
Then the layer styles begin. The first layer style creates a 20-pixel-thick brown stroke that will eventually serve as the gold ridge around the jewel:
Next, Deke applies a substantial Inner Shadow effect that uses the Cone Inverted contour setting to really establish a rich, round glow:
Applying a dark red Inner Glow effect adds volume:
Deke then employs the Bevel & Emboss layer style and chooses a Pillow Emboss style effect with a Depth value of 400% to shape the edges of his gemstone. For the Pillow Emboss shading, he chooses a very pale orange as the Highlight mode and dark reddish brown for the Shadow mode. (Note at this point how much the preview swatch in the dialog box looks like a faceted gem itself!)
Before he closes the Layer Style dialog box, there’s one more effect to apply; a Drop Shadow where the jewel as a three-dimensional object would reflect against the marble.
The final polishing comes from a few shape layers made into crescent shapes with the ellipse tool. With the right blend modes applied and an unorthodox use of the Drop Shadow effect, the elliptical shapes become glossy highlights, and, voila, Deke has created a precious jewel from nothing but pixels!
For members of lynda.com, Deke also has another video this week called Cutting and brushing light on a gem that further refines this jewel effect. Here’s what cutting and brushing light on a gem looks like in beautiful picture form:
Deke the Photoshop Alchemist, turning black pixels into glowing amber. He’ll be back with another free technique next week.