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Creating web buttons using shape layers

From: Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers

Video: Creating web buttons using shape layers

Shape layers are extremely useful when designing websites, especially when you're first coming up with the website, and you're not really sure yet how wide the sidebar is going to be, how big the footer is going to be, what color it's going to be, how many buttons you're going to have, etcetera. Because you can show this initial sketch to your client and they can say, well, actually I'd like the left sidebar to be a bit bigger. You just go to the left sidebar, press Command+T, and then you can increase its size as necessary.

Creating web buttons using shape layers

Shape layers are extremely useful when designing websites, especially when you're first coming up with the website, and you're not really sure yet how wide the sidebar is going to be, how big the footer is going to be, what color it's going to be, how many buttons you're going to have, etcetera. Because you can show this initial sketch to your client and they can say, well, actually I'd like the left sidebar to be a bit bigger. You just go to the left sidebar, press Command+T, and then you can increase its size as necessary.

And because your shape layers are vectors, they are going to scale without any kind of degradation whatsoever. Beyond that, there is also another very useful way in which you can use shape layers and that is combining shape layers with Smart Objects. That's what I've done for our four tabs up here. These are little Smart Objects and to make something into a Smart Object, you mply click on it, right-click, and then choose Convert to Smart Object. Simple as that. So I've made these with nothing more than a rounded rectangle with a Bevel and Emboss applied to them.

Having created one, then converted into a Smart Object, and then copied that smart object four or three or however many times, this is an extremely useful way if you need to make changes to these buttons. So, rather than having to change them all, we can just go to the Smart Object, change that, and they will all update in place. So what I am going to do here is double -click on one of the smart objects, it doesn't matter what because they're all exactly the same. They are all tied to the same one.

So when I double-click on that, we'll see this message. Click OK. This is what it looks like. Now, let's say that we've received instruction from our client that they want to change the color of the button to something other than what it currently is. They want it to be a green, a bright green. So I am going to fill that with the bright green. I am going to save it, and then when we go back to our original layout, they will update in place. So not only are the shape layers scalable without degradation, but when they are combined with Smart Objects, you can have several instances of the Smart Object reference the same source and if you edit that source, they will all update in place.

Now, this has many, many applications, but a website is just one that really comes to mind.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers
Photoshop for Designers: Shape Layers

42 video lessons · 13955 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 31s
    1. Welcome
      59s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
  2. 30m 57s
    1. Three ways to use the shape tools
      6m 49s
    2. Converting shapes to paths and vice versa
      1m 24s
    3. Moving, deleting, copying, and rasterizing shape layers
      5m 28s
    4. Drawing rectangles, rounded rectangles, and ellipses
      2m 59s
    5. Drawing lines
      2m 40s
    6. Drawing polygons and stars
      1m 48s
    7. Drawing pen paths by adding, deleting, and converting anchor points
      5m 51s
    8. Drawing pen paths with hybrid anchor points
      2m 58s
    9. Inverting paths
      1m 0s
  3. 28m 19s
    1. Adding, subtracting, intersecting, excluding, and combining shapes
      3m 50s
    2. Aligning and distributing shapes
      2m 19s
    3. Coloring shape layers
      2m 1s
    4. Creating a poster by combining simple shapes, part 1
      11m 32s
    5. Creating a poster by combining simple shapes, part 2
      8m 37s
  4. 52m 55s
    1. Creating a logo with shape layers
      10m 47s
    2. Applying blend modes to shape layers
      3m 36s
    3. Applying layer effects and styles to shape layers
      2m 53s
    4. Adding strokes to shape layers
      5m 14s
    5. Applying Smart Filters to shape layers
      4m 0s
    6. Combining shape layers with layer effects, blending modes, and Smart Objects
      5m 31s
    7. Creating shape layers from type
      3m 32s
    8. Creating web buttons using shape layers
      2m 33s
    9. Using shape layers to mask multiple layers
      3m 6s
    10. Adding shape layers to a photo illustration
      7m 38s
    11. Using shape layers to apply custom gradients to type
      4m 5s
  5. 28m 52s
    1. Finding and loading custom shapes
      3m 13s
    2. Creating your own custom shape
      5m 2s
    3. Creating a custom shape from an Illustrator symbol
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a custom shape from an Illustrator Live Trace object
      9m 40s
    5. Creating seamless patterns from shape layers
      4m 18s
    6. Saving and loading shapes with the Preset Manager
      1m 38s
  6. 30m 10s
    1. What is a vector mask?
      6m 39s
    2. Converting to a selection, vector mask, or layer mask
      5m 17s
    3. Linking and unlinking vector masks
      4m 47s
    4. Using shape layers to create a photo grid
      1m 42s
    5. Feathering a vector mask edge
      2m 54s
    6. Adjusting vector mask density
      3m 16s
    7. Combining vector masks with layer masks
      3m 34s
    8. Working with paths and clipping paths
      2m 1s
  7. 19s
    1. Goodbye
      19s

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