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By Colleen Wheeler | Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Deke's Techniques: Making a glowing panic button in Photoshop

In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland takes the beautiful glowing jewel he created in last week’s technique, and turns it into a beautiful glowing panic button. Because this time of year, if you’re going to freak out, you want it to be pretty and decorative.

Deke begins the project where we left off last week, with the glowing cabochon he created out of pure Photoshop pixels. Since few people wear panic buttons around their necks (although that would be handy), the first step is to turn off the gold necklace layer. The result is that the glimmering jewel becomes a glowing button.

From glowing jewel to panic button

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

Use a gradient fill

Using the Transform command, he moves the new gradient-filled elipse up to create a highlight on the top side of the button, which starts to distinguish it from its jewel predecessor.

Transform the gradient

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

Feather the selection

The text begins life as a simple text layer, to which Deke first applies a Radial Blur so that the edges of the outer letters start to distort.

Add a radial blur

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

Adjusting the black and white points

But really, is that what we 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, hue adjustment, and layer style fine-tuning gives us a button that immediately makes any day a holiday. Now that’s a cure for the holiday panic!

Because the technique is non-destructive, changes are easy to make.

Deke will be back next week with another free technique.

Interested in more?

• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on lynda.com • Courses by Deke McClelland on lynda.com • All Photoshop courses on lynda.com

Suggested courses to watch next:

• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: IntermediatePhotoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

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