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Creating An Apple iPOD

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The iPod's sleek curves and elegant functionality have taken the world by storm, bringing the once enthusiast-only MP3 player market into the public eye. Of course, not everybody can afford such electronic luxuries, and there even exist those of us who would find no use for such devices anyway.  That doesn't mean, of course, that you can't save yourself some money and create an iPod-style image in Photoshop.   It's not particularly portable, but it looks nice and is free! All you need is Photoshop and an hour or so of free time... :)

Stage 1: The Base
Before going any further into this tutorial, seek out a source image for an iPod model of your choice.  Pop your reference image next to your main document when working, and this will allow you to get your proportions right and reduce needless alterations later.  

Step 1: Lets get started! Open up a single-layer 800*600px document in Photoshop and Edit > Fill the background layer with a solid black color.  Create a new layer on top (Layer > New > Layer), and set your foreground color to #f0f0f2.  Use the rounded Rectangle Tool (with the corner radius set at 25px) to draw your iPod base (i.e. a long thin vertical rectangle).  With the shape layer still active, choose Layer > Layer Style > Stroke from the main menu and fill in the settings shown below...

NB.  If you are using a newer version of Photoshop, you will need to ensure that the rounded Rectangle Tool (and, in fact, all shape tools mentioned in this tutorial) have the 'Fill Pixels' option active.  Any other mode will give you the shape outline or path only.

Step 2: Ctrl-click the rectangle layer thumbnail, and create a new layer on top of the other layers (i.e. at the top of the layers palette). Choose select > modify > expand from the menu and set the size to 3px. Press OK. Change your foreground color to #b7b7b9. Select your Gradient Tool and select the gradient that goes from 0% opacity (i.e. transparency) to 100% opacity (i.e. solid color).  Now make your gradient in the selection on your new layer by dragging it along horizontally right to left, as illustrated in the example image below.

NB.  If you are using a Mac, use the OPT key instead of CTRL.

Step 3: Select your new gradient by CTRL-clicking the topmost (i.e. gradient) layer thumbnail in the layers palette. Set your foreground color to #7c8185. Make a new layer on top of all the others and then create another gradient as shown in step 2. Now CTRL-click your new gradient, make the gradient layer UNDERNEATH it active, and remove the excess pixels by pressing DELETE on your keyboard.  Select the gradient at the top of the layers palette and Layer > Merge Down to merge the two gradient layers.  CTRL-Click the original rectangle shape layer, make the gradient layer active in the layer palette, and DELETE again.  You should be left with a detailed bevel like the one on the left.

Make a new layer directly above your iPod-shape layer. Now once again CTRL-click your shape layer to form an active selection. Change your foreground color to #d4d5d7. Select the Gradient Tool with the same gradient type as before, and create a gradient as illustrated in my example to the right. This creates a body shine which we can adjust later.

Step 4: Make a new layer on top of all the others and name it Shine. Get out the Polygon Lasso Tool and draw a shape with a diagonal going across middle of your iPod as shown in the animated GIF to the left. Edit > Fill the completed shape with a solid white color (you can complete the shape at any time by double-clicking - this will connect the ends together). Don’t worry about edges - you can make the shape as big on the outside as you need, and remove the excess by CTRL-clicking on the original shape layer, making the shine layer active in the layers palette, reversing your selection via Select > Inverse, and then pressing DELETE on the keyboard.  No need to lower the opacity of the shine just yet - this is ideally left until the end of the design process.

PS.  If you don't like the hard-edged shine, you can add a Gaussian blur to the shine and trim off the excess once again.



We have now finished making the basic shape of our iPod. For the sake of neatness it may be advantageous at this moment to create a new layer set folder (Layer > New > Group) and move all layers except the background and shine into it.   The background should remain the layer at the bottom of the layers palette throughout this tutorial, with the shine at the top - all other content should now be sandwiched between these two layers.  You may find it advantageous to hide both shine layers until later, as they will show through onto work in the next two stages and may be confusing.

Stage 2: The Click Wheel

Step 1: Create a new layer above your existing shape layers (yet, as mentioned before, BELOW your shine layer), and call it ClickWheel.

Change your foreground color to #cfd0d5 and, using the Ellipse Tool, make the basic circle shape of your click wheel (holding down SHIFT whilst you drag will give you a perfectly round circle). With the shape layer still active, choose Layer > Layer Style > Stroke and enter the settings as shown on the right.   Make a new layer on top of the ClickWheel and CTRL-click your clickwheel layer. Choose select > modify > expand, and enter in a setting of 2px. Reset your color palette so that you have black as your foreground color and white as the background color. Select the Gradient Tool as before and draw a diagonal linear gradient as illustrated in my animated example below. Lower the opacity of this new layer to 10%.

Step 2: Now its time to tackle those little icons! Change your foreground color to white (if it is not already). Use the polygon tool (3 sides) and the line tool or Pencil Tool to make the fast forward, rewind, and play/pause icons. (if you duplicate the fast forward button and flip it horizontally, you have a rewind button).   This is just basic mouse work - nothing too complex.   All that's left is the menu button, which looks best with Arial font text set to strong anti-aliasing.  The settings I used are as below, but sizes will vary depending on the overall scale and design of your individual project.


Step 3: Create a new layer above the ClickWheel-Gradient layer made towards the end of step 1. Change your  foreground color to #fbfbfb and use your Ellipse Tool to make the white area in the middle of the clickwheel.

As mentioned towards the end of stage 1, now would be a good time to move all your clickwheel layers into their own layer set for organisational ease.   If you have done everything correctly, you should now have something that resembles my image to the right.

- Tutorial written by Jimmy1012

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Last 5 User Comments

User:  saxc (#39137)
Date: Sat Mar 10, 2007. 09:04:11

Post #2 of 2

Thanks soooo very much!!! Great idea and awesome tutorial. Keep up the good work.

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User:  Baeowulf (#29651)
Date: Fri Jul 07, 2006. 22:47:12

Post #1 of 2

[link] Thanks a lot

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