Photoshop: Carbon Power!

To celebrate the launch of the new, let’s power things up with a shiny, carbon power button!

Carbon Power Button in Photoshop


[raw] [/raw]

Let’s begin by creating the basic shapes of our design, then we’ll focus on making it pretty. Grab your Ellipse Tool from the Tools Panel on the left, and draw out a perfect circle (hold the Shift Key) in the middle of your document. Make sure to leave room on the sides for our border, which we’ll add on at the end.

Continuing with the Ellipse Tool, create another, smaller circle inside our larger circle. It would be best if you chose a different color so that we can see the different shapes.

Now we need to punch a hole in the center of this circle, so that we’re only left with a donut looking shape. With your Ellipse Tool still selected, make sure the “Subtract from shape area” button is punched in at the top, then drag out another perfect circle inside of the current circle. While you’re dragging out the circle, you can hold the Spacebar to move the circle around.

You should be left with a shape that resembles a donut:

Now we need to remove a section of this circle at the top, and create a diagonal edge. To do this, grab your Rectangle Tool, which is in the same flyout as your Ellipse Tool, and make sure to punch in the same “Subtract from shape area” button on your Options Bar at the top.

Go ahead and drag out the area that you want removed at the top of the smaller circle. If all goes well, that area of the circle should be missing. If you’re okay with the vertical edges, you can skip the next step, but to give the shape a bit of style, I’m going to adjust the shape a touch. Grab the Direct Selection Tool from your Tools Panel, then click on your current donut shape.

You should see the different paths that make up this donut, including the paths of the subtracted shapes. Clicking on the Rectangle should show you the Anchor Points of that shape. This will allow us to move those points, and in return, change the direction of the edges. Move the top points outwards, and the bottom points inwards. You should be left with something like this:

Good! That shape is complete. The next shape is quite simple. It’s simply a Rounded Rectangle, which again, is found with all your other shapes. Make sure, that before you start dragging the shape, that you switch back to the “Create new shape layer” button on your Options Bar, and choose a nice large Radius value. I’d say around 30. Drag out the shape and place it in-between the donut.

The last shape we’re going to create, is the border, or rim, that goes around our button. This is also an optional step, but I think it gives the design some flavor. To make things easy, I’m going to duplicate the smaller donut by clicking on the layer, then using the Duplicate Layer shortcut. Command+J on a Mac, CTRL+J on a PC.

Once the layer is duplicated, we need to enlarge it, then add back the missing chunk at the top. To scale this shape, Use the Command/CTRL+T shortcut key to enter Transform Mode, then scale the shape up using the corner nodes. To keep the proportions of the shape, make sure you’re holding down your Shift key while dragging.

Accept the changes once you’re happy with it’s position. Now, to add back the missing chunk, grab the Path Selection Tool from the Tools Panel, and click on the larger donut shape. You should see the hidden paths appear. Clicking on the Rectangle should select it. You can tell it’s selected when all of it’s Anchor Points become visible.

Press Delete or Backspace on your keyboard to remove it. Your design should look something like this:

Good! We’ve not got our design mapped out.

Making it Pretty!

Let’s start with the circle in the back. Once you select that layer, hop into your Layer Styles. You can either Double-Click on your layer, or head up to Layer > Layer Styles > Gradient Overlay. We’re only going to add a Gradient Overlay to this layer. The settings can be seen below:

That’s it! Moving on to the smaller donut shape, this one will contain a bunch more Layer Styles, which can be seen below. You’re free to change the settings to your liking.

Once you’re happy with the look of the inner donut, we can copy these settings onto the rounded rectangle. Right-click on the current shape, and choose Copy Layer Styles. Then right-click on the Rounded Rectangle shape, and choose Paste Layer Styles. If you need to, you can edit the settings to your liking, but they shouldn’t need too much tweaking.

Our final shape will be a two parter. The first part will the be Layer Styles, then the second part, we will apply the carbon fiber pattern. Go ahead and open your Layer Styles for the larger donut shape, and apply the following Styles:

Now that the Styles are applied, we need to apply the carbon fiber pattern. The pattern I will be using, I found over at You can also use an image of carbon fiber if you wish as well. Create a new layer in your Layer’s Panel, then grab your Paint Bucket Tool from the Tools Panel. If you’ve downloaded a pattern, switch “Foreground” to “Pattern” on your Options Bar.

Instead of filling the entire document with this pattern, we only want to fill the large donut. To do this, hold down your Command (Mac) or CTRL (PC) key, and click on the thumbnail of the large donut’s layer to create a selection.

Now you can use the Paint Bucket to fill only that area.

Deselect the selection by using the Command/CTRL+D shortcut key. Obviously, it looks way too fake. We need to blend it with our previous layer. In the Layer’s Panel, change the Blend Mode of the newly created carbon fiber layer to Soft Light. You should see something like this:

From here, you’re free to add any additional ‘shiny’ elements to your design if you wish, but that just about concludes the tutorial. If you are looking to change the color of the design, you can either go into the Gradient Overlays and change the colors manually, or you can add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to the top of your stack, and change the Hue value.

See you next time!