Photoshop: Radial Metallic Texture

Do your ‘metal’ icons look flat and boring? Have you been looking to add some texture to spice them up a touch? With this very simple method, you can do just that!

I’m going to be using the icon that we created in the last “Siri Icon Tutorial“. As you can see from the current metal plate, it’s fairly plain, it needs texture. So how do we do it? Well there are many ways to create metallic textures, but I’m only going to cover one in this tutorial.

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To start, you need a foundation. The foundation in this case, will be the gradient of the circle. If we take a look at what we’re dealing with, I’m using Angle for the Style, and the gradient itself is quite simple. On both ends, and in the direct middle, we have our dark shade, and in the middle of the dark shades, we have a highlight. You can, of course, add additional shadows and highlights to heighten the metallic look if you chose, but we’ll keep it simple.

Once the Gradient is applied, create a new layer right above your circle layer, and fill that layer with a nice grey tone.

Once you’ve done that, head up to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and we’re going to go crazy with our noise. I’m going to use a value of 60%, set my distribution to Uniform, and turn on Monochromatic.

Good. Obviously, this doesn’t look that great. So what are we going to do? We need to spin this texture to give that radial look to it. To do that, lets to back up to Filter > Blur and choose Radial Blur. In here, make sure that your Blur Method is set to Spin, and that you’re using the Best quality. Now for the amount of blur, we’re going to crank it up to 75! We really want to spin this texture.

When you press okay, you should see a nice, but flat looking texture on your document. We need to blend it with our previous layer, which contains the Gradient Overlay.

To do that, the first thing we need to do, is remove all the excess texture that’s spilling over the circle. With your Command or CTRL key held down, click on the previous layer’s thumbnail to create a selection, then press the Add Layer Mask icon () at the bottom of your Layer’s Panel to hide the texture that we don’t need.

When that’s done, with your texture layer still active, change the Blend Mode to Color Burn, and if you wish, reduce the Opacity to decrease the effect a touch.

That’s looking pretty decent. From here, you’re free to add Adjustment Layers, such as Levels in order to lighten or darken certain tones of your texture. But that should give you a pretty nice looking radial metallic textures for your icons.