How to Draw a Mac Mini – Photoshop Tutorial

We all love Apple’s sleek, simple, and smooth designs. The chrome, the white, the sharp blacks all accented with the iconic metallic Apple seem to personify quality, productivity, and fun. Why wouldn’t we all take a Mac mini? Well, you can take your very own Mac home tonight by completing this tutorial! Take a look, open up Photoshop, and get going!

Tutorial Inspiration: http://365psd.com/day/2-287/

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Step 1:

Create a new Photoshop document sized 1280px by 720px and choose a nice dark gray and fill your background with that color.

Step 2:

Create a new layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + Alt/Opt + N. Grab your Brush Tool (B) and set the brush to a basic round brush with a size of 1000 px at 0% hardness. Set your foreground color to white by hitting your (D) key and then the (X) and click once in the center of your document. Reduce this layer to 20% opacity.

Step 3:

Go Filter>Noise>Add Noise and add the noise levels that I have.

Step 4:

Grab your Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and set the tool to draw Shape layers by selecting the icon I have up in the Tool Options Bar. Also set the Radius to 40px. Hold down your shift key and drag out a perfect square.

Step 5:

Add both the Inner Shadow and the Gradient Overlay that I have. Play with your gradient a bit to get a nice metallic looking stripe. TIP: When creating metal gradients just be aware that placing bright grays next to darker grays will create the contrast we want to create the metallic look.

Step 6:

Rename that layer “Mini-Top” and hit Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate the layer. Rename this new layer “Inset” and go Layer>Layer Style>Clear Layer Style. Hit Cmd/Ctrl + T and hold down your Shift + Alt/Opt keys and drag this shape inward just a little bit as I have in my screenshot.

Step 7:

Apply both the Color Overlay and Inner Glow that I have.

Step 8:

Grab your “Mini-Top” layer and duplicate it. Clear those Layer Styles as we did earlier and drag it below both of our Shape layers. Rename the layer “Base”. Grab your Move Tool (V) and nudge it downward 30 pixels by holding your Shift key down and pressing the down arrow three times.

Step 9:

Apply the Drop Shadow and Gradient Overlay that I have. Again, play with the grays in your gradient to get a nice metallic look.

Step 10:

Grab your Custom Shape Tool (It is located beneath your Rectangle/Other Shape Tools) and choose any shape you like. You’ll want to make sure that your Shape tool is drawing a new Shape layer.

Step 11:

Deselect any path that may be selected by simply hitting your Enter/Return key. Draw out your shape in the middle of the Mac mini that we’re drawing. Go Layer>Layer Style>Clear Layer Style. (If your shape is not filled with black, set the fill to black here.) Reduce the Opacity of this layer to 20%.

Step 12:

Grab your Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a small slot on the face of our Mac Mini.

Step 13:

Set your Rounded Rectangle Tool to a 4px radius. Draw a small shape near the top right corner of our shape and change the fill color to white just as I have. Rename this layer “Plug” and drag it below all of our other Shape layers.

Step 14:

Add the Drop Shadow, Inner Glow, and Gradient Overlay that I have.

Step 15:

Double check and make sure that you’ve got the “Plug” layer selected and then use your Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a long thin shape to be the cord running out of the plug. The Layer Styles associated with the “Plug” layer will automatically be added to this cord. Simply make sure that the fill of this layer is set to white and then drag it below the “Plug” layer. NOTE: I renamed my layer “Cord”.

Step 16:

I’m going to grab a CD (Learn how to make the exact CD I am using right here ») and drop it into my Photoshop document. Size this CD down until it is just a bit smaller than the disc slot in the front of out Mac mini.

Step 17:

Let’s boost the contrast of this CD. Add a Layers Adjustment Layer by going Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Hold down your Alt/Opt key and hover over the line between our CD layer and the Adjustment layer and click. You will see the cursor change to the “Create Clipping Mask” icon.

Step 18:

Grab your Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and create a selection over the portion of the disc that is going to be inside of our Mac mini. Go Layer>Layer Mask>Hide Selection. Go Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and add about 2px of Gaussian blur to the mask.

Step 19:

That’s it! You have successfully created a nice little Mac mini! Enjoy!