So how about trying our hand making a DVD in PS ?

I’m not going to go into tweaking each of the elements that make up this tutorial, that will be your job. I’m going to show you how to easily put together a DVD – put one of your images on it if you like – place it differently – anything can be done to each of the layers. You might want to read through this first to get an idea of what is happening. Just shift click or ctrl click on the images to be taken to the larger view.

Open a new image in PS 800 × 600 and choose a darkish colour for the b/ground (you’ll see why later – I want to show you something). Don’t forget to double click on your b/ground layer and click ok on the dialogue box that comes up to make the b/ground layer editable. Create a new layer by clicking on the create new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette, then grab your elliptical marquee tool, and whilst holding down the shift + alt keys draw out a circle – don’t make it too big, we will be distorting it later. Fill this with white. Leave the marching ants showing and duplicate the layer three times by dragging the layer to the create new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette.

You should have something similar to the image below, ignore my text layers. Deselect the selection.

You’ll notice that I have named the layers and that may be a good idea for you to do as well.

Turn on (click on) the next layer up the stack, mine is called ‘main’ and I want you to press Ctrl + T on your keyboard to bring up the Transform Tool, or you can go to Edit>Transform>Scale. Holding down your Shift + Alt keys scale down the circle similar to the image below. We are trying to form the outside edge of a DVD as it faces us. You’ll also notice that I’ve highlighted an icon in the layers palette, we’re going to be using that next, so you need to know where it is. Ignore the hole in the dvd, yours will not look like this 🙂

Still working on the same layer, I want you to click on the ‘Lock Transparency’ icon at the top of the layers palette (refer to the above image to locate it). Go and choose a colour to fill this layer with – alternatively, you could use one of your images. Once you have a colour, and it is set as the f/ground colour use Alt + Backspace on your keyboard to fill it.

Make the ‘plastic’ layer active and click on it to make sure you are working on that layer and repeat the previous step with the Transform Tool, making the circle smaller this time – see image below.

This is where it gets interesting 🙂 I want you to select the circle you just scaled down, with the magic wand tool. Now, click back on the ‘edge’ layer (not the b/ground) and press the delete key. Then click on the ‘main’ layer (check my images for the names on my layers) and press the delete key, click back on the ‘plastic’ layer and you can deselect the marching ants.

Before we scale down the ‘spindle’ layer, we will have to fill it with a colour other than white so it stands out against the ‘plastic’ layer. Lock the transparency again and fill it with black. Finally, we’re going to scale down the ‘spindle’ layer the same way we have with the other three layers. Follow the instructions above. Make this one smaller – see image below, and we’re going to punch a hole in the spindle layer,
select the black with the magic wand tool, then press the delete key. You should now have something similar to the image below.

Now click on the little icon on the b/ground layer to make the layer invisible – might say Layer 0 if you didn’t name it (like me), then go and merge the visible layers, and then you can turn on the background layer again.

I’m going to distort the DVD layer with the Transform Tool, press Ctrl + T on the keyboard, or go to Edit>Transform>Scale and, working on the centre square on the bottom line, push the image up about a third or halfway. When you are happy with it press the enter key – see image below. You can rotate or distort the image as well if you want.

Next I want you to duplicate the dvd layer by dragging it to the create new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Working on the DVD layer, I want you to lock the transparency again. We’re going to make an edge for our DVD, so go pick a colour – I picked a medium grey. Once you have the colour you want, go ahead and fill the layer. You won’t be able to see any visible change at the moment. Make sure your selection tool is active and I want you to use the down arrow on your keyboard to nudge the the layer down. I tapped my down arrow key 7 times to create the dvd edge in the image below, which in reality would be a little bit too much, but I’ve done that to show you what is going on. Try tapping yours down about 5 or 6 to make it smaller.

Before we leave this layer, I want you to make sure that it is the active layer by clicking on it and then I want you to lock the trnsparency of the layer. To make the edge look a little more realistic we are going to throw in a couple of shadows and highlights. With a largish soft brush and with the f/ground colour set to black (refer to below image if I’m not making any sense) throw in a shadow along the left and right edges of the side view and one inside the spindle hole (to the left). Switch your f/ground colour to white and throw a highlight around the centre area of the edge view and inside the spindle hole to the left. If you have used white like have for the edge on the main disc you might like to try a light grey for the highlight.

Okay, we’re getting near the end of this now – so deep breath and lets carry on.

You’ll probably notice that we still have the white area around the spindle hole (that we named plastic waaaaay up there somewhere) and we need to make that a little bit see through. So I want you to click on the eye icon next to the b/ground layer – layer o, or whatever you named it – the red layer in my case, to make it invisible and then go ahead and use ‘merge visible’ to merge the other layers together. Click on the eye icon again on the b/ground layer to make it visible. Click on the DVD layer and drag it to the create new layer button at the bottom of the layers palette. Click on the top layer to make sure you are working on it and grab your magic wand tool, then click on the white area. If you used white for the outer edge of the main disc like I did, then that is going to select as well – that’s fine, we can fix that. Using the Lasso Tool, or the Rectangular Marquee Tool go to the top menu bar and select the icon that says Subtract From Selection. Now, go and select around any of the marching ants that you don’t want and as soon as you join up the two ends if you are using the Lasso they will disappear. If you use the Rectangular Marquee, just select around the ants that you don’t want and they will disappear. Refer to the image below. Once you are left with just the centre white area selected, I want you to click on the layer below and hit the delete key – not on the b/ground layer. Click back on the top layer, deselct the selection and take the opacity of that layer down to suit – I used 25%. Refer to the image after the one below.

Make the b/ground layer invisible by unchecking the little eye icon and ‘merge visible’ so that the 2 DVD layer are one, then drag that layer to the create new layer icon at the bottom of the layers palette and click on the back layer i.e. not the top one. Should be the middle layer. Go ahead and lock the transparency, then with black as the f/ground colour fill the dvd. This is going to be the cast shadow for the dvd. With your selection tool, drag the shadow layer down to where you want it to be.

Still working on the shadow layer uncheck the lock transparency icon at the top of the palette then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and blur the shadow to suit – and below is our completed image. I also reduced the opacity of this layer to 50%

So what have we learned ….

1) That I really wasn’t kidding when I said I wasn’t going to refine any of the edges/layers 🙂

2) All about Locking Transparency and how it can be helpful to you.

3) How to make an illusion of 3D in a 2D space.

4) And that any steps taken in making the DVD can be used for other things.

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