Working with layers and the quick mask
In this tutorial we will create a round download button using a layered image.
Create a button with texture
1. In the first step we create a new layer based image using the "File/New/New Image..." menu item. We select 256x256 as the image size and choose a transparent background.
The New Image Dialog
2. Select a colored gradient from the Gradients panel. This will be used as your button color. IcoFX comes with many predefined gradients. Press the "Load Gradients" toolbar button on the Gradients panel to load additional gradients. Load a gradient file Ex. Colors.grd. Choose to append the new gradients to the already existing ones, don't clear the existing ones.
3. Select the ellipse tool from the Tools panel. Set the properties of the ellipse tool on the Tools Properties panel.
We set the following properties
- Set the outline to "Fill only" so we don't have any outline for the ellipse
- Set the fill to "Radial Gradient"
- Set the x and y coordinate of the gradient center to 25% so that the center of the gradient will be shifted to top-left.
4. Draw the button on the canvas
Note: You can hold down the Shift key while dragging the ellipse to get a circle.
Gradient Filled Ellipse
5. Next we import an image as a new layer. This image will be used as texture for the button. To import the image use the "Import From File" toolbar button on the Layers panel. Select the image and a new layer will be created from the image.
6. We want to have texture only on the button, so wee need to delete the extra parts from the texture image. Select the Magic Wand tool on the Tools panel, set the tolerance to 70%. Make sure that the button layer is selected and not the texture layer. Click on the top left corner of the image. This will select the empty area around the button. If something went wrong you can deselect the selection using the "Edit/Deselect" menu item and start over.
7. We want to soft the edges of the selection for a smoother appearance. For this we will use the quick mask mode of IcoFX. Press the Quick Mask button on the Tools panel (last button). This will show the selection as a mask and you can edit this mask. To smooth the edges we use the blur effect on the mask. Use the "Effects/Blur/Blur" menu item. Exit the quick mask mode by pressing the Quick Mask button again.
Quick Mask Mode
8. Now the selection is ready, we can delete the extra area of the texture. Make sure that the texture layer is selected in the Layers panel. Use the "Edit/Delete" menu item to delete the selected area. We can now get rid of the selection also using the "Edit/Deselect" menu item.
Extra Texture Deleted
9. To complete the texture we must change the blend mode and opacity of the texture layer. Select the texture layer and open the Layer Properties dialog using the "Layer Properties..." toolbar button on the Layers panel.
We can set the name of the layer on this dialog. We set the blending mode of the layer to "Overlay" and the opacity to 50%. Press OK to apply the changes. The button with the texture looks like this:
The Textured Button
Create the arrow image
10. We create an arrow on the button to symbolize downloads. We do not create a simple line, we want a gradient filled line. We add a new layer for the arrow using the "New Layer" toolbar button on the Layers panel.
11. To create a gradient filled arrow we first create an arrow shaped selection and fill it with a gradient. To create the arrow shaped selection we will use the quick mask again. Make sure that the new empty layer is selected. Press the Quick Mask button on the Tools panel to enter in the quick mask mode.
12. Select the line tool on the Tools panel to draw an arrow. Set the properties of the tool in the Tool Properties panel.
We set the line width to 60 pixel, set the start cap of the line to an arrow and set the end cap to rounded. Using this configuration we can draw an arrow. Draw the arrow on the mask using a white color.
Note: If you hold down the Shift key while drawing the line you can draw vertical lines.
Arrow on the Mask
Exit the quick mask mode by pressing the Quick Mask button again. If something went wrong you can deselect the selection by exiting the quick mask mode and using the "Edit/Deselect" menu item and start over.
13. Now we fill the arrow selection with a gradient. Select the gradient tool in the Tools panel and select a black and white gradient in the Gradients panel. Fill the selection with the gradient.
Gradient Filled Selection
14. We create an emboss effect for the arrow to get a 3d look. First duplicate two time the arrow layer using the "Duplicate Layer" toolbar button on the arrow layer. Now we have three layers with arrows.
15. Increase the brightness of the bottom arrow layer. Use the "Adjustments/Brightness And Contrast..." menu item to increase the brightness of the image with 90.
Now using the Move tool move the whole layer down about 2 pixels so that the bottom of the bright arrow will be visible a little.
Bright Arrow Visible
16. Now we select the middle arrow layer and decrease its brightness with 90. This will result in a darker arrow.
Now using the Move tool move the whole layer up about 2 pixels so that the top of the dark arrow will be visible a little.
Dark Arrow Visible
Create a reflection
17. Optionally you can add a reflection to the button. Add a new layer for the reflection using the "New Layer" toolbar button on the Layers panel.
Using the ellipse tool with a gradient fill we create an ellipse on the button. For this we select a white to transparent gradient from the Gradients panel. Set the fill of the ellipse to "Linear Gradient" and set the gradient angle to -90 to get a top white and bottom transparent gradient fill.