Creating a Life Like Glass Orb

This time out you will learn how to create a glass orb in photoshop using some simple techniques. Any version of photoshop can be used. You need a source image (For the best look grab an image of an open book). I used a pic from This is kind of a long one so let’s not waste time and begin.

Glass Orb FinalThe first step is to find yourself a good source picture.

Open Book Sample ImageCreate a new layer and take the Elliptical Marquee tool (M) and make a selection. (Hold down shift to make a perfect circle.) Once you have made your selection, take your paint bucket tool (G). Change the foreground colour to D6D3C0 and fill the selection.

Elliptical Marquee Selection
Fill Color D6D3C0
Filled SelectionNext we need to have an Inner Shadow to our orb. Click on your layer styles icon Layer Blending Button in your layers palette and select Inner Shadow. Set the color to white (it will probably be black to start with), set the blend mode to linear dodge, the opacity from around 40-45%, the angle to around -54 degrees, the distance to 30px and the size to 40px. Your image should now look like this:

Inner Shadow Settings
Inner ShadowCreate a new layer. Now we will create a clipping mask, Hold down Alt (Windows) or Option(Mac OS), position the pointer over the line dividing two layers in the Layers palette (the pointer changes to two overlapping circles clipping group pointer ), and click. This will creat the Clipping Mask Now change the background colour in your tool bar to 65645F.

Background Color D6D3C0
We now have our colors to create a gradient. Select the Gradient Tool by right clicking the paint bucket tool and selecting gradient tool. In the top tool bar, make sure the linear gradient is selected. Reverse the selection, dither and transparency are selected. Start your gradient directly in the middle of your ball and pull to the bottom right. Stop just before the ball starts changing colour from where you added the inner glow. Your ball should now look like this: Gradient LayerWe want to change our foreground and background colours back to white (D). Make sure white is the foreground colour. Go back to your gradient tool and instead of the linear gradient, we will now select the next one in line – the radial gradient. this is directly on the right. On the layer we are currently working on, create a layer mask by clicking the layer mask icon Layer Mask Icon at the bottom of your layer pallet. (it looks like a rectangle with a circle in it). Create your gradient by starting in the middle again, this time drag it right to the edge of the shape. You should now have this:

Gradient LayerDuplicate layer 1 by pressing (ctrl J). Drag Layer 1 to the top of your layers pallet. select the top layer (layer 1). Now we need to change and add some blending options so double click on the little f in this layer and select inner shadow. Make sure black is selected and set the blending mode to overlay. Deselect ‘use global light’, set the opacity to 100, the angle anywhere from 100-110, the distance to 20px and the size to 40px.

Second Inner Shadow Settings
Second Inner Shadow Image Then click Inner Glow. Make sure the blend mode it set to normal. Change the opacity anywhere from 10%-20%, change the choke to 45, the size to 50 and the range to 100. You should have something resembling this:

Second Inner Glow Settings
Second Inner Glow ImageCreate a new layer, then grab your brush tool (make sure the foreground is white), set the hardness to 0% and the brush size to around 190px. Click once in the center of your circle, then go to filter > blur > gaussian blur and set the radius from around 20-30. This is a subtle change.

Light Glow ImageCreate another new layer and with your brush tool still selected change the hardness to 100% and the brush size to around 55px. Click once as in the spot which I have:

Glass SparkleAdd a Gaussian Blur to the new dot with a radius of around 4.0. Now on to the eye catching part. Change your layer 1 fill to around 30%. Select your background layer and make an new layer. ctrl click on your layer 1 copy (the ball shape), but make sure the layer you just created is active. Make sure you have a black foreground and a white background (D). Select your gradient tool with the radial gradient (the one we used last time) and make sure reverse is selected. Draw a line with the gradient from the top of the selection to the bottom- right through the middle.

With layer 5 still selected, hit ctrl T to free transform the drop shadow.Take the middle handle at the top and drag it down to the bottom (then hit enter to save the transform and ctrl D to deselect the shape).

Drop Shadow WarppedMove the shape to the right until it looks like its in the right spot. Now we want to change the opacity to 50% and add a gaussian blur with a radius of 3.0.

Drop Shadow BlurredOK, now ctrl click on layer one, making a selection around the orb, but make sure your layer 5 is selected. Go to filter >distort >spherize and set to 100 and hit ok. Now, with the selection still active, click on your background layer and hit ctrl F. This will apply your last filter again. And here is the Final result:

Glass Orb FinalI hope this help you make some impressive glass effect in the future.

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