Placing an Image Inside a Glass Orb

This is a nifty effect that we’re seeing more and more of these days. Here’s a simple tutorial for placing an object inside a glass orb.

Step one is to first create your glass orb. Start off with a new document 500 x 500 px.

Next, create a circle using the elliptical shape tool (U) by holding shift while dragging your shape. This assures you the circle will be symmetrical. Double click the color palette next to your shape and change the circle’s color to #0f7cd8. Now rasterize the layer by right clicking the layer in the layer palette and selecting rasterize.

It’s a good idea to give this circle a light gradient so double click the layer to bring up the layer style palette and apply a gradient overlay using #0f7cd8 on one end and #1867aa on the other.

Your next step is to create a smaller circle (an oval works well too) about 25% of the original circle’s size with color #4d9fe5. Place this at the bottom of the circle. You’ll want to rasterize this one as well.

Click Filter | Blur | Gaussian Blur and set the radius to approximately 22. Set the opacity to about 55%

Next, create another oval about half the size of your original circle and place it at the very top. Rasterize this layer as well, set the fill to 0 and the opacity to about 45%. Again, we’ll apply a gradient overlay in the layer style menu using #FFFFFF on one end and transparent on the other.

Great! Now we have our orb. Next we’ll put our image or icon inside. This part is easy, simply place your image behind the two oval layers in the layers pallete. Now, go back to your original Circle layer. Press (V) to grab your Move Tool. Then hit CTRL-A to select the entire screen. Now, press up on your keypad once followed by down on your keypad once. You should now have a selection the same size as your circle. Next, hit CTRL-I to invert your selection.

Move to your layer containing the image you just brought in by selecting it in the layers palette and pressing delete. And there you have it!

This tutorial was written by Brett Adams, web developer and new venture blogger.

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