Your Very Own Vinyl Record

Here is a fun yet a bit complicated tutorial. Being a music nut, it’s a good one to have laying around. Using Photoshop, you are about to learn how to create your very own vinyl record.

Step 1 – Get It Started
I started out with a 300×300 image at 72dpi. I filled my background layer with a soft gray colour.

Next you want to create a "New Layer Set". In the layers palette there is a "Folder" icon at the bottom. Click on that to create the new set. Name it if like, I named my "vinyl". Now create a new layer inside of the layer set. In the layers palette, the thumbnail will be indented. Fill this layer with a very dark gray, I used #272727.


Now we are going to add some noise to this layer. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Use these settings…

Step 2 – Bring It Out
Next make a copy of the layer we just worked on. Once created, change the "Layer Style" to "Overlay". Now we are going to change the "Brightness/Contrast" to bring out some of the highlights of the vinyl. Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. Here are the settings that I used…

The settings that you use are up to you. Just move the sliders around til you are happy with what you see.

Step 3 – Make The Record

Time now to create the shape of the record. I will use the "Shape" tool to do this.

Place your cursor in the middle of the document. Hold down SHIFT & ALT to create the circle. Holding down SHIFT & ALT makes a perfect circle, created from the middle outward.

After you have your shape created, you will notice that is not exactly in the center of the document. Here is the remedy for that situation. First select the "Move" tool by using the shortcut "V". Then Strong>CTRL+A (win) / COMMAND+A (mac), to select all. (Notice the selection box around the entire document) Up in the top bar, you will see the "Alignment" choices. Choose the "Center Vertical" & "Center Horizontal"

Step 4 – Cut It Out
Now we got the shape of the record but it doesn’t look like a record. Well, that is what we are going to do on this step with some masking.

First thing that needs to be done is loading the selection of the shape. This is done by hold down CTRL (win) / COMMAND (mac) and clicking on the layer containing the shape. Holding down CTRL/COMMAND, take your cursor over the layer and you will notice the cursor changes to a finger with a square beside it. When you see this, that is when you need to click.

Now that the selection is loaded, we are going to use it as a layer mask. First thing, click the "Eye" icon on the shape layer to hide it. Then at the bottom of the layers palette, there is an icon that looks like a rectangle with a circle inside of it. That is the layer mask. Before you click it, make sure that you have the "Layer Set" selected. Once your "Layer Set" is selected, click the "Mask" icon. This is will apply the mask to every layer that is in the "Layer Set".

Starting to look a bit like a record now but it is still missing the small center hole. Select the layer containing
the original circle shape. Once selected used the shortcut CTRL+J (win) / COMMAND+J (mac) to duplicate the layer. CTRL+T (win) / COMMAND+T (mac) to "Free Transform" the new shape.

In the same area where the "Align" commands were located earlier, there are some boxes with a chain between them. This is where we are going to scale down the shape. Click on the "Chain" first, this will make the transform uniform. Then in one of the boxes type "5" and hit enter twice. This will scale the circle down to 5% of it original size.

You record should now look something like this…

Like we did before, we need to apply the new shape to "Mask" we created. So, CTRL/COMMAND click on the new shape layer & hide it. Then choose your "Paint Brush" tool. Select the "Mask" that is applied to the "Layer Set" and paint the selection area Black. Now, the shape is complete.

Step 5 – Slipping Into Contrast
Now that we’ve got the shape and texture down, it’s time to make this vinyl record shimmer in the light. First thing to do is make a new layer above the shapes. I named mine "Contrast" because that is what this layer is going to give the record. In your toolbar, make sure that colours are black & white. (if they aren’t, simply hit "D")

First thing to do is apply the "Clouds" filter.
Filter > Render > Clouds

Next is "Difference Clouds" –
Filter > Render > Difference Clouds

You need to apply this filter a couple of times, so use the shortcut CTRL+F
(win) / COMMAND+F (mac)
, this reapplies the filter.

Step 3 in this is another filter.
Filter > Blur > Radial Blur
Use these settings…
Now your record should look something like this…

Looks weird, but trust me, it will all work out in the end. Change the Layer Style of the "Contrast" layer to "Soft Light". Then Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast I’m not going to give you a setting for this adjustment. This is an area where you can play around with the Brightness & Contrast to get the feel that you are looking for. I gave the Brightness a +33 and the Contrast a -33. Here is what you should be looking at now…

Step 6 – The Highlight
In this step, we are going to add a nice highlight to record as if someone were holding it in their hands inspecting it.

First create a gradient, using these settings…

After you create the gradient, create a new layer above the "Contrast" layer and name it "HighLight". Drag the gradient that you just created in the middle of the layer, like so…
Resulting in…

Wicked. The gradient is now set. Now to transform the gradient to kind of round it off. With the gradient still selected, CTRL+T / COMMAND+T, to go into "Free Transform". Now right click and you will see a menu pop up, select "Perspective".
Use the top left handle of the "Free Transform" box, hold down SHIFT, and drag the handle down. You are wanting the gradient to take this shape…

Once you got it looking that way, hit enter to apply the gradient. Next change the layer style to "Soft Light" and wow, does that make a difference. I also dropped the opacity a bit and also nudge it down to where the points of the gradient are in the middle of the record. Here is what I can up with…

Step 7 – Tweak It If You Must
I created a sticker for the middle of the record to give it an authentic look. I did this by using my shape tool and brushes for design on it.
Do whatever you need to personalize your vinyl record. But that is it. Now if only Photoshop could play it…


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