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20 August 2009 @ 04:05 pm
Button Tutorial  
A tutorial written for whedonland on how to make 2inch buttons ready for printing. A huge thank you to damnskippytoo who gave me the marquee tool trick. :)

Choosing the right image

1. You want to make sure that you choose an image that has a lot of space around it or is a background color that you can easily pick up to make the background larger. This image is cute but the grass would be too hard to replicate. This image or this image are good because the background can be easily reproduced and stretched out to fill in the whole button.

2. Make sure your image is med to hi res. You need 300 dpi in order to make the button look good when printed. To find this out, the easiest way is to open the image in photoshop and go to the image size (Image-->Image Size). If it says 72 dpi like this), you have to get a new image. It can be hard to find but if you stick to med-hi res promos, you should be okay. I finally chose this image for the button.

The button

1. Download the .psd file here for the two inch button. Open the .psd file in photoshop and it will look like this. I wasn't planning on having text on the edges so I went ahead and deleted those layers. With all the text gone, all you should have left is a layer called "guide lines" and one called "background". I went to Layer-->Merge Visible to get the template.

2. Open up a new file with the dimensions of 725x725 and with a resolution of 300 pixels/inch. This is where you can play with your image. Depending on how it looks, you may have to add background, resize, etc. Our Felix image, when resized to a width of 725, was not tall enough for the button (See image here). I used the Free Transform Tool (Edit-->Free Transform) to make him smaller. Make sure you hold shift while you do this. Now with this new size, I added some grey around him to fill out what would overlap in the button. (Shots here and here) I used the eyedropper tool to pick up the grey of his background and then just used the paint bucket to apply it to the bottom background layer. Once it looks good, merge your layers and duplicate this into your template .psd

3. This is where it gets tricky so I hope I don't lose anyone. To help determine where the button would be, I duplicate the background layer (which has the guidelines on it) and brought it to the top. I lowered the opacity to about 40-50% so I could see Felix underneath. Screenshot here. Now I like the way that Felix is positioned. If you don't like it, you can move him and add more grey. For instance, if I wanted him totally centered. (Shot of centered). I just used the default PS brushes, changing the 19 to a 100 and filled in the grey (Filled in here). But like I said, I like him a little off-center.

4. Now here is the tricky part. You are going to want to create a layer mask on the Felix layer. Fill this layer mask in with black using the paint bucket. It will make your whole screen go white except for the guidelines. Now still in the layer mask, use the elliptical marquee tool set on fixed (there is a dropdown menu). This screenshot will show you where everything is. Set the marquee tool to 2.417 in by 2.417 in. Now just click in the field up near the left hand corner. Make sure the little "marching ants" line up with the guidelines. It may take a few tries of clicking because if it is outside the field, the circle will be cut off. Screenshot here.

5. Go to Image-->Adjust-->Invert. Now you should see Felix again! I would suggest saving as a .psd here if you haven't already.

6. Now you are ready for text (optional) I keep the background layer two so that I can see where my text is and how it lines up with the guide. Add whatever you like, in whatever fonts, with whatever effects. I used Cooper Black 22pt, -25 tracking, 18pt spacing with a gradient overlay and a 5pt stroke in yellow.

7. Once I was finished, I tossed out the background layer 2, since it was only a guide for the picture and text. I saved my final product as not only a .psd but also as a .png. When it asks Interlace? Pick None. Final button can be uploaded to the server of your choice.

Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask and I will try to answer them to the best of my limited PS ability.