Create a Slick External Hard Disk in Photoshop
We all love gadgets, either collecting them or designing them. Gadgets are the favorite subjects fo
r many designers. Designing them is an incredible way to improve your general skills in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (or any other design-related tool). You will learn a lot of new stuff everytime you create such designs, even if you are an expert in it. Once you know the basics, you can pretty much experiment a lot and create cool concept designs.
We have a new guest author at Richworks. Mohammad Jeprie, a talented designer who has done several cool tutorials in many websites. In this tutorial, he walks us through the creation of a simple, yet modern looking hard disk. Read on…
Hi, welcome to my first tutorial in Richworks. In this tutorial I will show you how to create a modern, slick external hard disk only using Photoshop. This tutorial is not intended for beginners, but however I will try to explain every step as clearly as possible. So, if you have no idea about what a path and a vector shape is, I suggest you to read some basic principles on how to use path and then come back here. You can find some good learning resources on paths at Tutorial9.
Take a look at what we’re going to create in this tutorial. I hope you find it interesting. So, let’s move on.
Software Required : Adobe Photoshop CS or higher
Time Needed : 30 – 45 minutes
Type of Tutorial : Icon design
Start by drawing a rounded rectangle with radius 5px. Transform it (ctrl+T), right click choose perspective, and move its lower corner until we have this shape. This shape is the harddisk’s front panel.
Double click on the rectangle layer and Add these layer styles.
Create new layer. Fill it with radial gradient from white to black. Cange its opacity to 45% with blend mode Screen. This will add a subtle lighting to the front panel.
Using the Pen tool, create a Path as shown below. Select the path and duplicate it. Hit up arrow a few times then from option bar choose subtract.
Let us add Gradient Overlay
Duplicate shape layer. Select both paths and choose intersect.
Add gradient overlay to give it a more shiny look.
Once again, duplicate shape and change its blend mode to Luminosity with opacity 9%. Add gradient overlay with rainbow color and blend mode luminosity. This small step will add a metalic texture to front panel.
Draw a small circle. Add layer styles outer glow and Color Overlay. Make sure you use same color in both styles to make the circle glows.
Now we’ll create top part of the harddisk. Use a rounded rectangle with 5px radius to create a rectangle. transform it until looks like below.
Add gradient overlay.
We need to add highlight to the harddisk to give it a realistic 3D look. We’ll just do it the old fashion way here, drawing. Start by drawing a white line using a soft brush (Use the SHIFT key to get straight lines). Add gaussian blur and lower its layer opacity. Erase unneeded areas using a big soft eraser.
Draw another highlight shadow. See instructon below for more details.
Step 14: Drawing Cable
Next we’ll draw the cable. Using a hard brush (90% hardness) draw a curve line. Add bevel and emboss to give it a 3D look.
This cable is a bit short, don’t you think? We’ll add more cable to it. Draw an 8 shape path. Stroke it with hard brush and add layer styles from previous cable.
Duplicate cable (ctrl+J) and transform it. Do it a few times until we have longer cable.
Now draw some lines across the cable roll. Add layer styles that we used in our cables.
I bet you have a USB device? A mouse, wacom, or maybe camera. Take it and examine its shape, use it as a reference. Next with pen tool recreate it and fill it with gray.
Next, I drew some shape and the line in the USB plug manually. Because this is so small, we dont have to very precise. However, adding small details is always good for the eyes.
Use same technique in step 18 to draw the metal part of the USB plug. Add a few details in that as well.
Almost forget! We need to add a shape for plugging the cable to the device.
Duplicate all cables and merge it (ctrl+E). Place it under the original cable. Transform (ctrl+T) to make it smaller. Fill it with Black.
Now we’ll create shadow for our harddisk. Using lasso tool create selection under the harddisk and fill it with black. Add gaussian blur and lower its opacity to make it very soft.
We’re done creating harddisk and its cable. We just need to add some details. For background I prefer to use a neutral color. I just added a linear gradient from white to light gray.
I also added some text and gave it Bevel and Emboss style and Outer Glow to make it stand out.
Finally, we’re done. I hope you like this final image. If you have some trouble, feel free to ask them in the comments.
Download the PS files:
I love when any tutorial gives the final PSD file for free. Don’t you? So, click here to download the final PSD file.