In this tutorial, we will combine the power of pixel editing in Photoshop and vector drawing in Illustrator to draw a realistic compact cassette.
This tutorial is written exclusively for PSD Vault by Mohammad Jeprie, who is an excellent icon designer from Indonesia.
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OK Let’s get started!
Step 1: Preparing Canvas
Start by making new file (Ctrl + N) in Photoshop with size 1000 × 700 pixels.
Step 2: Preparing Paths
We will start by making path needed for the casette shape. Draw a rounded rectangle path with radius 25 px.
In Photoshop CC, you can see the size and other properties of the path in Properties pallete. You can simply edit the parameter to change the path without redrawing it.
Select four topmost point usng Direct Selection tool.
Hit Ctrl + T to transform selected points. Hold Alt and then pull the selection inward.
Hit Enter to accept the transformation process. In Photoshop CC, you may find this warning. What you just did there will change the path to regular path and you no longer can edit its parameter. That’s fine in this case, just hit Yes.
Draw another rounded rectangle inside the shape. This one is area for transparent window where you can see the tape.
And another rounded rectangle. This will be used for its label.
Draw another rounded rectangle on its lower left side. Hit Ctrl + T and then rotate it a bit. Repeat this to the other side.
Draw a rounded rectangle on its lower part.
Hit Ctrl + T to transform it. Right click and select Perspective.
Pull the top part inward.
Duplicate the biggest rounded rectangle path by hitting Ctrl + C and then Ctrl + V.
Select both the duplicate path and the previous path. From the option bar, set its mode to Intersect.
Again, this time select Merge Shape Components. Both shape will intersects.
Duplicate the path and then resize it. So, now we have two identical paths but with different size.
Draw two circle paths on the casette corner. Add two rounded rectangle forming a plus sign and then rotate them a bit. They are going to be screw on the casette body.
Add screw to another corner. Do this simply by duplicating (Alt-drag) the first screw.
Add some thin rectangles path on the center of the transparent window.
We will draw the tape center. This shape is much more complex than the others. So, I prefer to use real vector editing software. My choice is Illustrator since the vector it produce can easily exported to Photoshop. Start by selecting Ellipse tool and then Shift-click and drag to make a new circle.
Draw following shape using Pen tool. While the shape is still selected, select Object Path > Divide Objects Below.
The previous command will cut every shape underneath it. Our circle is now separated. I change its color below so you can easily see the new shape.
Add smaller circle with same origin. Then, add a triangle. Select both shape and select subtract from Pathfinder panel.
Add another circle from same origin. Click Object > Path > Divide Objects Below.
Select two pointy cones and then delete it until we have following shape.
Draw a circle, similar to the previous one. Add a rectangle on its center. Select both shapes. From the Pathfinder panel, click Subtract icon.
Add a smaller circle shape. Select both shape and click Divide icon from the Pathfinder panel.
Right click the shape and click Ungroup.
Delete shapes in its center.
Now, we should have two arch shapes.
Add another circle and rectangle again. Click Unite.
Add bigger circle. Select both shapes and click Divide.
Select left, right, upper, and lower shape and then delete them.
Here’s what we have now.
Select the last two shape and then rotate it.
Draw a thin rectangle on center of the shape.
Right click the shape and select Transform > Rotate.
In the dialog box, set its angle to 60°. Click copy.
Repeat clicking Copy until we have three rectangles.
Draw a small circle on its center. Copy the circle by hitting Ctrl + C. Select circle and one of the rectangle. Click Subtract in Pathfinder.
We have this now.
Repeat this step until we have six rectangles.
Select the six rectangles and then hit Ctrl + Alt + [ to put it behind all other shapes.
Draw a ring shape by making two circles and then set both shapes to Subtract.
Send the ring shape to the back. Now, there are no hole on the shape, except on its center.
Add another ring shape, this time smaller.
We’re done working in Illustrator. Copy all the shapes using Ctrl + C. Return to Photoshop, paste it using Ctrl + V. In the option dialog, paste it as path.
You may need to resize the paths so it fits with the casette tape proportion. Duplicate the path because obviously we need of this.
Draw a ring path made from two circle path with mode Subtract.
Draw another ring shape for the other tape.
Use pen tool to manually draw tape extendign from the circles.
In the end, you should have this set of paths. In a moments, we will convert them into shape layers and then carefully polishing it to get realistic result.
Step 46: Start
Select the main paths that create the casette basic shape. Copy (Ctrl + C) and paste it (Ctrl + V) into new Path.
For the hole and transparent window, set its mode to Subtract.
Click Create New Fill icon from Layers pallete and select Solid Color. For its color, use #40442d.
Double click layer shape and activate Gradient Overlay. Use default white to black gradient with low Opacity.
Ctrl-click the shape layer to make new selection based on its shape. Add new layer. Paint black on left side of the casette.
Here’s the result we have.
Select path we made in Step 12. Hit Ctrl + Enter to convert it to selection. Make new layer and then fill it with color #454930.
Make lots of thin rectangular selections. To do this, draw a thin rectangular path using rectangle tool. Select it then hit Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V to duplicate it. Make new layer, fill it with darker color.
Double click layer and then activate Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow. Hit Ctrl + Alt G to place the lines inside the shape made in Step 51.
Make bigger selection behind the shape, based on the shape made in Step 13.
Make new layer and the paint with black to add soft shadow and white to add highlight. Use soft brush with 0% hardness and small bruzh size. If needed, you can reduce the layer’s opacity to decrease the highlight and shadow effect.
This is what we have if we remove the top shape.
Ctrl + click all layer’s thumbnail until we have new selection which cover all the shape. Make new above all the shapes. Fill it with black.
Click Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
Change its blend mode to Screen. This will add noise texture onto the surface and make it appears more realistic.
We don’t want too much noise on the front face. Add layer mask and then paint with grey to reduce the noise.
Add another noise, but this time darker noise. Make similar selection, add new layer, fill it with white, and then apply Noise filter. Add Layer Mask and then apply grey to white gradient with angle 45°.
Change its blend mode to Multiply and then reduce the Opacity.
Draw a rounded rectangle for the casette label. Use #e1eae9 for its color.
Grab paper texture and place it on top of the shape. Hit Ctrl + Alt + G to convert the texture layer to clipping mask. This way, the paper goes inside the shape. You can reduce the Opacity to soften the paper texture.
Shift-drag with small Brush tool to draw lines in new layer. Make sure to set its size to very small, 1 or 2 px. You can use any color you want for the lines. In this project, I use blue.
Add text onto the casette label. To make it appears more organic, I use free handwriting font, Pacifico.
Make sure the text is selected. Hit Ctrl + T and then rotate it a bit. This will make it more natural.
From the Option Bar, click Warp icon. Use setting seen below.
Draw a rounded rectangle behind the label. Apply Bevel & Emboss and Inner Shadow.
Set layers Fill to 0%.
Make new layer and place it behind the label. Activate Brush tool and set its brush size to 5 px. Dab a few times to paint some small shadows behind the label.
Add two rounded rectangle shapes behind the casette main body. Use darker color than the main body.
Add new layer above the shapes. Paint black to add subtle shadow on its edge.
Add new layer behind the shape. Draw a rectangular selection covering all the holes. Subtract the selection by Alt-dragging with elliptical marque. Try to make new selection as seen below.
In the new layer, fill selection with darker color. This will add illusion of three appearance on the casette surface, make it thick.
To fix the 3D illusion, we also need to add rounded rectangle shape with darker color.
We can also move one step further by drawing casette holes. Here, the result is not too significant because the casette itself is already dark.
To make it realistic, let’s add lighting onto the surface. Make new layer above the shape and convert it to Clipping Mask (Ctrl + Alt + G). Paint white using big soft Brush tool.
Step 73: Bolts
Add a dark circle shape with color #262c28. Apply following Layer Styles to turn it into three dimentional object.
We still need to add custom lighting onto the surface to make it realistic. Ctrl-click the shape to make new selection. Make new layer and then paint white on its side using small size Brush tool.
Add a plus sign shape on top of the surface. Use darker color, #181c1f. Apply Inner Shadow, Inner Glow, and Gradient Overlay to add bevel effect onto the plus shape.
Make new layer and then paint soft highlight inside the plus sign using Brush tool.
Ctrl-drag to duplicate the screw. Place them on each corner.
Pace dark circle behind the screw.
Place another screw on the casette surface. In this position, the screw is much deeper inside the hole. So, we need to make it darker. Make new layer above the screw and convert it to Clipping Mask (Ctrl + Alt + G). Paint shadow covering the screw using Brush tool with low Opacity.
Use marquee tool to draw a frame selection behind the transparent window. Fill it with #444837 and place it behind the casette. This will adds three dimentional appearance onto the casette body.
Use Brush tool to draw big and soft shadow behind the casette.
Step 82: Reel
Select the outmost ring path. Paste it as a separate path. Click Add Adjustment Layer icon and select Solid Color. Select light grey for its color.
Apply Inner Glow and Drop Shadow into the layer.
Add new layer shape made from the next part of the reel. Use same Layer Styles. But, you can see that some of the shadows from Drop Shadow layer style is covering previous shape. We don’t want it.
Double click the layer shape and then activate Layer Mask Hides Effects.
Add layer mask onto the layer and then paint unneeded shadow with black to hid it.
Convert next path to layer shape. Set its color to #303636. Double click the layer shape and then apply Bevel & Emboss and Drop Shadow with following settings.
Convert next path into layer shape. Apply following Layer Styles.
As in previous step, we need to hid some of the shadow from the last shape to prevent it from overlapping this shape. Use same techniques, activate Layer Mask Hides Effects on layer Blending Options, add layer mask, and then paint unneeded areas with black.
Add ring shape on the back of the reel.
Make new rectangular selection. Fill it with white. Click Filter > Noise > Add Noise. make new selection based on the reel shape simply by Ctrl-clicking all its layers. Add layer mask to hid unselected areas. Set its blend mode layer to Multiply. Reduce layer’s opacity if needed.
We almost done with the reel. Add smaller ring shape behind the reel. Use very dark color, #0e1316. Behind it, add set of rectangles with darker color.
To the rectangles, add Bevel & Emboss with following settings.
Here’s how the rectangles looks like, if the other components is hidden.
We are going to make the reel shadow. Ctrl-click the reels shape layer to make new selection based on its shapes.
Make new layer and place it behind the reel. Fill selection with black. Click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
Activate Move tool. Hit Left and Down arrow a few times to move the reel shadow.
Add some thin lines on the window’s center. Put minute information below it.
Ctrl-click the text and the lines. Make new layer and place it behind. Fill with black. hit Ctrl + D to deselect. Apply small Gaussian Blur filter, use Move tool to move the result a few pixels to the left..
Draw a ring shape with color #1f2825. Place it behind the reel.
Apply following Layer Styles.
Ctrl-click one of the ring shape. Make new layer and then fill it with color #141a1a.
Apply Add Noise filter.
Click Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. Select Spin for its method. Click OK.
Convert the shape to Clipping Mask (Ctrl + Alt + G).
Repeat same step to the other reel.
Use Pen tool to draw part of the tape.
Apply Gradient Overlay to give it natural lighting.
Make new layer and hit Ctrl + Alt + G to convert it to Clipping Mask. Paint shadow on some parts of the tape.
Select tape and its reel.
Fill selection with black. Deselect (Ctrl + D) and then apply Gaussian Blur filter. Move it a few pixels to the left.
Repeat same step to add more shadow until they appear realistic.
You may need to manually draw the shadow to get a realistic result. Such as this one. This part of the tape shadow appears realistic because it match the tape distance to the surface.
Add darker shadow behind the tape reel.
Step 113: Window
Make new layer. Make rectangular selection covering the window and then fill it with white. Reduce its Opacity. We want to make a transparent plastic on front of the window.
Make new layer and then paint soft line using Brush tool on the window surface. Use white to get a highlight drawn on the window surface.
Repeat the step to add another highlight on top part.
Make new layer and then paint random white shape using Brush tool on the window surface. Reduce teh layer Opacity. The effect is very subtle, but it helps to add realism onto the final result.
Let’s add another highlight. Draw random selection using Lasso tool. Make new layer aand then fill it with white to black gradient. Erase unneeded areas using soft Eraser tool.
Reduce its layer’s Opacity. You can also play around with the blend mode.
Grab sctratches texture and place it on top of the window. Change its blend mo Overlay and reduce its Opacity. Depending on the texture you use, you may need to select different blend mode. Feel free to experiment.
Repeat this step to other that you feel need more texture.
We xcan also add scratches texture right onto the casette to make it dirtier. Ctrl-click the casete container tape to make new selection based on its shape.
Make new layer and put it behind all other layers. Fill selection with black. Apply Gaussian Blur filter to soften it. Move it a few pixels down and left. This will be the casette shadow.
Add softer and bigger shadow using same technique. You can see that we have just finished the drawing. I think this is pretty realistic. What do you think?