How to Create a Mouse in Photoshop

May 26, 2010 • By

In this tutorial, we’ll attempt to create a realistic computer mouse. The use of Layer styles would be key here, especially in the areas of gradients, shadows and glows. This post took a little longer to complete than I anticipated.

Step 1

We start off with a document with a dimension of 800 by 900 pixels and a resolution of about 200 dpi. On the Tools bar, you may select the Pen Tool (P) but for me, I chose the Freeform Pen Tool though you might be better off with a Pen Tool for precision sake. I just wanted to demonstrate here that, no matter how jagged or undefined a shape is, the Pen Tool options can be used easily to create any shape desired with straighter and smooth lines.

With the Pen Tool or Freeform Pen Tool selected, choose ‘Paths’ on the Pen Tool’s Options bar. Now, we’ll draw the top part of the mouse. (Like I said earlier, the Pen Tool would be easier to use for those that don’t possess a steady hand).

Step 2

From the Pen Tool sub menu, select Add Anchor Point Tool to add anchor points where necessary. You can use the mouse or directional keys on the keyboard to move these points steadily.

Step 3

For better curves, you’ll find that some anchor points have extensions. These direction points can be dragged  inwards and outwards to create curved lines.

Step 4

The mouse is taking shape now. Zoom out (Ctrl+-) to see how smooth and rounded the corners of the mouse are and make the adjustments on defaulting anchor points by moving them up or down where necessary.

Step 5

We’ll have to reduced some anchor points for smoother curves using the Delete Anchor Point Tool.

Step 6

Click on some more anchor points to delete and use the anchor direction points to adjust the curves in the appropriate direction for a more rounded shape.

Step 7

With the Paint Bucket Tool (G), fill the shape with any color as it doesnt matter. You may name this layer “mouse top.”

Step 8

Double-click on the “mouse top” layer for a Layer style. Select the Gradient Overlay Layer style and edit Gradient color as shown below:

The result:

Step 9

Still on the same layer, select a Bevel and Emboss Layer style.

The result now adds a solid shade on the mouse that follows its contours.

Step 10

The mouse is too smooth and so we’ll add a faint grainy look for it. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set of Amount of 6.5%. After the Noise Filter’s been applied, duplicate it (mouse top copy).

We have here the result:

Step 11

On the “mouse top” layer, add a Drop Shadow Layer style with its Distance at 8px, Size a 5px and an Angle of 100 degree.

Step 12

For the “mouse top copy” layer, apply an Inner Glow Layer style and reduce the layer’s opacity (on the Layers Palette) to 85%.

The result:

Step 13

Go to Image>Adjustment>Brightness/Contrast and reduce the Brightness to -70.

Step 14

With the Pen Tool selected, create the bottom half of the mouse.

Step 15

Right-click still with the Pen Tool and select a black color: #0d0e10.

Step 16

Create a new layer and name it “wheel bevel.” Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and draw an oblong shape and with the Free transform Tool (Ctrl+T), rotate it.

Apply a Bevel and Emboss Layer style to the “wheel bevel” layer with the parameters below:

Step 17

We’ll now make the bevel have a little more depth by editing its Contour properties. With the Contour type as Cone, click on it to bring up the Contour Editor and add points to the Contour Map as shown below:

Step 18

Add an Inner Shadow Layer style with the parameters below:

Step 19

Follow up with an Inner Glow Layer style for a soft outline around the bevel.

The result:

Step 20

Reduce the “wheel bevel” layer’s opacity to 85%.

Step 21

Use the Ellipse Tool to draw a smaller ellipse within the bevel. Fill with a black color and name the layer “hollow.”

Step 22

Create a new layer “line” and select the Line Tool (U) with a Weight of 4 px. Draw a diagonal line across the most half of the mouse.

Step 23

On the Tools bar, select the Add Anchor Points Tool from Pen Tool’s sub options. Adjust the bend of the line at specific points as shown below:

Step 24

Fill the line with a black color by right-clicking it selecting the color.

Step 25

For the “line” layer add a Bevel and Emboss Layer style with the values below:

Step 26

Also select an Inner Glow Layer style with the following values:

Step 27

Place the “line” Layer below the “hollow” layer.

Step 28

For a “line 2” layer, draw a horizontal line across the mouse.

Step 29

Select the Add Anchor Point Tool and adjust the added anchor points for a slight bend. Both ends of the line should be made narrower.

Step 30

On the upper part of the line, drag two anchor direction points upwards for an arc. Do the same for the lower line.

Step 31

Have the line filled and proceed to add a Bevel and Emboss Layer style.

Step 32

Add an Outer Glow style for a soft outline for the line.

Step 33

For a lighter part of the line, the left side to be precise, apply a Gradient Overlay style.

The result of the layer styles are shown below. The Gradient Overlay Layer style in particular makes the line correspond with the direction of the light.

Step 34

Create a layer for the ‘wheel’ of the mouse and then draw another ellipse with the Ellipse Tool within the ‘hollow.’ Press Ctrl+T for the Free Transform mode and right-click for the Distort Tool. With the Distort Tool, adjust the dimensions of the ellipse to fit at the rightmost part of the ‘hollow’ as shown below:

Step 35

Adding a Gradient Overlay style, set the Gradient’s Color Stops as shown below:

Step 36

Also increase the Gradients opacity to a 100% and set it’s Angle to148 degrees. The result below:

Step 37

We’ll be creating ‘tracks’ for the wheel and you may enable Grid lines for this step by pressing Ctrl+’. Set the Foreground to the default black by hitting the D key. Select the Line Tool and on its Options bar, choose ‘Fill Pixels.’ Now draw several horizontal lines all in one row.

Step 38

Go to Edit>Transform>Rotate or simply hit Ctrl+T. Rotate this row of lines; then right-click for the Scale Tool to decrease the lines’ width.

Step 39

For the Warp Tool, head to Edit>Transform>Warp and on the Warp Options bar’s drop-down menu, select Bulge and set its Bend to 10%. Of course, this can be done with mouse while in the Warp Transform mode.

Step 40

Still in Free Transform mode, click on the icon on the far right of the Warp Options bar to switch in between other transform or warp transform modes. We’ll switch to the Distort Tool to make ‘tracks’ to follow the curves of the wheel and then to the custom Warp Tool (the mouse should be used here to maupulate the warp) to follow the curve of the wheel.

Step 41

Set a Bevel amd Emboss style for the tracks with the values below:

The result:

Step 42

Double-click on the “mouse base” layer and select a Gradient Overlay Layer style. Edit the Gradient’s Color Stops as shown below:

Step 43

When done with the Gradient Overlay, go to the “tracks” layer and reduce it opacity to 85%.

Step 44

We go back to the “mouse base” layer to apply a Drop Shadow to cast a shadow from the direction of light.

The result:

Step 45

Create a new layer “background” and fill with the Paint Bucket Tool. Apply a Gradient Overlay Layer style.

The result gives the entire image a nice ambience and thus, closer to realism.

Step 46

Underneath the “mouse base” layer, create a new layer “shadow.” Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool and on its Options bar choose “Fill Pixels” and set its Radius to 35 px as well. Draw a considerably large triangle.

Step 47

Press Ctrl+T to enter the Free Transform mode; rotate and distort the rectangle and then position it below the mouse. Press Enter when done.

Step 48

Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the Blur Radius to 45 pixels.

The resulting effect spreads and fades the shadow.

Step 49

On the “mouse base” layer, right-click to duplicate the layer. On the “mouse base copy” click on the “F” icon’s arrow to reveal the effects for the layer. Click on the ‘eye’ next to Effects to disable the layer styles. Now go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and an Amount of 1.55%. Disabling the layer styles would make the filter effects visible when they are applied.

And there you have it! A mouse that’s nice, simple, and real!

By David Ella Ella

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