In this tutorial we will be showing you step-by-step how to create a photo realistic illustration of Apples latest crowning achievement, the beautiful and inconceivably thin new MacBook Air.
The finished result
We start off, with a new document; its size set to 1000 x 750 pixels, an increased resolution of 120 pixels and a white background which we’ll delete later for a transparent background. First off, switch the foreground colour to #eff0f2. Now, select the Rounded Rectangle tool (U) and on the tool’s Options bar, set the rectangle’s radius to 20 px and click on the little square icon “Fill Pixel” to automatically fill the shape to be drawn. Draw a rectangular shape and name the layer ‘Panel.’
Double-click on this layer to add Layer Styles to the shape. Select the Gradient Layer style and adjust the Gradient’s Color Stops and other parameters as shown below:
Follow up with an Inner Glow Layer style and make the necessary adjustments as shown below:
The Layer styles result for a reflected effect.
Create a new layer under the previous layer and draw another rounded rectangle just slightly larger than the first. Also have the shape’s radius set to 22 px.
With the Burn Tool (O) selected and its Exposure set at about 50%, darken selected edges of just the second rectangle.
The burn result:
Being on the ‘Panel’ layer, select the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), and make a selection across the rectangle and hit the Delete key to clear the selection.
Press Ctrl+D to ‘deselect.’
Back to the second rectangle, add an Outer Glow Layer style.
The result has the edges of the panel defined.
The panel appears too smooth here, we must add a subtle touch of grain to it by applying a Noise Filter effect (Filter > Noise > Add Noise).
In a new layer, draw a rectangle for the screen and fill with the colour #828384. I also enabled the Guides (Ctrl+’) to aid my positioning of the screen.
Add a Stroke Layer style to it. Afterwards, add a Guassian blur with a raduis of 1.5 pixels to the rectangle. It softens the Stroke effect a bit which previously was too sharp. This will form the backdrop upon which the main screen will be placed later.
For the flat base of the Macbook, select the Pen Tool (P) and click with the tool to create these Anchor points as shown below. You may also use the direction keys on your keyboard to conveniently adjust the positioning of selected points.
For a little gloss for the base of the laptop, add an Inner Glow, Inner Shadow and Gradient Overlay Layer styles with the settings below:
Draw a 2 px rounded rectangle right on top of the base to form something of the rim on the base. Burn its edges sparingly on both its ends.
The new outlook of the base:
Add a soft shading to the rim applying an Inner Shadow Layer style with a reduced opacity of 45%.
Pick the Pen Tool yet again and map out an outline shown below. This is to form a shallow inward curvature on the base of the Macbook.
Fill the outline by right-clicking within it and selecting ‘Color.’
Apply both a Gradient Overlay and Inner Shadow styles to create a resulting appearance of an inward curve,
For th hinges of the Macbook, use the Rectangle Tool to draw a flat rectangle and then fill with a white colour.
Set up both Gradient Overlay and Inner Shadow Layer styles for the hinges with the parameters below:
Saving time drawing a second hinge, just press Ctrl+J to duplicate the ‘Hinges’ layer and position the hinge copy to the right of the Macbook.
With a rounded rectangle set at 2px, draw an opening or slot on the right of the Macbook and fill with a black or if your Tool’s shape has “Fill Pixels” set on its Options bar, just hit ‘D’ on the keyboard to set the foreground colour to black before drawing.
Select the Type Tool (T) and bring up the Character Panel (Window > Character) to make other adjustments not available on the Type Tool’s Options bar. Set the Font to Verdana ts size to18 pt and color to #4b4b4b. Also use the scaling options to scale vertically and horizontally at 41% and 31% respectively. You’ll get something almost close to the real thing.
For the web cam, use the Ellipse Tool to create a small circle holding Shift to constrain its portions and fill with black. Add a soft glow around it with an Outer Glow Layer style.
Follow up in a new layer, with two other small round points. Of course, adding an Outer Glow Layer style as well.
For a nice and shiny screen complete with abstract graphics, we will creating create something intricate. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool and make a selection and then pick the Gradient Tool (G) and change the Color Stops of the Gradient. Make a diagonal sweep across the selection with the Gradient Tool.
Note: place or resize the screen within the grey rectangle in a way a thin margin is formed around the screen.
For other elements within the screen, use Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) to create the shapes below. You can on the Tool’s Options bar, select “Add to selection” to create multiple selections. Fill the selection(s) with the colour #e2eef2 using the Paint Bucket Tool (press Shift+G if not already selected). Ctrl+D to deselect afterwards.
On the Layer Palette, reduce the opacity of this layer to about 70%. Proceed to add a Layer Mask by clicking on the third icon from the left at the bottom of the palette. Fade the shapes with a black soft brush. You’ll also have to vary the brush’s opacity when fading certain areas of the shape.
With the Elliptical Marquee Tool (Shift+M if not already selected), create a flat ellipse selection. Fill with #e2eef2 and on the Layers Palette, set the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light and Opacity to about 38%. Create another Layer Mask and with a brush (Opacity; 25%) fade the base
of the ellipse.
Create two other ellipses in a similar fashion as the previous steps. Again, use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to create another shape and then fill. Right-click and select Transform Selection and then select the Warp Transform Tool to make a curve on one side of the selection.
Hit Enter when through and of course, set the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light and reduce its Opacity to about 85% and add a Layer Mask to make the necessary adjustments.
As always, create a triangular selection with the Polygonal Lasso Tool and fill with the usual colour.
For a curve, Use the Warp Tool in Free Transform mode.
Change the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light and Opacity to about 58%.
The Polygonal Lasso Tool for another shape - you should know the drill by now; fill, warp and deselect!
The layer’s Blend mode here is set to Soft Light definitely and its, Opacity reduced to about 62% as you see fit. You might as well create group your shapes for organization and reducing excessive scrolling within the Layers Palette. Select the little folder icon at the bottom of the palette and drag your shape layers into it and collapse it.
Select the ‘Screen’ layer and add the Layer styles, Inner Shadow and Outer Glow making the following adjustments below:
As an option, you may download one of the numerous Mac OSX icon set for windows. These images were in JPEG format and were edited in a separate window and moved to the working document. Like I said, you may skip this step as its okay for the ‘Air’ to be clutter free.
Create a new layer, ‘Shadow,’ below all other layers and with the Ellipse Tool, draw a very flat ellipse.
Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Blur Radius to 3.5pixels.
Draw a rounded rectangle and Press Ctrl+T to enter Free Transform mode and select the Distort Tool and splay the shape outwards. B. Add a Layer Mask and with its thumbnail selected, use a Gradient Tool (black to white) to draw a vertical gradient.
There you have it, a slick and realistic Macbook Air to say the least.
A Macbook image without the dock. This might be the ideal icon; though it all boils down to your preference eventually.
Also delete the background layer for a transparent layer.
Here’s a rather bland but clean Macbook Air icon.
Photoshop PSD file