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Creating Badges

The best choice to create a badge like form is to use one of Photoshop's basic shape tools. Activating the "Polygon Tool" in the tool palette (1) and define the number of sides of the polygon in the properties pane at the top of the screen (2). In our case a number between 26 and 30 will be ideal. If you now draw a polygon, you will just get a circle like shape - so we have to define further settings.

Click the arrow button (3) next to the input field, in which we have just defined the number of sides, in order to reveal a drop down menu holding further polygon related options. Activate the checkbox "Star" (4) and define some indent (5).

image 1

If you now draw a polygon the result should look similar to the one displayed in the screenshot below. After applying some gradient, a border and a drop shadow, our badge is finished. That's it. Hope you enjoy.

image 2

If you are interested in how to turn your basic shape into a glossy, three dimensional badge, follow the next instruction.

So after creating the basic shape open the "layer style" window of the respective layer and assign a decent drop shadow as well as a linear gradient. You may choose similar values as shown in the screenshot below.

image 3

Now your basic shape should already look more badge like - but there are still some more steps to be performed. First of all we will create the subtle reflection: Load the shape's selection by "Cmd" respectively "Ctrl" clicking the respective layer in the layer palette. Afterwards contract the selection by one pixel - this can be achieved via "Select - Modify - Contract". Create a new layer and fill the selection (6).

image 4

In a next step set the layer's blending mode to "Overlay" and reduce its opacity to about 40% (7). Now select the elliptical marquee tool from the tools palette, select the lower part and press the delete button (8). In order to get a similar result than shown in step 9, switch to the quick mask mode and draw a gradient, similar to the one show in the screenshot below. Now switch back to the standard mode and press the delete button.

image 5

Now our badge already looks quite okay, but it's still some kind of flat. Of course we could use Photoshop's bevel and emboss effect… but I prefer another technique: Once again load the selection of the basic shape, contract it by one pixel, create a new layer, fill the layer, set its opacity to 40% and its blending mode to "Overlay" (10). Now load the selection of the newly created layer, move it down one pixel (11) and press the delete button (12).

Creating Badges

Now we create the bottom bevel the same way - but instead of "white" use "black" as fill color and reduce the layers opacity to about 20%. Congratulations you've just finished your glossy, three dimensional badge (13).

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