Draw a chain in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a custom Brush Chain, as well as how to give a brushed image a metal effect, color, and volume using layer styles.

Final image:

Step 1

Create a new working document of 600 × 300 px and a resolution of 72 ppi in Photoshop. Fill it with white. Choose a tool Rounded Rectangle (U) (Rounded Rectangle), Shape mode expose Stroke (Stroke) thickness of 22 points, and create a chain link shape, without pouring.

Change the shape to make it more round. Use the tool Arrow (Direct Selection Tool / A) to activate the control points using the tool Pen (Pen Tool) remove some of them, and add new ones if needed, try to make the shape rounder.

When you are finished, the workpiece should look like below.

Translator’s Note: The above proposed work is suitable for Photoshop CC If you have an earlier version, you can do the following. Before using the tool Rounded Rectangle (U) (Rounded Rectangle), on the top panel expose Rounding radius 100, the higher it is, the smoother the transition will be between the sides of the shape, and create a shape that looks like a chain link, no more than a quarter of your working canvas. When your contour becomes a form similar to a chain link, let’s make it thick – set Foreground color black and white by default (D), select the tool Hard brush, and set its thickness to 20 – 26 pixels, activate the tool Pen (Pen Tool), right-click on the shape, select Perform a strokecontour (Stroke Path) – brush, tick Simulate pressure (Simulate Pressure) remove – OK. Our figure has become thick, according to that size Hard brush, which we have chosen. Activating tool Pen (Pen Tool), right click on the canvas again – Delete contour (Delete Path). All we have left is a black border, which will have the base of the chain link, and the thin line of the primary contour has disappeared.

Then author using the tool Rounded Rectangle (U) (Rounded Rectangle) mode Figure (Shape) creates links of a chain, turned to us by an edge, and fills them with black color.

Note translator: Choosing a tool Rounded Rectangle (U) (Rounded Rectangle), on the top panel, set the Rounding radius 100, and create a chain link similar in shape to the capsule. If the contour you created is on the canvas in the wrong place, that’s okay. There is a tool on the toolbar. Arrow (Direct Selection Tool) (but) . Select it by clicking on the canvas and holding the mouse button, move the path to the right place. Expose Foreground color black and white by default (D), activate the tool Pen (Pen Tool), right click on the canvas – Fill contour (Fill Path). Our “capsule” painted over black. All also with active tool. Pen (Pen Tool), right click on the canvas again – Delete contour (Delete Path).Create a duplicate of this layer with a black “capsule” – Layers (Layer) – Create duplicate layer (Duplicate Layer) and place it on the other side of the chain link we created at the beginning of the lesson.)

Thus, we drew three links of the chain, one turned towards the viewer, and two sides angled.

Step 2

Now it’s time to create a brush. On the toolbar, select Selection – Rectangular Selection (M) (Rectangular Marquee Tool), and select our shape. Next on the top panel – Editing (Edit) – Define brush (Define Brush Preset).

Brush created. The visibility of this layer can be turned off by clicking on the “Eye” sign in the Layers panel.

Step 3

Note translator: Before you start setting up a new brush, create a new layer. Layer – New Layer (Ctrl + Shift + N .We’ll flood it Gradient (Gradient) , select the foreground color bfc8cc, the background color e8f3f7, select Linear gradient (Linear Gradient), and fill the canvas. Next, create a new layer above the gradient layer: (Create – Layer – New Layer (Ctrl + Shift + N). On this layer, our new brush, we will draw a chain. (To make the chain more beautiful and even, you can use the tool Pen (Pen Tool) – on the same new layer, create a broken curve, with four points, choose – Pen (Pen Tool) – Angle (Convert Point Tool), select the second point, click on it, and pulling the guides, make a smooth bend, do the same with the third point, do not touch the extreme ones. We got a smooth curved line, on it we are after setting Brushes, in step 4, place the chain.

Find and select the brush that we created. Now it needs to be set up, without settings the brush looks “torn”.

Press F5. In the window that opens, activate the line “Brush print form” (Brush Tip Shape). Expose Diameter 292 pixels.

Intervals 235%. Next, select the string “Form Dynamics“(Shape Dynamics). Here, disable Size fluctuation (Size jitter); Angle oscillation (Angle jitte) – choose Direction (Direction); below – Shape oscillation (Roundness jitter) – choose Copy wheel (Stylus Wheel); Minimum shape 100%.

We put a tick on the lines “Other dynamics “(Other Dynamics) Photoshop CS3 / Transfer (Transfer) – starting with CS5, (here we select Disable all) and “Smoothing“(Smooth) (nothing needs to be changed here).

The brush is configured, the window can be closed. (Note: some of the settings only work on the tablet)

Step 4

Let’s draw a new brush on the new layer.

Translator’s Note: Let’s return to our previously created layer (located above the layer covered with a gray gradient.) Standing on it, we select Foreground color # 333c3f, and with our brush we draw a chain, (If you created a contour, select the tool Pen (Pen Tool), right-click on the canvas and select Outline the contour (Stroke Path)– brush – OK. Again, the right button on the canvas – Delete contour (Delete Path). A chain drawn by a new brush will appear along the curve of the created contour, and the contour line will disappear.)

Now we will try to create the volume and texture of the metal. It’s time to use layer styles. (On the panel Layers (Layer), we stand on a layer with a chain, and double-clicking, go to the menu Layer styles (Layer Style). Let’s start with the style Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay), choose a gradient from light to dark. Expose:

  • Mode overlay (Blending Modes) – Normal (Normal),
  • Opacity (Opacity): 29%,
  • style: Linear,
  • angle: 97 degrees
  • scale: 62%.

Step 5

Go to Layer Style – Stroke (Stroke). Settings:

  • the size: 1 pixel
  • position: Inside,
  • mode: Normal (Normal).
  • stroke type: Gradient, choose a gradient.

Step 6

To add volume, use Layer style Stamping (Bevel Emboss). Settings:

  • style: Stroke emboss (Embossing)
  • Method (Technique): smooth (Smooth),
  • The size (Size): 6,
  • Softening (Soften): 0,
  • Depth (Depth) 633%,
  • angle 90 degrees,
  • backlight – Normal mode (Normal),
  • transparency 100%,
  • shadow mode – Exclusion,
  • Colour – Gray,
  • opacity 100%.
  • On the tab Contour (Contour) – 50% range.

Translator’s Note: it seems to me that the style – Inner bevel (Inner Bevel), this work looks better.

Add Shadow layer style (Drop Shadow). Settings:

  • Blend mode Multiplication (multiply),
  • Transparency (opacity): 15%,
  • Cplace (distance): 21 pixels,
  • The size (size) 15 pixels.

And the last layer style is External glow (Outer Glow). Settings:

  • Blending mode: Lightening (Screen)
  • Transparency (Opacity): 37% (you can reduce the percentage, at the discretion), choose the color white.
  • Swipe (spread) 51%, The size (size): 24 pixels,
  • Range 100%

Now that the custom brush is set up, it’s time to experiment! With the use of layer styles your ability to master the program Photoshop greatly expanded.

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