Create a map icon in Photoshop

You do not need to use the 3D program to create a simple three-dimensional icon. Photoshop can also do this using simple tricks with gradient colors and chiaroscuro. In this tutorial we use these tricks to create a map icon. So let’s get started!

Final result

1. Draw a Map

Step 1

Using tool Pen (Pen Tool), start creating a base for our map by adding anchor points.

Close the contour by clicking on the starting point to create the basis for the map. Do not forget that the basis of the card should be made in perspective.

Step 2

Go to Google Maps. Select a card. Add a map to our working paper.

Step 3

We created three bends at the base of the map; now we need to place a map on each segment of the base bend. Therefore duplicate the map layer three times (Ctrl + J). Press the keys (Ctrl + T) to activate the transformation.

Step 4

Holding the key (Ctrl), move each anchor point along the contour of the selected area separately, until you get the corresponding perspective of the map base.

Step 5

Turn off visibility of the map layer. Hold down the (Ctrl) key and click on the thumbnail of the map base layer to load the active selection.

Step 6

Next, select the tool Polygonal Lasso (Poligonal Lasso Tool). While selecting, hold down the (Alt) key to subtract our past selection from the selected area. Select the second and third segment to remove them from the active selection area.

Turn on visibility of the map layer.

Step 7

Add a layer mask to the map layer by clicking the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel.

Step 8

Continue repeating the same steps — transform the map, highlight a map segment, and then add a layer mask to the next map segment.

Step 9

Once you have closed all the segments and created a map, go from layer-mask to layer with map, and then press the keys (Ctrl + Alt + G) to convert this layer into a clipping mask. Transform each layer with a map into a clipping mask. Now, any pixel you add to the image will be within the outline of the map segments.

Step 10

Next, we will add fields to the map. Do not forget that the map is located in perspective. The main principle is that the closer the stroke is to the observer, the larger it is. Hold down the (Ctrl) key and click on the thumbnail of the map base layer to load the active selection. Choose a tool RectangularLasso (Poligonal Lasso Tool), further, in the settings of this tool, set the mode to Subtract from selected area (Subtract). Click inside the selected area.

Step 11

Create a new layer, without removing the active selection, fill the selection with white.

Step 12

Create a new layer, convert this layer to a clipping mask to a layer with map fields. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool) with low Opacity (Opacity) 5%, brush color is black. Paint over the edges of the map.

Step 13

Hold down the (Ctrl) key and click on the thumbnail of the map base layer to load the active selection. Next we go Editing – perform a stroke (Edit> Stroke). Set the stroke color to black, the stroke width is 1 px, Position relative to the border (Location): Inside (Inside).

Step 14

Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer with stroke up to 10%.

Step 15

Hold the key (Ctrl) and click on the thumbnail of the layer with the first part of the map. Create a new layer on top of all other layers, and then using a soft black brush, paint over the selected part of the map. Decrease opacity (Opacity) of this layer up to 30%, and also change the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).

Step 16

Do the same for the rest of the map.

2. Add Shadows to the Map

Step 1

Using tool Polygonal Lasso (Poligonal Lasso Tool), create a selection under the map. Fill the selected area linear gradient (linear gradient), the color of the gradient from black to transparent.

Step 2

Smooth shadow with filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur). This will be the shadow of the map on the surface.

Step 3

Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer with shadow up to 10% to make the shadow barely noticeable.

Step 4

Create another rectilinear selection under the third part of the map. Fill the selected area with black.

Step 5

Smooth shadow with filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Step 6

To the layer with the shadow under the third part of the map, add a layer mask and using a soft black brushes (Brush Tool) hide the extra areas of the shadow.

Step 7

Let’s add another shadow to make the map look more realistic. Using tool Polygonal Lasso (Poligonal Lasso Tool), create a new selection, paint over the selected area with black color.

Step 8

Cancel the active selection (Ctrl + D) and then apply the filter Blur by Gauss(Gaussian Blur), let’s go Filter – Blur – Blur by Gauss(Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) to soften the shadow.

Step 9

Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer with shadow up to 30% to make the shadow less noticeable.

Step 10

We still need to add shadows behind the map image. Add a new layer on top of the shadow layer, and then use a soft black low opacity brush to paint over the edge of the map.

Step 11

As you can see in the screenshot below, the shadow has climbed over the edges of the map outline. It is easy to fix.

Step 12

Just pick a tool. Eraser (Eraser Tool), and then use this tool to remove the extra pixels.

Step 13

Decrease opacity (Opacity) of this layer with shadow up to 20%.

3. Draw the Map Icon

Step 1

First draw a circle shape. Choose a tool Ellipse (Elliptical Shape Tool). For the shape color, I chose a pink tint (# d27eee). You can choose any color shade to your taste. Hold down the (Shift) key and drag the mouse to create a smooth circle shape.

Step 2

Next, duplicate the shape with the tool. Outline selection (Path Selection Tool), once you have selected this tool, click around the circle to display the control points along the contour of the circle, then press the keys (Ctrl +C) to copy and then click (Ctrl +V) to paste. Next, press the keys (Ctrl +T) to transform and pull the anchor points to reduce duplicate circle.

Step 3

To get a donut shape, make sure that the tool mode Outline selection (Path Selection Tool) has been set to Subtract the figure area (Subtract Front Shape).

Step 4

Choose a tool Arrow (Direct Selection Tool). This tool allows you to select each anchor point of the shape separately. Select the lower anchor point, and then slide it vertically down by pressing the “Arrow to down” repeatedly. You may be prompted by a Photoshop warning message informing you that you are converting a shape. If such a warning appears, simply confirm the operation.

Step 5

Choose a tool Angle (Convert Point Tool), then click on the reference point.

Step 6

The icon that we created at the moment of the lesson.

Step 7

Double click on the shape layer, and then apply layer styles Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). Set the following settings for layer styles.

Step 8

Duplicate the icon shape layer (Ctrl + J). Press the keys (Ctrl + T), then drag the upper anchor point down to reduce the duplicate shape.

Step 9

Double click on the layer with the part of the figure of the icon located in the background. Apply the settings for the layer style. Gradient overlays (Gradient Overlay), and also turn off the layer style Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Step 10

The result that we have turned out. The interior of the icon is now darker. We still need to fix the light and shade on the icon to make the view more realistic.

Step 11

Hold down the (Ctrl) key and click on the layer with the part of the icon’s shape located in the background to load the active selection of this part of the icon. Next, go Editing – perform a stroke (Edit> Stroke). Install Width (Width) stroke 1 px, stroke color #faedff. I chose a light pink shade, because the icon itself is pink. You can choose a different color tint, everything will depend on the color of your icon.

Step 12

Next, apply a filter to the stroke layer. Blur by Gauss(Gaussian Blur), let’s go Filter – Blur – Blur by Gauss(Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), set a small blur radius to soften the stroke line. Now, we have a very soft stroke around the edge of our shape icons. This will be the highlight of our figure.

Step 13

Next, we will add another stroke line to the outline of the front part of the icon shape. Hold the key (Ctrl), click on the thumbnail of the layer with the front part of the figure of the icon to load the active selection, and then apply the option Outline the contour (Stroke).

Step 14

Next, soften the stroke line by applying a filter. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Step 15

Add a layer mask to the layer. Press key (D) and then press (Ctrl +Delete) to fill the layer mask in black. The thin light line will disappear. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool) and with the help of this brush paint over a separate part of the white line so that this part of the flare becomes visible again.

Step 16

Using tool Lasso (Lasso Tool) create a selection at the bottom of the icon.

Step 17

Create a new layer. Fill the active selection with black and then apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Step 18

Decrease opacity (Opacity) layer shadow up to 20%.

Step 19

Create a new layer. Using a soft black brush, paint over the bottom of the icon, as well as the edges, as shown in the screenshot below.

Step 20

Reduce the opacity of the layer.

4. Add Shadows from Icons to the Map.

Step 1

Let’s draw the shadow of the icon. Here you have to work a lot with a brush. Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool), brush color is black. Paint over the area where the icon touches the surface of the map.

Step 2

Hold down the key (Ctrl) and click on the thumbnail of the layer with the front part of the figure of the icon to load the active selection. Next, right-click on the active area and in the window that appears, select the option Transform selected area (Transform Selection).

Step 3

Holding the key (Ctrl), pull the anchor point until the selection is completely on the map. Make sure the highlighted area matches the map perspective.

Step 4

Create a new layer. Fill this layer with # 652b78. Soften the created shadow by applying a filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur).

Step 5

Add a layer mask to the shadow layer. Next, fill the layer mask with black. Using a soft white brush, paint over a portion of the shadow so that the shadow becomes visible again.

5. Rear Background

Step 1

Next, we will create a background, to do this, create a new layer. Fill this layer with a gentle gradient from gray to dark gray.

Step 2

Next, add an adjustment layer. Colour (Solid Color), fill color is blue. And also reduce the opacity of this adjustment layer.

Hope you learned something new today. As you can see, creating a three-dimensional object from a regular shape in Photoshop is very easy. Just do not forget to add glare and chiaroscuro accordingly.

Final result

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