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Making a Colorful Windows 7 Wallpaper in Photoshop

Making a Colorful Windows 7 Wallpaper in Photoshop

In this tutorial I will show you how to make your own Windows wallpaper. I will show you how to create a Windows logo as custom shape from an image. The benefit of using a custom shape in wallpapers is that you can change the size of the wallpaper without loosing quality. Enjoy

Final Result Preview

Resources needed

Step 1

The first thing you have to do is to decide what size you want for your wallpaper. I used 2000×1200 pixels because I wanted to make sure I can go with lower resolutions. Remember that you should always scale down rather than up.

So, create a new document and unlock the background layer by double clicking it. Everything must be perfectly centered so go to View>New guide and type 50% on both the Horizontal and Vertical.

Once you have the background layer ready, get the Gradient Tool (G) and, choose the radial type and the Foreground to Background preset. Now set the Foreground color to #1c1c1c and the Background color to #090909.

Step 2

I wanted to give to this wallpaper the look of a real wall so I added a concrete texture. Open the concrete texture and paste it on a new layer above your background layer scaling it down to fit your document. Change the blend mode to Overlay.

Step 3

Get the Ellipse Tool (U) and draw a perfect circular shape. Use the guides to draw it right on the center of the canvas. Hold down Shift+Alt while you draw it.

The diameter of my circular shape is about 350px but yours will depend on the size of your canvas. I used the color #2b2b2b for this shape. I added the paper texture to it. The blend mode of the texture is Linear Burn and opacity 25%.

Step 4

Create a new layer under the circular shape and name it horizontal light. Draw a soft white line with the Brush and use the Motion Blur filter to stretch it horizontally. Set the blend mode to Overlay. Duplicate the layer for a stronger effect.

Step 5

Now let’s add some 3D effects to this. I added a couple of borders to my circular shape. I added a 14px stroke to the circular shape and then I turned the effect into a separate layer.

Another way of doing it is by drawing a circular selection with the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and stoke the selection. Then I made another one but a bit smaller.

Eighter way, you should end up with something like in the picture below. The color doesn’t matter but it’s important that you have both borders on separate layers.

Step 6

Now let’s add some style to these two borders.  I will only explain one of them, then apply the same style to the other one. The first effect I added is the Gradient Overlay. I went for a dark metallic look. Then I added some 3D effects with Bevel/Emboss and finally some Drop Shadow.

Apply the same style to the other border but maybe change the angle of the light on Bevel/Emboss and use a lighter Gradient Overlay. See image below for details.

I added the paper texture on both borders.

Step 7

Time to add the windows logo. I tried to draw this with the Pen Tool (P) but it’s kinda hard. I really needed the logo to be as vector rather than a brush or something like that because I wanted full quality on the edges even If I resize it. So, I googled the windows logo and I downloaded a PNG logo and I used it to create a custom shape. This is how you do it.

Download the PNG logo and open it in Photoshop. Load it’s selection by clicking the thumbnail on the layer’s palette while you hold down the Ctrl key.

Then, when the selection is loaded, right click and choose Make Work Path. You must have a selection tool selected in order to do that. When the Path is created, go to Edit>Define Custom Shape, give it any name you want and click OK to save it.

  1. Load logo selection
  2. Make work path from selection (right click)
  3. Define Custom Shape (Edit menu)

Step 8

Now get the Custom Shape Tool and you should see the windows logo on the list. Select it and draw the logo o a new layer above the circular shapes. Use the guides to center it and hold down the Shift key while you draw so that you keep the aspect ratio.

Step 9

Now let’s add some styling to this logo as well. I added a Gradient Overlay style and darkene the center of the logo.

Gradient Overlay

Next I added a bit of light to the edges of the logo using Bevel & Emboss.

Bevel & Emboss

I wanted a glossy look for this logo so I also added Inner Glow using white color and Overlay blend mode.

Inner Glow

Next I added some Outer Glow with the default color. This will not look very good right now but it’s useful when we will add the lights under the logo later one.

Outer Glow

Now add some shadows.

Drop Shadow

Step 10

Add some glossiness to the logo. Create a new layer above the logo layer and load the logo selection (Ctrl+click on it’s thumbnail on the palette) and then select the layer that you just created and click the layer mask icon to create a layer mask.

Now select the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and create some rectangular selections like in the image below and fill them with white. When you’re done, reduce the layer’s Opacity to about 80%.

Step 11

Use a soft brush and paint two white spotlights on the logo and change the blend mode to Overlay.

Add another gloss effect like in the image below. Use 50% Opacity and Overlay mode.

Step 12

Now let’s throw in the colors. Get a big soft brush and paint the colors under the logo with a single stroke like in the image below. I painted the traditional Windows colors but you can use whatever you like. I used the Color Dodge blend mode. See the image below for details.

Step 13

We must make the colored lights brighter. In order to make my work easier I grouped the four lights and I named the group Color Dodge. Then I duplicated the group and I changed the blend mode of the layers inside to Vivid light. That made the colors brighter. See image below.

You can make the lights even brighter if you add some Outer Glow with Color Dodge blend mode to the circular shape that you made on Step 3. See image below.

Step 14

I also added colorful lights on the logo itself. This is how I made them. First, duplicate the logo vector created on Step 8 and rasterize the layer. Then, using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) select each of the four squares of the logo and cut them on separate layers below the original logo.

When you have it, go ahead and add Outer Glow to each of them using different colors. Below you can see the styles I applied to create the blue glow. Just apply the same style to the other three squares and change the colors accordingly.

Step 15

Now let¡s go with the text. You can type whatever you want or even not add the text at all. I used the Eras Light ITC font which is a premium font but the guys at AEXT.net made a cool collection of super cool free thin fonts which you can check here: 30 Thin and Light Fonts That Should Not Be Free.

Use white color for the text and Overlay blend mode. Add some shadow, it will look a lot better. To give it a nicer look I added some spot lights over the text.

The final result

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About Andrei Oprinca