Chrome effect in Photoshop

There are plenty of ways to get metallic effects in Photoshop and there are styles supplied by default. I don’t use them – here’s my preferred chrome/gold effect technique:

1. Create a new file and fill with black.

2. Add a white graphic/text layer.

3. Cmd + click the item in point 3 to make a selection from it and go to the Channels palette.

4. Create a new channel with your selection still loaded and fill it with white.

New Alpha Channel

New Alpha Channel

5. With the selection still active, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and choose 6 px.

6. Repeat with 3px, then 1.5px to get the image above.

7. Go back to the Layers palette and add a new layer filled with 50% gray.

8. Go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects and choose the settings shown here:

Lighting Effects settings

Lighting Effects settings

9. Back on the Layers palette, reload your selection and invert the selection to trim away the gray.

10. Add a Curves adjustment with the settings shown below and a solid colour layer (if you want) with it’s blend mode set to colour.

Curves settings

Curves settings

The finished effect.

The finished effect

The finished effect

I turned the background canvas white again for this example. You can add a nice drop shadow to finish off the effect and maybe even a little noise for textural-realism.

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  1. Marc

    Can you help me figure out how to do this on non-text items?

    I used the “Line Tool” to create a custom logo… and want it chromed out. Yet all the instructions I find on the web are for working with text which doesnt seem to apply to non-text items.

    Ideas or pointers would be greatly appreciated.


  2. Designermagic


    To do this on non-text items, merge (Cmd + Alt + Shift + E) the logo or content you want chromed to a new layer. Next I would Cmd + Click the layers you used to make a selection on your new layer,using the Shift key to add to the selection. Next, invert the selection and delete so you have a transparent area around your logo.

    Use this to create your alpha channel.

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