Interface Screws

A simple dirty screw for use in your interfaces.

7 Steps
Important Tools:
  • Elliptical Marquee Tool
  • Zoom
  • Pencil Tool
  • Burn Tool

Update Necessary
Step 1 - Preliminary Information
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Note: You need a flat surface or relatively flat surface on your interface to do this tutorial. For the purposes of this tutorial, my "interface" will be a flat layer filled with the color Hex #333333. I recommend you also try this tutorial on a background of #333333 before doing it on your real interface.

Open your Interface and find a nice place to add this detail to. In the case of screws, It is good to put it on the edge of a metal plate or a flat surface. My "interface" is a flat layer of color Hex #333333. From now on, I will call the already existing interface (or in my case my background) the "background".

Step 2 - Making the Selection
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Create a new layer and name it "head". Choose the Elliptical Marquee Tool. Look for it's options on the top of the Photoshop window. There should be "Style:" with a dropdown. From the dropdown, select Fixed Size. For the "Width" put 14px and for the "Height" put 14px.

Tip: Your screw can be any size you want. We find that any bigger than 14px in diameter makes the screw look silly.

Make a selection using the Elliptical Marquee Tool on the background.

Step 3 - Creating the Base of the Screw
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SelectionReset the Color Palette ( Press D ). Choose the Gradient Tool and make sure it is set to Linear Gradient from black to white. Also make sure Reverse is not checked.

Now, Zoom In ( View > Zoom In ) to about 700% and make a gradient by dragging from around the "X" on the image to the left to the end of the line.

Step 4 - Adding the Notches
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BlackWhiteSet the opacity of layer "head" to 30%. Make a new layer above layer "head" and name it "black". Using the Pencil Tool set to 1px, make a black shape like the image to the left.

Create a new layer called "white" and set its opacity to 38%. Create a white shape on it like the image to the right and above using the Pencil Tool.

Step 5 - Adding Depth
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Inner GlowChange the opacity of layer "head" to 100% and open its Blending Options. Add an Inner Glow using the settings in the image to the right.

Interface Screw Step 5You should now have something like the image to the left. It still looks flat so we need to take out the Burn Tool. It is right under the gradient/paintbucket tool. It looks like a hand. The Burn Tool "darkens" the things it touches. Change the settings of the Burn Tool to:

Burn 1Brush: 1px
Range: Highlights
Exposure: 100%
Airbrush: Not selected

What you are going to do is "burn" 1 pixel around the cross of the screw to make it 1 shade darker. See the sample for a guide.

Note: It will sometimes take only one stroke of the burn tool to make a difference and sometimes it will take multiple strokes.

As you can see, 1 pixel around the cross is darker.

Step 6 - Adding Background Grime
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Now you are going to burn the outside of the screw, Change the settings of the Burn Tool to:

Outer BurnBrush: 1px
Range: Midtones
Exposure: 50%
Airbrush: Not selected

Activate the background layer on the Layer Palette and burn the outer circumference of the screw. It may take from 3-20 strokes of the Burn Tool around the screw to make it dark enough.

Step 7 - Adding Even More Grime
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Decay BurnFinal ScrewNow to add some marks of decay. Use the Burn Tool to make some "spikes" of grime going from the dark ring you just made towards the edge of the image. See the sample to the left as a reference.

Zoom Out ( View > Zoom Out ) and you are done!

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