Chrome Effect Photoshop Tutorial

October 17, 2006 12:16 am

Chrome Effect
Photoshop Tutorial

by Colin Smith

The essential chrome effect, don't leave home without it. This works on any object, not just text.


  • Type
  • Gradients
  • Layer Styles
  • Layers
  • Filters
  • Curves
  • Difficulty 5/10



Create your type layer, or import your shape that you want to turn into shiny chrome Render type: right click/mac Cmd click the name on the layer and select "render type". This converts your text to an object, so you can apply all the filters to it.


select a dark gray for your foreground color and a light gray for your background.


Select the gradient tool (Linear, fore to background) and drag from the top to the bottom of the image. Tip: Hold down the shift key to constrain to 90 degrees.




Add a bevel to the type using the Layer style - Bevel and emboss. Your type should look like this now.

Fig. 1






Now we want to remove the layer style, but we want to keep the bevel (Merge the effect into the layer).

We do this by adding a new layer and dragging it directly underneath the layer with the effect ("Chrome" layer). See fig. 1.

Now select the "Chrome" layer thumbnail and press Cmd/Ctrl+E This merges the selected layer with the one directly under it and "renders all effects" See fig. 2




Apply the plastic wrap filter. This is found under Effects>Artistic




Making the Chrome
This is where it all happens: Open Image>Adjust>Curves Cmd/Ctrl+M and make a curve like the one in the example.

Or you can click here to upload the curve if you wish









Click ok.

The image shows the results of the curve applied to the image.


Repeat the same settings, by holding down the Alt/Option key as you open the dialog box Image>Adjust>Curves or Option+Cmd/Alt+Ctrl+M

The result as shown here

If you want, Colorize the image with the hue/saturation.

This is how it looks after applying a black background color.

NOTE: In Photoshop CS and CS2 you can make chrome by choosing the double ring setting in the Layers Styles (Bevel -Gloss Contour)

For more cool techniques like this on an easy to follow video format check out Photoshop Secrets Special FX


More Great Tutorials

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If you're interseted in learning more cool type effects, be sure to check out Colin's new "Photoshop CS2 Type Effects" training video, available as a CD ROM or download.

Lessons include:

  • Chrome
  • Double Glow
  • Graffiti
  • Light Ray
  • Grunge
  • And more...


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Colin Smith is a best-selling author, trainer, and award-winning new-media designer who has caused a stir in the design community with his stunning photorealistic illustrations composed entirely in Photoshop. He is founder of the world’s most popular Photoshop resource site,, which boasts over three million visitors.

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Article Comments

deemarie ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 17 October 2006

Thanks again for another interesting tutorial. As a long time Photoshop user I look forward to your new article postings. Dee-Marie

IO4 ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 18 October 2006

These tutorials are great - keep them coming!:)

maraich ( posted at 12:00AM Thu, 19 October 2006

I love your tutorials. I've learned so much from reading through them.

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