In this Photoshop tutorial you will learn how to create an ice cube in Photoshop using filters, layer masks and layer styles.
Preview of Final Result:
Resources Used: scratch texture
Create a new Photoshop document with the following dimensions:
Go to Edit > Fill and fill the layer with color #a7b4c0
Apply the following layer styles to that layer:
Your image should look like the one below:
Create a new blank layer above the background. Activate the grid by going to View > Show > Grid
Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool from the tools panel draw a shape like the one below and name it ‘base’
Create a new blank layer above the ‘base’ layer and apply clipping mask.
Go to Filters > Render > Clouds and apply the filter. Your result should be similar to this:
Convert the layer into smart object, then go to Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and apply the following settings:
Reduce the opacity of the Plastic Wrap filter to 58%
Go to Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief and apply the following settings:
Change the Blending Mode of that filter to Hard Light and reduce the opacity to 15%
Add a Levels adjustment layer as a clipping mask and apply the following settings:
Load the Scratch Texture into Photoshop and copy/paste it into the main document ( NOT as a clipping mask). Reduce the layer opacity to 50% and resize the texture to look like shown below:
Select the ‘base’ layer (Ctrl/Cmd + Click on the vector mask) then inverse the selection and add a layer mask to the ‘texture’ layer.
Merge all the layers except the background and duplicate the newly created layer two times. Use the Warp Tool to resize and position each shape in order to form a cube.
Add the following layer styles to the front shape:
To the side shape add the following layer style:
Finally add the following layer styles to the upper shape:
Merge all the layers except the background. Name the newly created layer ‘cube-base’ and convert it into Smart Object.
Go to Filter > Brush Strokes > Dark Strokes and apply the following settings:
Then go to Filter > Artistic > Plastic Wrap and this time apply the following settings:
Reduce the opacity of the Plastic Wrap filter to 82%
Duplicate the layer and change the Blending Mode of the copy from Normal to Screen.
Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer to the copy and apply clipping mask. Use the following settings for that layer:
Here is how my ice cube looks at this point:
Merge all the layers except the background layer. Duplicate the newly created layer and hit Ctrl/Cmd + T to activate the Free Transform Tool. Flip the layer vertically and then flip it again, this time horizontally. Change the Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 48%.
You should have something like this:
Cmd/Ctrl + Click on the thumbnail of the layer below (non transformed) while the transformed layer is still active to load a selection, invert the selection and add a layer mask.
Merge these two layers and name the layer ‘cube-base’. Add the following layer style:
Right-click on the layer style name, and then choose ‘create layer’ from the drop-down menu.
Here is how the layers are ordered after applying the ‘create layer’ command:
Click on the ‘base-layer’ to make sure it’s active and not the ‘pattern overlay’ layer. Go to Select > Color Range. Use the settings shown bellow sampling color from the lighter part of the cube
Hit Cmd/Ctrl + J to duplicate the selected area on a new layer, and then apply the following layer styles to that layer:
Here is how my ice cube looks so far:
Turn off the visibility of the background layer, and then press Cmd + Opt + Shift + E (Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E on PC) to stamp all the visible layers.
Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer as a clipping mask and use the following settings:
Hit Cmd/Ctrl + T to activate Free Transform Tool. Choose Werp from the drop-down menu and reshape the ice cube. Use the image below for reference:
Create a new blank layer above the Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer, change its Blending Mode from Normal to Overlay and fill it with 50% Grey color. Now start dodging/burning the ice cube using a soft round brush and range between 25-27% for both Dodge and Burn tools.
You can see my result on the image below:
Stamp all the visible layers (turn off the background visibility before that) and name the layer ‘base’. Duplicate that layer and name the copy ‘reflection’. Hit Cmd/Ctrl + T to access the Free Transform Tool, and then flip the layer vertically. Drag the handle downward to reshape it and position it as on the image below:
Add a layer mask to that layer and paint with black over the right part of the cube to mask it off.
Duplicate the ‘base’ layer again, flip it vertically and reshape it using the Warp Tool.
Add a layer mask and paint with black over the part that should not be visible.
Reduce the opacity of both layers to 50% and merge them.
Name the newly created layer ‘reflection’. Add a layer mask to that layer. Click on the layer mask thumbnail to make sure it’s active, and then select the Gradient Tool from the Tool Box and drag a gradient using the image below for reference.
Here is how my image looks after applying the gradient.
Create a new blank layer and move it below the ‘base’ layer. Name this layer ‘contact shadow’. Cmd/Ctrl + Click on the ‘base’ layer thumbnail to select its content. While still ‘contact shadow’ layer is active go to Edit > Fill and fill the selection with black color.
Reduce the opacity to 46% and move it 3-4px down.
Merge all the layers except the background and name the layer ‘ice cube’. Add a blank layer above and apply clipping mask. Change the Blending Mode of that layer to Overlay and fill it with 50% grey. Start dodging/burning using a round soft brush and exposure set to 25% for both tools.
Using the selection tool of your choice create a selection like shown below:
Fill the selected area with black color on a new layer. While this layer is still active Cmd/Ctrl + Click on the ‘ice cube’ layer thumbnail to select it and add a layer mask.
Change the Blending Mode from Normal to Multiply and set the opacity to 6%.
Now create selection like the one below:
Fill with white on a new layer and add a layer mask as you’ve done in the previous step.
Change the Blending Mode to Screen and reduce the opacity to 30%.
Finally I reduced the saturation and used a Levels Adjustment layer to lighten up the ice cube. Here is my final result:
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.