In a previous tutorial I covered the technique to create a “glass” button or menu. The style of that previous tutorial is well suited to creating menus and “chicklets”, those little square buttons that are used to promote FaceBook, Twitter and other social media links. That tutorial can be found by clicking here.
In this tutorial we will be creating the more popular “glass pill” style glass button. In our next tutorial we will create a sprite of our button and create a PHP class to dynamically build buttons to be placed into your web page content.
Ready? Great! First launch GIMP and create a new document. I created 640 pixel X 480 pixel at 72 dpi. Immediately create a new layer and name it gradient, our background needs to remain unused so we can create a transparent .png file. Once you have the gradient layer created grab the “Rectangle Select Tool” and turn on Rounded Corners, set the radius to 20.
Draw a rectangle in the middle of your new document (making sure the “gradient” layer is selected
You can create your button in any color you want, just set the foreground several shades darker than the background. The background should be very light.
Next fill in your gradient outline.
Now, create a new layer, above the gradient layer, and name it “Lg Shine”. We will create, as the name suggests, a large light reflection, or shine, on the button. The next step will be to create another new layer, again on top, and name it “Sm Shine”. You guessed it, to create a small reflection. To create the reflections you will need to set your foreground to white and your gradient tool to “FG to transparent”. The steps are grouped into a two images:
Draw your Lg Shine and Sm Shine outlines as seen in the image below. When creating the shine, position your mouse according to the upper and lower plus marks, in each reflection, when filling the shine layers with the white to transparent gradient.
That’s all there is to it. It is truly a simple technique which can add a fantastic, and professional looking, style to your web site.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful.