click image for full view
|Software||Photoshop (works with any version that has the ‘spherize’ filter)|
|Type||video and written (your choice)|
|Aspects||Keyboard shortcuts, filters, colorizing, layer styles, defining brushes and patterns|
1. The video tutorial shows two different ways of creating the image: a) using brushes, and b) using patterns.
2. The written tutorial shows one way only
3. Keyboard shortcuts are in the brackets
4. Click links to see screenshots (done this way to prevent people with slow connections from going nuts.) *winks*
Open a new canvas (ctrl + n) that is 500x500 pixels, has a resolution of 72 pixels/inch and a white background.
Change the viewing mode (f) so you don’t have any rulers or other frames directly around your canvas.
[click here for better understanding]
Zoom in with the zoom tool (z)  till your white canvas fills your entire [photoshop] screen.
Note: Reverse your zoom tool by holding down your (ALT-key)
Then go to edit -> preferences -> guides, grids, slices and count and choose a custom color ranging from dark gray to black. Tweak your gridline and subdivisions - I chose 10 pixels for both.
Make sure your ‘style’ is set to lines!
[click for screenshot]
Now you can make your grid appear by going to view -> show -> grid. You can switch the extras which contain your grid on and off by hitting (ctrl + h) on your keyboard.
Then, to make a screenshot, hit the print-key [next to your F12 key] and then insert your screenshot by hitting (ctrl + v).
Before you define your brush/pattern, you’ll have to position the screenshot in such a way, that only the grids are showing on your canvas. For this, select the move tool  (v) and drag your layer into the right position.
click for screenshot
Then go to edit -> define brush presets and give it a name.
Now you can make your white background layer black.
There are several ways to do this:
1. Invert the colors by hitting (ctrl + i)
2. Reset your fore- and background colors by hitting (d) on your keyboard, and then hit (alt + backspace) to fill it with the foreground color (black)
3. Set black as your foreground color, then fill the canvas using the bucket tool (g) 
Creating the sphere
Next you’ll select your elliptical marquee tool (m) . You can change the type of marquee tool you’re using by hovering over the icon in your tools palette and right-clicking with your mouse.
Then hover your canvas somewhere around the center, and while holding down ALT and SHIFT, create a circle.
[click for screenshot]
Note: holding down the ALT key when using your marquee tool will keep your selection centered around the point from where you started to create your shape. Holding down the SHIFT key will make your circle perfectly round or will create a square when you are using the rectangular marquee tool
Now create a new layer (ctrl + shift + n) by clicking the little icon  in your layers palette, and then fill your selection with one of the methods explained above.
Next you’ll type in the letter. So select the text tool (t) click somewhere on your canvas and type in a letter or some text. Your text will automatically be on a layer of its own.
With your text-layer selected in the layers palette, hit (ctrl + a) to select your whole canvas, then go to layers –> align layers to selection -> vertical centers and then again to layers -> align layers to selection -> horizontal centers.
Then select the layer containing your circle and do the same for that layer.
Then, in the layers palette, while holding down the CONTROL key, select your text and your layer containing the circle, and then hit (ctrl + e) to merge those two together.
[click for screenshot
Then select your wand tool (w)  and click anywhere on the canvas outside of the circle and invert your selection by hitting (ctrl + shift + i).
After that you can select the brush (b) you have just created and, while making sure you have a pale color selected as foreground color, click on your circular layer.
Note:To change brushes, simply right-click on the canvas and wait for your brush menu to open, then scroll down to the brush of your choice.
The fact that you have created a selection around your circle ensures that the brush will only show up within the selection rather than all over your canvas.
It should look something like this now:
Now you can start to spherize your layer.
For this, go to filter -> distort -> spherize and move the slider up to 100% (or any other value of your liking). You can also type in a value manually. Leave the mode as ‘normal’ to give your circle a spherical appearance.
If you want to, you can add another 20%
A quick way to access the last filter menu you have used is the keyboard shortcut (ctrl + alt + f).
Just make sure that you don’t deselect your circle just yet. The selection around your circle makes sure that the filter you use only works on the selection rather than on the whole layer.
Then you can start colorizing your image by tweaking the hue and saturation (ctrl + u).
In the hue and saturation window, check the colorize button and start moving the sliders till you achieve a color that suits you best.
The hue slider changes the color. The saturation alters the color intensity, and the lightness slider brightens or darkens or colorizes the highlights, mid-tones and shadows.
[click for screenshot]
Once you’re satisfied, hit ok. You will see some jagged edges around the brim of the circle, which don’t really look nice.
To cover those up, you can add a glow to your sphere.
For this, go to your layer styles  which can be found in the layers palette. If you double-click the thumbnail, the same window will open.
Click on ‘inner glow’ and select a color that matches the colors of the lines in your sphere and then increase the size of your glow. If you like, you can experiment with the other settings in there. If you are not satisfied with how things turned out, you can click the ‘cancel’ button in the window while holding down your ALT key. This will reset all the changes you have made so you can start anew without having to reopen your window.
[click for screenshot]
Then do the same for ‘outer glow’ if you like. Hit enter, and you are done.
Hit (ctrl + shift + alt + s) to open the window that will save your image for web devices. [click for screenshot]
Choose an image format and other settings.
PNG files offer the best quality, but the file sizes are relatively large compared to .jpg or .gif files. The amount of colors in your image also plays a role when it comes to image quality and file size. The same goes for ‘dithering’ when it comes to image quality.
[click to view result]
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and that things worked out well for you.
Should anything be unclear, feel free to drop a comment here.
I apologize for the miserable sound quality in the video tutorial, and hope you didn’t mind all too much.
Your opinions are always welcome.
Thank you very much for your attention.
- Current Mood: stressed