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Photoshop - Polished Aluminium Plate

1. Create a new document 400 x 400px, white background.

2. With the Rectangular Marquee Tool draw out a shape as to the right (we've jumped a couple of stages ahead here so the shape is visible).

3. Go to SELECT...Modify...Smooth...8px. This will give you rounded corners to your metal plate. You can set this from 1 pixel to 16 pixels - the higher the setting, the more rounded the corners. Fill with white and don't deselect.

4. Go to FILTER...Noise...Add Noise and use settings of Amount: 120, Gaussian and Monochromatic. (This is where we got to at the right.)



5. Now go to FILTER...Blur...Motion Blur. Angle 0°, Distance: 40px.

You should now have a "satin-polished" plate as to the right. The higher the distance you set in step 5, the finer the grain on the metal will be, but be careful not to completely "blur out" the grain.

6. Click on the Layer Styles button at the bottom of the layers palette Layer styles and add some Drop Shadow - not too much.

What we have done so far is a Photoshop basic - whether we are creating metal, wood, rust etc. We "rough up" the surface using Noise and then smooth it out using Motion Blur. If, for example we had left "Monochromatic" unchecked in Step 4, we would have had a basis for a wood effect.

The remainder of this exercise is, again, basic Photoshop. Having created the plate with its Drop Shadow, we're going to "punch out" holes etc.

Make sure the Rulers are visible (Ctrl + R) and drag down a Horizontal Guide:

Now play with drawing various marquee shapes within the plate and cutting them out. You will notice that these holes will take on the shadow characteristics of the main plate. To the right, we've selected the Elliptical Marquee Tool Elliptical Marquee Tool and, with Shift held down to keep the previous selections "active" go to EDIT...Cut (or Ctrl + X) Plate with holes
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