Making a Button Tutorial 001
This tutorial was made using Paint Shop Pro X2, but can be used with other programs. Just have basic knowledge of your graphic program and basic knowledge of button making. You may have to improvise on some parts if your program doesn't have the ability to do a specific step. This is one way your button will come out more unique. =D
If you have any comments, feedback, or questions please don't hesitate to send me a neomail.
Open your graphic program. Create a new file by going to FILE - NEW or Ctrl + N. Make your canvas 88px wide and 31px high. This is the standard button size that all button makers use. Click OK and continue to step two.
It's time to choose your buttons image. This can be easy if you have something in mind, or it can be difficult. Remember that the image is the most important part of the button. Find an image that will crop nicely. My favorite place to look: Background Bonanza, BG, Neopets Backgrounds, Caption Archives, Trading Cards, or Dr. Sloth (offsite).
After you have found a suitable image, copy it to your clipboard and paste it onto your 88px by 31px canvas. Here is what I chose:
Resize/crop the image until it is small enough to fit onto the button. Be sure to have some sort of focal point showing. Do not re-size to where it is too small. There are images that do not need re-sizing and that helps us out a bit. Here is what my starting image is:
You could also use one of these as your starting image:
Textures are not a necessary step, but they add a unique effect to the image if they are used properly. Even plain colors picked from the buttons are great to use. I almost always use textures in my buttons, but I also use matching colors from the buttons to add some effects.
I use textures from a lot of places. The most common textures are Nienke's
. For this button, I am going to use my own textures (they can be found here). Here are my button textures (already cropped for convenience) being used:
Resize the textures (if needed) to your desired liking. Set each texture/color to a new layer. Set the layer modes on each texture layer. I usually use Soft Light, Overlay, Hard Light, Burn, Screen and Multiply. Play around with each mode and with the opacity setting.
Once you got your button to the desired look merge all your layers. Duplicate your layer. Sharpen this layer once. Once you sharpen adjust your opacity so it makes the image crisp with a dreamy looking effect (I usually put the opacity to 40-45).
Here is what my button turned into after adding colors and textures, as well as sharpening:
The button border is the second most important piece in making the button. Button borders makes the button look professional and complete.
I just usually use the standard button border or the standard shadow border:
Once you choose a border you like paste it/make it in a new layer. Change the color of the border. Select the paint bucket tool and color it in. You can use plain colors, gradients, or you can blur the image to make a fun border color. I usually blur the button on a new layer to give it a matching color border. Next make an inner white border and set this to soft light on a lower opacity. This is my final product (on 1200% zoom):
There are many different fonts you can use. The most popular and common ones are pixel fonts such as 04b_03, Bangalore, Handy00, Pixel-Love, Redensek, and Silkscreen. Some nice non-pixel fonts are BubbleGum, Chinacat, Chubby Cheeks, Cookies, Fineliner Script, and Stars From Our Eyes.
I like to mix non-pixel with pixel fonts on my buttons, if the button has enough room and if the button will look good with it. Experiment with different fonts until you are satisfied with the font(s) that works well.
Once you found your fonts it is time for the text border. If you made the text white, use a colored border with a glow. If you used a color text use a white/light pastel border & glow. For this button, I am using white and light pink text, a dark matching border and a soft dark glow. Here is how mine looks:
You should now be done with your button. You can use this last step to adjust and retouch some parts of the button if needed. Here is what my button came out (without animation) after this tutorial:
Now go out there and show the Neopian Community your beautiful button!
If you used this tutorial and found it useful please neomail me.
I would love to feature your button here!