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This is a simple guide that will show you how to create that awesome looking Windows Aero effect in Photoshop. If you are using another image editing program, then you may need to change some steps, but it is possible to create the following in most modern programs.
If you want to skip the tutorial and download the file for yourself, get it here:
Otherwise, improve your Photoshop skills by following this tutorial:
Start by creating a new document. Match the settings of your window to that of the screenshot.
Choose the paint bucket tool and full the background layer with any color or gradient you like. I added a sort of reflection to the top to make it look nicer.
Use the rounded rectangle tool with a radius of 10px to create a rectangle the size of the area you want to have the “Aero Effect”.
Ctrl+Right Click the vector mask of the shape so you end up with a selection in the shape of the rounded rectangle.
With the rectangle still selected left click on the background layer and press Ctrl + C to copy the contents.
Press Ctrl+V to paste the selection on a new layer.
Delete the layer with the rounded rectangle on it. Label Layer 1 Copied Selection.
You may notice that nothing looks any different than what we started with, but by the end of this step you will end up with something resembling a Windows Aero Effect.
Double click on Copied Selection.
Change the Layer Style to be the same as the screenshots below:
Now we are going to create those very light diagonal lines that you can see on Windows.
Create a new layer and label it Lines.
Get the gradient tool and set it to Foreground to Transparent.
Change the Foreground color to a dark grey ( I used #a3a3a3.)
Create a gradient that takes up around 1/8 of the screen.
You should end up with a line like in the image below.
Get the eraser tool to following settings:
Hold the Shift key down to erase a vertical line.
Copy the line to a new layer.
Move the copied line beside the original line and resize it so it is smaller than the original using the transform tool.
Repeat until you have a number of lines of different sizes.
Merge all the layers with stripes on them.
You should end up with something like this:
Using the Transform tool, rotate the stripes 45 degrees.
Make sure that the stripes end outside your “Aero Effect Area” like so:
Ctrl+Left Click on the layer Copied Selection.
Left click on the layer with the stripes on it.
Click on the layer mask button.
Change the stripes layer’s opacity to 10%.
Download Photoshop Aero Effect PSD
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