In this button tutorial you will learn how to create a nice blue glossy Web 2.0 button with a reflection in Gimp.
Create a new image with a white background. It can be nice to have some space to work on so let’s make the image 500×500.
Create a new layer. With the Rectangle select tool, create a selection that’s 200×70 in the middle of the image. Rounded corners should be enabled and set to 15.
Set your FG color to 3377ad and your BG color to 4bb7f0,
This layer is going to be the border around the button, it’s always nice to have a dark border color, so fill that selection with that dark blue color (3377ad).
Create a new layer, shrink your selection by 1 pixel. Right-click->Select->Shrink.
Select the Blend tool, reverse the gradient.
We’re going to create a gradient from the bottom of the selection to the exact middle of the button.
So how do we find the exact middle? Look at that bar in the bottom of the image window while you drag the gradient, when it says -34 it’s in the middle of the button.
(since the button is 70px minus 2px (border), and half of that is 34.)
(hold Ctrl to get a straight line)
Our button should look like this now:
Create a new layer. Use the Rectangle select tool and create a selection on the top half of that button. Rounded corners should be enabled and set to 15. My selection measures 190×32.
Set your FG color to white. (ffffff)
Select the Blend tool, set the gradient to FG to Transparent. The gradient should not be reversed.
Now create a gradient from the top of the selection to the bottom of it.
Get rid of that selection, Select->None. Also reduce the opacity of the layer to 75.
Create a new layer, grab the Pencil tool and select the brush called Circle (03).
Now draw a white line not too far from the bottom edge of the button. The beginning and end of the line should be aligned with the beginning and end of the “gloss”.
(hold Shift to go into line mode, then hold Ctrl to draw a straight line.)
Do a Gaussian blur of 12 on that layer. Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur
That should give our button a nice blurred white line like this:
Select the layer with the button border (the first layer we made), and give it a drop shadow.
Filters->Light and Shadow->Drop Shadow.
The settings should be: Offset X 0, Offset Y 0, Blur Radius 5, Color: black.
That gives our button a nice dark outer edge like this:
Add some text to that button. I used a font called FreeSans Bold with size 35. Use the Move tool to position the text perfectly.
Give the text a drop shadow with the same settings as we used on the button border. (Offset X 0, Offset Y 0, Blur Radius 5, Color: black)
Now for the reflection. First, merge together all your layers except for the background. There are many ways to do this, but the easiest in this case would be to make your background invisible, and then right-click and select Merge Visible Layers, and choose Clipped to image.
Make the background visible again, and duplicate the layer with the button on it.
Now we’re going to flip the duplicate button upside-down with the Flip tool, simply set the Flip tool setting to vertical and click on the button.
Use the Move tool to position the duplicate button right underneath the original button. The borders of the buttons should be right next to each other.
Add a layer mask to the button that is upside-down. (right-click on the layer and select add layer mask) Set the mask to White (full opacity)
Layer masks control the opacity of individual pixels on a layer, so you can use them to have different opacity in different areas on a layer.
Set your FG color to black, select the Blend tool and set the gradient to FG to Transparent.
We’re going to create a gradient inside the layer mask, so click on the layer mask in the layer dialog to make sure that it’s the layer mask we’re working on and not the layer.
It’s where you start the gradient that controls the height of the reflection, so if you want a small reflection you should create the gradient from the middle of the duplicate button to the middle of the original button.
If you want a large reflection, then create a gradient from almost the bottom of the duplicate button to the middle of the original button. I chose to create a large reflection.
Reduce the opacity of the layer to 75. This makes our reflection a bit smoother.
The button is done! The final result looks very nice:
A short word on saving before we end the tutorial, if you save the button as JPG the white background will be included, if you don’t want the white background included with the button, you should either change the color of the background, or delete the background and save as PNG. You should of course cut out the button from the rest of the image afterwards so you don’t end up with a 500×500 button.