This tutorial will show you how to create your own music interface that lets you manage songs on your device, whether it’s a phone, computer or a tablet. By learning few cool design tricks you can bring your own interface ideas to life. This tutorial will show you how to create two screens for your interface; a loading screen and the main interface with the song list.
Preview of Final Results
Alright, let’s start by creating a little bit bigger canvas than our desired final screen. Let’s set it to 1080×1920 and resolution of 72 px/inch. For the background color choose black.
Grab Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and draw a selection covering the whole top of the canvas (for around 1/3 of the whole image). Use Paint Bucket (G), then fill up the selection with black color. Next go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise.
Now go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and add the blur of around 0,4 radius.
Then go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask and sharpen it as shown below.
The whole point of this is to make that texture a little smoother than the noise is itself. If you feel that the texture could use more sharpen, then go ahead and press Ctrl+F, this will apply the last used filter (which was Unsharp Mask), this way the effect will be stronger.
Basically it doesn’t really matter how much of noise you gave in the first place, as this is adjustable. Depending on how much you want your background texture to be visible, you need to set the Opacity of our layer that contains the noise. I’m gonna go ahead and in the Layers Palette lower it to around 4%.
If you want your texture to be even more visible you can add a little bit more sharpness (as in step 4).
Now because the noise texture is seamless you can easily duplicate it (Ctrl+J) and connect each tile to create any type of background.
Try to connect them as indicated in the previous step and move them a bit to the top so the whole design has one small gap like in the screen below.
Now create new layer above, grab Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and select the whole bottom part of the background (starting from the gap ledge). Then pick Brush Tool (B), set its Opacity to 100%, Flow to 1% and Hardness to 0%. Use white color and softly paint on the new layer, inside the selection (as indicated).
Step 9 (Creating Edge Highlights)
Now please try to understand and remember following steps, as we will be repeating them many times later:
Make sure you have your selection still active, if you happen to deselect it, recreate the same selection again. Zoom up the area of the gap and create new layer above all, name it “Edge highlight”. Select Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), then right-click on the canvas and pick “Stroke…” from the dialogue box. Set it as shown below.
To deselect selection hit Ctrl+D.
After applying these settings, the line should look like this.
Step 10 (Creating Edge Highlights)
Next go to Layers Palette, add layer mask to the “Edge highlights” layer. Click on its mask and hit Ctrl+I (invert). This will invert mask making everything on that layer hidden.
Step 11 (Creating Edge Highlights)
Then to make the edge highlight we need to reveal the mask. Simply select layer mask and softly paint along the whole horizontal lenght of the gap (direction indicated by red arrows). To do this use soft white brush (brush settings: Opacity to 100%, Flow to 5% and Hardness to 0%).
Now you know how to make the edge highlight, which are very important in a design like this. They will now appear everywhere you want to insert a gap. So go ahead and using this knowledge let’s make gap for our interface logo.
Grab Pen Tool and draw a black shape layer as you see below. If you’re not quite familiar with drawing advanced shapes with Pen Tool, you can use simple Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) filled with black color or draw a sharp edged shape trapezoid.
Once you’re done refer to steps 9, 10, 11 (creating edge highlight) and add a nice highlight on the bottom of the shape along with the direction set by red arrows. Keep in mind that now you will be basing on the selection of the trapezoid (to call its selection simply hold Ctrl and leftclick on the tarpezoid layer’s thumbnail, then follow the mentioned steps: 9, 10, 11). The process is identical.
Now we will make the interface logo/name. I’ve used Sofia Pro font here, set to Bold, 80pt. You can use similar font like Futura or Century Gothic etc, even good old Helvetica will do the job, it’s just up to perosnal taste. After the font is set, position it in the center of the shape and change its color to orange #dd5316.
Go to Bleding Options (Layer Style) of that type layer and check Stroke. Set it as shown below.
Also make sure you lower layer’s Fill down to 0% in Layers Palette, so it becomes transparent.
Next, duplicate that type layer (Ctrl+J). Bring the Fill back to 100% and uncheck the Stroke option in Blending Options (Layer Style). Basically undo the previous step, so the layer is a simple orange text.
Duplicate that text layer again (the orange type). Pick Move Tool (V) and use keyboard arrows to move it 1 pixel down and 2 pixels to the right (1 hit down arrow, 2 hits right arrow). Then go to Bleding Options again and set Gradient Overlay and Drop Shadow as indicated below.
When you’re done – again go to the Layers Palette and turn this text Fill off by decreasing it to 0%. The result should look similar to the one below. As can see the layer styles gave a nice shading to the bottom the text, while the move made with keyboard resulted an awesome crisp edge highlight on the top left side of the text.
Now again duplicate the latest text layer, go to Blending Options and set it as shown below.
Again the Fill should be set to 0%.
Step 17 (Creating Gloss)
OK, next grab Pen Tool (P), make sure it’s set to drawing Shape. Then try to create a similar shape to mine. Make sure you change its color to white.
When you’re done with the shape, then the most important thing here is to go to layer Properties and set the Feather of the shape to 2,0 px – this will give the shape edges a great soft feel. If you don’t see the Properties, go to main Photoshop bar on the top and choose Window > Properties.
Step 18 (Creating Gloss)
Now go to Layers Palette and create a layer mask for this white shape layer. Grab black brush (settings: Opacity to 100%, Flow to 5% and Hardness to 0%) and paint on layer mask to create a subtle transition. Do it slowly with precision. The whole point is to make it kind of irregular. Start from the left side (make it less visible there) to the right side (make it more visible there).
To add the final touch up for the logo go to Layers Palette, hold Ctrl and leftclick on trapezoid shape layer’s thumbnail (this will recall its selection). Then go to Select > Contract, and set a proper value to the size of your shape. If it’s similar as mine, type around 25 pixels there. If not, just experiment with the value.
The selection should now shrink 25 pixels. So create new layer above and grab Brush Tool (B). Set all the brush values to 100% (except for Hardness, it can be around 50-60%) and paint an uneven horizontal stroke. Use anykind of hot color (it can be a saturated and bright red or orange, or brown etc.)
When you’re done deselect the selection (Ctrl+D) and lower the red stroke layer’s opacity to around 6%, so it’s barely visible, but still noticable.
Now let’s create some buttons. Grab Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), set the Radius of the rounded corners to 20px (indicated with red circle below). Then pick black color and draw a button shape, as shown below.
Next duplicate that button shape and use Ctrl+T > Free Transform to resize it down. If the proportions are not right, you might try to adjust it using Direct Selection Tool (A). This tool gives you the ability to change the placement of anchor points. You can change them by clicking on the shape path.
If you got lost or don’t know how to do this, there are two other ways of doing it quite fast:
1. You can simply go back to Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and draw the same button shape, but a bit smaller, so it fits right in the center of our main shape
2. Refer to step 19 (first screen shot in this step) and follow the exact instructions there. It’s basically the same process, but the Contract value should be around 12 pixels now.
Duplicate that smaller black shape (so you have 3 black shapes in your layers palette: 1 bigger and 2 smaller ones). Change the color of the new shape to satuated brown #401c02. Hit Ctrl+Alt+G so the layer becomes a clipping mask. Then go to the Layers Palette, add a layer mask to this brown shape layer (if it isn’t already there), select the mask and hit Ctrl+I to invert the colors. This will make the brown button disappear.
Now make sure you have the layer mask selected with your mouse. Then pick Brush Tool (B), set its Opacity to 100%, Flow to 2% and Hardness to 0%. Use white color and softly paint on the mask (where the red arrows indicate) to reveal the color.
Alright, if you got it properly, it should now look similar to the screen below. To make sure you understand what a Clipping Mask (Ctrl+Alt+G) is, pay attention to the red circle in layers palette below.
Go to the Layers Palette, Ctrl+rightclick on the “button center” layer’s thumbnail to call it’s selection. Then rightclick and select Stroke.
Then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All.
Reveal the mask by paitning on it with soft white brush. Paint where red arrows indicate to give some nice edge light.
Now type “Music chart” (color doesn’t matter) in the center of the button . Next, go to Layers Palette, rightlclick on the text layer and select Blending Options. Set everything exactly as shown in the images below.
OK, as for final step, just go to Layers Palette, find the gloss layer from steps 17 and 18 and simply duplicate it using Ctrl+J). Drag that layer to our button group (on the very top), resize it down a bit (so it fits the button), position it properly in the central part and hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask.
Make sure every layer in that group is on clipping masks so they don’t come out of the central shape.
To to give a touch of class to the button edge, you can refer to steps 9, 10, 11 (creating edge highlights) and using the same technique add a bit of light to the bottom left part.
Keep in mind that now you can duplicate the whole group of layers (Ctrl+J) and place it elsewhere to make more buttons. The only thing you need to do is just to change the type.
Open image of speaker, extract it using Magic Wand Tool (W) and drag it somewhere in our illustration.
Next hit Ctrl+U (Hue/Saturation) and set proper values to Reds, Yellows, Cyans and Blues.
Now grab Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), hold Shift and draw a nice circle around the membrane.
Then hold Alt and draw another circle to exclude the center of the speaker. We only want to have the membrane selected.
Hint: To move the selection while drawing it, use Space bar on keyboard.
Example: if you want to exclude the central part from the current selection, hit Alt (exclude) draw a selection circle, now if you want to move it – still hold Alt but aslo hit and hold Space bar on keyboard – now you’re able to move/reposition the selection, until you drop the Space bar.
When you’re done, go to Layers Palette, pick Hue/Saturation. This should automatically get into shape of your selection. Then adjust it as shown below and hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask.
Now recall that selection again.
While having this selection active go to Layers Palette and now select Color Balance. Again it will auto fit the selection masking out everything outside it. Hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask and apply the same values as shown below.
Now create another layer on the top, use clipping mask – Ctrl+Alt+G. Change its blending mode to Soft Light and pick light yellow color #ffed9a. Then select Brush Tool (B), set its Opacity to 100%, Flow to 5% and Hardness to 0% and paint (as indicated) to cast a bit of light.
Repeat the same process as in previous step, but this time use new layer with Overlay blending mode and paint with white color. This should stregthen the effect.
Merge all the speaker layers into one (select them all and hit Ctrl+E) and duplicate (Ctrl+J) it 3 more times. Then position it as shown below.
Next grab Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a big dark grey (#2d2d2d) shape from below the buttons to the very bottom of the canvas. Lower its Opacity to around 80%, so it look something like the image below.
Next go to Layers Palette and create a new layer group, name it “fabric”. Recall the selection by holding Ctrl and leftclicking on the shape layer’s thumbnail. Then click on Layer Mask icon in Layers Palette (as indicated below).
This will automatically mask out everything that’s not in our selection. And now everything you throw into that group will only affect that area of our selection. So first put that grey shape layer in that group.
Remember that we will be working in that group now, so make sure you put everything inside there. Now open the fabric texture, put it in “fabric” group. Set its Opacity to 80% and change the Blending Mode to Screen.
If the texture is not big enough to fit your canvas, just duplicate (Ctrl+J) it few times and connect the tiles to make the pattern bigger – the texture is seamless, it should easily connect.
Hit Ctrl+U and adjust the Hue/Saturation values as shown.
Now new adjustment layer (Levels) above, in that group. Adjust it as shown.
Next, go to Layers Palette and add another adjustment layer (Solid Color) above, in that group. Set it to a very dark color #0a0908 and lower the Opacity to 80%.
Now duplicate the fabric layer, drag this copy above all layers in the “fabric” group. Hit Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate it completely and then hit Ctrl+L (Levels). Adjust it as shown below.
Change this duplicated fabric layer’s Blending Mode to Screen. This will make the highlights on the texture pop out more. We should be good enough right now, but I felt like it’s kind of too many of these highlighted spots. Therefore I’ve left them only on the top (as indicated) and I erased the rest (mostly at the bottom), simply using Eraser Tool (E).
And finally to give the fabric a bit more realistic effect, create new layer on the top of all layers in that “farbic” group. Change its Blending Mode to Soft Light. Then pick Brush Tool (B), set its Opacity to 100%, Flow to 5% and Hardness to 0%. Use white color and softly paint on this layer as indicated below.
Now grab Line Tool (U), set the Weight to 6px (in the top bar) or you can also use Rectangle Tool (U). Then draw two horizontal lines, set their colors to black.
If you get confused take a look at the zoom indicated below.
Next, create the same sized shape as the top buttons (or copy it from the button), make sure it’s black.
Duplicate that shape (Ctrl+J) and use Ctrl+T > Free Transform to resize the shape down. Change its color to dark grey. Then go to mask Properties and set the Feather to 49%.
If you don’t see Properties, you most probably need to turn it on by going to the top bar and selecting Window > Properties.
Next go to the layer Blending Options and set Inner Glow.
Again refer to steps 9, 10, 11 (creating edge highlight) and add a nice highlight on the bottom of the shape along with the direction set by red arrows. Keep in mind that now you will be basing on the selection of button shape and two horizontal line shapes (to call the selection simply hold Ctrl and leftclick on the layer’s thumbnail, then follow the mentioned steps: 9, 10, 11). The process is identical.
Step 42 (Creating Screw)
Grab Ellipse Tool (U) and create two perfect circles (Hold Shift while drawing circle). Make the back one black and fhe frontal grey.
Create new layer above the black shape, hit Ctrl+Alt+G (clipping mask). Then pick Brush Tool (B), set its Opacity to 100%, Flow to 3% and Hardness to 0%. Use white color and softly paint on the new layer where the arrows indicate.
As the arrows get lighter (from bottom to top), the same way you should put the tone value – darkest on the bottom, lightest on the top.
Next move to the upper grey shape, fix its color to darker grey (#272727), then recall this shape’s selection (Ctrl+leftclick on layer’s thumbnail), create new layer above the shape. Hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask, then rightclick and select Stroke. When the dialogue box appears set the values as shown below.
Next select Move Tool (V) and using keyboard arrows move the stroked layer 1 or 2 px down, to get something silimar to the image below.
Now grab Pen Tool (P) and draw an X shape.
Make sure you give it a bright tone (#a2a2a2). Then create new layer under the stroked layer (the one with white stroke we just made), hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask, and this time use black brush for painting. As the red arrows indicate, try to add just a touch of shadow all around the shape (to get a better depth).
Now move to the X shape layer, duplicate (Ctrl+J) it and resize down (Ctrl+T) or recreat it completely using Pen Tool (P) and black color. Make sure it looks similar to the one below.
In Layers Palette select the back X shape layer, click on Add Layer Mask icon to add mask and then use soft black brush to paint on it. Paint where the red arrows indicate to give a nice depth to the white shape so it looks like edge light.
Then move to the front X shape (black), add a layer mask to it, then use soft white brush to paint on it. Paint where the red arrows indicate to erase the black shape and reveal some light from the shape in the back. Make sure you do it with small brush diameter to fit the shape.
Be accurate while you do this masking. If you do too much you might get kind of different results. Some make sure you getting as close as possible to the result shown below.
Also keep in mind, while masking you should use a very soft brush – let’s say 2-3% Flow.
Now select all the button layer and merge them (Ctrl+E). Then create new layer above, hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask. Change layer’s Blending Mode to Overlay. Select white brush and softly paint as the red arrow indicate. Cast some light from the top.
Repeat the previous step but this time create new layer with Multiply Blending Mode and use soft black brush for shading. Paint where the red arrow indicate.
Finally create new layer below the screw, set its Blending Mode to Multiply and use soft black brush to cast shadow below the button (downwards).
Duplicate these screws as many times as you want (Ctrl+J) and make sure their placement is symmetrical. Also if you want to place them in a holes like I did, just refer to the earliest steps (for example step12) but in this case for a hole simply use a rounded shape layer. Everything here works on the same routine, the only thing that changes is the shape, which here is a circle.
Alright we have the first screen done. Now stay on the same project file and let’s move further. Go to the top of layers palette and create a shape layer, use Rectangle Tool (U) with very dark color (#0a0a0a).
Duplicate one of the top buttons (Ctrl+J) and place it in the central part a little bit below the top buttons. Make sure it fits the gap (that was in the same spot) in the previous screen. Remove the gloss layer, change the text to “Song list” and leave it this way.
Now as you roll the group of this new button you have the exact same layers as we had before in these top buttons. So just select the layer on the very bottom that’s our black gap, duplicate it (Ctrl+J) and place it in the on the top.
I’ve changed its color to white so we know better what’s going on there.
Hit Ctrl+T and resize the white shape down. Make sure it’s around 3 pixles smaller.
Recale the white shape’s selection (Ctrl+leftclick on layer’s thumbnail).
Go to Select > Modify > Contract and contract it by around 6 pixels.
Make sure you have the white shape selected, then in Layers Palette click on add layer mask button.
Next go to the white shape layer’s Blending Options and set it as shown below.
Rightclick on that glow layer and select Copy Layer Styles.
Next grab Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a thick horizontal black line under the Song list button.
Zoom up the black stripe and create two white horizontal lines inside, around 6 pixels width each.
Now rightclick on each of those lines and select Paste Layer Styles.
Duplicate (Ctrl+J) all these 3 stipes (1 black, 2 glowing ones) and postion it below, in the end of the background shape layer.
Now let’s fill up the content. First we’re gonna make a button alike element that’s meant for displaying graphics of current track. So this is basically the same thing as creating button. The only thing that’s different is that the shape is more square right now. Simply refer to step 20, 21, 22 and follow previous instructions on how to create the button. Just ditch the part when we used color to fill the center, do it black and white.
As being said in the beginning, most of the stuff here works on repetitions. Now we need to add some some gaps to the solid shape in the background. To do this use Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a tiny 2-3 pixel black horizontal line (shape layer).
Now repeat the same thing, but this time add 1 pixel horizontal grey line. Use Line Tool (U) or Rectangle Tool (U). Move that line downwards so it’s sticks to the black shape edge.
The view below is zoomed.
Add a layer mask to this grey line and use soft black brash to erase the line fro mthe sides a bit.
Next use Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) and draw 1 rounded stripe shape. Duplicate it 7 times, so you get 8 of them. Place them next to each other and merge them (Ctrl+E). Make sure they’re all dark grey.
Now duplicate this merged shape layer, change its color to white and hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask, so the white shape cannot go out of grey shape bounds. Now use Path Selection Tool (A) and move each shape so they make a various movement (move one down, one up, and so on).
Next type some song name, rightlclick on that text layer (in layers palette) and select Paste Layer Styles again.
What we need now is a rounded play / stop / pause button. In order to make it grab Ellipse Tool (U) and draw a perfect circle. Make sure the shape layer is white and set the Feather to 2,8px.
Next create another circle (you can duplicate the first one but remember to make the properties values default). Set the color to black.
Duplicate the black shape 2 times now (so you get 3 black circles). And resize these 2 new duplicates a bit down. Change the top ones color to #2d0600.
While you’re on the red shape layer, hit Ctrl+Alt+G for clipping mask. Then add a layer mask and using soft black brush erase the top right area (so you get only a touch of red light on the bottom).
Then use Pen Tool (P) and draw a play symbol shape.
Select the play shape, rightclick on it and pick Paste Layer Styles again. Use clipping mask (Ctrl+Alt+G).
Now go back to one of the buttons you made earlier, duplicate the gloss layer and drag it to our play button. Use clipping mask (Ctrl+Alt+G) to make it bounded by the inner black circle.
Then hold Ctrl and rightclick on the black shape layer’s thumbnail. When the selection appears, rightclick and select Stroke. Pick 1 px stroke and inside the selection.
Use Eraser Tool (E) and erase the bottom line of the stroke as indicated. You might also lower the opacity of that stroke a bit.
Now got to the white circle that we made in the beginning of this step, add a layer mask to it and using soft black brush erase the top part of the white so that the bottom left gets a nice edge light.
Duplicate the play button 2 times (Ctrl+J), but get rid of the color shape layer and change the symbol in the center. Use Pen Tool (P) or Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) to do this.
Duplicate one of the black and white round buttons and simply change the symbol inside, everything else stays the same. Again Pen Tool (P) or Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) to do this. You can also use Custom Shape Tool (U) and find already created shape to fit in your button.
The final result is totally up to you now. I’ve duplcated the track names, rotation buttons and the gap lines to make a full list of songs – as it’s displayed in the final outcome.
Tutorial by Wojciech Pijecki
Thanks for reading the tutorial all the way til the end. I hope you learned some good and useful techniques that will help you now creating some outstanding music interface designs of your own!