Veerle’s Blog is one of my favorite design blogs. She recently did a Photoshop tutorial on how to create inset text in the new Mac OS X Leopard style. This is a neat effect, and pretty simple to accomplish in The GIMP.
First, let’s create the bar. Create a new layer and call it “bar”. Create a rectangular selection at whatever size you’d like the bar to be and give it a gradient fill with #949494 and #d1d1d1 as your end colors.
Next create the drop shadow. This was a little tricky and if you have a better method, I’d love to hear it. What I did was first duplicate the bar layer and move the “bar copy” layer down below the “bar” layer, and renamed it “shadow”. With the previous rectangular selection still selected, I pressed Ctrl+, to fill the selection with black. Next, I pressed Ctrl+Shift+A to deselect all. Now blur the layer to taste. With my image size, 5px radius was sufficient.
So, now you should have a bar with a fully encompassing shadow. To get the effect Veerle creates, we have to remove all but the bottom edge shadow. Here’s how I did it. First, select the “bar” layer in the layers dialog. Then using the “Select regions by color” tool,
click somewhere outside the bar to select everything but the bar. Next, choose the rectangular selection tool, and set it’s mode to “Subtract from the current selection” and draw a box around the bottom edge including the shadow.
Now, in the layers dialog, select the “shadow” layer and fill the selection with white. This has the appearance of erasing the areas in the selection. You could also do this just by using the eraser and erasing everything in the selection too. Here’s the result.
Am I the only person who thinks that was just ridiculously difficult?
Now for the text. This part is refreshingly simple. Select the text tool and create some text inside your bar at 18 point font using #383838 for the color. Making sure the text layer is selected, go to the Script-fu menu and select Shadow>Drop Shadow.
Note: The settings in this step differ depending on what size your image and font actually are. Bigger images require bigger settings. Set the Offset X to 2, Offset Y to 0, Blur radius to 2, the color to white and the opacity to 50% and click Ok. The script will create a new layer called “Drop-shadow”. Select this layer, then make sure the image window is active and press the down-arrow key to move the new, white drop shadow down one pixel. That’s it! Here’s the final product.
Check out my flickr set for larger versions of the images in this post.