How To Make a Shiny Rounded Button in Adobe Illustrator

Using Adobe Illustrator CS4 (this procedure may also apply to CS3 and earlier versions, please let me know if it does) you can make a neat little object that looks like it is curved, rounded, and shiny, with a light shine highlight and edge darkening effect to get the full depth.

  1. Start with an image layer, containing the image that will be the skin of the object (which is in our case a round convex button).
  2. Put a new layer under it.
  3. On the new layer create a circle (Ellipse (L) tool and hold Shift to force circular, hold Alt to anchor center point of ellipse while manipulating the size) that encompasses the part of the image that whall be visible on the final “button” to be created.
  4. Create a radial gradient in the circle. Make it lighter in the center.
  5. Create a new layer between the image layer and the circle layer.
  6. Create another circle on this layer, a bit smaller than the last one, and shifted down a bit so it almost touches on the lower boundary of the circles.
  7. On the same layer create an ellipse that is larger than the circle, but leaves a crescent at the top of the button, for the shine.
  8. Using the layers box, and holding Shift, select both these layers. Then click Pathfinder > Subtract From Shape. This trims out all but the crescent.  (If it does the opposite, Undo (Ctrl-Z) back and reverse the order stacking order of the circle and ellipse on this layer, and try this step again.)
  9. Create a new layer between the image layer and the original circle layer.
  10. On this layer create a rectangle that covers the entire crescent.
  11. In the rectangle, create a white-down-to-black gradient (at -90 deg.) using the standard black and white color pair.
  12. Using the layers box again, select both the rectangle and crescent layers.
  13. On the Transparency panel dropdown (located in the right-corner of the panel) menu selet Make Opacity Mask.
  14. Select the original circle and copy it.
  15. Select the image layer, and paste the circle using Ctrl-F.
  16. Select the pasted circle. Remove the fill and stroke from it.
  17. Select the entire image layer (which selects all sublayers too) and do Ctrl-7 to create a clipping mask. Now your button looks round.
  18. Create a new layer above the image layer, but under the shine layer.
  19. Paste the circle again into this new layer.
  20. Convert the fill to a B&W gradient.
  21. On the gradient, move the center nugget toward the black as far as it will go. This creates a domed shadow effect.
  22. In the Transparency panel, select Mode of Multiply, then select Opacity of 20%.

Viola! Now you have a round  button that looks roundy and shiny.  Rotate the crescent layer to change the direction of light in the shine.

Great Adobe Illustrator tutorial I got this metod… thank you Veerle!

Posted under Graphic, Uncategorized, WebDev

Convert & Trim DVD video to MPEG-1, freeware style

Download DVD Shrink 3.2 and Flask MPEG 0.594

This procedure assumes: “Files”-type rip of DVD to decrypted VOB using DVD Decrypter

DVD Shrink

  1. Click button Open Files
  2. Navigate to the VIDEO_TS subfolder of the directory that holds the DVD’s decrypted VOB files.
  3. Click button Re-Author
  4. Drag titles from the right-hand pane to the left-hand pane.
  5. To trim: on left-hand pane items, right-click and click Set Start/End Frames…
  6. Set the beginning and ending frames of the segment that you want to keep.
  7. Click button Backup!

Flask MPEG

  1. File >> Open DVD. Find your IFO file made when you trimmed the VOBs
  2. Select the streams you want to include, click Flask this  DVD!
  3. Options >> Global Project Options
    1. Video tab
      1. Frame Size – This dictated the output resolution of the video, as far as quality goes. It does not dictate the viewing size of the video, since this MPEG-1 video is locked in at 352 x 240 for viewing. What this means is that this setting controls video qulity only.
    2. Files tab – set the path and filename for output video.
    3. General Tab
      1. Compiling Time – you can compile the first n frames/seconds of the project, instead of the whole thing. Good for testing settings.
    4. Click OK
  4. Options >> Output Format Options
    1. Video Stream Settings tab – select MPEG-1 and leave the rest defaulted
    2. Program Stream Settings tab – select MPEG-1 and leave the rest defaulted
    3. Audio Stream Settings tab – lower Bit Rate to reduce final file size, and leave the rest defaulted
    4. Click OK
  5. Run… >> Start Conversion
  6. Click Start on the bbMPEG screen that pops
  7. When finished, click Ok on the bbMPEG screen
  8. Test your finished video (segment)


Posted under Freeware, Video Editing