How to Make Rings in Photoshop

Written by linda johnson
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How to Make Rings in Photoshop
Simple rings to make in Photoshop (primary colours three image by Paul Moore from

It is not easy to draw a simple, perfect circle by hand, much less a three dimensional ring. Fortunately, you can learn to make perfect rings in Adobe Photoshop. You can create big rings, little rings, and rings within rings, and then you can add special effects such as drop shadows and embossing. You may be surprised to learn how easy it is in Photoshop.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adobe Photoshop

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  1. 1

    Go to "File" in the horizontal "Toolbar" at the top of your Photoshop screen, and choose "New." In the "New Document" dialogue box, choose 5 inches for both the width and the height. Set the "Background Contents" to transparent, then click OK.

  2. 2

    Decide what colour you want your ring to be. Click on the black box in the "Toolbox" on your left, and the "Color Picker" will open up. Click on the colour you prefer, then click OK. That becomes your Foreground colour and your Fill colour.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Shape" tool in the "Toolbox" to your left, and find the "Ellipse" tool.

  4. 4

    Drag the "Ellipse" tool over to your new document, and create a circle. It will automatically fill with the Foreground colour you chose.

  5. 5

    Click on the "Ellipse" tool again, and go to the horizontal "Options" bar that opens up. In the five icons made up of boxes, find the one that says "Extract from Shape Area" and click on it. It is the third one over.

  6. 6

    Make a circle inside your coloured circle to subtract a shape from it. Don't be concerned if it is not centred.

  7. 7

    Click on the "Path Selection" tool in your "Toolbox" and draw a bounding box around your big circle. In the "Options" bar above, you will see new icons. Let your cursor hover over them until you find the one that says "Align horizontal centres" and then click it. A little farther to the right find the "Align vertical centres" icon and click there. Click outside the bounding box to deselect all paths.

  8. 8

    Click on the "Path Selection" tool again and drag it to your centre transparent circle. In the small bounding box that appears, pull the corners out to thin the diameter of your ring.

  9. 9

    Add a drop shadow to your ring. Go to "Layer,"click on "Layer Styles," then check "Drop Shadow." In the dialogue box that opens, use these settings: In "Blend Mode," select "Multiply." Leave "Use Global Light" checked. Set colour as black; "Opacity" at 75 per cent; "Angle," 120 degrees, "Distance," 17 pixels; "Spread," 0 per cent; "Size," 5 pixels, "Noise," 0 per cent. Choose the "Contour" with one dark and one light triangle. Leave "Anti-Aliased" and "Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow" unchecked.

  10. 10

    Bevel and emboss your ring in "Layer Styles." Check "Bevel and Emboss" and in the dialogue box that opens use these settings: "Style," use "Inner Bevel;" "Technique," use "Smooth;" "Depth," 100 per cent. For "Direction" check "Up." "Size" is 13 pixels, "Soften," 0 pixels. "Angle,"120 degrees; check "Use Global Light." For "Gloss Contour," use the box with two equal triangles, and do not check "Anti-Aliased." For "Highlight Mode," use "Screen." Set "Opacity" at 75 per cent. For "Shadow Mode," use "Multiply," and use 75 per cent for this "Opacity" too.

  11. 11

    Go to "File" and click "Save as," to name and save your ring image as a PSD file which will preserve layers. Save it again as a JPG for a smaller file.

Tips and warnings

  • You can experiment with various settings, increasing the size and distance of the drop shadow, and adding more effects such as "Satin." You can go to "Edit" and "Transform Path," and change the perspective and skew the ring.
  • There are older and newer versions of Photoshop. These instructions are based on Photoshop CS 2. If you have a newer version, techniques may be improved but the same principles will apply.

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