Want a free year on Tuts+ (worth $180)? Start an InMotion Hosting plan for $3.49/mo.
In today’s tutorial we will demonstrate how to create a realistic coffee cup with a customizable label using smart objects in Photoshop. Let’s get started!
Begin by creating a 1500 x 2200px document at 300dpi. Fill the background layer with #c2c2c2.
Here you can see the different parts that are needed for the coffee cup.
Start by setting up some guide lines, one in the center vertically at 750px and one horizontal at 1100px.
We will start by creating the cup. Make the side-outline of the cup with the Pen Tool, make sure it is set to paths and Add to path area ( + ). When one side is created, select it and press Cmd/Ctrl + Alt + T to make a copy, move the pivot-point to the center line and right click on the shape and choose Flip Horizontal. Create the bottom with the Ellipse Tool, click and hold on the vertical guide line and hold down Alt on the keyboard to make it symmetrical over the center line. Create a new solid layer out of the shapes and fill it with white (#ffffff) and name it cup.
Repeat the same steps to create the label.
The lid is made in the same way. Make sure when you create the bottom part of the lid to change it from Add to path area ( + ) to Subtract from path area (-).
To create the inside of the lid, copy the bottom ellipse from the lid and change the shape to Add to path area ( + ), fill it with a grey (#adadad).
Create the lid ring the same way as the cup, make sure that the bottom ellipse is the same size as the lid horizontal. Name it lid_ring.
Now all of the parts needed for the coffee cup are created, you can now scale them so that the coffee cup is approximately 1100px high and 650px wide. Make sure your layers are in the same orders as those showed.
Now it’s time to make the parts come to life, we will start with cup. Create a shape that is slightly bigger than the cup. Make a gradient fill as showed bellow, create a new layer on top of the gradient fill and name it gradient. Select both the gradient fill and the new layer and press Cmd/Ctrl + E to merge them.
Free transform (Cmd/Ctrl + T) the layer so it follows the cups shape. With the layer selected hit ALT + Cmd/Ctrl + G to create a clipping mask. Now the gradient layer will only be visible where the cup is.
With the Pen Tool, make a path beneath the cup that follows the cups bottom arc. Create a new layer on top of the gradient layer and name it bottom_shadow. Stroke the path with a soft brush with black (#000000). With the layer selected hit ALT + Cmd/Ctrl + G to create a clipping mask.
To create the lid gradient do the same as for the cup, but when free transforming the shape switch from free transform to warp mode to be able to get the gradient layer to fit the lid shape. Don't forget to make a new layer and merge the gradient with it before transforming.
The same way we made the bottom shadow on the cup we will make a bottom shadow on the lid. Name this layer lid_bottom_shadow.
We also need to create a top highlight, do the same way but use a white brush and name it top_highlight.
Double click the lid_ring layer and make a gradient overlay as shows bellow, press OK and then right click on the layer and select create layers, this will result in a new layer on top of the lid_ring layer named lid_ring's Gradient Fill.
Make a path with the Pen Tool that follows the bottom of the lid ring, make it so it deviates a little from the bottom in the ends. Create a new layer and name it bottom_shadow. With the new layer selected, stroke the path with a large soft black brush. Create one more layer and name it bottom_shadow_2 and stroke the path with a smaller brush. Change the opacity for the both layers down to 10% and make them so the lid ring is there clipping mask.
Create a path that follows the lid rings bottom shape. Create a new layer on top of the top_highlight for the lid and name it lid_ring_bottom_shadow. Stroke the path with a black brush, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur and set it to 6px. Change the opacity down to 30%.
Duplicate the layer and change its name to lid_ring_top_shadow and move it up so it becomes visible over the lid ring, change the opacity down to 18%. Make sure both layers have the lid as there clipping mask.
Double click the lid_inside layer and create a gradient overlay.
Now it's time to create the shadow on the cup from the label. Create a path where the label ends and a new layer on top of the bottom_shadow for the cup and name it label_bottom_shadow. Stroke the path with a black brush. Duplicate the layer and rename the new layer to label_bottom_shadow_2 and change the opacity to 10%. Select the first layer and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur and make it a 10px blur, change the opacity down to 40%. Make sure both layers have the cup as there clipping mask.
Create two new layers on top of the label layer and name them gradient_left and gradient_right. Set them to have the label as their clipping mask. With the Gradient Tool selected make the gradients as showed bellow. Change both layers blending mode to Multiply.
To make the cup feel more “round” we will make some highlights on the side of the label. Create to paths on either side of the label and a new layer on top of the gradient layers and set it to have the label as its clipping mask and name it side_highlights. Stroke the paths with a soft white brush and set the blending mode of the layer to Soft Light.
The lid will cast a shadow on the label, so start by creating a path with the Pen Tool as showed. Create a new layer on top of the side_highlights, name it lid_shadow and set it to have the label as its clipping mask.
Stroke the path and then blur it a bit and set the layers blending mode to Multiply and opacity to 25%
Repeat Step 21 but name the layer lid_shadow_2.
Now it’s time to create the print for the label, create a path that is slightly bigger than the label and make it a solid color layer and fill it with a color of your choice and name it lable_print. Bring down the opacity of the layer so you can see what is underneath it. Put this layer direct above the label layer, this shall make the layer have the label layer as its clipping mask.
Right click the layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Now you are able to free transform the layer but by right clicking the layer and select Edit Content you will always be able to edit and update the layer as it where when it was converted to a smart object.
Hit Cmd/Ctrl + T to free transform the layer and then switch to Warp Mode and try to get the layer to look like showed bellow. It is important that both the horizontal and vertical lines are as showed, otherwise the label print will look bad.
Right click the label_print layer and select Edit Content (or double click the preview window for the layer in the layer tab). This will bring up the label print in a new window. You can delete the solid color layer and import the pattern. Go to File > Save, this will update the smart object in the original file. Your cup should look something like the one showed below now.
If the print is distorted in a strange way you can always change the transformation you did in step 23, just hit Cmd/Ctrl + T and switch to Warp Mod.
Go back to the label_print window. The text that will go on the label can be put wherever you want but to make the cup look more realistic don't put the text dead centered on the label. I have chosen to put it so it is goes out of frame.
You can put any kind of text here and also change the pattern to something else or use a solid color.
To make the text look more like it’s really on the cup we need to make some color variations on it. Start by making a new layer on top of the “large coffee”-text layer and name it gradient, with the Gradient Tool create a black gradient from the side almost all the way to the center line, make the layer so it has the large text as its clipping mask and set the opacity to 28%.
Create a new layer on top of the just created layer and name it highlight, with the gradient tool create a white gradient next to the side. Also mask it to the text layer.
Now do the exact same thing to the other text.
Create a new layer on top of the pattern layer and name it highlight, make a brush stroke along the center line with a large soft white brush. Change the opacity of the layer down to 15%.
Duplicate the layer and add a layer mask, with the layer mask selected and the Gradient Tool make a black gradient from the bottom up to the center so the bottom part of the layer is faded down from full opacity to zero opacity at the bottom. Change the opacity of the layer to 20%.
Save and close the label_print layer, now the label is done.
The side highlights on the label is to dark for this print so change the blending mode of the side_highlights to Screen and the opacity to 70%.
To make the cup look like its actually standing on something it needs a shadow.
Go in to the cup layer and copy the bottom shape. Create a new fill layer with the just copied shape and name it shadow. Place it on top of the background layer. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion blur and make a 225px blur and then make a 6px Gaussian blur.
Duplicate the layer and stretch the first layer so the width is 120% and change the opacity down to 20%. Transform the other layer so it's width is reduced to 80% and change the opacity down to 60%.
Select all of the layers except the background and hit Cmd/Ctrl + G to group them, rename the group to cup. Duplicate the cup group and hit Cmd/Ctrl + E to merge it. Transform the new layer so it is ca 60% of the original size and move it over to the left side.
To make the image look more interesting we will make it as it were photographed with a very short focus. Go to Filter > Blur > Lens blur set the radius to 21px and hit OK. Duplicate the layer and move the new cup to the other side.
To add some details to the image we will create a stirrer.
Use the same technique as for the cup to create the stirrer, fill the layer and name it stirrer. Right click the layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Now it’s time to place it so it looks like its laying besides the large cup, free transform it so it looks good. You can always go back and change it later if it looks weird.
The stirrer should be made out of wood so here you can add a texture if you like or make the wood from scratch. We will be making the wood from scratch so you can put a “purely made in Photoshop” under you finished image.
Start by opening up the smart object and make a new solid color layer with the color #9f7948. Create a new layer on top of the solid color layer. Name it grains and go to Filter > Render > Clouds hit Cmd/Ctrl + T and stretch the layer so the height is ca 400%. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion blur and make a 200px blur with a ( + /-) 90 degree angle. Go in to Image > Adjustments > Posterize, choose level 20 and hit OK. Hit Cmd/Ctrl + L to bring up the levels for the layer and change them so the image gets more contrast. Now we need to add some fibers in to it. Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, put the amount to 50% and hit OK. Go to Filter > Blur > Motion blur and make a 10px blur with a (+/-) 90 degree angle. Change the blending mode of the layer to Multiply.
To add some depth to the grains duplicate the grains layer and rename it to highlights and invert it (Cmd/Ctrl + I). Hit Cmd/Ctrl + L and change the inputs levels to 75-1,0-140. Change the blending mode to Screen and the opacity to 50%. Put the layer beneath the grains layer and nudge it one pixel down and one to the right.
Select all of the created layers and make them so they have the stirrer shape as their clipping mask.
Add a text or a shape to the stirrer and put in the layer properties showed below.
Save and close the stirrer smart object.
Cmd/Ctrl click the layer preview window of the stirrer smart object to get the shape selected. Create a new layer beneath the stirrer and fill the selection with black. Duplicate the layer and name them stirrer_side and stirrer_shadow with the shadow layer on the bottom of the two.
Hit Cmd/Ctrl + T to free transform the both layers and nudge them down to create the thickness of the stirrer, you might want to skew it a little bit so the far end is thinner.
Select the stirre_side layer and with a black brush with hardness set to 100%, paint in the missing ends so the sides connects to the stirrer. Double click the layer to bring up the layer properties and make a color overlay. Right click on the layer effects and select create layers.
Create a new layer on top of the stirrer_side layer and name it highlights and mask it to the stirrer_side. With a soft white brush paint in some highlights on the side, just create some variations in the color. Change the blending mode to Overlay for the layer.
To add some highlights to the top of the stirrer create a new layer on top of the stirrer smart object layer and set it to mask down to the stirrer. Take a large (>1000px) white brush and make a dot in the middle of the stirrer. Change the opacity to 58% and blending mode to Screen.
Duplicate the highlights layer and put it beneath it, change the blending mode to Overlay and opacity to 20%. Nudge it down towards to left end of the stirrer.
To add some more highlights make a bevel and emboss on the stirrer smart object layer, change the shadow settings so they are the same as the highlights so you get highlights all the way around.
Select the stirrer_shadow layer and add a Motion blur and a Gaussian blur to get the shadow correct.
Add a new guide, this will be the horizontal line for the image. Create a new layer on top of the background and name it highlight and make a large Radial Gradient in the center.
Duplicate the layer and rename the two layers to highlight_bottom and highlight_top. Mask off the two layers so they only can be seen in their respective area (as showed below).
Unlink the layer mask and the layer on highlight_top and transform the highlight so it reaches the top of the image and change the opacity to 90%. When done re-link the layer mask with the layer.
Create a solid color black layer and mask of some of the image as showed below and change the opacity of the layer down to 30%. Name it low_light.
Finish the image by adding a frame and some text, also put a label in the top corner.