This tutorial was originally published in June 2011 as a Tuts+ Premium tutorial. It is now available free to view. Although this tutorial does not use the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, its techniques and process are still relevant.
Smart Objects are very powerful layers in Photoshop. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a wine bottle and wine glass using Smart Objects as well as demonstrate their benefits. Let's get Started!
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1. How to Create the Red Wine Bottle
Start by creating a New Document 1500 px x 2600 px with a brown background. We are going to start making the wine bottle. To set up the scene, create four New Groups as shown below.
Inside the "Wine" group, create a New Layer called "Wine" and use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the shape of a complete wine bottle. Go in to the Paths panel and label this new path "Wine Bottle".
We will be using this path as a master path to help us create all elements of the wine bottle quickly. To create the path for just the wine inside the bottle, Copy the "Wine Bottle" path and rename it "Wine." Use the Pen tool (P) to add points (click on a section of the path) and remove points (click on an existing anchor point) to make the path just of the wine.
Tip: Hold Control-Alt while moving a handle on a smooth point to adjust as a corner point.
When you're done, your path should take the shape of just the wine that will be inside the bottle.
Right-click the path and Fill with black.
The goal is to be as non-destructive as possible, which is why we will use Layer Styles to build as much of the wine as we can. Add the following Layer Styles (note that we are working in grayscale—we will add the color later).
The wine appears too uniform. To fix this we are going to add a dark blotch. Create a New Layer and choose a large brush with 25% Hardness. Set the Mode of the brush to Dissolve and paint in some darker areas over the wine (don't worry about painting outside of the wine; we will fix that in the next step).
When you're done, give it a Gaussian Blur. The dissolve brush should give us some nice texture.
In order to confine the dark blotch to the wine, we need to create a Mask. Start by Control-Clicking the thumbnail on the "Wine" layer to make a Selection. Select the dark blotch layer and click "Add Layer Mask."
I want to add some more Layer Styles to the wine (particularly the Inner Shadow and Gradient Overlay that we've already used). This is one area where Smart Object can help us. Select both the "Wine" and dark blotch layers. Right-Click and "Convert to Smart Object." Rename to "Wine."
By converting a layer to a Smart Object, we've essentially created a container with the original layer(s) and all of the applied effects inside. This container, or Smart Object, is represented by a little graphic within the layer's thumbnail. Any time you see this graphic, you can Double-click it to reveal the contents on a new document. Go ahead and Double click the thumbnail of our new Smart Object.
Notice that you are now working on the Smart Object's document instead of the original document. Don't close this yet.
Since we are inside the "Wine" Smart Object, let's take this opportunity to add color to the wine. Add a New Adjustment Layer as shown. In the Adjustment Layer panel, make sure to select Colorize, and adjust the sliders to get your desired color.
Control-S to Save the Smart Object and then close this document, leaving our original document open.
As you can see, we now have only one Smart Object layer in our "Wine" group. We are now able to add a completely new set of Layer Styles to this layer.
Add the following Layer Styles:
Your image should resemble the following:
To finish the wine, we need to add the meniscus. This is created with three shapes (all on their own clipping layers): a white curve (set to Screen), a dark gray oval (set to Multiply), and a yellow curve (set to Overlay).
2. How to Create the Glass Details
Let's move on to the glass bottle. This is where we'll add the glass highlights and gloss effects. Start by creating a New Layer called "Glass" in the "Bottle" group.
Go to the Paths panel and make a Copy of the "Wine Bottle" path.
Just like we did before, manipulate this path so that it represents the visible position of the bottle's glass (as shown in the image below).
When done, Right-Click the path layer and Fill with a dark green color.
Add the following Layer Styles to the "Glass" layer.
The bottle should look like the image below. So far, there's not much here, so we'll keep building.
The glass bottle looks too smooth. To give it some texture, I want to add another Bevel and Emboss Layer Style. Just like we did before, Right-Click on the "Glass" layer and choose "Convert to Smart Object."
Now, Double-click the layer to add a new set of Layer Styles. Add the Bevel and Emboss as shown below. This will add a subtle texture to the wine bottle. Note that the Texture Pattern used is called "Kraft Paper" and is a default pattern in Photoshop.
To add a little more depth to the "Glass" Layer, create a New Layer called "Reflections" and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to draw in some random shapes over the top half of the bottle.
Convert this layer to a Smart Object and Warp (Edit > Transform > Warp) this layer to match the contours of the wine bottle.
When you're done, make this layer a Clipping Layer, Set its Blending Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 30%.
Repeat these same steps to create reflections for the bottom half of the wine bottle.
Why did we convert this layer to a Smart Object? If you don't like the look of the reflections, you can open the Smart Object and redraw your shapes (or even add your own image to be reflected). Also, since this layer is a Smart Object, all transformations are completely editable (try to Warp this layer again, and you'll notice the grid is exactly how you left it, waiting to be modified).
To complete a nice gloss effect on the "Glass" layer, we want to add a specular highlight. Create a New Layer called "Highlight" and use your Brushes panel to create an oval-shaped brush (set the Roundness to 20%) with an angle of 104 Degrees.
Add a highlight as shown.
Apply a Motion Blur (Filter > Blur > Motion Blur) at the same angle with a Distance of 130 px.
Open this layer's Layer Styles and adjust the "Blend if" sliders so the highlight appears to be distorted with the texture of the glass.
Using the same techniques, I've added a second specular highlight towards the top of the glass bottle.
3. How to Create the Bottle Top
Now that the glass bottle is done, we can start on the top. Just like the other sections of the bottle, we need to Copy the original "Wine Bottle" path and manipulate it to resemble just the top of the wine bottle.
Create a New Layer called "Top" in the "Top" group and use the newly created path to Fill in a shape with black on the "Top" layer.
Add an Inner Shadow Layer Style to add a highlight to the top of the wine bottle.
The top should resemble this:
To make the top of the wine bottle appear more realistic, we need to add some texture. Convert this layer to a Smart Object and add a Pattern Overlay as shown.
Create a New Layer called "Foil Trim" and use your Rectangular Marquee Tool to make a striped shape. Fill this with a gold color.
Convert this layer to a Smart Object (this way, you can go back and easily change the trim design later) and Warp (Edit > Transform > Warp) the Smart Object to follow the face of the bottle.
When you're done, add a Gradient Overlay as shown.
Make this layer a Clipping Layer and adjust the Opacity to 64%.
On a new Clipping Layer called "Shading," take a Soft Brush set to 50% and use black to darken some areas of the bottle top.
I want to add a little more detail to the lip (or finish) of the wine bottle. On a new Clipping Layer, use the Pen Tool to create a shape that follows the lip and Fill with black.
Add the following Layer Styles to help blend this shape.
On a new Clipping Layer use a Soft White Brush to draw in some highlights. Set this layer's Blending Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 50%. The results should be subtle.
To complete the top of the wine bottle, create a New Layer called "Back" below the "Top" layer.
Next, create an Oval filled with black and positions it as shown. You can also see that I've added a small trim of highlight to give the top label the appearance of thickness.
Your overall progress should resemble this image
4. How to Create a Wine Label
To create a label for the wine bottle, start by creating a New Document roughly the proportion of a wine label (for this image, I've created a 760 px x 550 px Document). Create a design for the label. As you can see, I have created a generic rectangular design.
When you have finished, convert your design to a Smart Object (if you're using multiple layers and/or layer groups, simply Select All Layers and then Convert to a Smart Object). Rename this Smart Object to "Full Label"
Now, our goal is to wrap this around the wine bottle using Edit > Transform > Warp, however, it would be very difficult to do this since we have a large portion of the shape that will disappear behind itself. We need to work with only part of our label without destroying it. To do this, use the rectangular marquee to select about half of your label and click on Apply Layer Mask.
Convert our masked Smart Object in to another Smart Object and rename it "Half Label." The new Smart Object will now take the shape of the mask without being destructive. Now, Drag and Drop this new Smart Object in to our wine scene inside the "Label" group.
Since we converted the masked layer in to a Smart Object, we can now edit the label based on the dimensions of the mask. Go ahead and Edit > Transform > Warp the label into position and you can see how this works.
Apply the following Layer Styles. These styles should help the label to appear more natural.
Lastly, create a New Layer below the "Half Label" Smart Object and create a shape that resembles the backside of the wine label. In this case, I have given it a simple Gradient Overlay and a subtle Blur.
To finish up the wine bottle, select all folders and Convert to a Smart Object. Label this "Wine Bottle" and, for organizational purposes, place in a New Group called "Bottle."
5. How to Create a Wine Glass
Now, let's create a wine glass to go along with our wine. To start, create a New Group called "Glass" with the following groups inside:
In the "Bulb" group, create a New Layer called "Bulb" and use the Pen Tool (P) to draw the bulb of a wine glass.
Fill with 50% Gray.
We are going to layer multiple effects to try to achieve a realistic 'glass' appearance. Start by making three Copies of the "Bulb" layer and set the Fill to 0% on each one.
Go back to the original "Bulb" layer and set this layer's Opacity to 6%
Let's start building the glass effect. Add the following Layer Styles to this layer:
Now, select the first copy ("Bulb copy") and add the following Layer Styles. As you'll see, by setting these copy layers to a Fill of 0% we are able to use redundant layer styles to build complicated effects.
On the Gradient Overlay Layer Styles, you'll notice I've been using some complex gradients; these were mainly created by experimenting. If you don’t like the results you're getting, try something different.
Select the second copy and add the following Layer Styles.
Finally, select the third copy and add the following Layer Styles.
When you're done, select all four "Bulb' layers and Convert to a Smart Object.
To create the rim of the wine glass, start by creating a New Layer called "Rim." Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to create an oval donut shape and Fill with 50% gray.
Now, Control-Click the layer's thumbnail to make a selection and press Control-Shift-I to Inverse the selection.
Select the "Bulb" layer and click on Add Layer Mask. This will hide the part of the wine glass that would have overlapped with the rim.
Go back to the rim layer and add the following Layer Styles.
Set the Fill to 8%. Convert to a Smart Object when you're done
6. How to Add Glass Reflections and Highlights
Just like we did with the wine bottle, draw some random shapes in white on a New Layer above the "Bulb" Smart Object. Name this New Layer "Reflections."
Edit > Transform > Warp the shapes around the glass
When you're done, make this a Clipping Layer and set the Blending Mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 30%. I have also added a Mask to mask out the reflections that appear in the center of the glass.
Create a new Clipping Layer to the "Rim" layer called "Rim Highlights" and draw in some highlights with a soft yellow color.
Lastly, create a New Layer called "Lowlights" above the "Reflections" layer. Add some soft, black spots as shown.
Make this layer a Clipping Layer. This will automatically reduce the Opacity of the spots..
So you can understand why we did this, here is a before and after for this step. You can see that the glass no longer appears as flat.
7. How to Create the Glass Stem
Now let's create the glass stem. In the "Stem" group, create a New Layer called "Stem" and use the Pen Tool to draw a simple shape of the stem.
Fill this with 50% gray.
Add the following Layer Styles. Make sure to check "Layer Style Hides Mask."
To fix the base of the stem, add a Layer Mask and use a feathered Brush to Mask the bottom of the stem as shown. This will give it a more natural transition in to the base.
To build a little more detail on the stem, Copy this layer, set the Fill to 0% and the Opacity to 47%. Delete all Layer Styles except for the Gradient Overlay.
Adjust the Gradient Overlay as shown below.
Your image should now resemble the following:
Use the existing Mask on this layer to clean up the gradient as shown:
To create the base of the wine glass, start by drawing an Ellipse filled with 50% gray inside the "Base" group.
Next, Add the following Layer Styles.
Your image should resemble the following:
To build more detail, Copy this layer and make sure the Opacity is set to 0%. Next, replace the existing Later Styles with the following:
Select the two base layers and Convert to a Smart Object. Rename this layer "Base."
To add some dimension to the base, make a Copy of the Smart Object and place it under the original. Nudge it down to a desired thickness.
Add the following Layer Styles to enhance this edge.
Add a Layer Mask and mask out the top half of the shape so that it appears more natural.
Add a new Clipping Layer to the original "Base" Smart Object and draw in some black reflections as shown.
I want to fix the base as it passes behind the stem. To do this, create a Layer Mask on the "Base" layer and Mask out that area.
Next, create a Copy of the "Base" layer and move it above the clipping layer (make sure to re-clip your clipping layer if it becomes unclipped). Delete the Layer Mask; we'll need to make a new one later. Warp (Edit > Transform > Warp) this base so to a desired shape.
Lastly, add a Layer Mask to mask out anything that is not behind the stem. This should give us the illusion of refraction.
8. How to Create the Final Details
To finish the wine glass, Create a New Layer called "Highlights" with the following Layer Style.
Paint some highlights on the glass as you see fit
When you're done, select the layers and layer groups associated to the wine glass and Convert to a Smart Object. Place the Smart Object in a new folder called "Wine Glass."
Your scene should know look like this:
In the remaining steps, we'll finish up the scene with some additional details. Let's start by adding a caustic reflection from the wine bottle. Since this reflection is the same color as the wine, we can use our "Wine Bottle" Smart Object. Go ahead and make a Copy of this. Rename this "Caustics." By using a Copy of an existing Smart Object, any changes we make to the original Smart Object will reflect in the copy(ies) as you will see later.
Edit > Transform > Warp as shown. You don't have to be precise here, we will use a Layer Mask to clean this up.
Add a Layer Mask to this Smart Object and Mask out much of this layer, leaving a subtle caustic pattern. Set the Blending Mode to Screen to finish the effect.
If you want, you can add another Layer or Layer Group and create some subtle shadows to ground the wine bottle.
Next, we are going to add the caustic reflection to the wine glass; however, this time we will build it from scratch. In a new Group under the "Wine Glass" Smart Object, create a series of light and dark rings and crescent shapes as shown.
Just like we did with the Wine Bottle, go ahead and add some shadows underneath the wine glass.
The last thing we are going to do is add the reflections of the wine glass and bottle from each other. Go to the "Wine Glass" Smart Object, make a Copy of it and place it above the "Wine Bottle" Smart Object. Rename this "Glass Reflection."
Warp the wine glass to match the contours of the wine bottle.
Create a Layer Mask to mask out any parts of the wine glass that fall off the wine bottle. Also, adjust the Opacity as you see fit.
Do the same for the reflection of the wine bottle on the glass
You're done! Since we set up this scene using Smart Objects, you can now go back and edit any Smart Object. For example, I have changed the color of the wine, the shape of the label, and the size of the wine glass—these changes automatically update in the rest of the image, such as in the reflections and caustics.
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