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How to Create Plastic Jelly Styles in Adobe Photoshop: 10th Anniversary Edition

This post is part of a series called 10 Years of Envato Tuts+!.
How to Create a 3D, Shiny, Inflated Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop
Where Are They Now? Catching Up With Veteran Tuts+ Authors
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

We're celebrating ten years of Envato Tuts+! Join us by trying out our very first tutorial.

In 2007, Collis Ta'eed launched the site with this easy jelly layer style. Ten years later, and Envato Tuts+ has grown into a massive community that helps creatives worldwide.

To commemorate the anniversary of this tutorial, we've recreated it step by step using the latest Adobe Creative Suite software. Keep in mind, this style is ten years old, and it's dated, but we love nostalgia here on Envato Tuts+.

How to Create Plastic Jelly Styles

In this tutorial, we'll be using layer styles to make a plastic gel-type style that you can easily apply to text and shapes.

1. How to Create the Background

Create a New Document at 850 x 850 pixels.

We begin, as always, with a background gradient. Here I've used a Radial Gradient (G) with two shades of brown. The exact color codes are:

  • Foreground Color: #2f2520
  • Background Color: #1e1916
Create the Background

2. How to Use Layer Styles for Text

Step 1

Now, with a nice delectable green color (#4a9c1e), we'll write a word. I've written the word "jelly" and used the font Gill Sans Ultra Bold. Bolder fonts are good for this sort of effect because there is more room to actually do stuff with Layer Styles.

Add the text

Step 2

So now we right-click on the layer and choose Blending Options to start adding Layer Styles.

First, we add a Drop Shadow to lift the letters off the background.

Add a drop shadow

Then an Inner Shadow. Later on, when we add highlights, this shadow will contrast nicely against them.

Add an inner shadow

Step 3

To create the highlights, we'll use Bevel and Emboss. The default settings for Bevel and Emboss suck, so don't use those. I've moved some things around, and you'll see what I mean. The highlights need to be bright shades of green to make it look as if the light is bouncing around the inside of the letters.

Add a bevel and emboss layer style

Step 4

Next, we add a Gradient Overlay to create a bit of a light and dark effect for the letters.

Add a gradient overlay

Then a Stroke Layer Style will help seal it off at the edges.

Add a stroke layer style

3. How to Apply Layer Styles With New Colors

Now the neat thing about this style is that you can change the color on each text layer's Blending Options to create a new color for that text. Here, I've written a second word and applied the style there too, but this time with red color.

Apply a new red layer style set

4. How to Finish the Plastic Effect

Step 1

To finish it off, create a New Layer above all the others. Then hold down Control and click on a text layer to select it.

Control click the text layer

Then go to Select > Modify > Contract and use a value of 4 pixels to shrink the selection.

Contract the selection

Step 2

Now select Layer 1. Create a Linear Gradient that goes from white to transparency, which you can make by switching to the Gradient Tool (G).

Draw a Linear Gradient within the selection from white to transparency.

Draw a white linear gradient

Step 3

Then select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and make an elliptical selection. Hit Delete to remove the gradient as shown. This will make the highlight you just drew suddenly stop and consequently look very "plasticky."

Delete the highlight

All Done!

And that's it! I've repeated the same highlight steps on the word "style" as well.

How to Create a Plastic Jelly Layer Style
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