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How to Draw a PlayStation-Inspired Game Controller From Scratch in Photoshop

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Read Time: 11 mins

In this tutorial, we will explain how to draw a play station controller from scratch in Photoshop using basic tools such as shape layers, brushes, strokes, and layer styles. Let's get started!

Tutorial Asset:

Step 1: Sketch

Let's start by drawing its sketch. Use a photo as a reference. Then, trace each part using the pen tool.

Step 2

To make it clear, I drew each part using vivid colors. This helps differentiate each element from the others.

Step 3: Main Body

Duplicate the handle shape and place it in a separate group layer. Change its color to dark gray.

Step 4

Grab leather texture and then put it on top of the handle.

Step 5

Hit Command/Ctrl + Alt + G to convert the layer to Clipping Mask. This will make the texture stay inside the handle.

Step 6

Add new layer and then convert it to Clipping Mask. This way, everything we paint on the layer will always goes inside the handle. Paint some shadows and highlights on the handle. See picture below for reference. You can put each painting in different layer to give you better control. With this technique, you can easily reduce the layers Opacity to alter the shadow or highlight effect.

Step 7

Draw a gray rectangle shape and put it behind the handle. Double click the layer to Open Layer Style dialog box and apply Inner Shadow and Gradient Overlay using below setting.

Step 8

Add new layer on top of previous shape and paint white as highlight on its upper right corner. Convert it to Clipping Mask by hitting Command/Ctrl + Alt + G.

Step 9

Select shape and then add new layer. Fill selection with black using command Edit > Fill. Add noise onto the layer by clicking Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Make sure to select Monochromatic to get black and white noise.

Step 10

Change its blend mode to Screen. Now, we just add noise texture onto the shape and make it appear more natural.

Step 11: Direction and Action

Draw two circle shapes.

Step 12

Again, add noise onto its surface by adding black layer on top of it and apply Add Noise filter.

Step 13

Change its blend mode to Screen and reduce its Opacity.

Step 14

Add new layer and paint shadow on lower part of the shape.

Step 15

Let's add some shadow to the circle’s edge. This will add a 3D appearance to the shape. Start by adding a new layer on top of the shape and convert it to a Clipping Mask. Command/Ctrl-click shape and click Edit > Stroke. Select white for its color. We now have black line along the circle edge.

Step 16

Make it soft by adding a Gaussian Blur. Click Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Reduce layer Opacity to 10%.

Step 17

Create a new layer and add highlights by painting white on top of the circle shape.

Step 18

Repeat step 16, this time we want to add highlight so use white for the stroke color.

Step 19

Apply Gaussian Blur.

Step 20

Activate Move tool and then hit down and left arrow on your keyboard to move the layer 2 px to those directions.

Step 21

Reduce layer Opacity and then erase some of the highlight we just made. Use soft brush by setting its hardness to 0% and reducing its Opacity to very low. You can change eraser Opacity in the Option Bar.

Step 22

Repeat previous step to add more highlights on the opposite shape.

Step 23

Add another highlight using same technique.

Step 24

Draw another circle behind the previous circles. This time we want it to be darker and also closer. This will add 3D illusion on previous circles.

Here's the shape without the circles covering it.

Step 25

Add soft highlight on its edge.

Step 26

Below you can see the difference before and after adding last shape.

Step 27

Activate Brush tool with low Opacity. Paint black on indicated areas below to add subtle shadow next to previous circle. This will add another 3D illusion onto the circle shapes.

Step 28

Draw dark rounded rectangle shape with radius 5 px.

Step 29

Duplicate shape and then hit Command/Ctrl + T.

Step 30

Use pen tool and add curve on its right angle.

Below you can see its detail in bigger magnification.

And below you can see the result in 100% magnification.

Step 31

Add stroke line along the plus sign area. Use same technique described in Step 16 to add highlight. Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

Step 32

Reduce layer Opacity.

Step 33

Add more highlights by painting manually using 1 px white brush.

Step 34

Add more detail onto the surface, such as by adding reflection.

Step 35

Draw 4 grey circle shapes to be used as action buttons. Apply following Layer Styles.

Step 36

Add highlight onto the button by selecting them and add white stroke onto it. We use same technique described in Step 16.

Step 37

Make it softer by applying small dose of Gaussian Blur.

Step 38

Here's the result before and after adding manual highlight. As you can see it's very subtle.

Step 39

Add soft white stroke on the buttons edge. Again, we have used this technique in Step 16.

Step 40

Draw symbol shapes and place them all in a group layer. In CS6, you can double click group to add Layer Styles into the layer group directly. If you use earlier version, apply these Layer Styles to each symbol layer.

Step 41

Again, add another stroke line on the button edges. This time use 1 px with white color.

Step 42

Erase some of the stroke using soft eraser and give us stronger highlights.

Step 43

Command/Ctrl-click button and add new layer. Place the layer behind the button and fill it with black.

Step 44

Apply big Gaussian Blur.

Step 45

Apply Motion Blur.

Step 46

Reduce its layer Opacity.

Step 47

Draw bigger circle shape and place behind the buttons. Use black for its color.

This will become the hole behind the buttons. As you can see below, the difference is subtle but add realistic appearance onto the buttons.

Step 48

Make new layer and Command/Ctrl-click shape to select it. Apply Stroke command and add 1 px white stroke on new layer.

Step 49

Erase some of the stroke using soft Eraser brush tool.

Step 50

Draw shapes for the directions buttons. Use dark color, almost black. You can draw these shape manually using Pen tool or modify a rounded rectangle shape.

Step 51

Apply following Layer Styles.

Step 52

Draw similar shape but this time smaller and has lighter color. This will be the buttons and the previous are their holes.

Step 53

Apply following Layer Styles to add 3D appearance onto the buttons.

Step 54

Make new layer and add black stroke on the button edge.

Step 55

Soften it by adding Gaussian Blur.

Step 56

Hit Down and Left arrow three times to move the layer 3 px to those directions.

Step 57

Erase some of the stroke line.

Step 58

Command/Ctrl-click the button layer to select them. Make new layer and fill it with black. Add noise using filter Add Noise.

Step 59

Change layer blend mode to Screen and reduce its Opacity.

Step 60

Add white stroke line on the button edge and erase some of it.

Step 61

Draw four triangles next to each button. Add Layer Styles Bevel and Emboss and reduce its Fill to 0%.

Step 62

Command/Ctrl-click shape, add new layer, apply 1 px white stroke onto the selection. Erase some of the stroke to turn it into highlight.

Step 63

Let's add shadow behind the direction buttons. Command/Ctrl-clck button to make selection based on its shape, make new layer, put it behind the button, and soften it using Gaussian Blur.

Step 64

Add highlight onto the buttons.

Step 65: Left and Right Buttons

Draw base for Left and Right buttons.

Step 66

Apply Layer Styles.

Step 67

Add 3D effect onto shape by drawing its rear. Use lighter color.

Step 68

Make new layer and paint soft highlight.

Step 69

Make new layer and Command/Ctrl-click shape. Fill with black and apply Add Noise filter.

Step 70

Add another highlight on the shape. Use brush tool to paint highlights manually.

Step 71

Add soft white curve for highlight.

This is very subtle, you may not see it. So, here's the detail.

Step 72

Add character L and R using Type tool.

Apply following Layer Styles and reduce its Fill to 0%.

Step 73

Start drawing its button and add following Layer Styles.

Step 74

Add new layer and manually paint some highlights.

Below you can see the detail in bigger magnification.

Step 75

Manually, paint highlight onto the surface.

Step 76

Draw a rectangle shape on lower part the main controller. Apply Gradient Overlay to add highlight to its lower part.

Step 77

Add layer mask and add black to white linear gradient to fade its upper.

Step 78

Add new layer and draw soft black line on its upper part. Reduce its layer Opacity.

Step 79

Add rectangle shape behind previous black line.

Step 80

Draw two 1 px rectangle. Their color should be black and white. Try to experiment with its

Step 81

Draw small rectangle for its LED indicator.

Step 82: Joysticks

Draw two rounded rectangles and apply following Layer Styles.

Step 83

Add layer mask and fade some of its areas until they fade perfectly onto the body.

Step 84

Add new layer and convert it to Clipping Mask. Paint some highlights and shadows until the shape perfectly fade onto the controller body.

Step 85

Draw joystick rear base and then add following Layer Styles.

Step 86

Manually paint shadow and reflection onto its surface until it appears realistic.

Step 87

Add more shadow onto the handle areas.

Step 88

Let's start working on the joystick hole. Draw two dark circles and another lighter circles inside them. Add new layer and convert it to Clipping Mask. Paint white to add highlight onto the shape.

Step 89

Draw two circles with much lighter color. Apply following Layer Styles.

Step 90

Add noise by selecting the shape, add new layer, fill it with black, and apply Add Noise filter.

Step 91

Add new layer and convert it to Clipping Mask. Paint more highlight onto the shape. Try to focus on its center, since we want it to appear three dimensional.

Step 92

Draw a 1 px black rectangle shape.

Step 93

Select the path and then hit Command/Ctrl +_ Alt + T to duplicate and transform it. From the Option Bar, set its rotation to 5°..

Step 94

Hit Command/Ctrl + Shit + Alt + T to repeat this step. Keep doing this until we have full circle.

Step 95

Duplicate the layer shape. Change its color to white and then move it down 1 px to add inset effect. Play around with Opacity setting of each lines layer.

Step 96

Add layer mask and then paint black on center of the lines we have just made. Now, our inset effect only appears on its edge.

Step 97: Start, Select, and Logo

Draw buttons using rounded rectangle tool. For Start button (the triangle one), modify the rounded rectangle.

Step 98

Apply following Layer Styles.

We've succeeded making the button hole.

Step 99

Let's start on the real buttons. Draw smaller shape but this time bigger. Apply following Layer Styles.

Step 100

Draw 1 px white line on the button edge to add highlight.

Step 101

Repeat it to its hole too.

Step 102

Draw a circle shape and add following Layer Styles.

Step 103

Manually, paint highlight using 1 px soft Brush tool.

Step 104

Draw smaller circle with lighter color inside previous hole.

Step 105

Apply following Layer Style to add 3D appearance.

Step 106

Add logo.

Step 107

Add another highlight using soft 1 px Brush tool.

Step 108: Text

Add text on the controller body.

Step 109: Shadow

Add new layer and place it behind the controller. Draw an elliptical selection under the controller and fill it with black.

Step 110

Apply Gaussian Blur filter.

Step 111

Reduce its Opacity to 40%.

Step 112

Zoom closer to its handle. Paint darker shadow right where it touches the floor.

Step 113: Adding more Highlights

Make new layer and place it above all layers. Use soft brush and paint white to add more highlights onto the controller.

In case you have trouble finding the right spot, here're places where I add highlights. There's no rule, I just place the extra highlight in random places.

Final Image

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