Draw 3D Crystal Icon in Photoshop


Step 1 – Drawing Path:

Create a document of size 750×550 pixels..

Select the Custom Shape tool and choose the preset, Male Symbol.

Draw a path like the one shown in the diagram.


Step 2 – Forming Top Surface:

Create a new layer and name it as Top Surface.

Go to the Paths tab and select the Work Path you have just created. Click on Load Path as Selection button.

Back to Layers tab, fill the selection with #497923 on Top Surface layer.


Step 3a – Forming the Body:

Hide Top Surface layer and create a new layer below Top Surface and name it as Body.

Repeat Step 2 but fill the selection with #4AC1FF this time. Set the opacity of Body layer to 50%.


Step 3b – Forming the Body:

Here is the tricky part. Select the Body layer, press Ctrl+A to select all.

Select the Move tool and then press Ctrl+Alt+T. Press the Down arrow once (to shift the transformation downwards by 1px) and hit Enter.

Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T to repeat the transformation. Keep doing so until you get the body thickness you want.


Step 4 – Adding Top Surface:

Unhide the Top Surface layer and change its Blend Mode to Overlay and Opacity to 50%.

Right-click on the layer and choose Blending Options. Select Outer Glow, set the Blend Mode to Lighten, color to #FFFFFF, Opacity to 100%, Size to 5px and leave the rest as default settings.


Step 5 – Adding a Base:

Create a new layer and name it as Base. Rearrange this layer to be under Top Surface and Body.

Repeat Step 2 but fill the selection with #00F5FF. Adjust the position of the base so it looks the same as the one of the left.


Step 6 – Adding Shadow:.

Duplicate the Base layer and rename the new one as Shadow. Rearrange the Shadow layer to be under Base.

Select Shadow layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the radius to 10 px.


Step 7a – Adding Gloss Effect:

Create a new layer above the rest and name it as Gloss.

Make a large circular selection with the Elliptical Marquee Tool. Select Brush tool, and pick the Airbrush Soft Round 300px. Paint across, slightly outside, at the bottom of the circular selection.

Set the Opacity of this layer to 60%.


Step 7b – Adding Gloss Effect:

Repeat the same thing to the tip of the arrow.


Step 7c – Adding Gloss Effect:

Create a new layer and name it as Reflection.

Draw 2 white bars as shown. Erase those parts that are outside of the body.

Set the Opacity of this layer to 30%.


Step 7d – Adding Gloss Effect:

Repeat Step 7c to the inner side of the body.



Here we have a nice and glossy 3D crystal icon. I have added a blue background and some glitters to improve the design.

Hope you have enjoy the session. Thanks!

Click here to view the final image.

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61 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Marie says:

    Amazing tutorial Johnson! Have you done this for a cube shape? I am trying to make a crystal cube for a logo I am doing…. Thanks so much.

  2. would somebpdy please help me with step 7! ๐Ÿ˜› this is such an amazing tut.. one of the best.. I dont wanna mess up..because even without step 7 my crystal logo looks awsum.. now with some reflections from step 7 id be good to go.. but i just cant get around it

  3. ilakya Spandhanaa says:

    I swear I dont get the 7th step.. I don’t even understand what you are trying to say there!! take a brush and paint where? the paint spills over everywhere!!!

  4. ilakya Spandhanaa says:

    I swear I dont get the 7th step

  5. Jake says:

    thanxs dude! ur tut roxs i finshe dit all the outcome was amazing i even experimented with diff shapes and texts, im gonna try it with ppl ๐Ÿ™‚ YOU ROCK!

  6. Johnathan says:

    I really like how the final design looks. It gave me the inspiration to do my logo. I tried using this concept on my logo but it somehow looked a little bit off. I can’t get it to look like yours did – a “crystal”-like. Gave up after trying for days. Finally decided to use the professional services of an online logo design site instead after googling for one (http://www.logodesignplanet.com) and finally got the logo I wanted at an affordable price and fast too. I did show the designer the link to your site to explain how I wanted the logo to like. Lesson learned. I’m not going to design a logo without any professional help though it’s somewhat fun. Anyway, thanks for the awesome tutorial… Awesome site, by the way.

  7. chaoskid says:

    Great tut but I have to work in another way at step, I only press the alt and ctrl key to create the thickness. It worked perfectly

  8. jeprie says:

    so simple. nice.

  9. David says:

    I couldn’t follow this tutorial either. Too confusing.

    As to step 3b, an EASIER way is to JUST select the layer and while holding down the alt key , press the down arrow. This will create a duplicate. Repeat until you have the 3d like shape you want. Then select all these duplicates and right click and choose merge selected(or press ctrl+e)

  10. dp says:

    How did you change the angle of the original shape?

    The object in stpes 1 and 2 are obviously at different angles.

    I have ficured out how to do most of this tutorial with the exception of changing the angle?

    P.S. You are missing a bunch of steps that woudl make this much easier to follow.

    • Johnson Koh says:

      Thanks for pointing out a missing step DP. After filling in the green color, what I did was to go to Edit > Free Transform and resize the height of that shape. Sorry for replying late as I was out of town the whole week. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Johnson Koh says:

    @S.T: This part is pretty tricky. But knowing it can save a lot of time on duplications. I write it simpler here:
    – Select the Body layer in Layers tab
    – Press Ctrl+A to load the full selection
    – Select the Move tool in Toolbar
    – Press Ctrl+Alt+T (Create a transformation box around the object)
    – Press the Down Arrow once (Shift the transformation downwards by 1px)
    – Press ENTER
    – Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+T (Repeat the transformation)

    @Kelviwebdesigner: Are you able to find the Paths panel? You can go to Windows > Paths. There is a < Load Path as Selection > button at the bottom of the panel.

  12. Hi jonhson! im new in photoshop so i couldnt complete this tutorial. i had problems with path. i design the shape as u said, when i created new layer named top surface, when i went to path where wasnt, it was only the previous layer there. i couldn find load path. Do u guys have video tutorial also?
    Waiting for your feedback

  13. S.T says:

    i’m stuck at step 3 ๐Ÿ™ i won’t get thicker or something.. i selected everything and then pushed ctrl+alt+t and then pressed the arrow button Down once,, and then pressed enter.. but it does nothing :S what am i doing wrong ?

  14. Johnson Koh says:

    I’m sorry to confuse you. Step3b is the critical part of this tutorial. I will try to spend some time on a video for this.

  15. Rajat says:

    i’ve been working wid photoshop for the last 6 years and created lots of stuff…. read tutorials… but this one??? I’m sorry i didn’t really got what you did in step 3a , 3b… i’ll b really greatfull if u can post a video tutorial on u-tube or some other site………..!!!PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ..!!

  16. dilan says:

    no wrd to tll

  17. josรƒยฉ bรƒยกez says:


    Great that you share your knowledge with us. I just have one question:
    I don’t know if i’m extremely stupid or what but, following exactly every step until 6, i only get this awful thing


    I truly don’t know how to fix it. Any feedback is deeply appreciated.

  18. Johnson Koh says:

    Hey Carlo how are you! ๐Ÿ˜€ How’s VectorDot coming along?

  19. JK..cool site, cool tute, looking forward to more awesome 10step tutes.

  20. Johnson Koh says:

    Hi Jessa, This is what I do whenever I receive this “scratch disk full” message.
    – Save your working document.
    – Close Photoshop
    – Open Photoshop and reload your document

    Hope it works for you.

  21. jessa says:

    ahhmmm how come when i drew the logo it says that my custom shape tools cannot be used because my sratch disks are full..

    how is that???tns

  22. Johnson says:

    Hi Michael, did you select the text layer in the Layers Panel? Because the Blend Mode options should always be available as long as a layer is selected in the panel.

  23. Michael says:

    Thank you for the quick response. I have done as you said with some text but when I go to change the Top Surface to Overlay, the overlay option is grayed out. Any thoughts?

  24. Johnson says:

    Hi Michael, yes you can do this with text too ๐Ÿ™‚
    But you will need to rasterize your text before going to Step 2.

  25. Michael says:

    Can you do this with TEXT?

  26. Johnson says:

    Happy to know that you completed the tut smoothly! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Mira says:

    Really liked your tutorial. I’ve used the female shape instead and I’ve colorized it pinkish, but got a similar result. Thanks!

  28. Johnson says:

    I wanted the whole icon to have an aqua feel. That green looks fine when overlay on top of other layers.

    Just scrubbing over the color palette and found this color suitable for the overall. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. adam says:

    in the step 2..why do yo choose #497923?

  30. Anomous says:

    Finally a good crystal 3D text/shape tutorial.

    Great job, Johnson.

  31. evelyn says:

    i have just tried and it works perfect!
    learnt something from those short cut keys.

  32. Niyi says:

    @Jansen Same here… it’s the duplication that makes me stay away from 3D objects.

  33. Jansen Joseph says:

    I have been looking for something like this!

    3D effect without duplicating lots of layers or using Illustrator ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great job dude!!!

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