Apr 16, 2015

How to Render an Apple Watch From Scratch in Photoshop

Have you ever had an idea for a product but didn’t know the exact steps to take after sketching out your idea?  Well in today’s episode, we show you a possibility for your next step.  You can create your product in photoshop. Learn how to render an apple watch from scratch in today’s episode!

Section 1: Creating the Watch Inner Surface (3:32)

We kick things off by creating the inner surface of the watch.  In this section, the Rounded Rectangle Tool will become your best friend.  This tool gives us the options to really make the corners on our rounded rectangle smooth and precise.  The Layer Style options also come in handy because it allows us to create that inner glow.  This give the illusion of a shiny surface.  The Rounded Rectangle Tool is even used to create the shine we see surrounding our inner surface.

Section 2: Creating the Watch Case (10:52)

Now that we have an inner surface created, we begin to work on the case that would be holding our inner surface.  Our goal in mind was to create a shiny, metal crown surrounding our inner surface.  The Rounded Rectangle Tool is the hero again in this section as we perfectly outline a case for our inner surface.  We return to our Layer Style options to give our case a metal look.  We also use the Rounded Rectangle Tool to create the buttons on the side of the watch.  Then we get really fancy and use some Step and Repeat methods to create the grooves in the dial.

Section 3: Creating the Watch Strap (23:10)

The watch straps are created with a slightly different method.  First we begin with a rough sketch to give us an idea of what we want.  Then we use the pen tool to create one side of the strap.  After we are satisfied with the side of the strap, we duplicate that layer, flip it over, and move it to finish off the strap on top of the watch face.  Then we duplicate that layer, flip it over upside down, and use it for the bottom strap.  (This might sound confusing but it’s easier than you think.)  We use Layer Style to give the straps a bit of dimension.  This makes them appear as though they are pieces of rubber.

Section 4: Creating the Watch Face (31:00)

Now the fun part begins.  The cool thing about apple watches is that the face of the watches vary.  So we were able to get a bit creative in this section.  We started by using the Step and Repeat method to create the second hand markers.  Then we used some cool layer tricks to define the visibility of our second hand markers.  Finally, we used some alignment tools to ensure that everything was perfectly center.

Section 5: Creating the Hands of the Watch (37:40)

There are 3 different hands to make for the watch.  The minute hand, the second hand, and the hour hand.  The minute and hour hand are basically the same thing.  We used the Rounded Rectangle Tool to create the shape of those.  It’s easier to create things in photoshop that are vertical or horizontal.  If you want something to be at an angle, create it vertically or horizontally first, then change the angle of it later.  We use the Elipse Tool to create a circle in the middle of the watch, then connect all our hands around that circle.

Section 6: Adding a Graphic to the Inner Surface (44:29)

For the grand finale, we add a moon to the inner surface of the watch.  This helps give the product a bit of character (and it’s just fun to do).  We use some blending modes to void the colors we don’t want.  Then we align the moon in the center of our watch.  We adjust the size so it fits perfectly and viola!  We have a beautifully rendered apple watch.


user image You
(will not be published)

  • user image

    Awesome techniques…loved “watching” it 🙂
    A small input…I think the lines denoting the seconds should be 6 degrees apart not 5, that way there will be 60 of them all the way around (360/6=60)

    Good luck in your new studio!!

    • user image

      Yes – I also caught the seconds error – 6 degrees is correct. Also, I don’t understand the positioning of the 9 on the face. Seems it should be on the left side rather than the right where the 3 should be.

      This definitely was an awesome tutorial! Having watched all of your tutorials, this one brings many of the PhotoShop features into a single project. Great work!

      Can’t wait for the next one, and to see the studio.

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    Stuart Willson

    Fantastic tutorial (as always). I feel inspired to go off and design my own watch! Can’t wait to see the new studio.

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    Gianna B.

    First… Thank you Phlearn for creating such an amazing place for us to come and hone our skills the countless hours that go into all this are much appreciated. This is my first rendering of any kind and I had so much fun creating it while following along with Aarons tutorial. I’m hooked.

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    Jeff Kingston

    Interesting tutorial, it was good to learn about some of the things in the blending options. As a suggestion for a future tutorial, the process of blending humans with dolls, or dolls with humans, and turning them into either human in appearance or doll like in appearance, or perhaps a hybrid of the both would be interesting. By doll, i am thinking the kind of BJD (ball jointed doll) popularised by the company Volks.
    I hope the new studio is a lot of fun! 🙂

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    SathyaNarayana Singh. J.

    Hey Aaron,

    Here is a regular follower of your Tutorials from India. It would be very helpful if you release 2 Episodes a week rather than a single Video every week. Its really hard to wait for new uploads every week.

    As a Suggestion, It would be great if you go on explaining how to render different things in Photoshop in some of the future episodes.

    You are doing a great job and it is really giving me very good results here.

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    Ken Hurst-Earl

    Working for yourself (which I do) can have it’s up’s and down’s! A huge up is taking the time first thing in the morning to watch this and other Phlearn videos. This was another, very different and wonderfully instructive video. Thank you so much!

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    Shawn Ratcliffe

    Trying Photoshop CC completed this composite there is a noticeable difference in the Rounded Rectangle Tool from CS6 I had to use a different method there are some good benefits to be had so far

  • user image

    Loved this tutorial. I was happy with my result, also. Still learning, but I have learned SO MUCH in the past year with Phlearn! Thank you, Aaron and team Phlearn!

    • user image

      Fixed some shading issues present in the first round and activate the second hand layer I didn’t realize was turned off when I submitted the first. Man, I loved this project!

  • user image

    I really enjoyed this tutorial. I learned several things and it sparked some new ideas I hope to use soon.

    As a small extra (for anyone who may not know): instead of using the small, red dot (which works perfectly), you can click on View > New Guide… Once the New Guide dialog opens you can enter 50% instead of ‘in’ or ‘px’ and click ‘OK.’ This will create a new guide at precisely half of the image size. You can repeat the process for both Horizontal and Vertical and you will have a perfectly centered point. I hope that will be useful for someone!

    Thanks again to Aaron and the entire Phlearn team!