Create a Glass Bead

By Steve Bain

Creating virtually any kind of glass-like effect is by far a favorite of most Web graphic or interface designers. There’s nothing more satisfying than having the ability to create simulated lighting effects in a virtual, dust-free environment. Thanks to CorelDRAW’s interactive effects, many of the objects you need to achieve these effects can be created automatically.

To be successful with the effect, you can use any recent version of CorelDRAW as far back as version 9. Although the interface and command names may have changed since then, the basic steps are the same. To create the effect, follow these steps:

  1. Create a 2.0-inch circular ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (F7). Hold Ctrl to constrain the width and height to equal measures.
  2. Fill the circle with a dark Orange color using the CMYK color model: C:30, M:100, Y:100, K:0. Remove any outline colors (as shown next).
  3. Using the Interactive Contour Tool, apply a 7-step Inside contour with the Offset value set to 0.01 inches. Set the contour fill color to Orange using the CMYK color model: C:0, M:60, Y:100, K:0 (as shown next).
  4. Right-click the effect portion of the contour and choose Break Contour Group Apart (Ctrl+K) to separate the contour effect.
  5. Using the Pick Tool, click to select the resulting group of objects and Ungroup them (Ctrl+U).
  6. Click to select only the ungrouped innermost contour and press the + key on your numeric keypad to create copy in situ.
  7. With the copy still selected, press Ctrl+C to copy it to your clipboard for a later step.
  8. Scale the copy to 0.25 inches wide by 0.75 inches high and position as shown. Adjust the scaled copy fill color to a lighter orange using the CMYK color model: C:5, M:25, Y:65, K:0 (as shown next).
  9.  Be sure the scaled copy is centered vertically and horizontally with the other objects. To do this quickly, select all the objects (Ctrl+A) and press C and E.
  10.  Choose the Interactive Blend Tool and click-drag from the new lighter ellipse to the original innermost ungrouped contour ellipse to apply a default blend effect between the objects. Set the Blend Steps value to 30 steps and press Enter. This blend effect will serve as the backlight effect (as shown next).

  11. Paste (Ctrl+V) the ellipse you copied in an earlier step into the arrangement and set its fill color to white.
  12.  Using the Pick Tool, scale the white ellipse to 1.5 inches wide by 1.0 inch high, and position it near the top and centered (as shown next).

  13. Choose the Interactive Transparency Tool, click the white ellipse, and click-drag from the top edge to the bottom edge to apply a default linear transparency effect (as shown next). This will serve to simulate overhead lighting on the shiny surface of the glass.

  14. To add interest, I applied a symbol of a happy face (shown next). I started with a group of three objects filled with white and copied this group to the clipboard (Ctrl+C).

  15. I Grouped (Ctrl+G) the happy face objects together with a rectangle filled with brown using the CMYK model: C:25, M:65, Y:65, K:30 and removed any outline colors from the objects (as shown next).

  16. I pasted (Ctrl+V) a copy from the clipboard into the arrangement and used a PowerClip effect to place the rectangle group inside the new copy.

  17. I edited the Powerclip effect by offsetting the rectangle group slightly downwards and to the right using the nudge keys (as shown next).

  18. After editing, the final Powerclip simulates a recessed effect with a slight shadow to match the darkest color in the glass bead effect (as shown next).
  19. Finally, I positioned the final happy face Powerclip effect in front of the bead arrangement and brought the transparent ellipse to the front (Shift+PageUp) for the final effect (shown next).

By following this tutorial, you’ve used the contour effect and the blend effects to manufacture most of the objects you need. You can try this same effect with or without your own optional symbol. In either case, the result is a perfect little glass-like bead.

Steve Bain is an award-winning illustrator and designer, and author of nearly a dozen books including CorelDRAW The Official Guide.

15 responses to “Create a Glass Bead

  1. Step 10 can achieved by using the transparency tool also. It will be quicker.
    Step 1 also, radial fill…

    • True, but the transparency can only be circular and concentric. This way, it’s elliptical and offset. Cheers!

  2. Wow, I really liked your simple step by step process. I’ll use this idea on a regular basis.

    Thank you for sharing

  3. Sandeep Ghadigavker

    All Tutorials are very good to learn, Thank you sir very very much.

  4. Thanks for the site! I’ve just used the glass bead and bevel effects to enhance a logo for my wife’s business, with beautiful results.

  5. very useful because i am bigginer/

  6. Really nice tutorial, Thanks a lot sir.

  7. Really it’s very useful to me as a beginner ..thanks!

  8. Hi, i’m interested in learning how you did the effect for your website letters (color ones above) they are very impressive…


  9. Sunder Singh Rawat

    All Tutorials are very good and useful, Thank you sir very very much.

  10. Really its very abstract tutorials every one can get easily… thank u

  11. Wow! Ur lessons are really good, thanks a million

  12. Thanks!!great tutorial!!

  13. Thank you, thank you. Learned a lot.

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