Illustrate a Glossy, Realistic Touchscreen Tablet

These days, touchscreen tablets are coming out in all shapes and sizes. The variety of tablets is increasing rapidly, and designers need to show their work off on an ever-growing array of screen sizes and dimensions. Rather than relying on stock photographs of tablets, most of which will fall out of date with every new hardware release, it’s best to build a layered touchscreen tablet in Photoshop that you can edit as needed.

Today, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a glossy, realistic touchscreen tablet in Photoshop. Along the way, you will learn to use different shape tools, pen tools, layer masking, and different blending options to achieve the final result through an easy step-by-step approach. So, let’s get started!

Final Layered Photoshop File: Touchscreen Tablets.psd

Final result:

touchscreen tablet

Step 1

Create a new document in Photoshop with a 1200px width and a 1400px height.

touchscreen tablet

Step 2

Fill the background layer with color #eaeaea using the paint bucket tool.

touchscreen tablet

Step 3

I’ll show you how to create both the portrait and landscape views of the tablet. Let’s begin with the portrait view. First of all, set #f5f5f5 as your foreground color, and select the rounded rectangle tool with a 20px radius to draw a rectangle of the size you want your tablet to be. I’ve used 390px by 492px, as you can see below.

touchscreen tablet

Step 4

Double-click on this base rectangle layer to open the layer style window and apply the following settings.

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

Step 5

Set #1e1e1e as your foreground color and draw a rectangle inside the frame of previous rectangle using the rounded rectangle tool.

touchscreen tablet

Step 6

Now press “D” to set the default colors and draw another rounded rectangle around 4px smaller than the previous rectangle.

touchscreen tablet

Drag it a bit upward so that previous rectangle becomes visible just at the bottom.

touchscreen tablet

Step 7

Draw a rectangle using the rectangle tool on top of the rest of the layers and label it as “screen.”

touchscreen tablet

Step 8

Let’s bring something onto the canvas to display on our tablet screen. I’m going to use my Design Agency Layout for this purpose. Load the file that you want to display in this tablet, and copy/paste it on top of rest of the layers in your document. You can resize it roughly according to the size of the tablet’s screen using the free transform tool (Ctrl+ “T”). To set it perfectly onto the screen, click on the file layer, then press Ctrl+ <thumbnail of the screen layer> to make a selection around it. After that, click on the icon of “Add layer mask,” which is present at the bottom of the layers panel.

touchscreen tablet

Step 9

Next, we’ll make the home button. Draw an ellipse in pure black color.

touchscreen tablet

Press Ctrl + <click on the ellipse layer> to make selection around it. Now, select the soft round brush tool and apply it as shown below inside the selection. Make sure to apply the brush on a new layer. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 20%.

touchscreen tablet

Apply the following settings for inner shadow on this new layer.

touchscreen tablet

Step 10

Make a rounded rectangle inside of the home button. Set the fill to “none” and the stroke to around 1pt in color #c4c4c4 in the properties bar at the top.

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

Step 11

Next, we’ll make the camera. Draw three circles over each other. The base circle is of #212121 color, the next bluish circle employs color #261963, and the top circle is pure black.

touchscreen tablet

Step 12

Apply the following layer style settings on the blue circle layer to finish the camera.

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

Step 13

Next, we’ll create the highlight over the tablet. Select the pen tool (Tool mode: Shape) and draw a triangle as shown below.

touchscreen tablet

Now confine this triangle to the tablet by adding a layer mask.

touchscreen tablet

Step 14

Make the fill of highlight layer to 0% and apply the following gradient overlay settings on this triangle layer.

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

Step 15

Make a few buttons using the rectangle tool and the pen tool in color #303030. Make all these buttons just above the background layer.

touchscreen tablet

Step 16

To make a shadow for the tablet, draw a rectangle using the rounded rectangle tool. Right-click on the shadow layer and select “Rasterize Layer.”

touchscreen tablet

Step 17

Now, go to “Filter” > “Blur” > “Gaussian Blur” and use a value of 4px here. After that, reduce the opacity of the shadow layer to 40%.

touchscreen tablet

Step 18

We’ll make a reflection of the tablet now. Collect all the layers forming the tablet into a single group, duplicate this layer group, merge it, and flip it vertically by going to “Edit” > “Transform” > “Flip Vertical.” Now, position it just below the original tablet.

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

Step 19

The portrait view of our tablet is ready. Now, collect all of these layers into a group and label it as tablet portrait. Hide or delete four layers in this group: highlight layer, layout display, shadow, and reflection layers. After that, go to “Edit” > “Transform” > “Rotate 90⁰ CCW” to get the landscape view of tablet.

touchscreen tablet

Step 20

Now recreate the highlight, shadow, and reflection for the landscape tablet using the same techniques used for the portrait view. Display your artwork in the horizontal screen to finish it off.

touchscreen tablet

touchscreen tablet

That’s it guys. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and learned something useful. Click here to download the layered PSD file.

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  • Attila Fulop

    Thanks for the tutorial, it came just in time.

    Following the tutorial I made a similar one with GIMP. If anyone is interested the xcf can be downloaded from here: http://artkonekt.com/dl/tablets-mockup-for-gimp-2.8.zip

    Note: it’s for GIMP 2.8 only (because of the layer groups)

    • AMac

      Thanks, Attila, I was just setting out to do this and your timing was perfect for me. Thanks for sharing your work!