Dog Tags in PhotoShop Tutorial

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Dog Tag Tutorial for PhotoShop

written for on 03/22/2010

Making Dog Tags in PhotShop is fun and easy, just follow the steps below!

1. Open a new canvas at 400x400px (72dpi) and transparent background.

2. Select the rounded rectangle tool (path) and set the radius to 50 px and select a gray shade as your color.

And draw a shape like below.

3. Now with the circle path tool, select a slightly darker shade and draw a small circle (hold down the shift key, to make sure it will be a circle)

4. Go back to dog tag layer, right click and select “Rasterize Layer”.

5. Go back to the small circle layer, right click and select “Rasterize Layer”.

6. In the layer palette, select both of your shape layers (shift click)

and then select the move tool, and click the “align vertical centers” button (the second box button)

That will (go figure) align both objects, now just move it sideways with your left and right arrow key to get it into position.

7. With the magic wand select the circle shape, then go to the dog tag shape layer and hit the delete key. That will delete the selection of the circle on the dog tag, so we have a nice hole for our ball chain.

8. Now, let’s make the tag more real, using layer styles (fx):
– add an emboss to the tag with these settings:

– use a linear gradient with different gray shades

This will make the tag look like this: (play around with the settings, until you have made your own unique tag)

9. Let’s refine the edge of the hole, it is sort of edgy from when we deleted the selection. On your dog tag layer select the hole with your magic wand selection tool.
Then click the “refine edge” button above:

Use these settings to make a smother edge!

10. Good, now let’s go back to the layer style (fx) and add a drop shadow of 2px, using 50% opacity or so.

Then you can also rotate your tag, duplicate the layer (right click on the layer and select “Duplicate Layer”) and rotate that one around also. You might end up with something like this:

11. Now, this is already pretty good, but there is more work ahead of us. Go back to the layer that has the little dark gray shape on it (we used it to make the hole)

Apply these settings in the layer style (fx)

Your ball will look like this, you like it, good, if now keep playing with the settings.

12. Make a new layer (ctrl shift n). Select your path drawing tool, with the following settings:

and draw the shape of your chain, I just made a small, round short chain.

13. Now, select the brush tool and make the tool option window appear (Window –> Brushes). Chose a small brush in a gray shade.

14. In the layer palette, select the Path tab, then click on the second circle on the bottom (stroke path with brush)

15. Go back to the layer tab, and add a new layer. Hop back to the path tab and change your brush settings to this:

and then stroke the path again. It will look like this once you are done:

16. Now, go back to the layer tab, to the layer that had the one ball on it, we just made. Right click on the layer in the layer palette and select “copy layer style”.

17. Go to the line layer and right click on the layer in the layer palette, and select “paste layer style” and do that again for the spaced out ball row and voila, we are looking at this:

18. Select both layers in the layer palette (hold the ctrl kry down while you click on one after the other), then right click and select “Merge Layers”. That will rasterize the chain.

19. Now zoom in (ctrl +) and with your eraser tool delete the part of the chain we don’t need:

20. Now I added the same drop shadow to the chain with the same settings I used for the dog tag(s) sahdow earlier.


Play around with the hue, saturation, brightness and contrast, to get the look you want!

Please link to this tutorial if you like or use it!