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Create a Clock Custom Shape in Photoshop
Tutorials Drawing 31082 Views March 4th, 2011

In this tutorial I want to show you how to create a simple vector clock face in Photoshop. You will learn the basics of the vector drawing so you can create your own cool custom shapes. It will be also a little math involved in this tut but nothing too complicated. In this tutorial I will use only the Ellipse Tool and the Rectangle Tool so if you want to find out more about vector drawing you can check out these Pen Tool tutorials that teaches you how to create shapes from scratch.


If you like clocks you might be interested in reading these articles also, 6 Free Clock Social Icons and +70 Clock Photoshop Custom Shapes.

Drawing the Clock Background

Open a new PSD file, size 500/500 px. Create a new layer and fill it with a light gray. This will be our background. Go to View, Show Menu and check Grid (shortcut: press CTRL and '). As a result you can see that the canvas has now a grid over it, that can help you draw better shapes. Let's draw the clock. As you know a clock has the shape of a perfect ellipse called circle. The first thing that we have to do is to pick the Ellipse Tool, press SHIFT on our keyboard and draw a circle. The color is not important, I picked white. Call this layer Clock Layer. Duplicate this layer. Scale this new layer to 2%. Be careful to check Mantain aspect ratio so that horizontal scale is the same with vertical scale. Call this layer Clock Center.

A Little Math to Create a Perfect Clock

Drawing shapes always involves knowing something about math and geometry. The Photoshop has tools to draw vector like square, polygon, circle, ellipse, etc. The clock being a circle has no corners to guide so we will work with angles. A clock has 12 hours so we have to divide the clock in 12 equal parts. You can see in the image below that the circle has an angle of 360 degrees. Divide the circle in 4 areas, each area has an angle of 90 degrees (360 degrees / 4 = 90 degrees). Now we have represented the hours 12, 3, 6 and 9.

If we divide the circle in 12 areas we obtain all 12 hours, separated by an angle of 30 degrees (360 degrees / 12 = 30 degrees).

We know that an hour has 60 minutes. So we have to represent also the minutes on our clock. The hours are also the minutes: (hour 1 is minute 5, hour 2 is minute 10, hour 3 is minute 15, ..., hour 11 is minute 55. So to represent the minutes we have to divide the 360 degrees to 60 equal 6 degrees.

This means that at every 30 degrees we have an hour and at every 6 degrees we have a minute. That will help us to easily and corectly create our clock face.

Drawing the Hours

Part 1Part 2Part 3

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2 comment(s) for "Create a Clock Custom Shape in Photoshop"

Tutorial Lounge
7:00 AM Tuesday, March 08, 2011
good work. reply
7:00 AM Tuesday, March 08, 2011
thanks! reply

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