Create a Glowing Globe Icon in Photoshop

Photoshop Globe Icon

In this tutorial we are going to create a simple 3D glowing world globe icon. This can then be applied to a logo or one color image instead of a map.

Step 1

In Photoshop lets open up an 800x800px document. Our document doesn’t have to be huge because we are only making an icon.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 2

Now we are going to create the basic shape for our icon. Click on the Ellipse tool and hold down Shift, click and drag a circle across the top half of the document. Holding down shift gives us a perfectly round circle.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 3

If your colors are set at the default black and white, your circle probably came out black. We are going to change this to a blue to give us a base color to work with.

To change the color, double click on the black square on the circle layer. This will open up a color palette, and we can choose a color from there.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 4

Now we are going to go and grab our map image from stock.xchng and open it up in Photoshop. Before we bring it into our document we want to get rid of the white area. To do this, go into Select>Color Range. We want to bring the fuzziness up to 200 and then click on the black area of our document.

Make sure you are using the Pointer Tool (top left in the toolbar) and click on the map and drag it into our globe document.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 5

This Image is going to be way too big for our circle so we are going to shrink it down using. Before we do that though we want to drop down the opacity to 50% so that we can see both the map and the circle so we can judge where to line them up.

Now, using Control+T to transform our map we are going to shrink it down.

At this point if we drop the size way down we are going to lose it off somewhere hidden off the document. To make sure this doesn’t happen look for the crosshair that is in the middle of the map, make sure that this is on your document and when you shrink it down it, the map will stay on the screen.

Now, we are going to use the percentages at the top of our screen and drop them down to 15%.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 6

We can bring the opacity back up to 100%.

Now to give the globe a rounded, 3D look we are going to make sure we are on our “map” layer. Now we want to Control and click on our “Circle” layer to load that selection.

Go into Filter>Distort>Spherize and change the amount to 100%.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 7

With the circle selection that we still have, we are going to do Control + Shift + I to get the inverse selection and then delete. This will get rid of the extra map area we don’t need. Change the map layer’s blend mode to overlay.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 8

We are now going to give a little bit of shine to our globe. To do this we are going to duplicate our circle layer and fill with white. Then using Control + T to transform the shape, shrink the shine circle down so we get an oval shape like I have. Try to get the top edges of the circle and the shine to be parallel.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 9

Now we are going to take that shine layer, change the blend mode to screen, drop the opacity down to 80% and add a layer mask to it (second icon from the left on at the bottom of the layers palette).

Take a Linear Gradient and with black, click and drag the gradient up to get the shine to fade a bit, as I have done.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 10

Now we are going to do some layer styles to give the globe some lighting. First, we want to duplicate the circle layer and drop the Fill down to 0%. This will get rid of the circle but we will still be able to see the layer styles.

Drag the layer above the map layer.

The first thing we are going to add is the Inner Shadow.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 11

Next we are going to add a Gradient Overlay. This will give us sort of an inner glow to our globe.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 12

Your globe should look something like this so far.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 13

Select the “Map” layer. We are going to add some layer styles to it.

The first thing we are going to add is a Gradient Overlay. This is going to add to give our shadow more contrast.Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 14

Now add a Bevel and Emboss. This is going to give our map a little dimension.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 15

Duplicate the circle layer again (Control + J), make sure the Fill is at 0%, and add an Inner Glow with #00C9FF for a color. Bring this layer up to the top of the rest of the layers.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 16

Now lets add a reflection. Link all the layers together by clicking on one of the layers and then clicking the empty box to the right of the eye icon on each layer. Then do Control + E. This will combine all our layers into just one layer.

Now duplicate the layer with Control + J and go to Edit>Transform>Flip Vertically (If you just rotate it the reflection will be backwards). Make sure the “Reflection” is just under the bottom of the globe, overlapping a little bit.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 17

Add a layer mask to the reflection, and using our black Linear Gradient, click and drag a gradient up until you get something like I have.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 18

Drop the opacity of the reflection to 50%.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 19

Now we want to add shadow under the globe. So to do this we want to create a new layer (Control + Shift + N). Get your Radial Gradient, and make a small gradient (which we are going to stretch out) using #01133B for a color.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Step 20

Using Control + T stretch out the gradient so it roughly covers the width of the globe.
Photoshop Globe Icon


There you have it, a Globe Icon. This can be applied to other one-color logos, text or images. Just make sure you remember to change your reflection also.
Photoshop Globe Icon

Photoshop Globe Icon

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  3. Jared

    This looks good, but I tried to follow it and I think you are missing some steps because I couldn’t get it to look like this.

  4. Scarlett Clark

    After some learing curve issues I was able to complete mostly :) I cannot for the life of me get the last gradient circle right. But I assure you it is my lack of knowledge and not your tutorial. Thanks alot for the tutorial!

  5. image masking

    I love the amount of details you gave in your instructions through this tutorial. Great example. Looking forward to more from you.

  6. Klaartje

    Very nice tutorial. Thanks for sharing. But i think the shadow and reflection should be a bit to the right. Your light is coming from the upper left corner. Oh, perhaps i am just jealous. Thank god for your English spelling checker. I am Dutch, so English spelling is not in my first nature. Keep up the good work, it is generous.

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  8. MorayWeb

    All we need now is a fox to lay over it! ;)

    Nice tut, thanks for posting!

  9. 03/07/2021


    Haha, yeah good call!

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  12. ryan

    thanks alot mine looks great

  13. Ash Davies

    Thanks for this. I’ve been meaning to make some icons for my website and this tute really helps :)

  14. shane


  15. Garrison Fall

    Wow - I’ve always wondered how that sort of effect was created. Very interesting as I’m still a ‘pencil and paper’ person.

  16. 08/07/2021

    Make sure your fill and opacity is at 100%. If either one is dropped down the last time you created something, the setting will stay the same.

    If that isn’t it, make sure you are using the elliptical tool, not the marquee tool.

  17. aerialss88

    Really nice!. Good job and great tut! ;-).

  18. Wrought Iron Furniture

    Wow thanks lots, I’ve always loved the look of 3d graphics, can’t wait to try this out!

  19. James

    I found this tutorial confusing. There was never a part where you explained where the black map all of the sudden changed to blue. You also need to explain layer order to make effects work correctly such as which circle layer are you dublicating? Also when you created the shine you never mention your shape should be white only to duplicate the layer. Lasty when adding gradient effects not sure what you mean by change fill to zero.

  20. 11/08/2021

    Sorry about the confusion, let me see if I can straighten it out.

    The black map changes to blue, because the blend mode changes to overlay.

    The layers should be below the other one as it goes through the tutorial (the map goes over the globe, the shine goes over the map) except on step 15 when it is specified that the layer should go to the top.

    Yes, the shine/reflection is supposed to be white.

    The fill that is on the layers palette should be at 0% so that the layer effect will still show but the rest of the layer will not.

    It is fixed in the tutorial, and hopefully that clears it up.

  21. Adesina

    Thanks a lot man. Very tutorial.
    God bless

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  23. Chris P

    Great Tutorial, Here is what mine looks like :)

  24. 02/09/2021

    Nice, looks good!

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  27. hosting murah indonesia

    where i can find the globe picture collection?

  28. לימודי משפטים


    great guide!! I almost got the same result

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  34. saicroerreP

    i am a voluntary illustrator, perhaps you would like to show some of my pics? i guess it would be neat for your articles :-)
    absolutely admire your design! send me a mail please in case you want to see my pix

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  36. Sharon W

    Good job, I love the glow.

  37. Ann

    Whats up very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally…I am satisfied to seek out a lot of useful info here in the submit, we want develop more strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  38. gayan

    it’s very useful because its’ very practical

  39. Alexis

    This is a great tutorial and I have followed everything until step 19 and I can not get the same shadow effect as you. I can’t work out where I’m going wrong.

    Thanks for the tutorial though. Its great!

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    Thanks for the interesting read :-)

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    Thank you Amy for your encouraging words has comment of my English,
    and for your wishes.

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