I know robotic might be the wrong word to describe it, but I've been looking into how to do this effect for like 5 years now, and haven't bumped into anything yet.


If anybody could post a tutorial with even something similar, I could carry on from that.

  • When you say interface, are you referring to a Graphical User Interface (GUI)? If so, for what platform, and what programming language do you prefer to use? And are you interested only in creating the art, or are you creating a GUI with the art?
    – bojangle
    Commented Mar 23, 2011 at 0:25
  • No, mainly I just want to know how to do this in photoshop. Use it on a website or something.
    – Deus
    Commented Mar 24, 2011 at 20:50
  • 2
    I see gradients, shading, LED style type, and 3D rendering. It's not 'one' technique being used.
    – DA01
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 19:15

2 Answers 2


I've seen this technique done quite alot, it's actually somewhat dated but I've seen some people do it really well. There are a bunch of different techniques to achieve this effect commonly used ones are dodge and burn to give the "metal" material highlights and some strokes on pen curves to generate wires, but for the most part they're drawn(either by hand or in photoshop). These might give you some direction, check these links:


Interface Design Tutorial

Orb Interface Tutorial

Vent Interface Tutorial

Metal Texture Tutorial

Tech Button Tutorial

Tech Metal Button Tutorial

Some examples of well done interfaces:

Example 1

Example 2

Templates and/or other resources:



  • 2
    +1 for good references to on-the-subject tutorials. There's also no substitute for looking at objects in the real world and seeing how different surfaces reflect light. Commented May 11, 2011 at 23:33

The examples you showed are essentially paintings. At first I thought they were 3D renderings (something that could produce a similar effect) But they aren't something that can just be duplicated using a tutorial from the web. That being said, here's two I found that might get you started, but very elementary in comparison. One Two

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