I was looking at the Windows Vista login screen the other day and was inspired by the thumbnails of the users that were used. I decided to create this tutorial so that if anybody wanted to use thumbnails for the blog or any other type of site they could try something unique. You can use the “shiny” effect used in this tutorial can be used in just about any button.

Step 1: Create the following shape – DOWNLOAD THE SHAPE HERE

Step 2: Apply a gradient style to the shape as shown below. DOWNLOAD THE GRADIENT HERE

Here is a better view with the colors and positions of each point.

You should know see something similar below

Step 3: Create a black square over the bottom layer as shown below. Position it in the middle of the first shape that we created.

Step 4: In this step choose the picture that you would like to use or simply copy the one below. Paste it in a new layer at the top.

Step 5: While holding the Alt key (Option key on Mac), click on the line in between the picture and the square.

The thumbnail should now look similar to below.

Step 6: Create a new layer and create a shape similar to the one below, for this I used the pen tool.

Step 7: Change the opacity of this layer to 47%

Step 8: We are now going to repeat step 5 but this time we are going to hold Alt and click between the white layer and the picture layer.