This tutorial will guide you to make a metal tube in Photoshop. These are the very basic skills but if you put a little more time on it, the results can be very good.

Step 1.

Create a new document. In this tutorial I start with canvas size 320×320 px, background #555555.

Use the Pen Tool (P) to make draw a curve path. This will be the shape of your tube later.

Note: Make sure you are making a path and not a shape layer. Select the paths option on the toolbar (with 3 more buttons) under the main menu.

Step 2.

Select the Brush Tool (B) and select a round solid brush in the brush palette. Choose the diameter of your tube. In this tutorial I used 25px.

Step 3.

Create a new layer. You will be creating the tube on this layer. Choose back the Pen Tool (P) and right click on the drawing area and select Stroke Path. Use the settings as shown.

Step 4.

You will get a shape of a tube as shown below. Delete the path by pressing Delete few times until the path is removed or press Enter to hide it.
The colour of the shape doesn’t matter now. We will be filling it with another colour later.

Step 5.

On the Layers window, hold Ctrl and click on the small preview to make a selection of the tube layer shape.

Step 6.

Go to the Channels window and click on the Save Selection As Channel button as shown below. This will be the Alpha 1 channel.
Click on the channel to edit it.

Step 7.

Your edit area should appear like shown below.

Step 8.

Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with the settings as shown.

Step 9.

Click back on the tube shape layer (Layer 1) to edit it.

Step 10.

Click Select > All (Ctrl+A) to select the canvas and Edit > Fill (Shift+F5). Use the settings below.

Step 11.

You will be getting something like this. Select > Deselect (Ctrl+D) to deselect.

Step 12.

Use Filter > Render > Lighting Effects and use the Default style and change the settings as shown.

Step 13.

Your tube should look like this now. You can always play around with the Lighting Effects settings to suit your own taste.

Step 14.

On the Layers window click on the Add a layer style button and select Bevel and Emboss from the menu. Set the settings as shown.

Step 15.

Your tube should look like this, like a metalic liquid line. Try to tweak around with the settings if you are not getting the same look as shown.

Step 16.

Lock the transparency of the tube layer by clicking the Lock transparent pixels icon in the Layers window.

Step 17.

The original layer after applied with Lighting Effects will have a rough surface as shown. Apply Filter > Blur > Blur more twice to remove it.

Step 18.

Looking better ain’t it?

Step 19.

Now make a new layer by clicking on the Create a new layer button. Link this layer to the tube layer by clicking on the small area beside the eye icon. Layer > Merge down to merge the linked layers.

Step 20.

It should appear as shown.

Step 21.

Choose the Brush Tool (B) and select the brush as shown.

Step 22.

Make sure the transparency of the tube layer is locked. Now we are gonna darken the edges of the tube. Stroke it with your own liking. I stroked twice as shown.

Step 23.

Create a new layer on top of the tube layer.

Step 24.

Select the Line Tool (U) and choose a white foreground (#FFFFFF). Use 2px as the line weight. Now start making lines on the tube.
This will be kinda hard but it is worth the efforts. You will need to ready with the Undo (Ctrl+Alt+Z) function to undo lines filled with uneven spacing. A good way to do it is to zoom (Ctrl++) it up to 400% and do every line slowly.
There is an easier way to do this is by stroking on the same path with a different brush setting. I choosed this way rather than the easy brush stroke because this works better for all tube curves, especially tight curves.

Step 25.

This is what I’ve got.

Step 26.

Now select Layer > Create Clipping Mask (Ctrl+G) and change the settings of the layer to settings as shown. After this apply Drop Shadow on the layer.

Step 27.

Use the settings as shown.

Step 28.

You will notice that the two edges appear to be very odd. You can use other interface parts to hide them or delete them.

Step 29.

This is the sample of what I did. Have fun with your metal tube!