Photoshop YouTube Background Tutorial

by Fred Showker

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Jordan Charters. Thanks goes out to Jordan for submitting this tutorial to Photoshop 911, and a congratulations for becoming one of our Photoshop Faves! is his virtual portfolio displaying all his works. Jordan is from Hertfordshire England and is currently studying Interactive Media at Oaklands College. And now we'll let Jordan share his ...

YouTube Background Tutorial

The default YouTube profile background is fairly plain, even with their custom design options its not quite unique. With the following tutorial ive made for you to follow you can learn how to create a great looking Web 2.0 YouTube background design. I included a .PSD file to start you off with and then just apply the various effects/settings as shown below.

Download the .PSD file here!

Step 1

Open the .PSD file I have included with this tutorial. In the "Layers" area near the bottom right you should have two folders and a layer. Click the Eye next to all the layers to hide them for now. Create a new layer by clicking the little paper looking icon and drag it to the Bottom of the layers list. This will be your background and be underneath all the other layers.

Create extra layers, then use the gradient tool to build the background

Step 2 Select the Gradients tool (normally in the sub menu to the Paint bucket tool, click and hold to reveal the sub menu). Click the thumbnail gradient at the top left to reveal the gradient settings window. Around the gradient preview you will see 4 small arrows, double click the bottom left and input the colour code (#0500d9), click OK. Same again with the bottom right arrow and input (#090040), click OK when finished.

Step 3

Hold shift and drag a line from top to bottom of your canvas. Release shift and your mouse button and you should be left with a Gradient effect across your canvas.

gradient settings window   the completed gradient background
(Note that you can click graphics on this page for enlargements, if you have pop-up windows enabled!)

Step 4

From the main menu select, FILTER > DISTORT > WAVE. Now input all the settings from the image below.

Click here to enlarge   Click Here to Enlarge

Step 5

On the main menu again select, FILTER > DISTORT > POLAR COORDINATES. Follow the settings shown below in the image and press OK.

Step 6

Now you should have a sunburst effect on your canvas. On the layers area re-enable all the layers by clicking the small box next to them showing the eye. Click the folders to reveal the layers inside and change these layers to an opacity of 10% each. Opacity setting can be found just above the layers.

Click to enlarge Polar coordinates dialog   Click to enlarge Polar Starburst filter

For the average user, most would see any content placed inside those 2 left and right sections down the sides. Any futher out than that and most would not see it unless they have a bigger monitor. My personal laptop is 15" screen and can only see content put inside of those sidebars otherwise its off the screen and not visible so please keep this in mind when adding content ontop.

Gradient YouTube Background

You can now create more layers and add in the content you want to the sidebars because you've sucessfully completed this tutorial!

Thank you for reading through the tutorial, please invite others to the website!

Jordan Charters


Visit Jordan's YouTube Channel where you'll actually see this background in use. Or, those of you who are serious about YouTube, will want to continue this tutorial with Jordan's guide to Apply YouTube Background Design yourself.

Again we thank Jordan Charters for sending in this tutorial, and we invite you to suggest a new Photoshop Fave for us, or, submit your own tutorial for consideration. Go to :

27th Anniversary for DTG Magazine


On January 6th, Daniel said:

Dude thanks so much for this awesome tutorial! but when i uploaded it on youtube, all my images are like out of the border. what is the default resolution

On February 24th, sohel said:

i try to understand potoshop using online tutorials, but they never work. Your tutorials are the ONLY tutorials I've gotten to work properly.

On June 2nd, oyun indir said:

Dude thanks so much for this awesome tutorial! but when i uploaded it on youtube, all my images are like out of the border. what is the default resolution

On June 7th, Alex said:

hmmm the psd file is not working in my photoshop cs3...^^ but anyways nice tutorial

On September 21st, Anonymous said:

Ever since I read your tutorial my computer has been itchy for more, but otherwise great work :)

On April 24th, Anonymous said:

Many thanks for your teaching,
Photoshop details i have learned,

On June 12th, Loran said:

Hahahaha. I'm not too birght today. Great post!

however, haven't they turned off the ability to create backgrounds in YouTube????

I could not figure out how to do this.

On October 13th, RIines35 said:

If it is practiced by a man of taste,
the photograph will have the appearance of art (but) the photographer must
... intervene as little as possible, so as not
... to lose the objective charm which it naturally possesses.
. . . . Henri Matisse