Photoshop: Minimal Loading Bar

We’re going to go ahead and create a super cool little minimal loading bar in Photoshop. This bar will be created using a simple Shape Layer and Layer Styles so it will be very easy to edit and change so you’ll be able to use it on all kinds of different projects!

Create a Minimal Loading Bar – Photoshop Tutorial

This tutorial was inspired by:


[raw] [/raw]

Step 1:

Create a new Photoshop document sized 1280px by 720px at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch. Fill the “Background” Layer with a light gray (I used #cfcfcf).

Step 2:

We need to create a sweet background first because everything looks better on a sweet background! Create a new Layer and go Edit>Fill and choose to fill with 50% gray. Let’s name this Layer “4% Noise”.

Step 3:

Go Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set the amount to 4%, Distribution: Gaussian, and Monochromatic ticked on. Hit “OK” and set the Layer Blend Mode to “Soft Light”.

Step 4:

Click on the “Background” Layer and go Layer>Duplicate Layer and name it “8% Noise”. Drag this Layer above the “4% Noise” Layer in the Layers panel.

Step 5:

Go Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set the amount to 8%, Distribution: Gaussian, and Monochromatic ticked off. Hit “OK” and set the Layer Blend Mode to “Soft Light”.

Step 6:

Create a new Layer and name it “Swath”. Grab the Brush Tool and set the Brush to 500px size and 0% hardness. Set your foreground color to white and paint a mark just like I did.

Step 7:

Set the “Swath” Layer Blend Mode to “Soft Light”.

Step 8:

We need to create a little pattern for use later in the tutorial. Create a new Photoshop document sized 8px by 8px. Go View>Fit On Screen to zoom this all the way up to a better viewing size. Double click the “Background” Layer to unlock it.

Step 9:

Create a new Layer and grab the Pencil Tool (located beneath the Brush Tool). Press the (D) key to set your foreground color to black. Use the Pencil Tool to draw three lines diagonally across the document just like I have.

Step 10:

Select the “Layer 0” and drag it to the garbage can at the base of the Layers Panel. Next go Edit>Define Pattern and give your pattern a name.

Step 11:

Close that pattern document (no need to save it!) and head back to our loading bar document. Grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool and set it to draw paths (second icon from the left in the Tool Options Bar) and set the Radius to 6px.

Step 12:

Draw a path out in the center of the document. The ideal height for your path is 6px, you can drag out guides and measure it, or just take a guess and draw a size you like –let’s be dangerous and freehand this!

Step 13:

Now that we have a path drawn out we can go Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color. Name this Layer “Track”. Let’s fill it with white.

Step 14:

Next go Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. Set the Fill Opacity to 0%.

Step 15:

Set a Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, and Inner Glow using the settings I have. Set a Color Overlay of #dbdae1 (or any light gray). That will create our track!

Step 16:

Go Layer>Duplicate Layer and then go Layer>Layer Style>Clear Layer Style. Name this duplicated Layer “Fill Color”.

Step 17:

We need to size the fill down as if this loader was not quite finished loading. Grab the Direct Selection Tool (A) –you want to grab the white arrow. Click on the Vector Mask for the “Fill Color” Layer in the Layers Panel and drag a selection over the right side of the path and hold down your “Shift” key and tap the left arrow 9 or 10 times to back that fill up to about the half loaded point.

Step 18:

Double click on color thumbnail of this Layer and fill it with the color #4281c8.

Step 19:

Duplicate this Layer and we will begin applying our Layer Styles and finish this thing off! Add a Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, and Inner Glow using the settings provided below.


Step 20:

Next we want to reduce the Fill Opacity of this Layer to 0%. Go Layer>Layer Style>Gradient Overlay. Use the settings below.

Step 21:

Next apply a Pattern Overlay and grab the pattern we created from the drop down. Use the settings I have.

Step 22:

Next Apply a Satin and Stroke using the settings I have.

Step 23:

That’s it! If we duplicate our three Layers and change the original “Fill Color” Layer it changes the whole look of the loading bar! TIP: Using desaturated medium brightness colors usually works best! Have fun with it!

  • iainspad

    @tutvid Is it me or is your voice sounding less nasal? 😉

  • TekReviewsHD

    @liamwise_ hey liam

  • Denis Samardjiev

    Quality tutorial, I like the video/text feature you guys have! If anyone is interested I have a new web design tutorial on YouTube as well 🙂

  • peter elias knudsen

    Hi Nat.

    As always a great tutvid-tutorial.

    I love the way you use the Styles settings do all the work and make it look like a million and how you always seam to have it all prepared in advance so your tutorials are quick, easy to follow and straight to the point.

    A question. Now that we have created the loading bar. How do you animate it to move at content is loading ?

    Kind regards


  • AJ_21

    Honestly, I love the way this guy (Nathaniel) shows his moves on Photoshop. I feel you guys need to read this…. FUUUUUSION… HAAAAAA. “We are not Howard nor Nathaniel…. the name´s Howthaniel… and we are here to TEACH you!”Jejeje, comon… anybody have a better fusion name for these great warriors? 😀 I thank you both guys for showing us the way into the Photoshop way…. may the LayerStyle be with you.

  • Oisin Conolly

    looking good!
    Just a heads up, might wanna check the twitter and fb links at the bottom. The URLs are wrong.