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20 March 2011 @ 06:34 pm
015: Tutorial Request  
to or
Program: Photoshop CS4
Number of steps: 17
Translatable: Yes (Selective Color Layer optional)
Difficulty: Moderate
PSD: Yes

Step 1.
The first step is to select your image. I chose this image of Merlin and Gwaine. One of the reasons I chose it was because it looked like an easy image to extend the background and create a blue sky. Once you have your image, open it in Photoshop (or whichever program you are using) and resize the image. To do this, I went to Image>>Image Size>> Width: 120 pixels Height: 68 pixels. Then I dragged the image into a new blank canvas sized 100x100. It looks like this:

Step 2.
Next, I extended the background. There are different ways to go about doing this, but for this image I chose to use the Smudge tool.  If you’ve never used this tool before, all you need to do is select a brush (I chose a default round brush sized at 18) and then drag the background up so that the white space is filled. Click here if you don't know how to smudge.

Step 3.
The next step is to duplicate your new base image of Merlin/Gwaine. So, right click and duplicate. Set this layer to screen because the base image is too dark. Once you have your Screen layer, duplicate your screen layer. Both are set at 100% opacity.
Screen layer 1:
Screen layer 2:

Step 4.
Now to add some contrast to our screen layers, duplicate your screen layer but set it to Soft Light 100%. I do this because adding screen layers can sometime make an icon look washed out. I recommend adding screen and soft light layers to most screencap icons because they are often too dark.

Step 5.
Now you can color. I wanted my background to be a bluish color at the end result so I added a blue texture by Selinna. Change this to Multiply 100%. When you add this blue texture it will also cover Merlin and Gwaine in blue. I did not want this, so I added a layer mask. Then click the eraser tool and make sure your foreground color is set to white and your background color is set to black. Now erase the blue over Merlin and Gwaine. In your icon you may need to erase more. If you erase too much, change your foreground color to black and your background color to white and use your eraser tool to add more blue to the image.
+ =

Step 6.

I wanted to add a glow to the image and I do this by combining the layers and using the Gaussian Blur tool. To do this, press ctrl+shift+alt+E. This will combine your layers into one, which is placed on top of your layers. Then, go to Filter>>Blur>>Gaussian Blur. I set the pixels somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0. Then change this layer to Soft Light 85%. 

Step 7.

When I color screencaps, I usually use a Curves Layer. Layer>>New Adjustment Layer>>Curves. This tool will brighten the icon. You can see the difference in their clothing and the sky.

RGB: Output: 111 Input: 95
Red: Output: 129 Input: 123
Green: Output: 137 Input: 132
Blue: Output: 159 Input: 154

Step 8.
I used a Hue/Saturation Layer next. Layer>>New Adjustment Layer>>Hue/Saturation. I use this type of layer to bring out the color in their skin and their clothing. You can play around with the setting for your icon, but for this image I set the saturation to +13.

Step 9.
Next, I added a Selective Color layer. Layer>>New Adjustment Layer>>Selective Color. This is optional. If your program does not have this, then skip this step. This layer will allow you to change certain colors, one at a time. You can give the image red tones or blue tones for example. For this image I changed the Reds, Blues, Whites, Neutrals, and Blacks.

Reds: +1, +7, +11, 0
Blues: +22, -4, -28, +5
Whites: 0, 0, 0, +13
Neutrals: +4, +3, +7, -3
Blacks: 0, 0, 0, +12

Step 10.
Next, I used a Color Balance Layer. Layer>>New Adjustment Layer>>Color Balance. This layer allows you to adjust Shadows, Midtones, and Highlights. I only used the Midtones for this icon. I added Cyan, Green, and Blue.

Color Balance: -20, +9, +2

Step 11.
Next, create a new layer. Layer>>New>>Layer. Take a fuzzy default brush and lower the opacity and flow to around 90%. Paint over the top/left side of the layer in white. Set this to Soft Light 25%. This layer adds a glow to this portion of the icon.

Step 12.
I still wanted the icon to be brighter and have more contrast. So I made a Brightness/Contrast Layer. Layer>>New Adjustment Layer>>Brightness/Contrast. I set the Brightness to 1 and the Contrast to 4.

Step 13.
I then added a Fill Layer. Layer>>New Fill Layer>>Solid Color. The color I used was e8e5d9. I set it to Linear Burn 10% and erased the area over their faces.
+ =

Step 14.
Next, I created a new layer and used the brush tool to enhance the color of their clothing. I took green, grey, and orange and painted over their clothing and set the layer to Soft Light 100%.

Step 15.
For the rest of the icon, I used textures. This will enhance the blue sky effect and create clouds. The first one I used was this blue faded texture that I made. Place it on top of your icon and set it to Soft Light 49%. I erased the blue that got on their faces/bodies.
+ =

Then I took this yellow and blue texture and placed it on top. I erased the texture around their bodies and the grey rocks behind them. I set this to Color Burn 91%. You'll be able to see the texture in the sky.
+ =

Next, I added another blue texture that I made. This gives the appearance of clouds in the sky when I set it to Color Burn 45%. You can create a layer/vector mask to erase the blue on their bodies and the rocks behind them.
+ =

The final texture I used has larger clouds. Set to Overlay 50% to add light blue, while creating the white cloudy sky. Again, use a layer/vector mask to erase this texture from their bodies and the rocks behind them.
+ =

Step 16.
Almost done. For this step, I just added some white blobs. Take your brush tool and use white to create a glowing effect. To do this, create a new layer. Layer>>New>>Layer. Place these wherever you want. Then go to Filter>>Blur>>Gaussian Blur 8.0. Set this to Soft Light. I lowered my opacity to 36%.

Step 17.
Final step for coloring. Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E. Filter>>Blur>>Gaussian Blur 1.0 - 2.0. Set to Soft Light 33%.

You could use this icon as is, or you can use the block effect. For the block effect, you need to Ctrl+Shift+E. Move your icon around the canvas. To see how I moved them around for my icon, I will give you this:

You just need to duplicate your image a few times and rotate the layers. You can go to Edit>>Transform and then rotate the image however you prefer.
Similar examples:

PSD available upon request HERE
Current Mood: creativecreative
dirrtyladydirrtylady on March 21st, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
this tutorial is amazing! thank you ♥