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.13 - tutorials. 
25th-Sep-2007 10:22 pm
acc [you'll come back when it's over]
These were originally requested by kyogou (well okay, actually she just asked me how I did the coloring and I was like, "TUTORIALS?! Anything to avoid my gov homework! :D") This is my first time doing icon tutorials, sooo... I tried to explain the "why" rather than just the "what", so hopefully I succeeded in that. XD


Go from Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket to Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket in six hopefully easy steps!

Made in Photoshop CS2, uses an optional selective coloring layer. I'm writing this assuming you know the basics of cropping, sharpening, blending modes, etc.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
1. So, here we have our base. I really loved the prevelance of the sky and the clouds (clouds...Cloud...haha) and the way the sun starts to come out at the end of the...ending, so I cropped it in such a way that it kinda sets Cloud against a big background. I sharpen it once, then go to edit >> fade sharpen... and uh, fade the sharpen. Usually I'll fade it down to about 50% or so, but obviously that's gonna vary depending on the picture. My theory is, better to under-sharpen in the beginning than over-sharpen, because you can always add more sharpen, you know? The brightness and contrast was already great, but you might need to fiddle with yours; you are gonna need a fairly bright base for this to work.


2. Create a new layer, and flood fill with #020020. Set this layer's blending mode to exclusion.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


3. Duplicate your base layer and set the blending mode to soft light.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


4. With your soft light layer selected, go to filter >> blur >> guassian blur... I'd say don't do much more than 1.0; somewhere around .05 oughta do it. (I think my exact value for this icon was .04, but IDK.) This is a totally optional step, but I loved it for this icon because it gives it a soft, sort of ethereal look, especially with the sun's rays in the background there.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


5. It's pretty, but so washed out! Add a hue/saturation adjustment layer and pump up the saturation pretty good. (I used +44 on this icon.)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


6. You could stop here, if you like, but I was afraid I was starting to lose Cloud in all the OMGBLUE so I added a selective color adjustment layer and put in these values -
REDS:
Cyan: -100%
Black: +34%
(Removing the cyan and increasing the black pumps up the reds in the icon, so now Cloud's skin and hair is a little brighter and 'pops' a bit more.)
NEUTRALS:
Cyan: +8%
Black: -19%
(This makes Cloud's uniform and the sky a bit bluer, but mostly it lightens them a little.)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And that's it!



Go from Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket to Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket in six hopefully easy steps!

This coloring I really like because it adds rich, earthy tones to a fairly muted icon (i.e., an icon made from Zack's super-gray death scene! >_>). This is a nice coloring because it stands on its own, but you can also dress it up with a selective color layer or a dark blue exclusion layer or whatever when you're done.

Made in Photoshop CS2, translateable. I'm writing this assuming you know the basics of cropping, sharpening, blending modes, etc.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
1. Heeere's our base! You don't need to hear the sharpening ramble again. XD


2. Toooo darrrkk! Duplicate your base and set it to screen. I kept the opacity at 100%, but obviously you may need to take it down.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


3. Create a new layer and flood fill with #ebebeb. Set this layer's blending mode to color burn. (Just plain "burn" for your PSPers, IIRC.) This darkens up your shadows and makes the colors a bit richer.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


4. Toooo graaay! Add a hue/saturation adjustment layer and up your saturation. Exactly how high you need to go depends on your icon of course, but my value ended up being +42.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


5. Create a new layer and flood fill with #684718. Set this layer's blending mode to soft light. I lowered the opacity all the way down to 37% on this layer, because I didn't want it that dark. I just wanted to use the layer to warm up the colors a bit.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
6. Create a new layer and add this gradient that I downloaded a frillion years ago from Oxioniensis Art. I...wanna say it was from the "World" set, but I'm not sure.


7. Set the gradient layer's blending mode to overlay. Take the opacity down, to about 40-45% in this case.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


8. And that's really about it! Here I added "so far from you" in a white Arial pt. 8, with the kerning set to 100.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket




Hope it helped, comments are very much appreciated!
Comments 
26th-Sep-2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Oooh. X3 I need to play around with gradients and the like, see what I can come up with. I love how the clouds are all purply in the second one, instead of gray. Purply clouds seem to indicate the biggest storms sometimes, too. And Cloud is so cute in the first one! The sky's all pretty and Cloud stands out. ^^
26th-Sep-2007 09:39 pm (UTC)
X3 Oh yes, gradients can be very useful things if used properly. Glad you liked!
26th-Sep-2007 06:42 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I never expected these so quickly. You must really loathe AP gov work. XD These are wonderful! I love how you explained why you were doing something, too. :D I'm off to have a fiddle on PS now.
26th-Sep-2007 09:41 pm (UTC)
XD Well, I was really surprised by how quick and easy it was to make these. o_O It was probably like an hour, an hour and a half from start to finish.

>3 Have fun!
28th-Sep-2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really fast. XD Thanks for them, they were such a help! :D Yay for pretty icons.
29th-Sep-2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
nice tut~ ^__^ but i was wondering where you got those images from? ;___;
29th-Sep-2007 10:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

It's listed in my resources post. ^^
30th-Sep-2007 12:19 am (UTC)
:D I had to alter it a little bit and add a couple extra steps so it's got a bit of a twist but a very similar result. Thanks for making the first tut. Going in my memories! ^_^


here's my icon. ^^
30th-Sep-2007 02:14 am (UTC)
Hee! That's really cute. Glad the tut helped!
30th-Sep-2007 04:11 am (UTC)
Really nice tutorials with beautiful outcomes! =3 Thanks for sharing!!
30th-Sep-2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
:D Thank you for taking a look!
30th-Sep-2007 04:31 am (UTC)
Here's the result I've achieved with your tutorial:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I haven't made icons in ages, so I hope it doesn't suck.
XD

30th-Sep-2007 05:24 pm (UTC)
Aww, it doesn't suck! XD Reno looks really good there. Glad the tutorial helped!
30th-Sep-2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
lovely tutorial. meming. CRISIS CORE<333
30th-Sep-2007 09:00 pm (UTC)
Hee, thanks!

Oh man, your icon! <3333
30th-Sep-2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
haha, your icon too! :D
11th-Oct-2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
oh my, crisis core! meming of course X)
11th-Oct-2007 06:59 pm (UTC)
X3 Thank you!
25th-Oct-2007 02:13 am (UTC)
Haven't commented until now, but -- this is EXCELLENT, particularly explaining about the use of colored layers. THANK YOU.
25th-Oct-2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Yay, thank you! I'm really glad you something out of this! X3
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