So, I was invited to do another tutorial and while I was checking which number this tutorial would receive, I found two folder that didn't have a number yet... Confused I checked it out and found out that the two without a number had been posted, but two other tutorials that *had* been numbered hadn't actually been posted to my journal (and therefore weren't re-posted here). I luckily found them on severalplums so I'll just be posting them here right now.
After that you can expect two more new texture tutorials because I received mod's invitation to do one for one or both sets I submitted for Challenge 120 at severalplums and I couldn't decide which one to do :D
But onto the first tutorial I neglected to post here. This was first posted on in 2009 for Challenge 53 at severalplums:D
We're going from to using Photoshop CS3.
First of all, this icon developed along the way as I had no idea what to do with it and randomly tried things out, getting inspired by every step I took.
Step 0: Fixing the crop
I wanted Alan to stand at the side of the icon with most of the body visible. However, that meant cropping the image beyond the original edges. Photoshop filled in the rest with black:
I (copied the layer so I would have a comparison for this tutorial and) added a new layer beneath the image and filled it with black. Then I returned to the image layer and added a mask, making sure that only Alan was visible. This way I wouldn't have to try and replicate the background in a way that fit the original one.
In order to blend him better in, I copied the layer and set it to Soft Light at 70%. This makes the suit darker, blending him better with the black background.
Step 2: "Rays of Light"
I remembered using the shape tool to create rays from behind a person and since I hadn't used it in a long time, I decided to go for it. However, this time I decided to let the "light" come from the other side of the icon.
I used this PS default shape: and pulled it all over the icon until it looked like this:
Since this was a vector shape, I rasterized the layer and used a Gaussian Blur set to 3,4 on it to make the Rays softer.
Naturally, I didn't want the rays to go over Alan. So I selected the Layer Mask from the image layer and added a Layer Mask to the layer with the rays.
When adding a Mask while there's a selection, PS automatically transfers it to the mask. Now the rays are only over Alan, so I inverted the Mask.
I didn't like the rays right behind Alan so I added to it. While doing that, I tried different versions at the top. None of them looked right to me until I decided to just make it look like a shadow. To make it natural, I oriented myself at the top of the ray I was only masking half of and tried to get my edge to be at a similar angle as the ray was.
Once I had everything masked to my satisfaction I blurred the mask with the blur tool
Step 3: Adding Colour
I didn't like how the corner looked where the light was coming from. So I painted over it with white until it looked like a white sun. I then used the Gaussian Blur set to 15,5.
I thought the icon needed some subtle colour highlights as well.
Now I used the colour #f9ce7a to paint over Alan with a brush. Once I was satisfied with the area covered, I blurred it using the Gaussian Blur, leaving the setting at 15,5 and setting the layer to Soft Light at 60%.
As a last colouring, I changed the colour to #eff97a and painted over the rays. I once again blurred the colour with the Gaussian Blur before setting the layer to Screen at 20%.
Step 4: Gradient Maps
To darken the depth and lighten the bright areas, I added a black/white Gradient Map, setting the layer to Soft Light at 30%. I copied the layer and adjusted the gradient it used to a the default white/brown set to reverse.
I'm not sure why I added this layer - aside from the fact that I like using the Motion Blur Filter. Anyway, I copied the image and set it to Soft Light at 70% before using the Motion Blur filter on it set to -10° with a distance of 21.
Step 6: Text
I thought the icon looked a bit empty. For a lack of something better to say, I decided to simply add the name.
I used to separate Type Layers. One for Alan(size:23px) and one for Cumming (size:19px). I used the font Vladimir Script.
The Cumming was hard to see, so I added a new layer beneath both type layers and used a brush to paint a white area beneath the text. Instead of using the Gaussian Blur on the layer, I used the Motion Blur layer, I did my best to adjust the angle to the rays at 75° and with a distance of 83.
Now I was happy with the way the icon looked and saved it.
Here's a look at my rather lengthy layer palette:
(To avoid confusion: I'm not missing any layers here - anything beneath the background was were copies of layers before I used the Gaussian Blur on them)
If anything was unclear or you have further questions, feel free to ask! Also, please excuse any mistakes but I thought there would be less to write and it is past midnight by the time I got all image links to work.