Louise (unfloopy) wrote,

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tutorial: Bright icon

My good friend icrush asked me for a tutorial for a specific icon, and it didn't make anysense to me to write it for her and not share it with everyone else, so...

This tutorial was written for and with PSP 9. As far as I can remember, it probably works with other versions of PSP. I have never had any experience with PS, so don't ask me about it. But I could bet it works there too.

This is the icon we'll be making:
Everwood | Bright | shattered dreams

More examples of this technique? here

Step #1: Pick a pic
We'll start out with the picture, of course. I chose this nice Chris Pratt picture I probably found at everwoodonline.com.

Step #2: Overlaying the night away
I usually crop the picture first, but, this time around, it was different. So we're working with the big picture for now. So right now, we have only one background layer, which is the original Chris Pratt picture, since we did nothing so far. Okay, good.

Duplicate the background picture and set the blend mode to overlay. You'll get louder colors. Do it again, and again. So far you have four layers of the same image, all set to overlay. Therefore, you have the same picture you had when we started, except now the colors are brighter.

Here's how your layer pallete is supposed to look like so far:
Layer Pallete

Step #3: Let it burn a little
I created a new layer and filled it with a gradient I made a long time ago. Since I have no clue how to share gradients, I'm just gonna let you all get it as a jpg image. I know, that sucks. If you know how to share a gradient, let me know and I'll gladly do it for you.
So, yeah, new layer with the gradient. Set it to dodge.
Then make a new layer, fill it with the same gradient. Set it to burn, 50% opacity.

Here's how your layer pallete is gonna look like after that:
Layer Pallete

Step #4: Back to the original coloring
Okay, so the effect is cool, but it all looks too yellow and too bright and just plain noisy for my taste. So, what do you do? You duplicate the background layer (the one with the Chris picture). Get it to the top of all other layers and set the blend mode to color legacy.

And, of course, new layer pallete:
Layer Pallete

Step #5: How to erase without your eraser
So the color looks good, but I don't really want all the trees and stuff at the top of the picture. However, thing is, I'm a layer-whore. I don't like to merge layers unless I absolutely have to. I'm afraid something might go wrong and I'll have to re-do everything, so I keep every little thing in a different layer, so I can just delete the one layer if something goes wrong. So... instead of merging everything and simply erasing what I don't want, I have to go and create a new layer, then start painting white the areas I don't want.

Confused? Then just merge the layers and erase the trees out.

I don't think we need a layer pallete for that.

Step #6: Time to go 100x100
Remember what I said about only merging when I absolutely have to? So, this is the time. Merge your layers. Now it's time to crop.
What I like to do is: create a new file. Copy the entire picture we worked on earlier and just move it around until you like something. I liked it when it looked like this:

It's not bad just like that. But I felt like it was missing something. So I went back to the big worked picture, and resized it to 82x110. Pasted as a new layer on the 100x100 file. Moved it to the right, so it would take the place of the white space. I also set the blend mode to darken. It now looks like this:
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Now I'm happy.

Step #7: Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart
...that means it's time for text.

I wrote "dreams" in:
------> font: Arial
------> size: 20
------> kerning: 10
------> anti-alias: sharp
------> background color: white
------> foreground color: transparent
I positioned it to the right, and to the bottom. I let a good part of the "d" unreadable because the background was also white, and a I also cut off a good part of the "s". The bottom part of the text is also let outside the icon margins. This is all so the text is a little more interesting.

Then I wrote "shattered":
------> font: Carpenter ICG
------> size: 12
------> kerning: 10
------> anti-alias: sharp
------> background color: white
------> foreground color: transparent
I postioned it over the "dreams", starting over the letter "e", so it wouldn't be over the white strap in Chris' shirt. Half of the last "e" and the "d" got outside the icon margins, and, like I said before, that's not bad.

Okay, so now we're done. This is what your icon is supposed to look like:
Everwood | Bright | shattered dreams

This icon is sharable, as long as I get credit for it. Remember, icon tutorials are supposed to make you learn a couple of things you might not know. However, you're not supposed to start making icons that looked exactly like mine and claim them as yours. The purpose of this is so you learn something new and find your own way of doing it without looking like a copy.
Tags: iconmaking, tutorial
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