1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

LoN's Signature School

Discussion in 'Creative Discussion' started by Stark, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Yep, I've found all the files I used for the Sig School on the old forums. So I figured I'd repost :)





    To begin with, meet Wilber:

    [​IMG]

    You'll be seeing him a lot from now onwards, so get to know him :) He likes bananas, or so I've heard.

    Ok, let's get the installation sorted. For some people, this'll be easy, but for others not so. I could do this in five minutes or less, but I know others who could spend hours slaving over it :p

    I'm assuming we're all on Windows here, if you're not, shout out now and I'll do my best to help you out shortly.

    To download GIMP, click here: http://downloads.sourceforge.net/gimp-w ... -setup.exe

    Save the file to your desktop, and once it's downloaded install it to wherever you wish to. I put mine in my H:// drive, but I doubt you have that :p Keep in mind where you installed it!!!! (Important! :D)



    Right... now, you -should- have a GIMP icon on your desktop or, if you chose not to have a shortcut, somewhere on your start menu. Don't open it yet! :D

    We have a few other things to get first. The first being an add-on called "GreyCStoration". Its an extremely powerful add-on that can transform an image's quality completely. Allow me to show you an example.

    Before:

    [​IMG]

    After:

    [​IMG]

    The easiest place to see the difference is her hair, just to point that out.

    Other demonstrations are here, just roll your mouse over the picture to see the difference:

    http://cimg.sourceforge.net/greycstorat ... _fire.html

    http://cimg.sourceforge.net/greycstorat ... print.html

    To download this plug-in, follow these steps:

    Click here: http://sourceforge.net/project/download ... p&11833054

    Save the file to your desktop, and then once it has done double click on it. If you know how to, extract the file. If not, then do as follows: Look for a button on the top left called "Extract all", or similar. Click that then follow the onscreen instructions. Open your extracted file, then copy the file called "GREYCstoration_gimp_pc_win32" and paste it to this directory: "...\GIMP-2.0\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins". You'll need to remember where you installed GIMP, just like I said above.



    The other thing we'll need from the internet is an assortment of brushes. From Paint, you'll know that you have a Square and a Circle Brush, of differing sizes. However, on more advanced programs such as GIMP or Photoshop, these brushes can be, prepare yourselves, any size, colour or shape. You can save a picture of yourself and use that as a brush if you so wish. These brushes are used in the same way as on paint, by painting colours or erasing to name a few functions, GIMP and Photoshop use them for much more.

    The brushes we'll need are easily found on deviantART. (www.deviantart.com)

    I'll pick out some that you probably will need, be it in beginning signatures or the later ones.

    Download them by clicking on the download button, as shown here:

    [​IMG]

    http://project-gimpbc.deviantart.com/ar ... s-70037228
    http://abikk.deviantart.com/art/Abik-s- ... -106297193
    http://harryginnymustliveon.deviantart. ... -105515131
    http://project-gimpbc.deviantart.com/ar ... s-62762572
    http://insaneisenough.deviantart.com/ar ... 1-27870855

    If you want any more, bookmark/favourite this link for future reference:

    http://browse.deviantart.com/resources/ ... s/?order=9

    These brushes will come in a .zip folder, which you extract in the same way as you did the GreyCStoration. Copy these brushes to the folder: "...\GIMP-2.0\share\gimp\2.0\brushes"



    Finally, let's open GIMP and rearrange it to show you the functions that you'll need. The default GIMP will, or should, be a bunch of icons at the top dictating the different functions, with a nice empty space under the primary and secondary (black and white by default) colours. We can, however, allow GIMP to display many other things, such as what brush you're using, in this blank space.

    Opening GIMP should bring you to a window like this: http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290 ... /gimp1.png

    To start with, click the Eraser, the red/pink square shaped thingy highlighted in the screenshot above. A new window should open with the options that the Eraser has. However, you want to click between the "Eraser <", and drag it to the dockable dialogs area. It should merge the windows together.

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290 ... /gimp2.png

    Then click File, Dialogs, Layers. Then do the same, but click Brushes instead of Layers. Next, drag the same area on the new window (between the text and the arrow at the top) to the line indicated by the red arrow on the screenshot.

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290 ... /gimp3.png

    Do this with both windows, and you should end up with a GIMP program that looks like this:

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290 ... /gimp4.png



    And for today, that's all :p I have things to do too you know :D This concludes the lesson on GIMP setup.
     
    #1 Stark, Jun 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  2. Well then. Let's cut to the chase and make your first signature. I'll be using my first signature as a guide, so we'll see how this works out :)

    For starters, you'll need to find an image that's called a render. Renders are images that have a transparent background, such as this one:

    [​IMG]

    Yes, I did have to use Solrock :)

    If you want a pokémon related Render, go to this site (Signing up not required): http://gallery.gtsplus.net/ ...they don't ask for the images, but follow their simple rule. It's not hard:
    If you want something else, check out these sites:

    http://planetrenders.net/renders/index.php
    http://www.premiumrenders.com/gallery/

    You may or may not need an account, I can't remember seeing as I've signed up to both anyway.



    Once you have your render, open GIMP.

    To get the render in GIMP, you have several options. One being, find the image in your desktop or files and right click, then click open with GIMP. This is how I do it (If GIMP isn't already open, it'll open with your image in a new window, hence why I do it. It's easy). You can also go File->Open and find it that way.

    Next, you want a new image (You don't want to make your signature over the top of your render after all :p). The way to do this is File->New. Pick the size of your signature you wish, the one I'm using here is 420 width by 90 height (420x90). Signatures usually range from about 450x150 to as small as you want. I'm now using 395x125. (For those making lots of the same size, you can change the default image size and settings in "Edit->Preferences->Default Image"). Make sure that under advanced options, you picked to fill it with what you wish to use. Any can work, I've used all 4 options.

    Pick out some of those brushes you downloaded, and brush around with black or white (If you had a white BG, or transparent use Black. If Black, use White.). Then brush with the other colour until you have a nice background coming along.

    After this, go to Colors->Colorize. Adjust the Hue, Saturation and Lightness until you have a colour that matches a colour from the render you're planning on using (at least a little, mine isn't the exact blue but it doesn't matter that much.)

    Mine came out like so:

    [​IMG]

    Next, you want to paste your render in lots and lots of times, so it fills the page. Do this like so. Make a new layer on your signature window. Select your render window, and then go Select->All. You should see a moving black/white line going round your selection. Next, Edit->Copy. Then swap over to your signature, and go Edit->Paste, then click New Layer. This will post the entire render as a new layer on your signature image. You might need to scale the render down, if so, go to Layer->Scale Layer. Enter the size you want (Note, the little chain link means that if you change one number, GIMP will change the other number so that the image does not become distorted. If you want to change both numbers yourself, click on the link so that it becomes broken. This disables this action.) and then click scale. Now, you will need to move your render around. (You might not want to scale the render, its up to you.) Now, you'll need to blur this render. The best way to blur an image is to go to Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur. This is by far and away the best way to blur an image. Blur it by about 8-14, then set this layer as overlay. This'll change the colours on your first image using the blurred render image.

    I got this before overlaying:

    [​IMG]

    And this after overlaying:

    [​IMG]

    Next, paste in your render and scale it down. Stick it where you want it with the move tool (Looks like 4 arrows, make sure that "Move active layer is checked in the tool options dock.) and click on the anchor in the layers dock.

    I'm at this now:

    [​IMG]

    Next, duplicate your render layer. You can do this by clicking the double picture frame button on the layers dialog, between the down arrow and the anchor button. After that, gaussian blur it by about 9, and set this layer to overlay. What this does its emphasise the render's dark and light areas, and make the colours more obvious.

    I'm at this stage now:

    [​IMG]

    Next, you want to add text. Click on the big A at the top to open the text tool. Click where you want, and write what you wish. I just used my name, and you probably will only use a name for a long time. I coloured mine a blue colour to go with the signature, and then I added an outline to it. The way to add an outline to your text is to, right click on the text layer in the layers dialog and click "Alpha to Selection" (You'll notice the black/white line around the text, just like when you selected the render.). Next, go to Edit->Stroke Selection. I'd recommend using a couple of pixels border.

    I got this:

    [​IMG]

    Finally, you want to add a border. If you want to know why, compare these two images and decide which is better:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To add a border, open a new layer and use the rectangle select tool (A rectangle icon believe it or not :p) to select your entire outline of your signature (You get used to this after a while ;)) and then add a 1 px Border just like you did with the text. Edit->Stroke Selection with a 1px line in black. Make sure its black!

    And you're done, hopefully! :D

    [​IMG]



    Phew, won't get the next one up for some time. It'll be more complex so I want you guys to get used to the basics first. Without a doubt it'll be after Christmas, possibly as late as the new year.

    Post your outcomes, try and best my first! :D
     
  3. Lets crank you guys up a couple of gears ;)



    Right, lets move onwards now. Most of you guys have got to grips with the brushes and the basic tools, but for now most of those will only be used to make minor adjustments as you go through. For example if an area looked to bright you might sling a dark grunge brush on a new layer above it to make the offending area darker.

    First, we'll activate the most crucial of tools for the signature maker. Music. Go ahead and do it, make sure it'll keep playing :p



    Ok, I said I was going to say how I made this signature:

    [​IMG]

    Well, be forwarned: This is 34 layers :p Doesn't mean at all that it's difficult, if you follow my guidance then it'll just -not- be a five minute job. :)

    Before we start, you'll be wanting an image to use as a background. I recommend something abstract (such as the one I used here, the lifestream. Google it if you don't know it), something urban like a cityscape, or something natural like a lake or forest. Once you have that, great. Keep it somewhere (you might want to start a folder to keep these 'stocks' in).

    The next item you'll want is some images called "C4D"s. These are images that are, well, fancy :p In short, and they're called C4Ds because most are made in a program called Cinema 4d. An example would be this:

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290/LoN_Colossus/HPNOTIQC4D2.png
    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290/LoN_Colossus/HPNOTIQEffectC4D1.jpg
    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290/LoN_Colossus/HPNOTIQFractal3.png

    Doesn't matter if the background is black, you'll be setting them on layer modes that means the black won't matter.

    You can find these on google, or other sites such as:

    http://www.premiumrenders.com/gallery/index.php?c=5
    http://planetrenders.net/renders/thumbnails.php?album=1
    http://planetrenders.net/renders/thumbnails.php?album=10

    Familiar sites? If they aren't, they should be :p



    Once you've found the images you like, we can start! :D

    Open up your favourite canvas size, and copy your background in. I used the Lifestream in the example above, and as I write this I'll be doing it as well. So as I write this I'll be using a stock from Assassin's Creed, they always have nice cityscapes :)

    Duplicate the stock layer so you have two layers, GreyC the bottom one (Filters->Enhance->GreyCstoration, leave the settings as they are) and Sharpen the top (Filters->Enhance->Sharpen, set it about 30/40 or so). Set the Sharpened layer to the Layer Mode of "Darken Only". This means that the top image will only show pixels that are darker than the ones on the image underneath, obviously Lighten Only is the reverse :)

    I've got to this:

    [​IMG]

    Next, paste in a lighter stock image than the one before (anything really as long as its lighter, I just used a lighter area of the same image from Assassin's Creed - And thus duplicated the original layer, if not you can always re-paste it). Gaussian Blur this by 30 (Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur), then Desaturate it. Desaturation will remove all colour, leaving it Greyscale (Colours->Desaturate). Set this layer on Soft Light (A similar effect to Overlay).

    I'm up to this:

    [​IMG]

    Remember, if you're image isn't up to what you think as you're going through this, you can always do something to change it! Like now, if your image is still too dark for you, add in a blank white layer and set it to Soft Light. This'll lighten the image again, and if you use your noggin you'll realise you can do the same with a black layer if its too bright already ;)

    Now add in on a new layer (generally always add in on a new layer, if in doubt.) your render. I'm using Cloud, 'cause he's frellin' awesomeness in a can. Sharpen it by the amount you choose necessary. I'm at this now:

    [​IMG]

    Next, we'll do a trick that some of you may already know, some not. It copies what YOU CAN SEE in your GIMP window into a new layer, very useful technique. Edit->Copy Visible, Edit->Paste Into, New Layer (or Layers->New Layer). Now you have a fresh layer with everything you can see on it (works well with hiding layers too, the little eye on each side).

    So you won't see any visible change, just to clear this up. Now we'll smudge the side of our render, do it all in one direction to create some flow. Find your "Vine" brush (if you sort your brush folder alphabetically, it'll be down the bottom somewhere. If you don't know what it is, it's different shades of green leaves with lines between. Looks like pondweed or whatever the plant is. Find that brush, then click the "Smudge" tool. Looks like a finger :p Next, on your Brushes Dialog find the spacing bar, and drag that to 1. This shows how often the brush will impact on the page (so if you're painting with the sparks brush, higher spacing means less sparks. Lower spacing means one almost continuous spark). Therefore our Smudge will be long and continuous, which is what we want. Smudge your render now!

    Once smudged, you'll have something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Next, put it on Lighten Only. Because most of my render is Black, I changed mine to Darken Only. It's up to you to decide which is better, here's my layer on Darken Only:

    [​IMG]

    After deciding what layer mode you're using, now you do a concept which some may think is obvious, others not. Erasing what looks bad! :D I erased the area that shows in green, and used the Sparks brush for that. I generally erase with the Sparks brush because it doesn't leave a defined eraser line, which I like.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I next went back to my original stock, found a part that's interesting (the birds in the sky) and made it a new layer on the top.

    [​IMG]

    I changed the "Opacity" (how visible a layer is) to 85% (find this under the Layer Mode setting on the Layer Dialog), and then played around with a layer mode that worked well. Dodge/Multiply, Screen, Soft/Hard Light, Lighten/Darken only would work well I'd imagine. I set mine to Multiply, and erased the bad areas.

    I erased the parts that I painted green here (to show where I erased):

    [​IMG]

    Copy Visible and Paste into a new layer again. Make sure your foreground colour is black, and background is white. (Easy way to do this: Click the little pair of squares that are black and white :p) Next, click the Gradient Tool (Black->White Square) and make sure your gradient is "FB to BG (RGB)". Then go to Colours->Maps->Gradient Map. This will colour the image with the colours from the active gradient, cool eh? :)

    I'm now at this:

    [​IMG]

    Set this layer on a Layer mode and Opacity level that works, I'd imagine Overlay at a low-ish level of Opacity.

    I'm up to this stage:

    [​IMG]

    Next, you might feel that areas of your signature will need some more "effect" to it. You might want to use a small soft brush or two in black on a new layer, set it to overlay or similar. I like to do this:

    Copy Visible, then Duplicate your new layer so you have two copy visibles. Click your top layer, and go Layers->Transform->Flip Horizontally. Now you'll have one copy visible, and one flipped the other way.

    Go to the top flipped layer, hide it by clicking the eye, and then click your unflipped layer and Filters->Maps->Displace.

    You WILL end up with a heavily distorted image (displace moves one image using another as a guide). I've got this:

    Erase the bad (probably most of it :p)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now, drag those C4Ds you had. Paste one on a new layer in a way that adds to the flow when we smudged. Set it to screen or dodge and erase what looks bad. (If the C4D colours don't go with your signature, try colourising it :) Colours->Colourise)

    Pasted in:

    [​IMG]

    Desaturated:

    [​IMG]

    Layer mode->Screen/Dodge:

    [​IMG]

    Bad erased:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Add in any more that you feel necessary. I added one more.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, you may want to smudge more. You might want to do the displacement map again, or add some more black soft brushes on soft light. Up to you. I chose to redo the displacement map:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Right, nearly done. For those of you who have splatter brushes, now's when they're handy. Those of you who don't, your loss :p Go get some!

    Open a new layer, get the splatter brush. Maybe scale it down, and splatter around on black.

    [​IMG]

    Hide this layer, then click on it again. Go Layer->Transparency->Alpha To Selection (you can also get this via right clicking on the layer on the layers dialog, and clicking Alpha To Selection. What this'll do is make a selection around everything on that layer.)

    Next, Copy Visible. This'll only Copy in the splatter selection! :D Paste it in a new layer, and move the layer around till you get what you like. Erase the bad. Try to make it flow again, as with all your effects!

    Won't do a green for where I erased this time because of the transparent splatter area.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, we are basically done with the effects. Now to colour the image. Remember way back up the tutorial we did a black/white gradient map? We use these in colour to colour our signatures. Some people like to colour at the end, other people prefer to add their colour near the start then build it up with black/white gradient maps as they go through. In this tutorial I'll show you a set of gradient maps that work well at the end.

    Copy Visible, Paste into a new layer. Duplicate this 5 times so you have 6 extra layers. Hide all these layers.

    Unhide the first duplicate (bottom of the pile of duplicates), set your colours to Blue and Yellow. Colour->Map->Gradient Map, set this layer to Colour on 30%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the second, Green and Blue. Gradient Map. Set it to Soft Light on 30%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the third, Blue and Orange. Gradient Map. Set this to Overlay on 15%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the forth, no gradient map. Set it to Value on 30%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the fifth, no gradient map. Set it to Screen on 10%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the sixth and final, no gradient map. Set it on Normal at 10%.

    [​IMG]

    If you feel you need any more colour changes, now's the time to do it. I think mine's fine how it is.

    Next, we decide if the image is best this way, or flipped. Image (not layer) -> Transform -> Flip Horizontally. (This flips all layers instead of one).

    I like mine flipped:

    [​IMG]

    Next, add text. Easiest way is pick a relevant colour to the signature (probably use the colour picker, the one next to the magnifying glass) and slap it on. The way I've been doing it recently, however, goes like this:

    Decide where you want your text. I want mine on the blue area to the left. Then, pick a simple font and write your text on an area that has colours which contrasts with your area you want the text. I'm choosing Cloud's hair in this case. Write your text there in any colour.

    [​IMG]

    Next, hide the text layer. Alpha to selection and Copy visible. Paste it on a new layer, and drag the new layer to where you wanted text. Voila! Relevant coloured text :)

    [​IMG]

    You can barely see my text, so I'm going to lighten the area a little. I brushed some sparks under the text, and then Alpha To Selectioned it. Next, Edit->Fill with FG/BG colour (whichever is white). I set that to overlay.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, how you should ALWAYS end making a signature. Copy Visible, Paste a new layer and Sharpen it! I did mine by 30.

    [​IMG]

    You can stop here and add a border, or you can do a couple more Gradient Maps.

    Copy Visible, paste the new layer down. Duplicate it twice, then hide all 3.

    Unhide the first one, Silver and White on Normal, 20%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the second, Black and White, Overlay on 65%.

    [​IMG]

    Unhide the last one, and don't do a Gradient Map, just set it to Colour on 40%.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, add your border and you're done!

    [​IMG]



    ...

    ......

    .........

    I'd swear my playlist has gone around nearly three times now, hope you guys learn something from this :p

    Oh, here's the images I used:

    Cloud, the Assassin's Creed image, and C4D 1 and C4D 2.
     
  4. Well, as promised. Sprite signatures. :) I'll show you how I made this:

    [​IMG]



    Sprite signatures are a completely different style to that of what we've been doing recently.

    Because of their small size, sprites usually have a smaller signature size. This is to keep the focus on the sprite and to not have lots of empty space.

    Again, because sprites are so small, sprite signatures usually focus MUCH more on effects than that of a normal signature that we've been doing.

    Once again, because sprites are so small, you don't want to use an image for your background. It'll draw your eyes away from the sprite itself, and as such is much easier to start off with a gradient.



    First off, find your sprite. I'm using Deoxys today, no particular reason why.

    [​IMG]

    Open up a new canvas, I'm using 350x100. Select the either the primary colour and secondary colour of your sprite (So, in the case of Deoxys, Orange and Green), or one of the colours and a different style of the same colour. I'm choosing option 2.

    Get your gradient tool out, and sling a gradient in. Make sure it's set to FG to BG (RGB) and make a gradient. Be it linear or radial, or whatever. Any works. Pick what you like best.

    [​IMG]

    You want to create some flow right from the get go. Decide where you want your sprite, see if it has any obvious flow and use the "Path" tool (Fountain pen, next to the colour picker) to draw a line. You can curve it and move it, just play around with the tool for a while until you have what you want. Once you have the path you want in the shape you want, click "Stroke Path" in the tool options Dialog. Use a similar colour to your background, but make the lines obvious. Maybe use more than one line at different widths, it's up to you.

    [​IMG]

    I erased some of the bottom of my lines, and smudged them too.

    [​IMG]

    You may wish to sling a C4D in this early, before we even have a sprite on it. Pick one that is relevantly coloured, or one that has your effects you want (desaturate it if its the wrong colour). Set it so it adds to your flow, and play with layer modes. (My URL for this is at the bottom)

    [​IMG]

    I used Multiply, at 60%, which isn't actually what I normally use :) Hence why I say, play around with the layer modes yourself.

    Now I've added in my sprite and erased some of its feet (shown in a later image :p):

    [​IMG]

    I next added in a shadow. I made it mostly by hand. What I did was, Alpha to Selection the sprite (Layer, Transparency). I made a new layer, and filled the selection with Black. I used the "Perspective" tool (looks like a blue trapezium with a pair of arrows pointing outwards and down from the bottom, near the text tool) to drag this black silhouette to look like a shadow. I then set it on overlay.

    [​IMG]

    I next added in a white to transparent radial gradient, for lighting. (To add to the whole shadow idea).

    [​IMG]

    I copied the sprite layer and dragged it to the top. I made it's layer size the same as the image (thus not cutting the room for effects) by going Layer->Layer to Image Size. (I also did this to the original sprite layer so I don't have to do it in future when I add more duplicates.)

    I then went to the Filters->Distorts->Ripple. I changed the "Period" to 16, left the rest how it was. I set it to Dodge at 50% and erased over his face and stuff.

    I repeated the above, except did it Vertical.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I duplicated the original sprite and smudged it so it'll appear in front of where his feet was. I had the settings set so that it'll appear very distorted and illegible :p

    I set it to Grain Merge at 100%.

    [​IMG]

    I added a layer of sparks and duplicated it, then displaced the same layer using itself, at the very bottom of the signature for Displacement purposes.

    Next, I copied visible and pasted a new layer. I did a Filters->Noise->Pick (Settings at 50, 50) and displaced with the displaced sparks layer.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I motion blurred a copy visible layer by 30, in an angle that goes with my flow. I then sharpened it by about 70 (so we get some defined lines). I set the layer on "Value" at 80% and erased the bad.

    [​IMG]

    I next darkened the areas around the outside with a tint of blue, because I felt like it needed something.

    [​IMG]

    I added a Blue->Orange gradient map at Overlay, 100%. I usually wouldn't use such a high level of opacity but I felt it looked good.

    [​IMG]

    I then added a Black->White gradient map at Soft Light, 100%. Again, not what I'd usually do but it worked in this scenario.

    [​IMG]

    I next did a Ripple at the same settings as it was, of a copy visible layer. I added it to Darken Only at 20% and erased the bad.

    [​IMG]

    I did another copy visible, and added a Filter->Noise->Pick at the existing settings. I then added another Ripple at the same settings, and set it to Grain Merge at 30% and erased the bad.

    [​IMG]

    I then repeated the ripple step that we first did to our sprite with some more sprite duplicates.

    [​IMG]

    I did another copy visible/motion blur and rippled the result horizontally, then set that on lighten only to 50% and erased the left side of it.

    [​IMG]

    I flipped the entire image, decided it looked best flipped and kept it flipped.

    [​IMG]

    I added text using my special method I told you a few posts back.

    [​IMG]

    Copy visibled, sharpened it, erased the bad. Blurred areas away from the focal.

    [​IMG]

    I copy visibled again, and gaussian blurred it by 3. I set it to lighten only at 70% and erased the bad.

    [​IMG]

    I added a border using my special method I also told you a few posts back, along with my text method. With the Cloud tutorial. I think :p If not, its in the video.

    [​IMG]

    I closed the signature off with a final Black/White Gradient map on Soft Light at 30%.

    [​IMG]



    And that is that! The completed signature is here, along with the URL to my C4D and sprite I used.

    [​IMG]

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290 ... actal2.png

    http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x290 ... /386fr.png



    Hope this helps at least one person, then it's been worthwhile :) Happy sigging!
     
  5. I thought I might make a new tutorial to go in here :)

    I recently made a signature for Carmen, she’s a regular here if you didn’t already know, and it actually turned out really nice. The making of it covers some new techniques I haven’t gone over in previous tutorials so I thought I’d make a new tutorial for it.

    Here’s the finished product:

    [​IMG]



    This style of signature focuses on using images that already exist to make the effects. In here I used images of clouds for the background, and a couple of fire stocks to emphasize the flow behind the render, Jumpluff. That was pretty much it, its deceptively simple.

    First off, you’ll want several images to start off with. A background that fits your render would be a start, and some more effect-y images as well. Decide on the subject first, and then you’ll have to think about the images you want to use.

    For example, if you had say… a Squirtle. (:D) You’d probably want an ocean stock or something similar, and maybe some more faster-flowing water for the effects. You’ll have to experiment for yourself; it’s not something that is cookie-cutter so to speak.

    I don’t actually have the images I used for this one any more, so sorry about that guys :( Otherwise I’d post them for you.



    Open up a new canvas, I'm using 355x135. Copy your background stock you’re planning on using in, and resize/scale for your needs.

    [​IMG]

    I next pasted in my render. This was originally from a TCG scan, so I had to cut the Jumpluff out myself. The edges of the card actually cut off some of the cotton spores, so I also had to reconstruct those using the circle tool and some gradients. I’ll go through that if you guys need it with your specific image, but I doubt you will.

    [​IMG]

    From here, the render doesn’t really look like it suits the background. It looks a little out of place. To fix this, I duplicated the render layer and ran a gradient map on it. I used a dark and light colour that I picked from the background layer using the colour picker tool, which can be found in between the path tool and the zoom tool. It looks something like an eyedropper or a pipette.

    I set this new layer to colour on 40%.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I decided to give the image a sense of depth, to make the Jumpluff look like it belonged there even more. I duplicated the original clouds stock to a new layer in front of the render layers and moved it around to where I liked, before erasing most of it.

    [​IMG]

    I then started to add the fire stocks I mentioned earlier, to add some effect and flow to the image. The first one is just behind the background duplicate layer (so in front of the renders), set to Screen on 30%. Obviously erase what doesn’t work and whatnot.

    [​IMG]

    The second stock I added behind the render layers, but in front of the background layer. This was set to Screen on 100%; and again erase what doesn’t work with your flow and image.

    [​IMG]

    Next, I added the text. This was all lower case, as you can see below. I used a colour from the signature (if necessary use a Layer->New from Visible to get a relevant colour from your signature).

    I positioned the text layer underneath the first fire stock and the duplicated cloud stock, to add to the depth effect.

    There isn’t a real way I can tell you to do text, however :( It’s an awful lot of practice. I used a font here called Chaparral Pro, which I think I found at www.dafont.com. I quite like using Serif style fonts, though I’ve also found that some chunkier ones work nicely as well. Even Arial on a small size can be a great effect. You just have to experiment with the colours and word positioning and size.

    It can help an awful lot if you split the text up onto separate layers, so then you can move them around and duplicate. Just generally experiment. I had the words “drifting”, “on the”, and “winds” all on separate layers in this example.

    [​IMG]

    After I added the text, the next thing I did was lighting. The lighting hit the clouds and the Jumpluff in a way such a way that you can tell the lighting comes from the top left. I added a radial gradient on a new layer above everything else, from the same creamy colour I used for the font, at Screen on 60%.

    [​IMG]

    Next I added another gradient in the same place, smaller this time. I used white instead of the cream colour as well. This was set to Screen at 40%.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, I added two gradient maps to draw the signature’s colours together more. The first was Purple -> Cream, set to Soft Light at 40%.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The second was just a Black -> White one, set to Soft Light at 30%.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To finish everything off, I added a white 1px border.

    [​IMG]

    And that’s it! I said it was simple.

    Obviously you can change things to your own liking as you follow this through. Sharpen and blur as necessary or change the gradient maps… things that work for your own creation.

    Whether this was a one-off, or whether this will work being repeated by you guys I'm not sure. But I wrote the tutorial anyway, so you can at least give it a shot :)

    Enjoy ^^



    Edit: Oh, if you guys have any requests for more tutorials then feel free. If you see a signature I've made which you like and want to know how I made it, let me know. I'll consider writing a tutorial for it. There's a lot of my stuff on my deviantART account, which can be found here. Don't be shy, ask away if you feel you want to :)
     
  6. I was requested to make a pair of tutorials recently, one for each of these images:

    [​IMG]
    http://loncolossus.deviantart.com/art/N ... -197141659

    [​IMG]
    http://loncolossus.deviantart.com/art/S ... -197288468



    The main thing I kept in mind with these two images was I knew my colour scheme and text I wanted before even placing the image where I wanted it. I knew the specific quotes and colours. I wanted yellow and "Just a nobody" for the Roxas image, and pink or purple and "Isn't it time you did the forgiving?" on the Aerith one.

    Both images were 400x140, the canvas size isn't really relevant but it'll give you a general idea of what mine was.

    The fonts I used were "Microsoft PhagsPa" and "Candara" for each signature respectively. I just found them on my Windows 7 by default, so I assume they might be around the internet somewhere? I wouldn't have a link for them though, apologies :(



    Open up your canvas and follow along~ I'll start with the Roxas signature and do the Aerith one right afterwards ^^



    Beginning with the yellow signature first :)

    Firstly I placed the image and used it as its own background, later scaling it down to the size I wanted in a new layer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I added a clipping mask, colouring it with the colours I had in mind previously (Yellow)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I added some smudging on a new copy visible layer, setting it to an appropriate level of "Lighten Only". I used 100%, it might not be best for you to try that. Do what works for you ^^

    [​IMG]

    Then I tweaked the lighting, adding a transparent/yellow radial gradient and some darkening on one side.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Added a C4D (Again, yellow) and increased the radial gradient I added in the previous step.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next, the text. A lot of people I know say my text is good, some people including myself think it needs work. But what I do is try to split all the words in different layers, that way I can easily move them all around and decide what looks right. Try lots of different fonts, even if you don't think the font would usually work. Keep trying things. I spend about 50% of the time I make a sig on the text and font and colouring. I'm currently trying to make the most important words brighter or more significant in some way.

    [​IMG]

    I added a black -> yellow gradient map on color at 30%, and then a blue -> yellow gradient map on lighten only at 30%.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Increased the lighting again.

    [​IMG]

    Sharpened the entire image a little, then the focal point was sharpened even more on a new layer.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I then added a Black -> White gradient map on Soft Light at 20%, and added a border to finish it up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Next, this is how I went about doing the pink one :)

    I posted in a random stock first, putting an interesting bit of it in the middle. I blurred it as it was quite sharp already.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I put my render in next, adding some smudging and blurring around the side to help it blend in. I was sure to place the render in a way that matched with the light on the stock already.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I next added two C4Ds to add some more effects, only subtle effects mind you.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I decided to add text, fairly early on this time. Again, the significant parts were made brighter and this time bigger as well. Be sure to split your words up in different layers so you can move them around, I had around 8 text layers in this .xcf file I believe.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next I added lighting, working with the render and stock.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Added a purple -> pink gradient map on soft light, 100% seemed to work this time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After the gradient map, I did some serious colour management with layers of soft brushing and a lot of white/black brushes on soft light. If you struggle to see the difference between this image and the previous one, open them both in separate tabs and switch between them. Mostly I focussed on *her* left side, the light on her shoulder, and the dark side to *her* right.

    [​IMG]

    Then I sharpened it and added a simple 1px border :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Less in depth than the tutorials I've done before, but there wasn't any new techniques in this tutorial. They can all be found in previous ones, just scroll up ^^;

    Feel free to post any outcomes you get from these in here, if you so desire. I'll help you guys out.
     
  7. Rumor says (By rumor I mean Blisk) that this is a place to post for critique, and I'd really appreciate some critique. To be honest I've been hoping the sigfairy (LoN) would stop in and donate his two cents on some of my sigs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease.
     
    #7 Kalseng, Mar 31, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  8. Well, uh, if you scroll up maybe a minuscule amount to the bottom of the post above yours - I do say exactly that myself :p

    [​IMG]
    • Colour scheme = pretty much nailed.
    • The flow is great and defined.
    • I think the depth is nice, the focal (although I'd argue is far too central) is sharpened
    • The text is interesting, but I feel the placement of it combined with where the focal is makes my eyes go all over the signature - I have no idea where to look.

    [​IMG]
    • Colours are well used, again.
    • Text is great, I like the smaller size - I think it works well here.
    • I actually never managed to understand how to successfully pull off a vector signature, and I think you gave it a good shot. If that was what you were after, that is ^^
    • If you were after making a vector- or abstract-style signature, you should give these a look over - I don't think I can inspire you guys much in this style as I haven't done much of it, but these images are some of my favourites in this style :)
     
  9. Hello LoN, long time? ;)

    Could you critique my recent banners? Thanks a lot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Of course!



    [​IMG]
    • Probably my favourite of the three.
    • It has good colours, neat lighting, and a pretty nice flow too I think - subtle :)
    • The desaturated clipping mask on the right side works nice too, I imagine there would have been a lot of empty space otherwise. However, there still is some empty space in here - Sprite tags usually need some clipping masks or C4D's to help try and combat this.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    • These two signatures I can't quite say have the usual depth/flow/etc that the standard sig has, they're more of a photomanipulation than normal - But that doesn't take away from them, people do this :)
    • The first is the better of the two, I find - the main issue I have is with the second, the lens flare isn't corresponding with the lighting of the stock which I find throws it off. The stock lighting is coming from behind the trees in the middle - I think changing that to all line up would probably make it better, hiding the lens flare behind the trees with layer masks or something might be the optimal idea.



    Hope that helps you out, Vshan - feel free to post if you have any issues or don't understand what I was meaning :)
     
  11. Hi! I have never really been accustomed to graphics like this - the site I usually dwell on we do things differently. I have lots of examples if you wanna see how different it is. >_>

    Well, I came for some critique on this thing:

    [​IMG]
     

Share This Page