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  #11  
Old 05-17-2010, 09:18 PM
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Applying gradients to the text:

So after you have something that you are happy with, it is time to move onto something a little more complicated and that is adding a gradient over the text you have created to make everything more sleek and professional looking. This particular effect took me a long time to figure out but is really simple to master and the use well. So, with what we have already created selected, hit “control + shift + n” and it will give us a new layer above our text. I want you then to hit “G” and it should select the gradient tool. It may be hidden under the pain bucket tool though and if it is, you will have to go and get it yourself. With the gradient tool selected though, the work can begin.

What we are going to do first in double-click on what I have illustrated for you to bring up the gradient options:



Once you have done this, you should be met with this dialogue box (minus the red rings):



The bigger red ring indicates how many different stops you are going to have as your colour changes. I like to use three a lot and will be using it for this example. However, please not that as you get further along to the right of the row and onto the second row, more stops become available, allowing you to add more stops and ultimately, more colour to the gradient you are creating. Now, if you are following along with me, select the gradient I have chosen and now concentrate on the smaller rings at the bottom. These rings indicate the stops and the colours that you will use. Double-click on the one to the far left and this box will be brought up:



I am choosing another lovely pin colour and hitting OK once I am happy with the result. Notice how it shows how the colour is changing. So, go ahead and pick two more colours that you are happy with and hit enter.

What you will have now, is an empty layer above the layer with your text on it. Go to your canvas and draw a line horizontally across it. It can be any length and it should give you your desired colours predominantly on top of everything else. It should look something like this:



Please not that I have switched the colours around by drawing the line from right to left and not left to right. You can also do this to the same end by drawing up to down instead of down to up. Either way, you should end up with something similar to that which is shown above. The next part is the only tricky part. Hold “Control + Alt” and hover over the line between the gradient layer and the text layer. Unfortunately, I can’t show you this step because a screen shot filters out the mouse. It will have a little padlock sign though and once you have that between the two, left click and it will lock the two layers together, giving you this:



I’m pretty sure that is what is called a clipping mask with a gradient and it can also be done using an image, if you so prefer. Instead of putting the gradient on the new layer, try putting an image on there and following the same padlocking technique and it will give you a similar result in the end.

Mission accomplished.

Thanks for reading, folks and happy sigging!
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2010, 07:23 PM
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OK, so having been requested to do a signature tutorial on my Randy Orton sig that I am sporting at the time of writing this, I will attempt to recreate the steps I took to get this effect and show you how, with a little effort and experimentation, you can make something like this:



SO, what is pictured above is the desired effect that we want and I will try my best to come up with the same thing as is pictured. However, I don’t it saved as a PNG so some of the steps may be a little different but that is the strength of Photoshop and digital arts in general. So, without further ado, let us get on with trying to recreate something like what is pictured. This time, however, I will be using Triple H as a subject and will hopefully have similar results. Right now, I don’t imagine there will be any problems with that though.

Creating the Sig:

Now, the first thing you want to do is open a canvas that is 396 pixels by 196 pixels. After you have done this, makes sure that the canvas is black and also make sure that you have downloaded the sparkle brushes that can be found in a past tutorial. Once you have those, you are ready to start. Take out some sparkle brushes and make your foreground colour white and go to work painting on some sparkles. Once you have done that, you should have something that looks like this:



However, I will stress that this is not a necessity. I do like this though because the sparkle brushes work really well with colour overlays when we get there. So, what is above should be used as a guideline only and please feel free to do what you want and experiment a little to get the effects that you see in your head. That goes for all of the steps that I am covering. Try and experiment and you will have a wonderful grasp of what looks great and what doesn’t. So once, you have something like that, you will need to import the first picture that you are going to use. Generally, I go with what is going to be “untorn”, so to speak. I will be using a Triple H render from PSD dreams for all of the images and those will be listed.

The first render can be found here:

http://psd-dreams.de/render.php?image_id=17986

So once, you have that, import the render onto your canvas and position it at the top of the page. Be careful to plan out what you are trying to achieve when you do this and ensure that you are future proofing your sig, By that, I mean that you are leaving enough room for later steps and ensuring that nothing will be in the way when we get there. So, once I did this, I had something that looked like this:



Please notice that I have left enough space on both the left and right of the render to make the rest of the future content have enough space to flow. Once you have this though, you are ready to continue. I am going to be using a green colour scheme for the Triple H sig as opposed to the red of the Randy Orton sig. Feel free to use whatever colour you want though. Now, what you want to do is hit “control + J” to duplicate the layer and then take out a soft edged brush of around 45 pixels and paint over Triple H. This will give you something that looks like this:



Now, what you want to do is smudge that around a little and you should come up with something that looks a little like this:



Now you have something that hopefully resembles this, you need to move the copied layer under the visible Triple H layer. It is important to note that I used a chalk brush that I got with Photoshop to create the smudge and you too can do it by following the smudging tutorial that Doc set up above. After you have that, place the copied layer under the Triple H layer and set the copy to “Colour Burn” and you should have something that looks like this:



Now, that already looks pretty groovy but we are far from done. The next thing you want to do is save this as both a PNG file and a PSD file. That way, if you want to change anything, you can simply open the PSD and edit it. I wont be doing that though because I fucking rock and I also like to see what I can do without going back. So, save it as both and open the PNG file.

Now, the first thing I am going to do with this PNG file is mess with the levels, add a photo filter and a gradient map. I am sure I have covered all of those before and so I won’t do it again. However, I will add that I am trying to make it dark as possible whilst still being sharp and not too dark that you cannot make anything out. If you are doing the same as me though, you will want to do these steps on new layers and after applying the image to those layers, reducing the opacity and setting the to overlay. So, here is what I have after doing those three, unessential, steps:



***More to come***
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Last edited by Dave : 05-21-2010 at 07:27 PM.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2010, 07:27 PM
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You can already see that there is just a much more dynamic and sharpened picture that will flow well with the rest of the sig. Now, I am going to save what I have as a PNG and a PSD file and do the same as I did before, opening the PNG file after I have done this. Now, what I want to do is immediately duplicate the active layer and make the bottom layer, probably labelled “background” completely black and add a bit more canvas to it that will act as the border. It is essential to do this now as it will make things much easier down the line. So, with the black background layer active, hit “control + alt + c” to bring up the canvas dialogue box and make it 400 pixels by 200 pixels. You should have something that looks like this:



Now that you have that, it is time to go and select the other two renders that will flank the main render in the centre. I will pick two but do not feel that you have to pick the same two. I will be going with these two:

http://psd-dreams.de/render.php?image_id=1956

and

http://psd-dreams.de/render.php?image_id=8782

With those being chosen, it is time to go back to the original picture and select the top-most layer. Now, you want to click the button that adds a layer mask. That button should be on your layer panel and be right next to the “fx” button. Once you have done this, make sure that the layer mask is white and that you have a foreground colour of black. You should have this:



Now, by clicking on what is inside of the bottom circle, it will give you what is inside the bigger one at the top. You will then need to double-click on what is inside the top-most circle and then hit enter when the dialogue box pops up. You are now on the layer mask and will be painting on top of it. Now, with black selected as your foreground colour, go to your brushes panel and find the tear brushes and start painting on.

You can find those brushes here:

http://liminalstate.deviantart.com/a...h-set-26245732

I got something that looks like this:



Now, I know that that looks like a bit of a mess at the moment but it will become clear in a minute. Now you have that, you need to click on the layer with the layer mask on it and hit the “fx” button and select stroke. Make it one pixel and in white. Then, go back into your fx panel and get drop shadow. Mess around with that until you have it looking like you want it to and hit OK. Once you have that, go around the bits you don’t like with the eraser and you should end up with something that looks like this:



Now you have that, it is time to import the remainder of your pictures underneath the layer masked layer. What you should be looking to accomplish, is something that resembles this in your layers panel:



Now that you have that, you are almost done and done well. Now, just reposition things to your liking and you should have something that resembles this:



Now you have that, it is time to save the whole thing again and open the PNG file. You basically have what you want now but I am going to go to town with more gradient maps, burn and dodge tools and another photo filter. However, as a I said, these are not crucial but I tend to think that what is on the bottom should look pretty dark at this point. So, after messing around with a lot of the adjustments, I ended up with something like this:



Now that I have that, I am only going to add some text and a few more borders to show everything and we are all done. This is what I ended up with:



Congratulations and happy sigging.
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Last edited by Dave : 06-03-2010 at 09:58 PM.
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2010, 08:27 PM
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Hello again and welcome to another great sig tutorial brought to you by me and WrestleZone Forums. In this tutorial, we will be using some more advanced techniques and I will also be showing you some of the uses that C4D renders can have on a signature. Over the last couple of days, I have been using C4D renders a lot more so I can bring you this great tutorial to assist you in the future. As far as I know, C4D renders are pretty recent in the world of Digital graphics but I could be wrong. Nevertheless, I only recently tried to get used to them and see what I could come up with. With that in mind, let’s get to work, amigos!

As always, links to the images and renders I use in this tutorial will be listed for you to follow along with. However, please feel free to post your results in your threads and leave any feedback in mine for this tutorial.

Today, we will be making a beastly Batman sig and here is what the resultant sig will likely look like:



Right, so first thing is first. Lets get the render that we are going to be working from:

http://psd-dreams.de/render.php?image_id=20434

Now we have that we can get on with making the signature. So, the first thing you want to do is open up your render on to a black canvas. I will be using a canvas that is 394 x 194 pixels for this task. Once you have done that, you should have something that looks like this:



Once you have that we need to work on our background. Now recently, I have been working with the sparkle brushes a lot and you could probably tell that from the sigs that line this thread. However, for a task like this, that is not really the effect we are looking for. With that in mind, paste in your render once more and keep it the original size. Move it around the canvas behind the render we already have and make sure that it covers the full canvas. You could even rotate them for more effect like I will be doing. Once you do that, you should have something like this:



To achieve what I have, I first put in the render and rotated it to the left and then rotated the second one to the right. Now, we have our background base done, what we want to do is make them the one layer. So, grab however many layers make up the area behind your render and merge them together. By this point, you should only have two layers and one of them should be your render layer and the other should be your background layer. With your background layer selected, we are going to go to:

Quote:
Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur

Settings:-

Radius – 2.0 Pixels
Now what we are going to do is a little bit more complicated. I want you to duplicate the background layer that you have (using Control + J) and then going to:

Quote:
Filter > Liquify
Once you have that, I want you to use the turbulence tool and just smudge the hell out of that layer. Make sure that all the canvas is covered with something though before you click OK. Once you have that, set that layer to “Soft Light” and reduce the opacity as is appropriate for you. I am going to reduce it to around 20 percent for this task and then merge the two background layers that you should have too. Once we have done that, you are ready to use your C4D layer.

Now, here is a quick note. I will be using PlanetRenders.net as my source of C4D’s but you can get them from all over the place. I am using a rendered C4D for this but typing “C4D” into google will give you just the same results. Please also note that if you are following my tutorial and attempting the same result, you will need to be a member of PlanetRenders.net to download the same C4D.

After some searching, I have decided that I will be using this C4D:

http://planetrenders.net/renders/dis...up&cat=0&pos=0

So click on the thumbnail of the fractal C4D and it should bring up the actual image. You will need to save that to your computer before opening it up in Photoshop. Import the C4D onto your sig and place it where you want to have the flow. I like it behind Batman and I ended up with something that looks like this:



Once you have something like this, it is time to set it’s blending mode. I like “Colour Burn” for this instance, so I am going to leave it on that. However, feel free to use whatever you think looks best and play around with the opacities. Also, if there is something that you don’t like, feel free to erase it. After that, I am going to put in another C4D render and this time, I am going to use a render that seems to add some depth to your sig. After some searching, I decided to use this one:

http://planetrenders.net/renders/dis...lbum=10&pos=19

What you want to do now, is use the same technique as before with the previous fractal render. Open it up in Photoshop, resize as appropriate and set that to “Linear Light”. After you have done that, you will want to erase some of the C4D. I am erasing what is on the left of the C4D and leaving what is on the right. Once you have done that, you should have something that looks like this:



Now, immediately you can see the difference that the C4D’s have made to the overall look of the signature. Everything looks like it flows much better and more depth is evident. After I have done that, I am going to duplicate my Batman render and set that on motion blur. Set the duplicated layer to something like “Colour Dodge” or whatever you prefer and merge the two render layers. Then merge the background layer with the two C4D layers and you should have this:



Now what you are going to do is take out your brush tool. Get a 65 pixel, soft edged bush and add a few dots of any colour that you feel fits in with the flow of your signature. I will be choosing a light blue as I feel the lighter colours work best. However, feel free to choose whichever ones you want. Add a few dots (on a new layer) to anywhere on the sig and set them to “soft light” and you should have something that looks like this:



I added some light marks to the left and right side of his cape, his chest and lastly the top, left-hand side of his mask to accentuate the light sources. Now, what we are going to do is apply the image. So go to:

Quote:
Image > Apply Image
And then:

Quote:
Blur > Gaussian Blur
With the same setting as before. What you then need to do is set that layer to soft light and erase anything that looks bad or ugly. For me, that is a couple of things but nothing too major. Once you have that, we are ready to add another C4D. After more searching, I will be using this one:

http://planetrenders.net/renders/dis...lbum=10&pos=26

Follow the same instructions as before and import that bad boy into the sig. Now, for this C4D, I had to do some editing. I first set it to “Linear Dodge” and then reduced the opacity to around 30 percent. After that, I erased everything that was either, to the left of my Batman render, or on top of it. Once you have done that, you should have something that looks like this:



More To Follow
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2010, 08:29 PM
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Now, we are going to add a gradient map. So, make a new layer and go to:

Quote:
Image > Apply Image
And then

Quote:
Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map
For this, I will be using a black to white gradient map but you can choose any colours that you find nice enough. I am then going to set it to “Luminosity” and drop the opacity to around 80 percent. Now, we are going to add some light sources to this sig and you can do that by making a new layer and then choosing a bright colour. Something off-white is the best, so I am going to go for a pale blue colour. Take out your brush and brush on some light before setting it to “Screen” and reducing the opacity to around 50 percent. Then, we are going to do the same with black on a new layer and brush over the parts where you don’t want any light. This time, I am going to leave it on normal but reduce the opacity again, to around 50 percent. Once you have done that, you should have something that looks like this:



Now, we are going to add another C4D layer that will make the flow of the sig better. I will be adding this one:

http://planetrenders.net/renders/dis...lbum=10&pos=30

Again, you want to place it on there and erase anything that you think looks bad. You can set it to whatever you want but I am going to be setting it to “Colour Dodge” and then reducing the opacity down to around 50 percent once more. Once you have done that, you should have something that looks like this:



Now, create a new layer and fill it with black or a deep blue. Take out your brush tool and reduce the size of the stroke to something like 7 or 8 and add some dots on there. Then, put that layer on “Linear Dodge” and go to:

Quote:
Filter > Blur > Motion Blur
And set the settings to something like 20 or so. It should come up nice and flow…ish, or something. Anyway, it should look like this:



Again, I am going to add another C4D and see how it comes out. For the sake of following me, I will be using this one:

http://planetrenders.net/renders/dis...lbum=10&pos=24

And following the same procedure as before. This time, I will be setting it to “Soft Light” and then reducing the opacity to 30 percent. Then, I am going to add some more light and dark shades to the signature. To do this, I will be using the same technique as I did before by taking two new layers and filling the with white and black and setting them to different blending modes. After you have done that, you should have something like this:



Next, what you need to do is create a new layer and apply the image once again. This time go to:

Quote:
Filter > Noise > Add Noise
I would urge you to keep the amount of noise to a minimum but it’s your sig. I went for a really low amount and set the layer to “Overlay” before reducing the opacity to around 30 percent. Next, what you need to do is add three new adjustment layers. The first one, is a black to white gradient map. The second adjustment layer should be a purple to orange gradient map. The last adjustment layer should be a curves layer and just try and darken it up. The gradient maps should be set to “Luminosity” and the curves layer should be set to normal and have a reduced opacity. You should end up with this:



Now, all that remains is to add a border and a tag to the sig and we are all done! Here is what I had:



Congrats and happy Sigging!
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  #16  
Old 03-28-2011, 09:01 AM
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OK, so as you might expect, the first thing you want to do is create a canvas with a filled out background. I made my canvas 400x300 because it fits the rules of this board and it also gets a nice poster size for the signature. Anyway, once I did that, I filled the canvas with a pale yellow colour. It should look like this:

Click for Spoiler:


Once you have that, you then need to take a new layer and start working on the brushing part of the signature. It took me a while to find some good brushes but I eventually got some that would work with this effect. Iuf you have your own, then fantastic. If not, here is the link for the download.

http://myphotoshopbrushes.com/brushes/id/225

Once you have them, brush one of them on at full size and see how it goes. I chose red because that was the colour that was in the sample that was given to me by the person who requested this tutorial. So, I will be using red from this point on. Either way, it should look like this:

Click for Spoiler:


See, pretty simple, I am sure you will agree. Next, we need to find a render. For all the renders I have tried, this should work. However, you should try and find one with less intricate details for the best effect here. Something with flowing individual locks of hair will not work basically. Still, I chose a render of Bruce Springsteen for no apparent reason. This was the render I used:

http://psd-dreams.de/render.php?imag...04&mode=search

You can see that this render already has a nice amount of contrast between the highlights and shadows and that is what you are looking for in the best case scenario. It also doesn't have so much colour that it will mess with the next step. The next step, possibly the hardest step for some, is managing to turn this render into a bi-coloured render that would fit into the style of the signature. I must admit that I had to fiddle with a couple of things until I found out how to do it. I knew it was possible though and managed it eventually. So, paste in your render and resize it how you like. I had something like this:

Click for Spoiler:


This part is the part that gets people all the time. What you need to do is duplicate the render and then go to Filter > Sketch > Stamp. It should be noted that your foreground and background colours will be taken into account here. So, have your foreground colour set as the colour you made your background and then set your background colour to a deep grey. Hit OK when it appears and you should have something like this:

Click for Spoiler:


It should be noted that I added a stroke of 15 to the render so that it stood out a little more against the background. Feel free to make it how you feel though. If you like it without the stroke, then keep it that way. Now, as you can see, the text might become a problem in the render. However, I have the easiest way of getting rid of it and it wont be a problem any more. Take out your marquee tool and select an area at the bottom of the signature. I covered all of the text and then filled it with a deep grey colour. When you have did this, you will need to have something along these lines:

Click for Spoiler:


Now, at this stage, you are almost done. I decided that I wanted more shadow down the right side and all I did was take out a soft brush on 9 pixels and brush in what I though would look best. I then put the text in and this is what it gave me:

Click for Spoiler:


Now add a big ass border to that canvas, I used 20 pixels, and you are done. Not as hard as it could have been, was it?
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