Anja (theriakx) wrote in realmofsilence,

It's TUTORIAL time

sstarlz asked me to make a tutorial for this icon:
Photobucket from my latest batch

.I never save psds, so the outcome is a bit different. - If anyone of you want the icon exactly recreated, tell me and I'll give my best.
.In all of my life I can remember making only ONE tutorial and it wasn't what I'd call professionally done and the icon was sh*t, so I sincerely hope, I'm making sense.
.finally: my version of Photoshop is in German, so I might not use the right terms all the time
.I'm using Photoshop CS4 extended, but it should work on earlier version, as well :)

From #1 and #2 to Photobucket
(caps taken from enchantedfleur - thank you!)

To me "blending icons" are the fastest to make, because even before opening Photoshop I know exactly what I want to achieve and either it instantly works or I realize 5 minutes later that everything looks a mess and the icon will be deleted. When I make "normal" icons I mostly just experiment and try this texture and that, this style and that one and in 50% of these cases I'll delete them after about 45 minutes of work. You see, "blending icons" are fast and effective.
I doubt this is helping anybody, so let's start before I drabble about even more confusing things. :P

1)First I resized the pictures (#1: to 222*125 #2: to 196*95), dragged them into a 100x100 pixel canvas and set both layers on screen. Right, I'm using 100x100 from the very beginning. It is incredibly frustrating when you are putting a lot of effort into a detail and you can't even see it on the final icon!
Your icon should look like this now:

2)Now you reposition both pictures until the result pleases you:

3)Picture 2 doesn't cover up all areas, so I used the smudge tool to change that. You don't have to be that accurate in this case, because the empty space is only noticeable in the frame of the icon.

4)You can already desaturate your icon, as it doesn't make that much sense to play around with the colouring, if you can't see it in the final graphic, right?:
New Fill Layer->Saturation->White
Easy? Easy!

Now the difficult part of making this icon or black&white icons in general starts: you have to find the right contrast.
4)I've grouped the layers (all three of them *g*), instead of just flattening everything, so you still can make changes later. :)
Duplicate this group (or the flattend layer)and set it to Screen mode to lighten it up a bit.
It's already quite nice, isn't it?

5)I need a bit more contrast and as I am lazy (and sometimes like the result) I use Auto levels.
->New Adjustment Layer->Levels->Auto
and it looks nice! (What a surprise haha)

6)I wanted the right part of his face drastically bright and used a Curves layer
->New Adjustment Layer->Curves
Point 1: Input: 161 Output: 131
Point 2: Input: 203 Output: 159

Now we mask out the other part of his face and the frame.

7)To increase the contrast in the right part of the icon, I used another Levels layer.
These are the settings: 56-1,37-226
I masked out the unwanted parts again and now you icon should look like this:

8)It's time to paint random white blurbs (using the default brushes) everwhere you like.

9)To sharpen the icon a bit, I like to use the Highpass filter. :)
Merge everthing, duplicate it, use Highpass, set the Highpass Layer to Soft light and on Opacity 38%.
And you get this:

10)You can use Levels to darken the final icon, if you want to. :)

Thank you for reading and have a nice evening! ♥

Tags: tutorial
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