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Lucent's New Signature Tutorial [#2] - PSD INCLUDED

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Lucent, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    Hello everyone =D! I'm now making my second signature tutorial :)

    This tutorial is slightly more advanced than my previous one and I probably won't be explaining how to do certain things that I've already covered in other tutorials so if you haven't already, you might want to check out my first tutorial or Dimitra's Tutorial first.

    Moving on, lets go ahead and start up photoshop.

    I've recently grown fond of documents sized 380x130, but as always the image size is up to you. Do leave the background transparent though.

    Okay first of all we're going to need to select a render to use.
    I uploaded a package of 117 High Quality Anime Renders to use if you wish.
    For the tutorial I'm going to use the same render as my current signature:
    [​IMG]

    Now, using the eyedropper tool, we want to select 2 major colors used in the render we are using. One of them needs to be a darker color, and the other a lighter color.

    [​IMG]
    Here you can see where I've outlined the lighter color I'm going to use and the darker color below it. [​IMG]

    Now you want to open up the gradient tool and make a Radial Gradient using the 2 colors you just selected over your signature canvas to use as a background. The darker color should be the background of the gradient while the lighter color should only be a small circle.
    [​IMG]

    Place your image in the signature and re-size it (Ctrl+T and Shift-Drag the anchors) so it fits snug in the small circle/lighter color portion of the gradient.
    [​IMG]

    The render may have rough edges where it cuts off or looks odd, don't worry about that for now as we'll remedy that later.

    Now duplicate the layer 3 times (Ctrl+J), you should have "Layer 2" and "Layer 2 Copy" 1-3 once done. Hide all but the original layer (click the little eyeball icon by each layer to hide/unhide it).
    [​IMG]

    Open up the smudge tool. You should already be somewhat familiar with smudging.

    Lets start by using the 63 pixel "Oil Pastel Large" brush to smudge with. You should already have this brush installed as a default brush, if you don't, you'll probably just have to make use of some of your own brushes instead.
    [​IMG]

    Now go into the brush/smudge settings and you want to set Shape dynamics and Scattering to the following settings:

    Shape Dynamics -
    Size Jitter: 100%
    Minimum Diameter: 1%
    Angle Jitter: 100%
    Roundness Jitter: 100%
    Minimum Roundness: 1%


    Scattering -
    Scatter: 85%
    Count: 1
    Count Jitter: 100%


    Set the strength to about 50% (the location of this varies by what version of photoshop you're using. For some people its under "Other Dynamics", for others its in the top left)

    Now that you have the settings configured, smudge around the layer as best as possible. Try to keep a general flow while doing so.
    [​IMG]
    Set this layer to Screen. (You can try with other settings as well but for this current tutorial I prefer screen/linear dodge as I'm trying to get a strong, bright glow around the render).
    [​IMG]

    Unhide the next layer. Now find the default brush "Splatter 59 pixel" to use as your smudge brush. If you don't have this brush, use a splatter brush set to around 50-60 pixels.
    [​IMG]
    Use the same smudge settings as I listed above for the last brush.

    Smudge away!
    [​IMG]
    I set this layer to Linear Dodge. It may look very bright and kindof ugly for now, but don't worry, that'll get adjusted later on.
    [​IMG]

    Now unhide the next layer up.
    Find the 32 pixel "Oil Medium Wet Flow" brush if you have it to use as your smudge brush. If you don't have it, once again make do with what you do have.
    Again, use the same settings listed.

    Smudge away (again)!
    Keep this layer on normal. Yes you heard me right, don't set this layer to anything special, just keep it on normal at full opacity. Go to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen to sharpen this layer once.
    [​IMG]

    Now finally unhide the top layer. Use the exact same brush and smudge settings as the previous layer BUT DO NOT FREELY SMUDGE. All we want to do with this layer is make the render blend in better. If you see any edges or things that generally don't fit in well with the signatures, smudge them out (do this gently, this is your render layer and you don't want your render to look like a mess).

    [​IMG]
    This is what the layer looked like when I first unhid it. As you can see on the right theres a straight line where the render ends, and it doesn't fit in well. I'm going to smudge that out. I'm also going to smudge out a bit of the end of the hair on the left.
    Don't overdo it, you only want it to blend in better, you don't want your render layer to be a complete smudge layer itself.
    Here's what it looked like afterward for me:
    [​IMG]

    Now we need to add in something to give the signature a nicer, more lively background. So we're going to find a picture of something like stars or snow to add in. I'm personally going to use this picture of a starfield.

    Copy and paste whatever picture you decide upon into the signature (make sure its behind all the smudge layers). I set the layer to Lighten, but you may need to play around yourself to see what setting works best for your signature.
    [​IMG]

    Now at this step we can go 2 ways. You can decide to add in some C4D's and smudge them (after already doing the steps mentioned in the tutorial, you shouldn't need me to explain this part :p) or you can skip that entirely and just go on to the finishing steps.

    For now, I'm just going to skip that step and go straight to the finishing steps instead.

    Add in text. You'll want to do this now (and usually always at this point when making signatures) because the text will pick up colors in the following processes, or at least hopefully it will, and blend in with the signature better when finished.
    I added a small black outer glow set to Soft Light in the layer Blending Options to make the text easier to see as well.
    [​IMG]

    Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. Use your dark color that you selected at an earlier point as one of the colors in the gradient, but switch the lighter color to white instead.
    You're probably going to want to set the gradient to reverse.
    [​IMG]
    Set the layer to Multiply, and it should stay at 100 Opacity. The signature should've gotten a lot darker. However, you should be able to tell if for some reason it got too dark. If you think its way too dark, feel free to fix it.
    [​IMG]

    Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Photo Filter. Set the filter to Red, and it should stay at 25% Density. You can test around with this if you want, but it doesn't have to make a significant difference in the colors of your signature so don't feel obligated to make it do that.
    [​IMG]

    Again, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. Use the Violet & Orange gradient and set it to multiply at 30 opacity.
    [​IMG]

    (OPTIONAL) -
    Again, this step is completely optional. If you feel like it could be a little bit brighter, duplicate the layer you just made but instead of multiply, set it to Screen. I would use something like 25%-35% opacity for this but it really comes down mostly to preference so do what you wish with it.
    [​IMG]

    Now make a new layer. Go to Image > Apply Image.
    Then go to Filter > Blur > Guassian Blur, set to 2.0 pixels.
    Set this layer to soft light at 70 opacity.
    [​IMG]
    This layer will darken your signature even more, if you feel like its too dark, you may want to go up one step and check out the optional step I mentioned to make it slightly brighter.

    Once again, make a new layer and go to Image > Apply Image. This time, go to Filter > Render > Lighting Effects.
    This is where it gets the most complicated and will probably take a lot of fooling around on your side to see what works best. You want to add a nice light source for your signature around the render. What I usually do is set the style to "Soft Omni" and use 2 Omni "Light Types" on low intensity to give a simple bright light look without burning out someones eye-sockets. I usually put one around the mid left side of the render and the other around the upper-middle right side of the render such as near a neck or a shoulder.
    [​IMG]

    After the lighting effects were added, my render was way too bright so I used a 65 pixel Soft Brush at 20% Opacity to erase around the focal/render to give it a dark look again. If you do this step, be sure you only erase at a very low opacity, this will let you keep it more natural looking as you hopefully won't be erasing things you shouldn't or don't need to erase.
    [​IMG]

    Finally, we need to add a border. One last time, make a new layer and go to Image > Apply Image. Now right click the layer and go to Blending Options. Select "Stroke" and set it to 1 pixel, Inside.
    [​IMG]
    You're done :)

    (OPTIONAL) -
    This is a completely optional step. In addition to the outline you just made, if you'd like a kind of theatrical look added on to your border, this is how you do it. Make a new layer and select the Rectangular Marquee tool.
    Select a very small portion of the top of the signature (all the way in the left corner to the right corner) and go to Image > Fill (or Shift+F5). Fill it with black.
    Then, duplicate the layer and drag the duplicated layer to the bottom so they're both on top on bottom mirroring each other.
    If you do it right it should look something like this:
    [​IMG]

    I have also included a .PSD file for those that may be interested in it. PSD files are basically photoshop documents saved for editing. They are not only a great tool to save every time you make a new signature (as if you decide the signature needs a quick edit, you can go straight to the saved document and fix the problem instead of creating it over again or making a messy edit of the finished version), but they are also good for learning. If you download my PSD you can hide layers one by one to see exactly what I did and what each of my layers looked like. Combined with my explanations of each step, you would have full understanding of how I did and what I did.

    Heres the PSD file:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/439891488/TutorialSig.psd
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
    Cropolite, Dementa, Dimitra and 18 others like this.
  2. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    Optional Additions

    If you feel like there isn't enough stuff going on in the signature, there are some things you can do to spice it up a bit.


    • Add in a C4D and possibly smudge it. This is a tricky hit or miss step, but it can work well if you use a good C4d well.
    • Add in light textures. (See Dimitra's tutorial on how to add these in/what they are).
    • Add in light textures/swirls near the text as seen in Bellalicious' signature. This is also described in Dimitra's tutorial.
    More to come later.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010
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  3. Dimitra

    Dimitra 安心。 Forum Legend

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    That was awesome, I love how you use your brushes!
    And that's for the link to my tutorial^^

    Great job<3
     
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  4. Adieu

    Adieu Respected Member

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    Was gonna make cropsie a new sig tonight, gonna use this guide to do just that.. thanks again <3
     
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  5. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    I just added more links to your tutorial in the 2nd post =D
     
  6. Dimitra

    Dimitra 安心。 Forum Legend

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    Awe, thanks again:3
     
  7. Dementa

    Dementa Providence Forum Legend

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    I need a new signature o.e Someone should make me one :3 Since I suck at makin' em.

    This is a good guide by the way :3
     
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  8. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    Maybe you should learn so you can be proud of yourself and feel accomplished when you realize you're well capable of making something fairly good from this :O
     
  9. Dementa

    Dementa Providence Forum Legend

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    Or that, yeah LOL
     
  10. Bambieundies

    Bambieundies ╥▌Funeral Director▌╥

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    a nice and comprehensive tutorial...
     
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  11. Zenomex

    Zenomex Banned Forum Legend

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    Epic. Thanx. Here's mine:

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    Nice job that looks great :D thanks for posting the outcome, +rep :>
     
  13. xhampagne

    xhampagne Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the info ^^
     
  14. Dimitra

    Dimitra 安心。 Forum Legend

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    Oh my god even though I love this style, I fail at it xDD
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Koishi

    Koishi Well-Known Member

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    Thanx for the Tutorial ^.^
    Currently making something to~

    I'll post it later when i finish :)
     
  16. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    I don't think its that bad, but you might want to leave out the scanlines. Also try to smudge the outer edges of the render a bit more to blend in well. Its a bit odd at first so don't take it too hard :p
     
  17. Dimitra

    Dimitra 安心。 Forum Legend

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    Oh I see=o Well I tried to smudge the edges but I failed at it again, I couldn't find the proper brushes and the ones I used weren't good:pinched:
    Anyway, I'm gonna try a whole new one out, thankies<3
     
  18. Zenomex

    Zenomex Banned Forum Legend

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    I saw a motion blur there.

    Here's my latest addition:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Koishi

    Koishi Well-Known Member

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    Alright, my outcome ^.^

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Lucent

    Lucent Ghost in the shell of a former Drama Queen Forum Legend

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    That one is awesome! Great job. The K is a bit awkward in the text, but overall it looks awesome, I love how the colors turned out.
     
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