Tutorial #5

Sep. 2nd, 2013 03:44 pm
goodbyebird: Batwoman (C ∞ it's a call to arms)
[personal profile] goodbyebird posting in [community profile] forsquares

First, open a 100x100 canvas. Give it a black background.

I wanted an icon of Betty suiting up and taking on her mantle as Hawkfire again. The image is extra neat with the skeleton bird rising like a phoenix underneath her, and the bit of flame adds extra panache, no?

But there was also a second panel, with more fire, and in the shape of a burning hawk even. That's right, time to do some blending.

First I cleaned up the hawk base by removing the extra detail surrounding the outline. I used a layer mask, but just painting on black would have worked just as well. Using a layer mask just helps make sure you can correct any errors you might have made later on.

Betty's first layer I put to screen. As you can see, it's all way too light, and the lights from the building on the bottom cap shows all over her face, but that's ok, we fix that after figuring out the placements.

Now, when making this icon I pasted on both layers in their original size, so I could easily figure out the positioning and resize as I liked, moving it about quite a bit until it fit just so. This is the step where I fiddled a lot, and I settled on this because the end of Betty's headband landed just where the fire eagle's eye would have been, and its beak molded nicely to the creases in Betty's shirt. It's always good to look for small details when blending, to make them flow into one another smoothly.

I returned to the bottom layer, and masked away the spot where Betty's face is. I copied the layer twice, setting the first to screen 73%, the second to soft light 73%, adjusting the layer masks slightly for each of them.

It's looking pretty bleak, but all the details are there :)

I copied Betty's layer and put it to soft light increase up the contrast.

Vibrancy is your best pal. Vibrancy +100.

Added a selective color layer to boost the reds/yellows/cyans.

The colors still need a bit of oomp, so I add a texture by [livejournal.com profile] fuuurs, set it to soft light 62%. The lighter area in the middle top of the texture shifts the focus onto Betty's face a bit more, as well as boost the colors and mute the overly bright bits of her uniform a bit.

To finish it off and brighten it I add a levels layer, RGB settings 4 | 1 | 238. And there we have it :)

eta: lol ok and then an hour later the stuff in the bottom right corner started bugging me, a whole lot, so I painted over it with red. #edithappens

...aaaand I am now wondering if the icon's not balanced now. This is why I used to not save PSDs yo.

Next we'll be making an icon featuring The Will and Lying Cat.

I made this icon for an icon battle I had with [personal profile] timetobegin and [personal profile] naushika. This is the page I had to work with, and I decided from the get go that I wanted to try and get both The Will and Lying Cat in there(I'd say they're my favorites but really everyone is my favorite shhhh).

Since I was just going to crop in straight lines I didn't start with a larger canvas, just opened a new 100x100 and made the background color black. First I added in the profile shot of Lying Cat on the right side, taking up slightly more than a third of the space. There was some clutter around his head so I filled it in using a solid yellow. (the image was originally a little further up but I dragged it down this time around to fix something that's been bothering me :p)

Next I added in The Will, and set his layer to screen. This is why I use a black background; screen allows me to see clearly where the two images overlap while what's over the black will be completely solid. It makes it a whole lot easier to envision how it'll look in the end. Found a placement I liked, removed the rest with the rectangle tool.

Duplicated the layer of The Will twice, setting the first to screen 41%, the second to soft light 41%.

Gah I could even just leave it like that. The art is so pretty, you guys. Fiona Davis forever *_*

Just like last time, I set the third cap to screen so I could easily see where to place it, but in this case I then set the layer to normal once I found a crop I liked. This gave me more space to work with, but it was still tight and I needed to rotated it so that I could include The Will resting his head in his hands, keeping Lying Cat's tail in there as well, which I think adds to the cohesiveness of the icon. When I originally made this icon I didn't clean up the space around the tail, but this time I did because any clutter in an already cramped icon is bad clutter indeed. Again, clone tool, smudge, or just plain using the eyedropper tool to catch the surrounding color and painting over it will do.

Once again, I've put the images together where I can create areas where they connect/flow into one another. Since these images are all in the same color scheme making it all come together isn't so hard, but the details still help out.

I wanted a bit more contrast on the outer right image, so I copyed that layer, dragged it to the top and sent it to soft light 26%. Not that much of a difference, I know :p

To start working on the coloring and lighting of the icon, I added a texture by [livejournal.com profile] pandavirus, rotated it 180 degrees, set to soft light 42%.

Created a pale yellow color layer, #fff799, set it to soft light 44%.

Copy+Merge and pasted it on as a new layer, set to soft light, increasing the contrast and bringing out the colors a bit more. Not looking to make a very saturated icon, I lowered the opacity to 31%.

Even though I did like the coloring because om nom nom yellow and blue, I felt it extenuated the mood of the icon, aka. Not Very Good Times. So I jumped into selective coloring and ended with a faded, bleak result. (nothing says doom and gloom like pastels, eh? *g*)

Added another texture by [livejournal.com profile] pandavirus and rotated it once, set to screen 75%.

Vibrancy +100, so that it's not entirely wishy washy.

Copy+Merge and set it to multiply 28%.

Actually wanted a bit more color still, another vibrancy layer, +38.

A second selective coloring layer, playing with reds and yellows to mute the yellows and bring out more of the pale pink.

Vibrancy +32. I also noticed the faint white stripe on The Will's face, and used the clone tool to get rid of it on the previous texture.

Copy+Merged, set to normal and then smart sharpened. Lowered the opacity until it looked ok.

And that's that. Sorry for gabbering on, figured since I covered more straightforward coloring in the previous tut I'd try for something else here. Hopefully you picked up a trick or two. Let me know if you found anything confusing.

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