[identity profile] wickedgrdn.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bel_perdente
A Lost Girl texture use tutorial as requested by [livejournal.com profile] siiy.

Made in Photoshop CS5.

This was a fun image to work with. I chose this image for an icon because of the stunning profile of Anna Silk who plays Bo on Lost Girl. Guh, the girl is gorgeous. Just look at the image. For one, THE PROFILE. It's stunning. Anna has pretty cheekbones, lovely eyelashes and gorgeous brunette hair. What's not to love? :) Also, the cap was perfect: right balance of colors, shadows & light. All kinds of fun things to play with! The only negative thing about this cap is the logo, but that's pretty easy to just crop out.

I decided to take a different approach with this icon, because at first I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it in terms of a crop or composition. When I'm not sure of the route I'm going with an icon, I'll paste the full size screencap into a 200x200 square and fiddle around with it using Free-Transform (CTRL+T) until I'm satisfied with a crop. This then leaves my options wide open in terms of crop and/or composition. This allows me to crop in different manners and choose the one I like best. I don't know if this is easier or better than straight out using the crop tool, but it's a method I've used for years. I stick with what I know. :)

File -> New

A dialogue box will pop up. I type 200 in Width and 200 in Height. You shouldn't have to mess with any of the other options as long as they are set up correctly or to what you prefer.

Resolution should (and I can't stress this enough) always be set to 72 pixels/inch. If it's not, it can make things wonky, namely with text. Bad resolution tends to make Photoshop's text features go off the grid. Fair warning. Just make sure the value is always 72, once it's in there it should stay there all the time.

Color Mode should always be RGB with an 8 bit setting. This is optimal for good coloring.

I prefer to have a transparent background when I'm pasting images, because the image won't be flattened when you paste it. This allows you the flexibility of moving it around, which is important when you are cropping using this method. You can choose whatever background (white or a custom color) you want for this option if you wanted to, but then you would have the extra steps of making it transparent. And who wants extra steps, LOL. :D

Edit -> Paste

To bring up the Free-Transform tool hit CTRL+T or go to Edit -> Free Transform. Zoom out a couple times (I use CTRL + my minus key, does the trick without having to locate your zoom tool. Ya know, for the lazy people like me!) HOLD DOWN YOUR SHIFT KEY. THIS IS IMPORTANT. If you don't, your image won't transform correctly. It'll get all skewed and weird looking. After some trial and error with the Free-Transform tool, I finally came up with a crop I liked.

Notice the black portion at the bottom of the image. I filled that in on purpose for this tutorial, because I wanted to show that the crop had left a little blank space at the bottom of the base. You could leave it filled with black if you wanted too, but I took a different approach. Rather than start all over with the cropping to fix the blank space issue, I decided to take advantage of it instead. I pasted the full size image into the 200x200 again, this time underneath the first image and again, used Free-Transform to move it and shrink it to where I liked. I decided that I really liked the way Bo's hair looked in this shot, so the duplicate image features her hair only. Kind of different, I guess. :) And here's the final crop:

At this point, I resize my image to 100x100 and move onto coloring and composition. I won't go into too much detail on the coloring since that wasn't really requested for this tut, the requester wanted to know more about the light and texture use for this icon, so those are the things I'll explain more in-depth.

Quick and dirty explanation of my coloring for this icon:

Duplicate 100x100 base -> Soft Light + Screen

A black and white light texture placed underneath the Soft Light layer. Texture set to Soft Light at 100% opacity.

Yellow color fill layer placed underneath the light texture. Layer set to Soft Light at @ 10-20% opacity.

Selected my top Soft Light layer and added Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Color Balance, to enhance the yellows in the image. Blend mode set to Normal, opacity 100%.

Added another Color Balance layer to bring out more red and yellow. Normal at 100% opacity.

Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Levels. I upped the first value in Input Levels just slightly to increase contrast.

Copy-merge & paste. Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur -> set the pasted base to Soft Light at @ 20-30%.

Copy-merge & paste again. Filter -> Sharpen. Reduce opacity of the pasted base to @ 10-20%.

And that completes the coloring of this icon.

I didn't flatten my layers at this point. I wanted to add more to this icon. I noticed that the contrast was a bit too much, so to lessen that I decided to add some light effects to the icon in the following way:

Layer -> New Layer

Brush tool. Select a large round soft brush. I chose a soft 65px brush. Make sure your color palette has white selected as the Foreground color. I painted a few blobs on the new layer, making sure to blob the areas that had the most light in the image like so:

Obviously, that's going to be too intense. You can't leave the blobs full strength like that. I decided to use Gaussian Blur to blend the light more into the image.

Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur. Radius set to 6.0.

That's not going to be enough blurring. I hit CTRL+F a few times to further blur the blobs until I got this:

I still thought it was too much light. I decided to reduce the opacity of the layer to @ 60% and move the light blob layer below the Soft Light layer I pasted earlier. Here's what it looks like, which I think is much better:

I still wanted more light for this icon, so at this point I decided to add a texture to the image. I used this texture by [livejournal.com profile] lookslikerain and pasted it at the top of all my layers. I set the blend mode to Lighten, which effectively turned the whole image blue. I did NOT want that. I reduced the opacity of the layer to @ 20%, which than made the icon turn a slight greenish color and that wasn't acceptable either. I decided that I need to desaturate the texture (image -> adjustments -> desaturate). That still didn't look good, so I then inverted the texture (image -> adjustments -> invert). Inverting just changes the black to white ratio or the white to black ratio. So if it was normally very black, the inverting would turn the image/texture very white and vice versa: very white to very black. If that makes sense, LOL. o.0 I still wasn't happy with how this texture looked on the icon, but I didn't want to abandon it completely because I loved the flow and movement it gave to the icon. I decided the texture needed to be brighter and more contrasted, so I used all of Photoshop's Auto Functions on the texture to change the appearance of it more. I still didn't really care for how it looked, but it was better than before.

However, there was a spot of light near the top of Bo's hair that was really bothering me. Remember that light blob layer from earlier? I went back down to it and erased some of the light from it to ease the intensity of the blob a little. After the erasing, I noticed that a lot of contrast had been lost in all that light I added. Easy fix! :) Which takes us to...

My usual steps for finishing up an icon:

Copy-merge -> Paste -> Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur -> Set to Soft Light.

Copy-merge -> Paste -> Filter -> Sharpen.

And that's the icon. Well, as close as I could get it! *G*

Final: Original:

Lost Girl screencaps by [livejournal.com profile] rawr_caps
Texture by [livejournal.com profile] lookslikerain

Please use this tutorial as a guide! I do not provide PSD's, sorry.

Date: 2011-11-25 12:54 pm (UTC)
geckoholic: (Lost Girl1)
From: [personal profile] geckoholic
Great tutorial! I'm particularly impressed with how you used that texture; I have it saved, too, and every no and I stop and stare at it while icon making, all like 'I'm sure you look gorgeous on an icon, if I can just figure out how to use you'. Heh! And how you used it here looks gorgeous!

Date: 2011-11-25 02:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] v-allery.livejournal.com

Edited Date: 2011-11-25 02:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2011-11-25 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] affliction.livejournal.com

Date: 2011-11-25 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missfnb.livejournal.com
Thanks for this tutorial! I just gave that free-transform technique a try and really liked the crop I came up with! (But most of all, thanks for the zoom tip. I have been trying to figure out the keyboard shortcut for that forever, ugh.)

Date: 2011-11-27 09:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siiy.livejournal.com
Thank you so much !!! Will definitely try it out today :D


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