[identity profile] wickedgrdn.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bel_perdente
Last tutorial for today! :)

A Supernatural blending/coloring/texture use tutorial as requested by [livejournal.com profile] kasiopeia.

& to
Made in Photoshop CS5.
Translatable, to an extent I guess.

I'm not going to lie, this is going to be a difficult icon for me to remember how I created. :S A lot of stuff went into the creation of this one!

The difficulty level on this icon is probably going to be more advanced. So, if you're a beginner to icon making this probably isn't going to make much sense. You should have a good knowledge of your graphics program and its tools before attempting an icon like this. Also, I will not be going into a lot of details on layers, tools or other features of Photoshop, either. No one wants to be here all day, LOL. :D

I went with two separate images of the Impala from Supernatural 7.04 Defending your Life. The shots of the car at the end of the episode were just beautiful and sooo hard to pass up!

These screencaps are perfect examples of EVERY AWESOME THING EVER for an icon. Perfect clear shots. Excellent image quality and color. It's like an icon maker's wet dream. Ahem. ;D Moving on...

I'm pretty sure I resized these images to 400x225 and left them that size for the blending and coloring. This is usually standard practice for me when I'm going to do a more complicated blend that requires more than one image. Now that the images are at a more managable size, we can work on blending them. Looking at both of them, I think I want the larger image of the imapala to be at the top of the icon and the smaller version to be at the bottom. I copied the image of the larger version of the Impala and pasted it onto the smaller version. I didn't want to do a whole lot of complicated erasing/smudging/removing of the backgrounds, so after I pasted the image, I tried out a few blend modes to see which ones would work best. I tried out Lighten, Soft Light, Screen, Multiply, Overlay and really couldn't get these to work. The images have good contrast, but are on the light side as well, which didn't seem to really gel with Lighten, Screen or Overlay. I tried out the darker blend modes like Soft Light, Overlay and Multiply and while those worked ok, I still didn't think they blended the images that well. Finally, I tried out Darken and voila! that did the trick.

Here's what the Darken blend mode did to blend my images smoothly:


I merged the layers (merge-visible) at this point and was ready to move on to coloring.

Obviously, I could have colored this one beautifully, as all the elements in the images were perfect for a bright vibrant pretty coloring. However, after I tried a few things in color, I decided that a black and white coloring would really work better for the Impala. I didn't have to start all over with the coloring, though. I liked the contrast I had achieved by doing the images in color, so rather than starting over, I went with the flow. My coloring steps are below (and note, the images are not cropped to icon-size yet):

Duplicate base -> Soft Light + Screen + Soft Light

Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Color Balance
SHAD: 0, 0, 0
MID: +45, 0, -45
HIGH: 0, 0, 0

Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Levels
Input Levels: 45 1,00 255

Copy-merge + paste + Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur -> Radius 2.0 + Soft Light at @ 10-15%

Copy-merge + paste + Filter -> Sharpen -> Reduce opacity of layer to @ 15-20%

Here's what I got after that:

And then to make it black and white:

Layer -> New Fill Layer -> Solid Color. I went with the standard black color: #000000 for the Fill layer and set the blend mode to Color. Voila! instant black and white.

Mmh, I wasn't happy with the contrast at this point. I mean yeah, it's good, but it could be better.

Layer -> Duplicate Fill Layer -> set blend mode to Soft Light @ 50%.

There we go! Perfect contrast.

And that completes the coloring. Time to size this down to 100x100. I don't remember exactly how I cropped this, so I'm going to guess from this point on, LOL. I copied and pasted the now blended images into a new 100x100 and then used Free-Transform to size it down even more. Unfortunately, to fit the entire thing into a 100x100 and have all the parts of the car showing I had to shrink the image down quite a bit, which left some undesirable blank space at the top of the icon.

There's a number of ways I could fix the space (smudging, adding a white color fill, etc etc), but I chose to use a texture instead. A cloud texture seemed appropriate, you get sky in the background and the space issue is solved. :) I used this texture by [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch for the sky. I desaturated the texture and pasted it onto the base of my icon, setting it to Darken at 100% opacity. After some fiddling, erasing and moving of the texture, I achieved this result:

It looks good now, but I wasn't happy with the contrast and the lighting of this icon. Time to fix that:

Copy-merge + paste + Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur -> Radius 2.0 -> Set to Soft Light at 30%.

Paste again + Filter -> Sharpen -> Reduce opacity of layer to 20%.

I created a new layer below the Soft Light copy and added some light blobs with a soft round 65px brush in white, blurred with Gaussian blur, then reduced the opacity of the layer to @ 80%. I went back to the Soft Light copy and upped the opacity to 100% because I wanted even more contrast for blending the light blobs better. And here's what we have after that:

I merged all the layers with merge-visible at this point.

I wanted more effects for this icon and after looking through some textures I came across this texture by [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch and pasted it onto my icon. I wanted the black part at the bottom of the texture to be visible so I moved the texture below my icon base and set it to Darken. I had to move the icon base up a little and expose some space so the texture would fill in nicely and then I lowered the opacity of the texture to around 20% (IDK why, LOL, weird unecessary step, I guess?) I then duplicated the texture (I left the blend mode at Darken, it enhanced everything so nicely!) leaving the opacity at 100%. I erased bits of the texture I didn't like and here's what I ended up with:

It still needed more. I found a nice grid texture by [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch, inverted and then pasted it onto my icon, setting it to Lighten at 100%.

And finally to finish off the coloring and composition I copy-merged, pasted and blurred, setting the new copy to Soft Light. I pasted again and sharpened.

This icon screamed to have text added to it. Some of them just do. I had Midnight Rider by The Allman Brothers Band stuck in my head when I created this icon, so it seemed appropriate to add a lyric from that song to an icon that featured the Impala. ;P So, for my text I sampled a color from the icon itself with my color picker tool, which ended up beign some variation of light gray/black. I then added the text 'I got to run to keep from hidin' with the following settings:

Font: Myriad Pro
size: 12
Tracking: 0
Anti-Alias: Sharp

And that (finally!) completes the icon. I hope I didn't confuse the hell out of anyone, LOL.

Final: Original:

Textures by [livejournal.com profile] lemonpunch
Impala Screencaps by homeofthenutty.com

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

Date: 2011-11-25 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ohgollygeedamn.livejournal.com

I don't know why exactly but that part made me laugh! I only wish that all the flaws on my icons actually labelled themselves in that way as I worked haha.

Really interesting tutorial! I enjoyed reading through your process, especially about the blending and texture choices. The final product is gorgeous too and the text absolutely makes it. Thank you for taking the time to write this!

Date: 2011-11-25 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kasiopeia.livejournal.com
A lot of stuff went into the creation of this one!

Which is exactly why I requested it. Thank you for this! It's a really interesting read :)

Date: 2011-11-25 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hermionesparkle.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for writing this and the other tutorials you have posted lately. I would have never thought to blend with darken and also to use the gaussian blur like you used it. It is refreshing to see tuts that don't just say I did this in selective coloring and viola! :)

Date: 2011-11-26 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rocketgirl2.livejournal.com
Thanks so much for the tutorial! It's always so interesting to see how other people work, and that was a lovely icon. :)
Also, the undesirable blank space illustration made me giggle. XD Hate it when that happens on an icon.


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