Well, I hope this tut helped, see ya!
Tutorial was made assuming you are using Photoshop 7.0 or higher!
Smudging and Filters.
Hai, and welcome to Senor_Grunt's Smudge and Filters tutorial! In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a good looking sig using some filters and the smudge tool.
We will start off by making a new photoshop document with a size of 500px by 120px, then fill the background with a dark gray-ish color. I used #4E4E4E.
Next, you will want to find a good, high quality render. Here is the render I used. You don't have to use that one, but try to find a good quality one that is already cut out for you. A good place for renders is GameRenders. Click on galleries. You can sign in with the following username and password:
Once you have your render, open it up in photoshop, and copy and paste into your sig. But remember to select only the render. Duplicate the layer that your render is on and call one render, and one backup render. Hide the backup render layer, and move it under the 'Background' layer. Your layers should now look like this:
We wont be doing anything with the backup render layer, its just there in case we screw up our render. Now, take your render, not the backup, and put it in a corner, but don't resize it. Now, we have to desaturate it (Ctrl+Shift+U). Now go to Filter > Distort > Ocean Ripple and use a ripple size of about 8, and a magnitude of 4. Then bring the opacity down to about 50% and call this layer "ocean ripple". Your signature should look a little something like this:
Remember our backup render layer? Duplicate it once (Right click > Duplicate) and resize it to your likings, then place it on your signature. Name this layer "main render". Now we must blend the render, so it will flow better when we are done. To do this, first Ctrl+Click the little thumbnail next to the "main render" layer. Now we must feather the selection, to do this, press Ctrl+Alt+D and then set it to something like "5.5". Now go to Select>Select Inverse. Now press Delete on your keyboard a couple of times until you are satisfied with your result. 'Tis what it should look like:
Now for the cool background part. First, duplicate your "main render" layer, name this new layer "color dodge", and drag it under your "main render" layer. Now go to Filter > Distort > Ocean Ripple again and play around with it this time, until you like the result. Move the render to the left of the render and change the layer blending mode to color dodge with a fill of about 75%.
Your sig would look a little like this now:
Now, duplicate your "main render" layer again, and drag it under the "main render" layer. Name this layer smudge. Hide the "main render" layer for now. Now select your smudge tool, then load the maple leaf brush. On the top right of Photoshop, you should see a little tab that says brushes, click it, then apply these settings:
Set the strength to about 50% and then heavily smudge this layer. Once you are finished, try duplicating your smudge layer and moving them around, or just leave it as it is now. When you're done, your sig should look like this;
Well, we finished the background, now its time to adjust the sig so it looks a little better. Don't worry if it looks like crud right now, its kind of the idea.
I did a little Brightness/Contrast layer over the image (Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast).
The colors are a bit, well, dull and boring, don't you think? Lets try to spice them up with a little Color Balance (Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance). Make sure before you do your color balance, that the layer directly under the "main render", which should be the "smudge" layer, is selected, so not to mess with the "main render" layer.
Just mess with it 'till you find what you're looking for.
Flow, and lighting.
Can you see how the left of the Master Chief is light up? This is because the light source in the render is on the left. To add your own light source, pick a soft brush, set it to about 170-180, opacity to 45%, and then brush once in the spot you would like lighting.
Now, make a new layer, and select black as your brush color. Brush around your lighting, or on the sides of your sig, leaving your lighted area untouched, to give your sig a bit of flow. Like this:
Now make another new layer, name it "image", and go to Image > Apply Image, then click OK. Now go to Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen.
Now just mess with your sig and add whatever you want. Tweak it with some of the things you've learned in this tut, or, maybe add a C4D render? Anything you want. And when you're done, add your border and text. I played around with the crop tool until I came to this:
To add a border, create a new layer, name it "border", and then Select All (Ctrl+A), and go to Edit > Stroke. I gave my sig a 2px border, black. Then for text, just add a text box and put your text where ever it feels comfortable to you.
Here is my finished result:
Reference source: Me.
Edited by Senor_Grunt, 24 April 2008 - 09:42 PM.