Sig workshop.

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Sig workshop.

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:05 am

Taking a different spin, I won't be making sigs. Instead, I'm giving you a tutorial on how to make sigs. You don't need to be an artist, just someone with enough knowledge to install a program.

So! Let's get started.
What will you need?

  • Image editing program. I recommend Photoshop, but unless you pirate it, you will have to cash out a bit for it. There is always The Gimp! which works fine, but since I have Photoshop, I'll make the tutorial with it. The concepts are the same, however, the tools, layout and shortcuts might not be.

  • An idea of what you want. It's hard to create something if you have no clue where it will end. Sometimes, random creations work. Most of the time, they don't.

  • Patience. Rome was not built in a day. I assure you that your first 100 tries are all going to suck. I assure you that try #30 is going to be better than try #1, so just keep at it.


So, step 1. Define a suitable size. Not to be nasty nor point fingers, but some of you have sigs that are bigger than the forum banner. Not only makes loading pages slower (not that it matters for me, pages load instantly), but it makes the forum look cluttered and dirty.
A good big size is 500x200 pixels. It is not too huge, nor too small (Nintendo forums used to limit us to 350*100, sigs were horribly small, and out of proportion). I'm not sure if Gimp will give you a resolution or DPI output, but if it does set it/leave it at 72. Any higher is for actual print size.

Now that we have our canvass, it is time to pick an image. When picking an image, there are several factors you must consider. First of all, Is the image too big or too small?
If it's too big, when you shrink it down, some of the detail will be lost, so you will either need to make your canvass bigger, or redraw the detail that was lost in the resize process (or let it be and hope no one notices.......).
If it's too small, when you enlarge it, it will become pixelated and look like crap. So if you make anything pixelated, I will hunt you down and slap you.
A third factor is the "how much work do I want to do?". If the image has a complex background, or text over it, or special lightning effects...how hard will it be to level it and make it look even? Or how hard will it be to make it look decent at least?
Some images have text written over it (watermarks) that can be removed, but are a pain sometimes. Some images have backgrounds which have to be removed, so you have to cut them out manually....It's quite tedious. Picking renders is usually the best idea.
A render is an image with a solid background, either black white or gray *could be any color, but those are the common ones*

SO! I'll be using this image for the tutorial.
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif
As you can see, it is one epic image. Ruin it and I'll kill you.

Moving on. First task is to clean the background.

My advice? Zoom waaay the hell in and use the polygonal laso tool to create a marquee around the desired render. (A marquee is the "moving ants line" around a selected object).
So you should have something like this in the end (i already cleared the white off the image, but I left the marquee so you'd get an idea)

http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

After that, mess around with the image levels a wee bit. Try to make it look sharper and with "richer" colors. After that, copy your render, and paste it on the 500*200 canvass.
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

Resize the image to fit within the canvas in a manner that looks nice.
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

In here, All I did was a radial gradient, duplicated the layer and set the blending mode to Color Dodge.
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif
http://illiweb.com/fa/pbucket.gif

After that, I lost focus of what I wanted to do, so I just got a quote from a poem I like, slapped it on it. Realized I had no cool fonts, so I picked whatever. Gave it an emboss effect to the whole thing and here you have it.


Basic idea? Get to know the program. Hardest part? cleaning images (by far) The rest just comes from playing around with it all.




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Re: Sig workshop.

Post by frang on Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:31 am

Make sure it's the full edition of Photoshop. Adobe used to make a crippled version that they sold for a hundred bucks. Pissed thousands of people off who didn't bother to read the product description (not me, I'm smart that way - a couple of my friends did get suckered by it). That product may have been quietly retired, but Adobe's still at it. They have another crippled version called Photoshop Express. It's not the full version.

Just a head's up. Consider this a public service announcement. Now.....back to Amp.

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Re: Sig workshop.

Post by Deks™ on Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:06 pm

Very clean, simple signature. Good job, and thanks for posting!
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