Hellooooo! I have been getting a lot of good feedback for my Request a Signature thread, so I decided to make this tutorial to give back to everyone that has given me such good feedback and for helping me get better at photoshop. I really appreciate it!
( Warning if you already know Photoshop you will not enjoy this. )
So what you will need is Photoshop CS6 and basic image. The image size doesnt matter aslong as it is bigger than 500 x 150. In my opinion it is much better to make a image smaller than try to make it bigger.
So here is the image I will be working with for this tutorial. You can use your own or use the same as me to better follow along for your first try.
Okay so lets go ahead and start a new project in Photoshop. You are gonna want to put the options exactly like mine because this project will be our signature.
Alright after that go ahead and press ok and you should have a transparent background as your base project. Now go ahead and click on File then open up either my image or the image that you have chosen. It should just load up in a new tab next to your signature project.
If your image has a lock next to it in the layer section, double click it then press ok to the pop-up and it will be unlocked.
After that lets use the Move Tool to move that image onto our signature project. You can press V to use the Move Tool or select it on the menu bar to the left.
You can delete the other tab that previously had your chosen image if you choose to do so.
Now that we have our image on our project we are going to need to resize it. It may not look best to resize it comepletely so you wanna try to focus on the main part of the image and make that part fit the best without making it ddisproportionate. For my image I will be focusing on her face the most and parts of the background. You can start to resize your image by pressing Ctrl-T. That will put you into Free Transform. There you can resize your image by draging the edges and corners of your image to your liking.
Here is how mine turned out when I was done.
Now that we did that lets go ahead and quickly delete Layer 1 in the layers menu to the right. You can do that by right clicking then near the top select delete layer. Now you can rename your Layer 2 to Base or whatever you want by double clicking on Layer 2.
Now on the top toolbar you should see a Fileter tab; click that and near the bottom click Sharpen then Sharpen again. This will put some detail back into your image after you have resized it to your preference. Note it will not bring back all detail, and sometimes it will only make your image look worse.
Here is how mine look after I sharpened it.
In my image you can see it didnt add much more detail to the whole thing, but if you look closely it did add some more detail to the hair.
Now under the layers menu lets go ahead and create a new layer by clicking the this - - That should make a new layer popup in the layers menu.
Make sure that layer is selected. Now you are going to wanna select the Marquee Tool loacted right under the Move Tool on the side bar to the left. After that you are gonna want to put a simple selection on the top of the image. You are going to wanna zoom in to the image by holding Z then left clicking the image. ( To soom out hold Z and right click then zoom out )
Okay, the selection goes away once I try to take the screenshot for some reason. I will go ahead a step that way you can see how big your selection should be.
Okay now thay you have your selection just the same size as mine. Look at the top toolbar and click Edit then near the middle click Fill.
Make sure you have the same options selected as me. This goes for even those who chose their own image. After you have filled the selection black and you have the top part of your image bordered off you can now duplicate that layer to add multiple borders without doing those steps over. To duplicate press Ctrl-J. after you duplicate it go ahead and select the Move Tool again and move the duplicated border to the bottom part of the image.
Okay now for the sides you are going to want to dublicate again and move the newly duplicated border up a bit. Now you are going to want to Free Transform it. After you do that you will notice at the top some numbers. Change the rotation to 90.
Now you should end up with this.
Go ahead and move the border to the left side and then duplicate it and move it to the right side of the image. Now you should have a complete border around your image.
Now that we have that finished lets merge the border layers into one by Shift clicking all of them and right click Merge Layers.
Rename the merged layer to Border for good organization.
After that lets create a new layer. Now this time you are going to wanna click on the layer you just created and then at the top click on the Image tab then at the bottom click on Apply Image and press Ok.
What that just did was put all the layers below it into one layer in its own. This is very helpful for experimenting on your image without messing everything up permanently. Go ahead and rename that Base 2.
Now under the layers menu click this - - so we can mess with some properties of the image. First we are going to wanna click on Black & White. When the menu pops up click the fast forwad symbol on the top right of it to minimize it.
Now above the new Black & White layer you will see Opacity and Fill. You are going to wanna change the Opacity. Usually you are gonna want to change it to 20% - 30%, but all in all it depends on the image you are working on and what kind of effect you are trying to achieve.
I will be using 25% for my image.
Lets create a new adjustment layer like we just did but this time select Curves.
Curves can be very dangerous.. They can either make your image much more beautiful or destroy it for all eternity... Go ahead and mess around with it to see what kind of effects you can pull of for yourself.
Here is how my image turned out.
After you have gotten the effect you want you can minimize the properties tab.
If you would like you can keep messing around with the adjustment layers to see what cool effects you can pull of with your image.
To save your image you are going to wanna click File at the top right and select Save for Web.
Here you should want to put it to the maximum quality before you save it that way it will look its best on the forums.
Congrats!!! You have just created your first signature you can use for the forums of your choice. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! If you have any questions feel free to leave a reply or send me a PM. Also post your first signature image to show other people how you did for your first time.
Alright I have decided to go through with this and update it regularly with more tutorials as I get better, so now we are going to do one of my personal signatures. Well not "my personal signatures" but the same way I make mine.. I have no clue what to call it haha.
Here is an example of one of my signatures.
The main things in my signatures are the renders. For my renders I use the characters from my favorite game series Hyperdimension Neptunia. You can use any render you want. Here is the render I will be using for this tutorial, and as always you may use it incase it helps you follow along easier.
Now lets start a new project in Photoshop. Same as last time 500 pixels x 150 pixels. While you are doing that go ahead and open the render you have chosen aswell and drop that in your project.
Now that we have our render in your project and it may look like it fits just right lets go ahead and resize it just a little bit so we dont get just a bare head. I usually try to get to the shoulders/upper chest area without cutting to much off the characters face.
Alright now that we have our render resized to out liking lets get our background started, so click on Layer 1 then goto Edit then Fill it.
It does not matter what color you fill it as so dont worry. The reason it is not black like our last tutorial because I recently worked on a new signature so I switched it over to white. Okay now that we have it filled double click Layer 1. You should recieve a pop-up like this.
Once you have this windowed open navigate yourself to Gradiant Overlay.
Here you can fiddle with the angle of the gradient, the color, the strength, etc. When going for a signature like this I recommend using the same colors as the render. So for the render I would use black and red. Why Black and Red and not White and Red? Because if I had white and red there would not be enough contrast to make the render pop out once it is complete. So if I use black and red. Near the end the background will make the render pop out because of the white clothing she is wearing. Here is how I set mine up.
Now that we have out background basicly finished we can move onto the render itself. Now here is where it may get a bit tricky for some of you. When I first started it took me awhile to learn the steps to where I can make a signature like this in minutes. You are going to wanna click on Layer 2 and press Ctrl-J 3 times.
Now you will see that there are copies of Layer 2 in the layers menu. Move Layer 2 under Layer 2, and just keep the copies above Layer 1.
If you look at the layers you will see an eye next to each of them. That eye means that layer is either visible or not visible, so take away the eye by clicking it on Layer 2 copy 3 and Layer 2 copy 2.
After you have done that click on Layer 2 then over to the left side menu you are going to want to select the Smudge Tool.
You will need to hold your mouse button on the Blur Tool to beable to select the Smudge Tool.
Now that we have Layer 2 selected and the Smudge Tool activated we can start by smudging the OUTSIDE of the render. Just go around in circles and try to stay on the outside.
Then we can toggle Layer 2 copy 2 visible, and this time we are going to smudge the inside only.
Now for Layer 2 copy 3, but this time we wont be smudging so you can switch to the move tool for now. So for Layer 2 copy 3 you are gonna wanna make it visible, select it, then sharpen it.
Whew... That was easier to explain than I thought it was going to be haha. So now lets make an adjustment layer and use the Black & White option.
And just like last part I will be putting my Opacity to 25%. Now lets move onto the Curves.
Now you want to make a new layer then at the top Image tab click Apply Image.
You should now have a Layer 3 with your project as the layer itself. Now you want to goto Filter then click on Other then select High Pass.
Here are the setting that I used.
I will be posting more parts to this tutorial over time. If you have any questions feel free to leave a reply. Also post your signature for others to see how you did!
Updated the thread. Spaced things out, so if yall are OCD it shoudn't bother you like it would before. I know it bothered me
Edit; I am adding more parts to the tutorial RIGHT NOW so stay tuned!