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Jenni Lou's tutorials

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  • Jenni Lou's tutorials

    FanArt From Start to Finish

    First I pick my two photos and arrange them on the black canvas. Next I erase away parts of them on a layer mask.

    Next, I want to add some depth and interest to the negative space and I really like the pipes in the right pic and the little red blops in the left pic, so I duplicate those layers and place them in various places, using rotate, to give everyting a new direction. There are five or six layers of this extra stuff, making ten layers for the whole piece so far.

    Next, I am going to add a gradient layer because I find it easier to see where I am going once I have my color scheme more or less set. This one was pretty easy to color. I didn't have to lay around with the settings at all; I just chose the eigth gradient in my Mix N' Match set and set it to reverse and really loved the colors. So that's it.

    Now I want to add a stock image of some candles. I size it down and apply the median filter at 17, add a layer mask and erase areas of it. Additonally, I also adjust the color using the Hue/Saturation selection; I just tone down the red as well as bring down the Lightness.

    Now I notice that the piping on the right picture looks a little harsh comparitvely to the rest of the piece. SO I am going to slect that portion of the pic and apply some median at 4.

    I also am going to add a little bit of the Tweaker filter by XeroGraphics to the pictures of Matt and Audrey. It doesn't change anything drastically, it just brightens it up slightly. So now I am taking another stock photo--this time of light streaks--and placing it over all the image layer. It's very red so I am going to tone it down like I did with the candle picture. I am also going to use Selective Color, selecting Yellow from the drop down menu, and moving the bottom level (Black) all the way to the left. I will do this three times and it get rid of all of the yellow in the streaks.

    Next, I am going to size down the light streak picture a bit and desaturate it a little bit more and then set the opacity to 44% and also Auto Contrast it. I am also going use the burn tool and run along the edges.

    Now for a little brushwork. I am going to use Brush "132" in my set Randomness 3 and then on my brushes palette I select the options: Shape Dynamics and Scattering. Below are the settings I've chosen for Shape Dynamics.

    Then I run the brush along the left side, using white as my color ad the layer opacity set at 22%. And I add text. Now, for the text, I am using two fonts, Corleone Due and Charlesworth. I use the Edit > Transform >> Skew function and slant the text. I want to have large spacing between the letters so I set the spacing at various intervals in the thousands on my text palette. And I use some drop shadow and various gradients on them. It just takes a bit of fiddling around to get the effects I want.

    And then I am done! I flatten my layer, duplicate it, add some smart sharpen and then go to Edit >> Fade to Soft Light at 34%.

    Last edited by Jenni Lou; 22-06-07, 05:44 PM.
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  • #2
    Using the Shapes Tool

    This is a tutorial for beginners or people with a basic knowledge of Photoshop. Here I am going to explain how to make images into shapes.

    First you are going to want to select what kind of shape you want to create. This includes the many default sutoms hape tools Photoshop has already included in its default settings. For the ourpose of this tutorial, I using a simple "Rounded Rectangle Tool." Here is where you can find the shapes on your tool bar:

    Next I am going to want to make another selection. With the "Rounded Rectangle Tool" selected I am going to make sure I have the "Paths" option in use. And here is where you can find that:

    What the "Paths" option does is make it so that when you place a shape on your canvas, it will just give us the path and it won't fill it in with color. The first option in that list, "Shape Layers," will fill the area with color while also creating a new path. The third option, "Fill Pixels," will fill in the area with color without creating a path.


    I have this pic of Inara ad I am going to select part of the image with the "Rounded Rectangle Tool" and this is what that shouild look like:

    Now I want to turn that path into a selection. There two ways to do this. I can either right-click on the image (while the custom shape tool is still selected on the tool bar) and choose "Make Selection" or I can go to my Paths palette and coose from there:

    (If you don't know where your Paths palette is, you can easily retrieve it under Window >> Paths.)

    SO now I am going to copy that part of the image I have selected and then paste it and move it. And I repeat these steps a few times and now I have a bunch of rounded-edged boxes.

    And remember, you can do this and more with any shape tool!
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    • #3
      Blending Multiple Images using the Lighten Blend Mode

      I do get requests through email relatively often for tutorials. I just don't think I am any good at them so I always put them off. But when a member here asked, I thought I should go ahead and get at least one done!

      This is already up on my site. I just changed the coding to post it here on the forum as well.

      Blending Multiple Images using the Lighten Blend Mode

      This tutorial is intended to illustrate some of the way in which blend images. As you may have noticed, many of my fanarts incorporate lots of images. I know this doesn't appeal to everyone but I quite like it myself. It's also fun to sort of squeeze a lot in without making ii appear overcrowded.

      It is also prudent to note that this tutorial supposes that you have some general knowledge of Photoshop. I will not explaining what certain tools are or anything like that.

      In this tutorial I will attempt to demonstrate a few ways I like to arrange images, emphasizing blend modes--particularly Lighten--and image selection. I have chosen some screencaps from The X-Files: I Want to Believe. You can see the images I am using below:

      I choose images based on certain elements. I like ones that have some architectural value to them, with lines or a flood of light cascading in. I also like when faces are arched in interesting ways. Often times, the lights and lines of these images make a wonderful flow of their own with little outside guidance from me, so long as I position them in a cool way.

      I begin as I would with any fanart by opening a new document. I prefer to work in 1400x875. I realize it is an odd sized canvas but that's just the size I choose to use! I make a new fill layer with black<. I choose black because it makes the blending easier for me when working with images that are predominantly dark.

      I choose two caps to start. And I place them on the canvas and apply layer masks, erasing away parts of them. I want to pause and say that erasing can be very subtle. I rarely erase with the Flow or Opacity set at 100%. In fact, I like to have the Flow (or Opacity should work just as well if you are using an older version of Photoshop) set somewhere between 18-30%. This way is erases part but not all of the images and it allows for the image to fade more naturally rather than just ending abruptly. The only trick to make sure that you keep softly erasing away the harder edges of the caps. Also, it is good to find a brush set that is meant for masking. I use my "Clouds" set sometimes (and you can download that in the media section of my site) but I also enjoy using the masking set from

      Okay, so I have two images down. The second one I place as the top layer and set it to Lighten. Here's what I have now:

      Now, another trick I have. That second cap has a lot of light on it and it a bit to bright. So I am going to pull up Image >> Adjustments >> Brightness/Contrast and tweak the settings.

      Not to bore with you each tiny thing, let me just say that I repeat these steps a few more times with new images. Each new image I lay down I set to Lighten. As for where I position them, well, I just sort of move them around until I get them somewhere that works for me. Again, the images sort of find their own place, I find. It's amazing how much you can get out of this blend mode. (But Lighten works better on dark backdrops. If you want to make a very light and bright art, then Lighten won't work in quite the same way as it will here.) So here's where I am at a few images later:

      On some of the images I applied a little color balance. Some where more yellow or blue than others so I wanted to even out the tones. You can experiment with color balance and see how this works. It's a great tool (and comes in escpecially handy when you are doing head swap manipulations and need to match skin tones.)

      So that's it. This is the beginning of something. Now it's ready for effects and/or stocks/textures and text and gradient maps and all that good stuff. I hope this was somewhat helpful to you!
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      • #4
        Color Range Selection

        This is a cool little way to extract a certain color from your image and change or subdue it. For example, as with the image below, there is a lot of green in there. And sometimes it can be hard to work with so much green, especially if green isn't in your overall color scheme. So this picture, then:

        No, you got the your menu and choose "Select >> Color Range." A little dialogue box will appear. The Fuzziness bar is how you choose how much of the image you want to select. And at the bottom there is a drop down menu labeled "Selection Preview." Choose whatever you want. It doesn't really matter; they just give you a few different views in the preview box so you can see how much of the image you are selecting. Usually, I prefer Grayscale or Quick Mask.

        So, now you can mess around with the Fuzziness and see how much you want to select. You don't even have to choose "Sampled Colors" (from the top of the dialogue box.) You can choose one of the colors from the drop-down menu. But for this instance, I want to use Sampled Colors. I use the little eye-dropper tool and click on the green spot on the grass. But I also want to choose the greener areas in the tress in the background, so I clikc the little eyedropper tool with "+" next to it, which allows me to select multiple ares of the photo. Finally here are my options:

        You can see I have the Fuzziness set very low. But this is because I used the eye-dropper tool to sample my colors.

        Now I click OK. And you can see how much of the image has been selected.

        The cool part comes now. You have several options. You can create a new adjustment layer or a fill layer, even a gradient or pattern layer! First I inverted the selection. (Right-click >> Select Inverse). For this example I have created anew adjustment layer using a gradient map. I have set the blend mode to "Color." Check it out!

        Pretty neat, huh? And because I used a new adjustment layer, I can brush/erase the mask and get an areas that the selection didn't pick up or place it did that I didn't want it to!

        Just to give you an idea of more cool stuff, you can do, check it out when I add a pattern layer instead:

        I hope this was neat trick for you to read about!
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        • #5
          Text Effects

          This is just a little tutorial I thought I would write up to show some ways to show some cool tricks to get neat results. I am using a wallpaper I made already, the full version of which you can see here. But here is the text portion:

          Basically I am just going to show you what kinds of settings I used for various layers. But first...a little trick I like.

          After you finish your wallpaper and are ready to add text, select the entire thing, or even just a portion of it (it doesn't matter if the layer are merged or not) and then go to "Edit >> Define Pattern."

          Now, you can write up some text. (I'm not going to go into fonts and sizing and spacing and that stuff. You know how that all works, presumably. This is just an effects tutorial. I also don't want to go into colors because you will have a different color scheme than I am using--again, presumably--so my colors won't necessarily work for you. It's one of those things you have to play around with.) But if you are curious about the particular fonts I used for this, they are: angstygirlymusic, Byron, Collins OE Demo, Olho de Boi and Anglo Text.

          For my layer with the word rich I have the blend mode set to Difference. And in the Blending Options, I am using Bevel and Emboss, Color Overlay, Pattern Overlay and Stroke. I'll show you the setting below. But first I want to tell you why you defined that pattern earlier: obviously, because you are going to use it on your text. It's a very effective little tip. It brings the text some variance and defintion and shine; it isn't just flat and one-toned. So when you apply your pattern overlay, just find that pattern your defined and use it. It will be located at the bottom of whatever set of patterns you have loaded at the time.

          For the layer with the word "Sweet" I have it set to Vivid Light, 100%. And I am using Bevel and Emboss and Pattern Overlay:
          The "&" layer is set to Darken, 100%, with Drop Shadow, Bevel and Emboss, Color Overlay and Pattern Overlay applied:
          For the "Eric is intriguied..." layer, I have it set to Normal, 100%. I use Gradient Overlay, Pattern Overlay and Stroke:
          [center][img]" class="imgborder2"> </P>
          Next, the layer with "He anticipates your..." is set to Normal, 100%. It also uses Gradient Overlay, Pattern Overlay and Stroke:
          And the last layer with "And your beautiful" is set to Normal, 100% using Pattern Overlay and Stroke:

          Now, I realize there wasn't a whole lot of actual explanation in here, but really, the images have all the information there's no need for me to repeat it. And you, of course, don't have to use these settings. It's always good to fiddle around with different opacities, blend modes, contour for bevel, colors, etc. I hope this helped a little bit for folks looking to do a bit more with their text!
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          • #6
            5 Easy Color Tricks

            It's no secret that I pretty much live and die by gradient maps. But they are not the only way to achieve some cool color. Photoshop is full of tasty alternatives. So here, I will take you through a few various ways that create some cool color.

            But it should also go to note that typically, I use several adjustment layers. Some are gradient maps, some are color balance or selective color or curves or other things. And they are set to different blend modes. So as with every tutorial you read, you should experiment around with what you pick and see what happens!

            Also keep in mind that these are basic instructions or techniques. Most of the color tools also have eyedropper capabilities (which means you can sample a color from you main image and that color will be the only effected with the changes you make.)

            Anyway, let's start with this image:

            Trick #1. Now got to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Channel Mixer. Blend mode: Normal. I applied these settings:

            The result brings softer hues to her face and the background gets a nice blue tinge:

            Trick #2. Now got to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Curves. Blend mode: Color. Opacity: 54%. And I applied these settings, note that I selected RED from the drop down menu instead of the default RGB:

            The result of this bring out a lovely and rich red but it doesn't over saturate her skin:

            Trick #3. Now got to Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Levels. Blend mode: Multiply. Opacity: 100%. I applied settings to both RGB and RED:

            This has brought the image some heightened shadows with a touch of dark red.

            Trick #4. This is a little different. For this effect, go to Select >> Color Range. A dialogue box will pop up. From the drop down menu, select SHADOWS and press OK. You will see that parts of your image were selected. The shadows, obviously. Now go to Layer >> New Fill Layer >> Solid Color. Blend mode: Color. Opacity: 100%. I chose a grayish-blue color and got this:

            Trick #5. More Color Range Selection. I recommend this tool. I use it frequently and there are infinite ways to use it. This time I am going to use the eyedropper tool and select the lighter gray tones just outside her body. And then I set the controls like this:

            After hitting OK I create a Layer >> New Fill Layer >> Solid Color. Blend mode: Darken. Opacity: 100%. I use a soft orangey-brown and the results offer a neat mossy green color. Again, her skin still looks normal.

            Okay, so this was super basic but I hope I was able to show a few cool things you might not have known! Certainly be sure to look into Color Range Selection because what I have shown here is hardly anything! I use it in almost everything I make.
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