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little albatross's Tutorials

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  • little albatross's Tutorials

    ? My tutorials are meant solely to help other people learn from the techniques I use and incorporate it into their own art. They are not meant for people to make exact replicas of my pieces. Please remember that these walk-throughs are only to be used as learning tools. As they are not entirely the work of anybody following my tutorials, replicas of the pieces for which I've written tutorials should not be reposted online without giving me credit.

    Wallpaper - The Taste of Love

    I was asked about this wallpaper, so here's a short tutorial for it
    Resources: BS Cappage, Misplaced Moments, Ewanism

    I started out with a black background (#000000). I don't usually use black, but I did this time for some reason:confused2:

    I placed my Hiro and Charlie caps (1, 2- both caps from BS Cappage, and both I resized and cleaned up myself), like so, masking out the edges and parts I don't need.
    I selected the whole canvas, made a merged copy and pasted it onto a new layer. Then I did Filter>Other>High Pass (Radius: 1px), setting that layer to Overlay to bring out the edges of the pictures and sharpen them up a bit.
    I pasted a merged copy and used Filter>Blur>Smart Blur (Radius: 3; Threshold: 10) this time. Obviously, some parts don't quite have the smooth look I want (example). To fix this, I took my blur tool(strength: around 50%) and went over those sharper parts to soften them up. (see the difference?)
    I copy-merged>pasted again, and then used Filter>Artistic>Paint Daubs (Brush Size: 3; sharpness:0). I lowered the opacity to around 50%. Then, I added a layer mask and brushed out the parts that were a little too blurry for me, mainly her eyes and mouth(example). It was actually fine the way it was, I guess, but I wanted to keep my people looking as natural as possible for now. After that, I had this.
    The top edge of the Charlie cap started to bug me, so I took my soft circle brush(45-60px) and lightly brushed over the top of her head. So I don't have such a hard edge now (See?) *note: And yes, I realized that I could have easily fixed that by masking out the top edge of the original cap in the first step. But the thing about fanart is that you build as you go. I didn't know that edge would bug me so much when I started!*

    The first texture I used was this one from my site. I flipped it horizontally, and I set it to screen, masking out the parts I don't need. And "parts I don't need" is usually code for "stuff that covers faces" :P And a small note about masking: Brushing out parts alone doesn't usually work for me, so a lot of times I use gaussian blur or motion blur on the mask to blend it in a bit more Now, I have this.
    Then I added this texture, and set it to screen. Again, I masked out the parts I didn't want. It looks something like this now.
    Next, I added a Gradient Map adjustment layer. I used this gradient which is from Nikki (Misplaced) and I edited it a little bit. I set the layer to Soft Light.
    I added another Gradient Map, from Nikki again. And set it to Soft Light.
    Then, I used this texture from Nikki, and I used Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur (Radius:5) on it. I set the layer to soft light. Since I mainly used this texture for coloring purposes, I didn't feel the need to mask anything out.
    I added this texture from Nikki. I flipped the texture horizontally, and set it to soft light. Then, I masked out the faces.
    Next, I copy-merged>pasted and set the layer to screen 35%.
    I filled a new layer with a very light yellow color (#fff3d9) and set that layer to multiply.
    Then, I added a new Curves adjustment layer. Charlie was starting to look like she'd been punched in the eye, and I couldn't really lighten the area up to my liking, so I just decided to darken it instead. So my curves ended up looking like this.
    I added my last two gradient maps, one from Nikki and one of my own. Both set to soft light.
    Finally, I added my last two textures, both were my own. (1, 2- the second one, I flipped horizontally.) I set both to screen, and I lowered the opacity of the first texture to 44%. Then, I masked out the parts that were too strong or that I didn't need. Now I have this.

    Finishing Touches
    I added my "Hiro & Charlie" line, rotating it a little bit and lowered the opacity to 45%.
    Then, I created a new layer and used a text visibility brush (from Ewanism) in white. I resized the brush so that it was only a little bit shorter than the Hiro & Charlie line. And then I sharpened the layer.
    I added my Johnny Cash lyrics, in two different fonts and colors, because that's always fun :P And I added an out glow to make my lines stand out a little bit more.
    Finally, I finished off the piece with a 5px border (Select all>Edit>Stroke>5px,Inside)
    Last edited by little albatross; 22-09-07, 04:20 PM.
    would you do anything for me

    buy a new diamond ring for me

  • #2
    I am a huge blending fan, and that is the style of art I like to do most. But I do make boxy pieces once in awhile. So, this tutorial is to show one way I could go about the boxy piece.
    I will take you through how I made this piece. I try to make thing understandable, but feel free to pm me with any questions
    Resources used in this piece: Sparklies, Colorblinded, Shattered, Misplaced Moments, Ewanism, 77 words, and Stock Xchng

    I start off with a dark gray canvas (#2c2c2c) because I find gray a lot easier to use than black or white. It's just a weird preference thing.
    I take my first picture, and I resize it to my liking. It's always better to start off with a bigger picture, because you lose a lot of quality when you have to enlarge pictures. I'm going to place this picture on the edge of my canvas and a little bit above the center. After I resize/position my picture, I use my rectangle tool (U), and make sure I'm using the path option (see). I draw a long rectangle around the focal point of the picture (people, in this case) and I create a vector mask for that picture using my current path. I like to use vector masks, because I can always make them bigger/smaller and move them around the picture without affecting the actual picture, and I can add a regular layer mask as well, if I need to. So right now, I have this, and this is what my layers palette looks like right about now.

    I'll add my next picture. For this piece, I'm going to repeat my first picture, but you can pretty much use whatever picture you want. I resize it to fit the canvas. But this time I'm going to rotate the picture 90 degrees to give the piece more visual interest, since I'm using the same one as before. I'll place this one on the opposite side of the canvas. I use my rectangle tool and add a vector mask, lining up the top and bottom with the first picture. Now, the piece looks like this.
    My third picture is going to be smaller than the first two. This time, I take my rounded rectangle tool. I used a 10px radius, but use whatever you prefer. I draw around the part I want, and I create a vector mask. And I get the base of my piece, which looks like this.

    Now, we're going to start messing with filters! After making the pictures smaller, details get a little bit blurry, but we could fix that. I paste a merged copy of the piece onto a new layer (ctrl+A, ctrl+shift+C, ctrl+V) and go to filter>Other>High Pass (radius: 1.0). Then, I set the layer to Overlay.

    I copy-merged>paste again, and go to Filter>Blur>Smart Blur (radius: 3, threshold: 7-10). Some parts look a bit sharp, like Harriet here, so I take my Blur Tool (R) in a small brush size (strength: about 50%) and go over some of those parts to soften them up. So it looks more like this.

    Then, I paste another merged copy. On this one, I'm going to use Filter>Artistic>Paint Daubs (Brush size: 3, sharpness:0). I set this layer to 50% opacity. I add a layer mask, and I make sure I'm working on my layer mask. Using a small brush (around 20px), I go over the parts where I want more detail (eyes, picture edges) in black paint. And if you make a mistake, just switch to white, and it should bring back whatever you erased!

    I'm going to start adding textures now. The first one I'm going to add is a stock of a city at night (from Stock Xchng). It's dark but still has neat little lights. I place it where I want, and I set it to screen (64% opacity). Then, I add a layer mask and brush out the parts I don't want.

    I add a light texture from Romain (Colorblinded) and set that to 61% screen. Again, I mask out the parts I don't want. The piece looks something like this now.

    Next, I add one of my own textures. I set it to 100% soft light. And again mask out the parts I don't want. And now I have this. The piece is getting a little dark so I add a curves layer (Layers>New Adjustment Layer>Curves) to brighten it up.

    My last texture is from Line (@ Shattered), mainly for color. And I just set that to soft light. I didn't really need to mask anything out, but you can if you feel like it. Now, we have this.

    Now, I copy-merged/paste and go to Paint Daubs (Brush size: 1, sharpness: 1) and I mask out parts that are a little too strong for me- mainly their faces, as I want to keep them soft and smooth.

    I copy-merged/paste again, and this time I go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur (radius: 6px) and set that to Soft Light 60% to add a little glow.

    Copy-merge/paste again and Filter>Blur>Motion blur (Angle:90, distance: 150-200). I set this layer's opacity to 20% and mask out the parts where I don't want the effect, like their faces (as usual). Now I have something that looks like this.

    Now, I work on the coloring. I create a new layer, and fill it with a dark blue (#001627). I set this layer to Exclusion. I make a new layer, fill it with a light blue (#ccdfec). I set this layer to Color Burn.

    I add make a new curves adjustment layer, and my curve looks something like this. I mainly try to brighten up the piece, but keep the darker parts dark for a nightly feel.

    I add a new adjustment layer- Gradient Map, this time. And I use this gradient from Nikki (Misplaced Moments). I set the layer to soft light.

    Okay, this is where I might get a little weird. I add a new gradient map adjustment layer, using this gradient from Nikki. And set the layer to soft light. I scroll down to the first layer on my layers palette, and hold ctrl as I click on the vector mask. This should select the vector mask I made for the first layer. Then, I hold ctrl+shift and click on the vector mask for the second layer. Now on your canvas, there should be a selection around the first two pictures. Then, I hold ctrl+alt and click on the vector mask for my last picture. Now there should be a hole (around the last picture) cut out from the selection around the first two pictures. While I have my selection, I go back up to my gradient map layer and fill my selection with black. The layer should look like this.

    Now, I hold ctrl and click on the layer mask from my previous gradient map. I add a new gradient map layer using this gradient, which I kind of just threw together. Now my layers look like this.

    I select the previous layer mask again, and I add a new curves layer. The curves I used look something like this. With Curves, your settings are going depend entirely on your personal taste and the pictures you're using, so I'm not going to give you my exact settings. Really, just experiment with them and you'll get something that works eventually.

    Now, I again select the same layer mask I've been using. Then, I invert my selection (Select>Inverse). I add my last gradient, the default black to white. It should have only affect the first two pictures, so that it looks like this.

    After I get the coloring I want, I take one of my light stocks and set it to Screen, masking out some parts I don't want. Then I copy-merged>paste and Motion Blur(Angle:0, distance:250) this layer. I lower the opacity to 20% and then mask out the parts I don't want.

    I add a new blank layer and using a text visibility brush (of which I really enlarged the size) from Ewanism, I make a white stroke underneath my pictures, slightly overlapping them like this. And I set this layer to soft light.

    Next, I add some large text ("big three") in a reddish color (#b6645e). I set it to linear dodge 34%. Then I add a drop shadow.

    I do smaller line of white text in a different font. I duplicate this layer two times. I rasterize the first copy and motion blur it (angle:0 distance:100). I repeat this on the middle copy. I keep the top copy as a text layer. I change the font color to a hot pink (#c91780) and set it to linear burn. Your layers should look like this.

    I create a new layer and add a dark border by selecting the canvas and going to Edit>Stroke (width:5, location:inside), and in the same color as my border, I add a decorative brush from 77 words.

    I add a small signature in one of the corners, and my piece is finished!
    would you do anything for me

    buy a new diamond ring for me


    • #3
      Experimenting with Common Fonts

      I've been getting a few questions about the fonts I use and how I do my text, and I realized that a lot of times, I just experiment with my computer's default fonts! So, this isn't exactly a font guide. It's just to show how I get some text effects using some of the common fonts on my computer


      I actually started using this in my art because I figured out how to do it on my site, and I thought it was pretty But people asked me how I got the jumbled lettering on pieces like in this piece and in this piece. It's actually fairly easy, if you don't mind that it's pretty time consuming.

      The font I used here is georgia. All in lowercase. All I had to do to get that added spiffiness was change the font style to italic: (see?)

      And here's the time-consuming part. To get the jumbled, multi-colored effect, I put each letter on its own layer. (see?)

      That way, I could position and rotate each letter the way I want. Plus, I have more freedom to play with the colors. And to finish it off, I usually add different colored drop shadows, which is another reason why I like each letter on a different layer. (see?)

      And my end result? This is a little more random than usual. I mainly try to pick colors that at least somewhat match the rest of the piece, but I just kind of threw these ones together to get my point across

      Arial is actually one of my favorite fonts because it's so versatile! So, here's just a few things you could do with it

      This effect, which I used pretty prominently in Such A Flirt, was done with just a large font size and tracking adjustment. All I had to do was get the letters closer together, using the tracking (the little AV with the arrows underneath pointing away from each other). (see?)
      I usually like to keep it from -100 to -50, just out of preference.

      Alternatively, I also like to use Arial in a smaller size and larger tracking. I find that it's easy to use for quotes or lyrics For this effect, I usually like to use 10-18 point font with 400-600 tracking. (see?)

      Also, the small-caps variant (the TT) can work really well with those settings. I like to play with the anti-aliasing, boldness as well. (see?)
      And this is the final result:
      Last edited by little albatross; 01-07-07, 08:53 PM.
      would you do anything for me

      buy a new diamond ring for me