.æ. (aesc) wrote in discolore,

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.helpful post: resources (textures, brushes, stock); zomghuge! tutorial 09 (iconspace)

This is a helpful post!

.RESOURCES! A set of medium-sized textures, a brush set, and some paper stock! I've done so much muted collage stuff for a while that I decided to see if I could simplify things and return to bolder, simpler things along the lines of brazen hussy, which I think is maybe one of the more useful sets. The textures aren't very complicated, so you can do a lot of things with them. There are also some soft ink brushes that are good for subtle background work and a set of hi-res scans of some handcrafted paper from Nepal.


-@ DA-

-@ DA-

-@ box.net [40.5MBs, 9 files]-

-resources (hugely and massively updated with lots of cool new things!)
-commenting/acknowledging is really, really lovely (now that I'm slightly less frazzled, I swear I'll start responding again! I hate not replying... it makes me feel somewhat lame.)
-any questions? feel free to ask!

TUTORIAL! A couple weeks ago, sweet_tabasco wanted to know how I made the icon on the left. I very brilliantly lost my .psd file of it, and after about ten tries gave up on reconstructing it precisely but instead tried to duplicate the sort of steps I took. For a 100.100 icon there are a lot of steps; most of the steps are due to nuance in shading and contrast, and wanting to mix in a bunch of different types of texture, so while everything is greyscale, there are some swirly textures, cloudy ones, scratchy ones, abrasive ones, and so on. Because this is multi-sectioned with subsections and everything, it qualifies as ZOMGHUGE!, although the image is very small.

This tutorial, like all the others, is a general guide to thinking about how you can have fun with textures, but how you use the information here will depend on a lot of factors in your own particular composition. Consequently, while you can't duplicate the tutorial precisely, you can take its suggestions and expand/modify/apply them to your own work :) The associated .zip file up at box.net, with all project-related images so you can toss stuff together and see what happens if you'd like.

For stuff like this, really the best thing to do isn't covered in a tutorial, and that is to experiment and mess about. I've probably learned as much through wondering "What would happen if I do this?" (a better philosophy for PhotoShop than, say, touching hot stoves) as reading through tutorials. My process of putting collages together essentially consists of hunting for interesting-looking stock, playing with the color a bit, pasting it in, trying different blending styles, erasing things, and seeing what happens.

Software: PS7
Difficulty: Easy, just with a lot of steps and a bit of erasing. Some selective coloring, but only in one step; the rest is adaptable.

A. Subject.
1.) Start off with Joe, capped from his guest appearance in Tru Calling.
-Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
-Duplicate base > SCREEN
-Duplicate base > SOFT LIGHT; drag to top
-Layer > Flatten
-Crop to get rid of the extra white areas
-Reduce to c. 100px wide
-Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast: Brightness +10; Contrast + 30
> result

B. Textures
1.) iamellie_desat (iamellie)
-Duplicate 2x > both to SCREEN
-Image > Rotate Canvas > 90 CCW

2.) rh_swirl (rain harbour)
-Rotate Canvas > Flip Vertical
-Rotate Canvas > Flip Horizontal

3.) unmasked_icons (unmasked_icons): Desaturate

4.) ofthesky_desat (ofthesky)
-Duplicate 1x > SOFT LIGHT

5.) sanami_desat (ohfreckle)
-Rotate Canvas > 90 CCW

6.) gender_flower (dearest): Desaturate

7.) inxsomniax_desat (inxsomniax): Desaturate

8.) blimey_paper (blimey_icons): Rotate Canvas > 90 CCW

C. Assembly
1.) Open a new 100.100 document with a white background

2.) Paste in the following, working from the bottom up (consult final layer order). Opacity for all layers is 100%.
-iamellie_desat > NORMAL
-unmasked_icons > COLOR BURN
-rh_swirl > SOFT LIGHT
-ofthesky_desat > COLOR BURN
-sanami_desat > SOFT LIGHT
-gender flower > COLOR BURN
> halfway mark (this is actually a nice little texture on its own)

3.) Paste in JOE.
-Move so Joe's face is slightly off-center, and down a bit. The bottom of his collar should be at or just below the bottom border.
> Hi Joe hi!

4.) Paste in the following ON TOP of JOE, working up. Opacity for all layers is 100%.
-inxsomniax_desat > COLOR BURN
-gender_grey (dearest) > COLOR BURN
-grey_? (someone?) > COLOR BURN
-blimey_paper > SOFT LIGHT
-iconistas_abr (iconistas) > SOFT LIGHT
> all layers, but... WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO JOE?!

D. Fiddly Things
Okay, going back in to do a few basic adjustments. As you can see, the icon so far is... a wee bit off. The next couple of steps will help brighten the icon up where it needs it, especially in white and light/medium neutral areas around Joe's face, so he stands out.

1.) Erasure. I like using small cloudy erasers, nothing with a very defined border. I use this one by inxsomniax almost all the time.
-set cloudy eraser to about 100px or smaller
-iamellie_desat: erase the top half or so of the texture [result]
-gender_flower: erase the dark blue patch on the left side, and the grey-blue petals in the middle [result]
-inxsomniax_desat: erase the part under Joe's face [result]
-grey_?: erase almost all, except for the bottom and right borders [result]
-blimey_paper: erase most of the center part of the texture, concentrating under Joe's face [result]
-iconistas_abr: erase the right half of the texture, leaving a bit on top [result]

2.) For a little extra scratchiness.
-blimey_scratch (blimey_icons) > Paste above SANAMI-DESAT > SCREEN
-move to the left about 20px
-erase right border

3.) To bring out the contrast a little more and make Joe stand out:
-Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Selective Coloring
>WHITES: Black -34
>NEUTRALS: Black -2
>BLACKS: Black +100

And you're done!


.the point: When you lay it out like this, it looks like a ton of work; for a 100.100 space, is probably is. But, the icon that sweet_tabasco asked after was one of the icons I did before I started doing large textures, and the lessons I learned doing icons--mixing a bunch of textures together at different blending layers, erasing, developing an eye for fine detail--are all lessons I was able to apply working in much larger spaces. The other good thing is that, once you get used to a certain sort of procedure, you can create something like this fairly quickly; you can also shortcut by learning how to blend much more complicated textures, so you're only using, say, three to five, instead of eight or ten.

Like with all previous tutorials, anything in the .zip file is free for you to use for your own nefarious purposes--just please provide links/credit to the appropriate stock/texture/brush artists in accordance with their policies :> And, if you make something, feel free to link me to it! I would love to see it.
Tags: brushes, icon textures, resources, textures, tutorials, zomghuge

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