Tags: tutorials

castiel 2
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.tutorial: pretending you paint stuff

This tutorial is the definition of "quick and dirty." Possibly it's the shortest tutorial I've ever written. First, though, I have to give a shout-out and credit to girlnamedpixley, who was awesome enough to introduce me to a new and different way of using Photoshop filters to achieve a painterly/mixed-media effect with a photo or screencap. I took it and ran with it in a couple of pieces, and am enjoying it immensely. I think it would be great for artists who are trying to stretch beyond their usual set of Photoshop tools (we all have our favorite features, don't we?), or for beginners who are ready for the next step.

This tutorial can be laid at the feet of ran_cl and uglybusiness, who asked ♥

Okay, down to business. Today, we are making this:



.zip file: here. As always, the .zip file includes: the source image, copies of all the layers, the final result, a screenshot of the layers palette (for those with no CS4 compatibility), and a .psd.

.caveat
This tutorial is really only an introduction to a method; the steps you take and the way you take them (blend modes, blurring, erasing, desaturating, everything!) will change a lot depending on the source material you’re starting with.

Software: PS4, but translatable to earlier versions of PS (to PS7, at least)
Difficulty: Beginner/intermediate. You need to know basics like cropping and how blending modes work, how to use the eraser and smudge tool. That sort of thing.

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castiel 2
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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.

.preview:


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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.

.preface
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.

.caveat
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.



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yes and yes
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.zomghuge tutorial (08): fractals, brush collage, smudge improv

At long last, another zomgHUGE tutorial! theblackeyeddog requested something with fractals and brush collages, so I put together a tutorial for a 500.200 SPN header that focuses mostly on element arrangement, but with a couple little tricks for turning an unlikely screencap into something to work with.

Today, we will be making this:


.preface
This tutorial, like all the others, is a general guide to thinking about the various topics it addresses (especially color correction, smudging to pick up cropped-out elements, erasing, transparency, color relationships), 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 :) As with the last tutorial, I've put the associated .zip file up at DA, with all project-related images so you can toss stuff together and see what happens if you'd like.

.caveat
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: Hardish? But if you could follow previous tutorials, especially 05, you can follow this. Works with selective coloring, variations, erasing and smudging; however, the focus is on the arrangement of various elements.

Now, come with me and Sam, and let's get started, shall we?


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As ever, the magnificent resource post, freshly updated as of the 10th with some tasty new things.

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.
yes and yes
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.zomgHUGE tutorial (07): large texture collages

I wrote this for namiuchiha at DA, who wanted to see how I put textures together. There's no easy way to explain it, so I put together another zomgHUGE tutorial, which may not explain things very well but at least has the virtue of being long :>

The previous tutorials all included texture work, though they were geared mostly toward making textures with a specific end in mind (the piece of art that came from them). However, the principle is really the same, without taking into consideration things like the subject, subject/background relationships, and so on.

So today's project:


-click for full-


.preface
Like the earlier tutorials, this is really just a general guide for ways to think about persuading various components of a collage to interact with each other. As is standard practice, I've posted the zip file with all project-related images at my DA account**** so you can try things out for yourself. The collage's name, "Atthis", comes from one of the subjects/addressees of Sappho's poetry, though I suppose another name might be "aesc on vacation" because a lot of the stock comes from my vacation albums, which means you'll see photos from Sicily, Maine, and a few other places in the stock folder of the tutorial .zip. Also, there is a picture of my dog.


.caveat
I am a very random person, and my method of graphics making is just to fling things together and try different stuff out to see what I like. Consequently, I believe in flexibility; your resource collection can be used in all sorts of ways and you can modify even a single texture, stock image, and brush until the cows come home--and you can even get unlikely things to do what you need them to do, and some of that will be done here.

I should also say that this is fairly time-consuming. I clocked this at about 8 hours start to finish, though it took me a bit longer because I had to stop to write things down. Either way, these do take a while but hopefully the time spent is worth it :>

Software: PS7
Difficulty: Hard, in the sense that it's long and involved. On the bright side, no selective coloring, curves, variations, &c., so this should be translatable.


NOTE ON THE .ZIP FILE
The .zip folder does not include the .psd file, because the file alone is 38MBs and DA doesn't like that. Instead, I've uploaded that HERE; if the link expires please let me know and I'll re-upload!

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.Credits & resources
+ resource list
+ tutorial request

And as always, if you've found this helpful and have gotten anything out of it, I really would love to see your work, so drop me a link to your journal or put the image in a comment so I can check it out :>
castiel 2
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.plz to have tutorial? aka, request tutorials here

I think I've exhausted the limits of my ingenuity with the zomgHUGE tutorials, or at least the ingenuity for the stuff I can come up with on my own. So that is where you come in :)

If you want to know how I set up an icon or graphic, leave a comment below specifying which one, and if you have any specific questions on it, and I'll either reply directly (if it's simple) or write up a tutorial (if it's complicated). I may not be able to duplicate the piece exactly--in fact, I know I won't--but I can give you an idea of the technique. Or if you have a general question on colors, blending work, textures, composition, whatever, you can ask that here too.

Before you ask!
Check the tutorial tag to see if I've covered what you want to know--though I haven't written many of the things, so chances are your question may be unanswered, at least by me.

Note!
My life is characterized by long periods of procrastination followed by short periods of desperation (though this may change: a long period of desperation looms in my future). As such, I may be faster or slower in my response, depending on which period of my life I'm in, and of course, depending on the complexity of your request.

Resources!
Sources and comms. for graphics:
elite_tutorial
icon_tutorial
resource post

\♥/
castiel 2
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.zomgHUGE tutorial (06): very vivid coloring; composing in different spaces

These tutorials are very dangerous for me because they combine three things I love: graphics, writing, and babbling at length about stuff I like. They can also be worked on in between long stretches of real life reading and work. Go go gadget grad student *wry look*

In this tutorial, I'd like to blather for a bit about vivid/saturated coloring in the subject and background, portraiture style, and for dessert, using the same crop in different ways and different spaces. (There is also a vector study for tx_tart, who likes those *g*)

So today we are doing these two things:





.preface
In the comments to the previous tutorial, some of you remarked that you were starting on larger pieces, and that is a Very Good Thing. BUT! BUT! You can use the same techniques in that tutorial and the first one in a 100.100 space. The theory is essentially the same, just crammed into a tiny square, and to prove it, this zomgHUGE tutorial is divided into two parts: portraiture-style large artwork and using the same crop and coloring for an icon that is not simply the large piece cropped and scaled down, but will employ the erasing and blending techniques covered in earlier tutorials.

As with previous tutorials, I've put the associated .zip file up at DA, with all project-related images for your delectation.

.caveat
I suppose this is kind of a standing thing by now :) I am a very random person, and my method of graphics making is just to fling things together and try different stuff out to see what I like. Consequently, I believe in flexibility; your resource collection can be used in all sorts of ways and you can modify even a single texture, stock image, brush, whatever until the cows come home--and you can even get unlikely things to do what you need them to do, and some of that will be done here. Visualize whirled peas and keep an open mind.

Software: PS7
Difficulty: Hard-ish for both, in the time-consuming sense. Reading the previous tutorial on erasing, or otherwise having familiarity with erasing and cropping technique, will help a lot.

Gettin' some orange fleece action on!

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You can make a nice icon from this just by flattening the .psd, cropping out a square, and resizing to 100.100.

"But aesc," you say, "it may be a nice icon, but I'd like to make a different icon, not just shrink a large piece. And I want it to look really different, not just a little. Can this be done?"

Yes, in fact, it can. And so...

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The three zomgHUGE tutorials rely pretty heavily on a wide variety of textures, and the cool thing about doing this kind of work is spending time wandering around looking for stock and textures to add to your collection. (If you are ever in dire need of something to help you procrastinate, this is it.) Without everyone in my resource list, none of this would be possible, and they're all incredibly cool, generous people for sharing their work with us.

To reiterate: the material in the .zip folder is all at your disposal to use as you wish, and I'd love to see if you get anything cool out of this--just drop me a comment :)

And it occurs to me that this is really all I can think of in terms of how I approach making my large graphics and icons. But hey, three zomgHUGE tutorials isn't bad. Is it?
castiel 2
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.zomgHUGE tutorial (05): color composition, erasing, and detail work

First, I wanted to say thank you all so much for your responses to my last tutorial! *heart* They were really great, and I'm so happy you found it useful. I had this piece started already when some of you said you'd like to see other tutorials like the previous one, so I thought I'd do another one in a similar vein, this time focusing on more color and talking a bit more about erasing stuff and the virtues/vices of really tiny details.

So today, we will be making:



.preface
This tutorial is really more of a general guide as to ways you can think about erasing, but how you erase stuff will depend on a lot of factors: the composition overall, the background, light sources, etc. Consequently, while you can't duplicate the tutorial precisely, you can take its suggestions and expand/modify/apply them to your own work :) As with the last tutorial, I've put the associated .zip file up at DA, with all project-related images so you can toss stuff together and see what happens if you'd like.

ETA! If you downloaded from the DA page between when I posted this and now (7:20EDT), double-check to make sure you have the .zip file and not the .png :)

.caveat
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 (desaturate? soft light for contrast?), pasting it in, trying different blending styles (screen? soft light? color burn?) and seeing what happens.


Software: PS7
Difficulty: Hardish? But if you could follow the previous tutorial, you can follow this. Works with selective coloring, variations, and curve layers (just a bit). The collage part is a bit more involved because the various stock components will be more heavily modified.

In the last zomgHUGE tutorial, I was working with desaturated colors on a black/white background, so this time I'll try something different and have some hot color-on-color action. As another way to change things up, instead of having a background relying on scratch textures, I decided to play around with paper stock this time around.

And hey, how about some Sam Winchester while we're at it?

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And as always, the invaluable resource post give aesc all your chocolate too. Feel free to appropriate anything in the .zip file for your own nefarious purposes, and if you find it useful and make anything, I'd love to see it--just drop me a comment with a link :).

oh, and kidnap Jared Padalecki/David Hewlett/Joe Flanigan/Jensen Ackles (any or all of the above), chain them up, and send them to her express
castiel 2
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.zomgHUGE tutorial (04): blending and composition

I wrote this for tx_tart, who wanted to see something on blending and composition. As with all things, it grew and grew until it became a catch-all tutorial for texture and icon making as well. But the core should still be the same :) I hope you like it! *heart*

Making this today:




.preface
The tutorial spends most of its time composing a larger piece, which can then be resized and worked with in all sorts of ways--icons, headers, wallpapers, background textures, etc. It's rather long and involved, but you can get a lot of material out of it :) I've uploaded a .zip file (12.4MB) of the project, including all related image files (draft images, screencaps, base textures, stock, icons) and the .psd file, and I tossed in drafts of the subject files so if you want to try erasing, blending, and composing based on this template, you can. The tutorial below is meant to clarify how I went about building the composition, which is what tx_tart wanted to hear.

Software: PS7, with some selective coloring
Difficulty: Hard-ish? Not much knowledge of PS7 is required past selective coloring and knowing how blending layers work, but the difficulty is really in the amount of time you're willing to devote to adjusting and nitpicking, and your willingness to use the Undo and Step Backward options.

That all being said, let's get started!

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PS: If you just want the icons and textures, feel free to download the .zip file anyway! If you've found this helpful and have gotten anything out of it, I really would love to see your work, so drop me a link to your journal or put the image in a comment so I can check it out :)

Looking for textures, stock, and such for your own stuff? I have lots of links over in my resource post, and there is much wisdom to be found therein.
castiel 2
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.tutorial 3 - brushes and collage

It's procrastination time, which means... time for another tutorial!

Designed for: PS7. Translatable? Not sure :/

This tutorial is really for a collage-type icon, but the cool thing is using brushes made from odd stock/texture images and using them to show off the subject. Lots of steps, but most are pretty straightforward.

Go from this to


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