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07 January 2012 @ 03:21 pm
Beginners icon tutorials for Photoshop & Gimp  
good grief this coding got confusing...

Okay, so what I'm trying to do here is basic colouring and cropping in the two programmes I have available to me - Photoshop 7 and Gimp 2.6. Hopefully I'll get similar enough results that you can see what I'm aiming for!

Icon made in Photoshop:

Icon made in Gimp:




Photoshop first

Start by cropping your image to icon size - 100px x 100px. Your crop tool is the square looking thing with the extended corners on the tool palette. And I realize that just sounds confusing so here's a pic!


Once you've selected it, you'll see the following dialogue at the top bar, make sure your settings are the same as this one


Now, go to the part of your picture you want to make into the icon and 'select' it using the crop tool. (Click on the corner and drag the tool down into a square over the image)


Once you're happy with it, release the mouse and click once inside the selection. Voila, you now have a cropped down image.



Onto the colouring! YAY!

Our image is *way* too dark at this point, so what we're going to do is lighten it by creating some 'screen' copies of it. If you haven't done too much to change the layout of the tools on your version of Photoshop, your 'layers palette' will be on the right of the image. Right click on the 'Background' layer (it should be the only one you have at this point) and select 'Duplicate Layer'
(You can also go to the Layer drop down menu and select 'duplicate layer' from there, it's entirely up to you, I just feel more comfortable working from the palette.)


We want to set this duplicated layer to 'Screen' mode. To do this, go to the box that says 'normal' and click on the arrow. You'll see this:


Select screen, et voila!


Now, our icon isn't too bad at this point, but it could definitely be better. So, what we're going to do now is 'sharpen' the 'screen' layer to make it more defined. To do this, go to the 'Filter' drop down menu and select Sharpen > Sharpen.


The next couple of steps are the same in both programmes so instead of typing it twice, I'm copy/pasting, hee!

Right now you have a useable icon, you could stop here if you wanted, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't keep futzing about!

So, I'm going to lighten it up even more by duplicating the 'screen' layer another three times. (right click on it in the layers palette and select duplicate layer, do this three times)



Yikes! But no, I haven't gone completely insane, I promise!

The 'top' layer (background copy 4), we're going to change the mode. Go to where it says 'screen', click on the arrow and change it to 'Soft Light'



Looks kinda too yellow, don't it? Kinda like Sophie should be getting herself down to the doctors asap because she's pretty jaundiced? Right, here's a trick for you. We're going to take all the colours out of that soft light layer by 'desaturating' it. In Photoshop this is down by going to the Image drop down menu and choosing Adjustments > Desaturate. In Gimp, it's the Colours drop down menu and choose Desaturate.



Better, right? Still kinda yellow though… Time to split the programmes again…

Back to Photoshop specifics...

We're going to add in a layer to 'mute' down the colouring a little. This is called an 'Exclusion' layer, and we'll put this in between the Soft Light layer and the top-most Screen layer.

On your layers palette, click once on 'Background copy 3" (the screen layer) to select it.

Now, go to the bottom of the palette and select the little square icon (That looks like a pile of post-its to me…)



Go to your tools palette and select the 'paint bucket tool' which, oddly enough, looks like a paint bucket…

at the bottom of the palette you'll see two squares of colour (on my example above they're red and white, the default is black and white). Click on the top one and you'll see the 'Color Picker' dialogue pop up. Choose as dark a blue as you can stomach by clicking on the blue part of the rainbow-strip on the side and then in the large box clicking down somewhere in the bottom right.



on your icon, with the paint bucket tool selected, click once. (make sure you've got the newly created empty 'Layer 1' selected for this bit!)



on the layers palette, where it says 'normal' change this to 'Exclusion'

I'm now going to add some more tweaks to it, click on the top layer (the soft light one) to select it, now create a new layer (the post-it notes again!) and with the paint bucket fill this one with a beige/cream colour. Set this new layer to 'Multiply'.

Another new layer, this time fill it with a pale aqua blue and set this one to 'Color burn'



yeah… not *horrible* but still not right, what to do now is click on the beigey layer in the palette and where it says 'Opacity, slide the arrow along until it says 80%

then click on blue layer and do the same, this time moving it all the way along to 20%.



and your final layers!





As in Photshop, crop your image. The crop tool here looks different and is more like a craft knife.


Once selected, on the tool palette, you'll see dialogue like this:

Set this to Fixed aspect ratio 100:100.

Go to the part of the image you want to make into the icon and click and drag the square over it until you're happy.


Once you're happy, release the mouse and click once inside the selection. Now you have a square image that will be an icon! Once it's the right size…


Go to the 'Image' drop down menu and select 'Scale image'

Change your size to 100 x 100


Et voila!


Colouring in Gimp!

We want to lighten the image, so what we'll do is make 'Screen' copes of our background. TO do this, go to your 'layers palette' which will be on the right hand side of your image. Right click on the 'Background' layer and select 'Duplicate Layer'.


To set this duplicated layer to screen, go to the layers palette where it says 'Normal', click on the arrow and you'll see this:


Select 'screen' et voila!


To improve our icon at this point, we're going to 'sharpen' the 'screen' layer. To do this, go to the 'Filters' drop down menu and select 'Enhance > sharpen


(The copy/past bit!)

Right now you have a useable icon, you could stop here if you wanted, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't keep futzing about!

So, I'm going to lighten it up even more by duplicating the 'screen' layer another three times. (right click on it in the layers palette and select duplicate layer, do this three times)



Yikes! But no, I haven't gone completely insane, I promise!

The 'top' layer (background copy 4), we're going to change the mode. Go to where it says 'screen', click on the arrow and change it to 'Soft Light'



Looks kinda too yellow, don't it? Kinda like Sophie should be getting herself down to the doctors asap because she's pretty jaundiced? Right, here's a trick for you. We're going to take all the colours out of that soft light layer by 'desaturating' it. In Photoshop this is down by going to the Image drop down menu and choosing Adjustments > Desaturate. In Gimp, it's the Colours drop down menu and choose Desaturate.



Better, right? Still kinda yellow though… Time to split the programmes again…


Back to Gimp specific now!


On the layers palette, click once on the top-most screen layer (Background copy 3) to select it. Now below all the layers on your palette, you want to select the little icon that looks a new page. (So much more logical than Photoshop’s ‘post-it pile!) to create a new layer.



Go to your tools palette (on the other side of the screen) and select your ‘paint bucket tool’ (it looks like a paint bucket, strange that!)

You’ll see two rectangles of colour on the tool palette, click on the top one and you’ll see a ‘colour picker’ dialogue box pop up. Click on the rainbow strip on a blue bit and then in the large box click somewhere near the top left to select a really dark blue,



On your icon, with the paint bucket tool selected, click once. (make sure you’re on the newly created empty ‘Layer 1’ for this.

On the layers palette, where it says ‘normal’, click on the arrow (and if you’re me, have a nervous breakdown when you can’t see the mode you want and start gently weeping) and change it to “Addition”

This mutes the colours a little and gets rid of that ‘jaundiced’ look Sophie has.



I’m making some more tweaks now, just as I did for the Photoshop version. On the very top top layer (the soft light copy of the background), click once to select and then create a new layer (the new page icon on the palette). Fill this one with a beige/cream colour and set this to ‘Multiply’

Another new layer on top of that one, this time fill it with a pale aqua blue and set it to ‘Burn’.

Not right yet, so what we’ll do is change the ‘opacity’ of these last two layers. Click once on the beigey layer and slide the arrow to the left (from 100% to 80%).

Click on the pale blue layer and reduce that one down to 20%.

Et voila!



Not *completely* the same, but both are useable icons, no?
 
 
Current Mood: exhaustedexhausted
Current Music: Kane - One More Shot
 
 
 
scout_loverscout_lover on January 7th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
I'll never be the icon goddess that you are, but, using your tips I went from this:

eliot-start

to this:

eliot-final

Now I just have to remember how I did it, lol.
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: lvg//eliot crazy eyes - mewhiskyinmind on January 9th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
ooo! I *like* that one! Great job sweetie!
scout_loverscout_lover on January 9th, 2012 07:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Like I said, I just have to remember this stuff.

See my icon up there? ^ I made it … and have no freaking idea how. Sometimes I really irritate myself, lol.