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02 September 2006 @ 09:56 am
Photoshop icon tutorials  
I finally caved and came up with two tutorials for colourings. They're the same basic methods but with very different results. Made using Photoshop 7 but are transferable to other programmes I think. So...

From this to

Step 1 - crop your picture down using the crop tool set to 100px x 100px with a resolution of 100 (this resolution is a personal choice - don't go lower than 72 though) 

Step 2 - duplicate the base (on the layers palette, right click the base and select 'Duplicate layer') and sharpen the duplicate (DO NOT SHARPEN THE BASE!!). Set this layer to 'screen' 100%

Step 3 - create a new layer and flood fill with a really dark blue - I used #070223. Set to 'exclusion' 100%
Step 4 - Duplicate the 'screen' layer and drag it to the top. Desaturate this layer (Cntrl+Shift+U)
Step 5 - Set the desaturated layer to 'Soft Light'
Step 6 - Create a new layer and floodfill with a pale aqua colour (I used #D9FFFD) Set this to 'color burn' 100%
Step 7 - Create a new layer and floodfill with a beige colour (#E0D7CD). Set to 'multiply' 100%
Step 8 - Duplicate the aqua 'color burn' layer and drag to the top. Lower the opacity to around 20%.
Et voila. There's your basic colouring - from here you can go on and add text, borders, brushes etc to your heart's content. Add each brush to a new layer so that any mistakes are easily rectified.

crop tool settings:

Layers palette:

And another one! From this to
crop your picture down using the crop tool set to 100px x 100px with a resolution of 100 
 duplicate the base and sharpen the duplicate . Set this layer to 'screen' 100%. Duplicate the screen layer another two times (this depends on the colouring of your base, more duplicates for a dark picture, less for a light one – keep in mind that the resolution of the final picture will go down with each new copy though.)
 create a new layer and flood fill with a really dark blue – I used # 04031D. Set to 'exclusion' 100%
 duplicate the 'screen' layer and drag it above the 'exclusion' layer. Set it to 'soft light' 100%
duplicate the 'soft light' layer and desaturate it (Ctrl+Shift+U). Leave this set to 'soft light' at 100%
 create a new layer and flood fill with a pale blue - #C3EBFD (slightly darker than the previous tutorial). Set this to 'color burn' 100%
 new layer, flood fill with a beige colour - # E3D7C8. Set to 'multiply' 100%
 duplicate the aqua 'color burn' layer and drag to the top. Lower the opacity to around 20%.
 new layer, add some brush work in white (yes, it's tiny text, think of it as a bumpy line if you prefer). The black is just there so you can see the brush.
 This last part is really subtle. Overall the sharpness worked for me, but I wanted to highlight the gash on his cheek a little. I could have done this with the sharpen tool but instead I smoothed the skin around it. To do this, I created a new layer and 'stamped' a copy of the complete icon into this new layer (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) – you could just go to Layer > Flatten Image but I tend to stamp a copy in case I want to go back and make more changes later on. Zoom in on the picture and use the blur tool set to one of the PS defaults (Hard Round 3px in this case) at Mode Normal and Strength 40%. Carefully blur the skin, avoiding the eyes, mouth and of course the gash.
And there you go!

Layers palette:

Blur tool settings:

And another one! I got a lot of appreciative comments about the colouring of this icon when I first posted it, unfortunately I don't have either the PSD file or the original screencap anymore… So I remade it. It's the same method and is close...

From this to

  Step 1 – Open a new document 100px 100px (100 res again 'cause I'm strange like that) with a white background.Resize your screencap, either by going to Image > Image Size and changing the width to 100 px or (and this is how I do it) drag the screencap onto the blank document and using the Move Tool, hold the shift key down (to keep the proportions) and click on one of the corners and resize it to fit.
 Step 2 – duplicate the image layer and sharpen it. Set it to screen and duplicate it again.
  Step 3 – my old friend the desaturated soft light layer – duplicate the last screen layer and desaturate it (Ctrl+Shift+U) – change to 'soft light'
  Step 4 – create a new layer below the soft light layer and use the rectangular marquee tool to select the area covering the image. Floodfill with a dark blue (#050416) and set to exclusion.
  Step 5 – new layer above the soft light layer and (with the area over the image still selected) floddfill with a mid-grey (#b4b4b4) – set to 'color burn'
  Step 6 – New layer, still with the area selected, floodfill with aqua (#D1F6FE) – set to 'color burn'
  Step 7 – New layer, floodfill selection with a really light grey (#F1F1F1) – set to 'color burn'. Now you can switch back to the marquee tool and deselect the area.
  Step 8 – use the eyedropper tool to choose a colour from the icon (I chose the brightish blue behind Mickey's head) and add your text (mine is ITC Garamond, 12pt, anti alias – smooth).

Layers palette:

Any questions - fire away! I don't have access to Paint Shop so I probably won't be able to help with that I'm afraid. All finished icons are shareable with credit.
monkey_mattmonkey_matt on September 3rd, 2006 08:06 am (UTC)
I'm beginning to suspect this was a bad idea - I've been making icons for two whole hours now... Remember that idea we had about creating mindless clones and sending them to work instead of us?

Think I'm going to have to consider that as a real possibility.