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yellowdartvader wanted to know how to make this icon, so I made a tutorial. This is my first tutorial so any questions, comments, or constructive criticisms are very welcome and appreciated. I use PSP9, and I tried to write it so that a beginner could follow it, but if there is anything that's unclear, please let me know.

Today we'll be going from this to .

Since Lois and Clark is the best show ever, we'll start with a screencap I made of Superman and Jimmy from "Virtually Destroyed".

Step 1: Crop and Resize

I cropped it how I wanted, knowing that I wanted it to be a little wider than it was tall.

Now, I could just go to Image > Resize, put in the dementions I want, and click okay, but that tends to lower the quality of the picture. To preserve as much quality as possible, I do go to Image > Resize, and put in the dementions that I want, but I only do this to find out what the height would be for the width I want. I want the pic to be 80 pixels wide, so I input that and it tells me that the height should be 57 pixels. Remember that number and click cancel.

Now open a new image (File > New) with those dementions. Select all (Ctrl + A), paste into selection (Ctrl + Shift + L), and deselect (Ctrl + D). This will preserve a little more quality than simply resizing the image.

Now we have this:

Step 2: Fix The Base

They are looking very blurry, so we need to sharpen them. I like using Unsharp Mask rather than Sharpen. I think it gives the picture a nicer look. I used Radius 1.5, Strength 110, Clipping 1.

Now the skin is usually looking a little too sharp, so I use the soften tool at size 2 and opacity 70 to go over thier face, avoiding thier noses, lips, eyebrows, and eyes if they were showing. It helps to zoom in to about 500 or 600% to do this.

Now we have this:

Open a new image again, this time 100x100. Copy (Ctrl + C) and paste the picture as a new layer (Ctrl + L) into this new image. At this point I would use the selection tool to move it to where I wanted it on the icon, but for this one I liked it in the center so I left it there.

Now duplicate Superman and Jimmy twice. Set the top layer to soft light and the middle layer to screen, both at 100.

Now we have this: Image hosted by Photobucket.com (I put a black border around this example so you could see that it's on white.)

Step 3: Make It Pretty

Now, I must preface by saying that I am very good about crediting textures and whatnot, but for some reason on this icon I happened to use three of the six or so textures that I don't know the maker of. If you know who made them, please let me know so that I can credit properly.

For the this next part, everything will be underneath the Superman and Jimmy layers.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Take this texture (it has been rotated counterclockwise from the original one by colorfilter) and paste is as a new layer. Leave the blend mode as normal 100.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Take this texture and paste it as a new layer above the previous one. Set the blend mode to multiply 100.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Take this texture (by candycrack.net) and paste it as a new layer above the previous one. Set the blend mode to lighten 60.

Create a new raster layer. On this layer and using the selection tool, select a rectangle around Superman and Jimmy that is one pixel bigger than they are. Fill in the selection with white. Deselect all. Lower the opacity to 50. This will give you a one pixel border around Superman and Jimmy.

Now we have this: Image hosted by Photobucket.com

So far everything we've done has been underneath Superman and Jimmy. Now we're going to start working in between and on top of the J&S layers.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Take this texture and paste it between the normal and screen J&S layers. Set the blend mode to burn 100. Duplicate this layer and lower the opacity on the copy to 30.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Take this texture again and paste it as a new layer between the screen and soft light J&S layers. Set the blend mode to multiply 30.

Now we have this: Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Step 4: Finishing Touches

IMO, all icons need a border and some text. We'll start with the border.

Click on the foreground color. Click the gradient tab. Click edit. Click new. Give your gradient a name. Click okay. Make the far left color #8ea47e (a green from the top of the icon). Make the far right color #6b4418 (a brown from the bottom of the icon). Click close. Click yes. Set the angle at 180. Click okay.

Using the selection tool, select a square around the icon, three pixels from the outside. Go to Selections > Invert. Fill in the border with the gradient you made. (It helps to zoom in for this part.) Deselect all.

Now for the text. I used #840000 (an orangy color from the splotch at the bottom of the icon), "GEEKS AT HEART" in Georgia, size 5, tracking 0, and centered above J&S. Then I wrote "SUPERMAN AND JIMMY" Arial, size 1, tracking 1, and centered just below the other text. Set the blend mode to multiply 90.

The final result: Image hosted by Photobucket.com

That's it! Hopefully everything was explained enough, but if it wasn't, let me know and I'll do my best to explain better. I'd love to see what anyone makes with this, so please comment with your results. :)

Edited to add: Here are some other icons I've made using the same basic style.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com Image hosted by Photobucket.com


( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 12th, 2005 04:54 am (UTC)
OMG! Haha, I didn't think anyone watched this show anymore! The icon turned out great. :D

For the credits, the cracked yellow-ish one was made by candycrack (website).
Aug. 12th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Tons of people still love this show! Check out The Fanfic Message Boards, The Fanfic Archive, The Video Archive, and Anne's Place. That was probably way more info then you needed to know. ;)

Thanks for the credit on the texture. Do you have a link to the site so I can put it in the tut?
Aug. 13th, 2005 09:06 pm (UTC)
Wow, thanks so much for all those websites :)

And yeah, the website is http://candycrack.net
Aug. 12th, 2005 04:59 am (UTC)
this looks wonderful! Gonna try it out! Thanks!
Aug. 12th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Great! I'd love to see what you come up with!
Aug. 12th, 2005 05:05 am (UTC)
I gave her a go and got this:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I had a question..By the softening tool do you just mean the blur tool? I did it in PS7 so maybe its different?
Aug. 12th, 2005 05:20 am (UTC)
is that Cher?
Aug. 12th, 2005 06:09 am (UTC)
Aug. 12th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
That looks great!

Yes, the soften tool in PSP is the same as the blur tool in PS. :)
Aug. 12th, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC)
Oh ok.
And I loved the tutorial! I learned a few new tricks.
You should do more.
Aug. 12th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
Thank you, Anna :)))))! I tried this in photoshop and the only place I had trouble was with the final outline part. I wonder if it is something different in photoshop (actually, it probably is just an option i haven't explored yet.) I tried the "stroke" option and it didn't work the way I thought it would. Maybe I will look at it again tomorrow when I am more awake.
Aug. 12th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
I've heard of people using the stroke tool in PS to make borders, but I'm not really sure how to do it, or even if that would be similar to the way I did it here. I'm at work right now, but I'll play around with it when I get home and see if I can figure it out. :)
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Let me know what you come up with. :))
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2005 04:02 pm (UTC)
That looks great!

I think color burn would work too, but I'm not sure what the difference would be. :)
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 12th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yeah, either one of those looks great. :))
Aug. 12th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
Cool thanks, I made this with it and changed a few things because my psp was playing up.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Aug. 12th, 2005 10:02 pm (UTC)
Awesome! :))
Aug. 12th, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
I really like this tutorial. Thanks for it! :D
Aug. 12th, 2005 10:03 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! :)
Aug. 12th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
thanks for making this tut! this is what I made;
Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Aug. 12th, 2005 10:04 pm (UTC)
That looks really great!! I can't wait for the VM DVD to come out. I didn't watch it last season, and now I'm wishing I had so I want to catch up. :)
Aug. 13th, 2005 02:13 am (UTC)
thanks! :). VM is the best, lol. ^_^.
Aug. 13th, 2005 06:00 am (UTC)
My icon was more inspired by this tutorial than actually following it. If that makes any sense...

Thanks! :D
Aug. 13th, 2005 01:35 pm (UTC)
That makes total sense and the icon looks really great. I love TSOTTP. :))
Oct. 20th, 2005 11:07 pm (UTC)
This is excellent! I've always tried to get this look using a picture frame brush and it rarely works. Can't wait to give this a try! Thanks! *bg*

Also, would your Geek Love icon happen to be shareable? *g*
Oct. 21st, 2005 12:59 am (UTC)
I'm not sure which icon you're talking about, but all of my icons are sharable except the one of me and my sisters. If you're looking at my userpics, however, I didn't make all of those so be sure to credit the right person.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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