Program(s): Photoshop CS3 Extended
Translatable: Has one selective coloring layer and a Color Balance layer, so no, not really.
This is a tutorial for a specific icon, but it can really be applied to a variety of dark caps. Enjoy!
1) Start off with your base. Here, I used a cap from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The base is pretty bad - it's in the shadows and there's not a lot of color. I scaled it down (while holding the SHIFT key) and moved it to the top 2/3 of the icon.
2) Duplicate your base and set it to SCREEN at 100%. Now, if your base has very bright areas, you may have to reduce the opacity of the duplicated layer or use a layer mask to erase the parts you don't want.
3) Make a Selective Color adjustment layer.
Reds: -78 64 100 0 (this makes the reds redder and stand out more)
Neutrals: 0 14 15 -19 (this gives the whole image a warmer tone and makes it slightly lighter)
4) Make a Levels adjustment layer. This layer serves to really make the colors pop. Levels allows it to happen subtly.
Input: 27 1.15 241
Output: 21 230
Input: 13 1.06 255 (subtracts green, adding more magenta)
Output 0 255 (doesn't change)
Input: 0 1.00 255 (doesn't change)
Output: 0 237 (subtracts blue from the image)
5) Make a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. This will again bring out the reds and warmer tones. The values given are for the Saturation slider.
6) Texture time! For this icon, I wanted something that would complement the now brightened cap but not distract from it. I used THIS texture from 77words. I set it to DARKEN at 100%. DARKER COLOR could also work for this one (it compares the two layers and allows the darker color of two locations to be visible). I didn't like how the texture looked over her face, so I took an eraser and erased the texture in that spot. However, using a layer mask and painting on it with black is a better, non-destructive method.
7) Now, add a color balance layer. This will add the finishing touches to the coloring. Make sure that PRESERVE LUMINOSITY is checked.
Shadows: -52 3 0
Midtones: 23 6 -20
8) I added THIS tan colored texture from 77words on top of it all. I didn't like the darker parts on the edges, so I rotated it 90 degrees to the right and *gasp* stretched the texture so that the spots were out of the frame. I usually wouldn't reccommend stretching anything, but since an icon is so small and there's not much detail in the texture, we're good. :) Set the texture to DARKEN at 100%.
9) To polish it off, I added text. I used the font "Perpetua" (14pt and black) with the anti-aliasing set to STRONG.