This is the original image.
Made in Photoshop 7. Uses adjustment layers (including selective coloring) and filters.
Part One: Coloring
Start out with a nice little curves layer, to brighten it up a bit. No one likes ugly and murky graphics.
Point One; Input: 112, Output: 130.
Point Two; Input: 153, Output: 179
Now, make a gradient map layer with a dark gray and a light gray (for this, I used #727272 and #E9E9EA) It's real ugly now, but don't worry. We'll fix that right up. (:
Next, go to New Adjustment Layer, and choose Invert. Set this layer to Multiply, and lower the opacity. For this particular banner, I set it to 35%. You can start it out with that, and go back and change it when you're finished. This will make it even uglier. But don't fret, love; it won't stay that way.
Make yourself a fresh Selective Color layer.
Whites: 0, 0, 0, -100
Blacks: 0, 0, 0, +100
Duplicate this pretty little layer, and set the duplicate to 85% opacity.
Now we're going to darken it up a little. Make a nice new Levels layer, and use these settings in the RGB Channel.
Input levels: 68, 0.91, 231
Output levels: 9, 131
Change them up a little to suit your image. For this one, I lowered the opacity of that layer to 95%.
It's nice, but it needs some more contrast.
To fix this, you'll need to make a new curves layer, and make two points.
Point One; Input: 87, Output: 92
Point Two; Input: 146, Output: 179
I think it needs to pop a little more. Accomplish this by making a Brightness/Contrast layer, and using settings similar to these:
Add yourself some cute little text, and we're finished with Part One.
I used lyrics from the Kings of Leon song "Use Somebody", in the font "Marcelle Script," which you can download at dafont.com.
Part Two: Textures!
Keep in mind that this isn't exactly what I did, but it's a shorter and more simple version. =)
Open up a nice new blank canvas. I made mine 1280x800, but it doesn't really matter.
Make your foreground color a bright orange, and your background color a pale yellow. I used #FFA800 for the orange, and #FDFF7A for the yellow.
Now, you go to Filter > Render > Clouds.
Convenient, isn't it?
Duplicate that layer, and set it to soft light.
Make a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer, and use setting similar to these:
Make a new blank layer. This time, make your foreground a dark pinkish color (like #FF825C) and your background a light cyan (like #B3FBFF).
Filter > Render > Clouds again.
Set this pretty little layer to between 50 and 65% opacity.
Optional: Add a layer mask to this layer and use a very large soft, round brush to erase patches, for an interesting effect.
Merge all your layers. (:
Duplicate your background layer, and set it to screen at around 50% opacity.
Merge Visible again, and duplicate your background.
Now, go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask, and use settings close to these:
Radius: 45.4 pixels
Threshold: 2 levels
Flatten your image, and we're all finished with the first. (:
In this banner, I set this texture above all the other layers (including text) and set it to screen at 72%.
For the Smokey texture:
Take the texture that we've just made and duplicate that background layer. Set it to screen at 50% opacity.
Make a black and white gradient map layer above that. Now, make a new "Invert" Adjustment layer. Flatten your image, and you're finished.
That was pretty qiuick and painless, i think. =)
For this banner, I set this texture to screen at 100%, between the text layer and the colorful texture. You can also get a nice effect from using "Lighten," though. (:
Experiment with it, using different color combinations and whatnot. Remember, this is just a guide.
Please direct all comments to this post. This tutorial will remain public. (: