Image-heavy: There's a lot, a LOT of textures in this one but images will be posted as thumbnails.
Program: Photoshop CS4
Difficulty: This I would have to say is NOT beginner friendly but anyone can try it!
NOTE: Because there are no adjustment layers (can you believe it?!), after a few steps I'll be posting the 'outcome so far' and that will not be a thumbnail.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: This tutorial is quite long so if you are planning to try it grab some food or something first :)
1. Start out with a 500x200 canvas. I recommend not going bigger than that because the light textures are only fit to a 500x200 canvas. Don't fill it with a color yet. As you can see our background has the butterflies and everything and guess what! That's a texture, one texture. This texture has all the colors we want, however, if you're using a different color scheme, press Ctrl+U. This will take us to the Hue/Saturation window. However, there's no need for clipping mask or anything like that because (and you can only do this by pressing Ctrl+U) that command controls only the layer you have selected. Here's the texture I used:
Toggle the Hue and Saturation bars for a different outcome. Just keep it on Normal because that's our background texture.
2. Next we'll add a little to the background. Basically we'll use a texture that has graffiti on it. The graffiti will go in the background and should fade. Apply this:
Set this to Normal, 20% Opacity. This will just brighten it up a bit and just adds a bit of texture.
3. Next add this texture:
Whatever you color scheme is, we want this texture to fit with that color scheme. Remembering the first step, press Ctrl+U. I toggled the Hue bar so it was yellow. I then set it to Screen, 40% Opacity. This lowers the contrast and also adds some little light dots.
4. Next we'll add a little touch to our background. I added some background text. If you see in the preview (which can also be used as a guide), there's some white text with Cesc's last name (Fabregas) in the background. I'll show you how to do this...
So first I used the font Arial, which is a default on both PCs and Macs. Use a fairly large size, I used 100pt. Also, if you go into your Type tool settings - here's what I used...
First, how you get there:
Obviously click on the icon with the red circle around it. And now, here are the actual type settings I used:
Basically you should only change thing that says 'AV' and has a line with two arrows under it. Then, I wrote 'Fabregas' in Arial, 100pt and in black. This part may get a little confusing so bear with me. Create a new layer (the shortcut for this is Ctrl+Shift+N). Then select the layer while holding down Ctrl. What should happen is the text is selected (the marching ants around the text). Now MAKE SURE you have your Rectangular Marquee Tool (in the toolbox) selected.
Right click on the image and a menu should appear with a bunch of actions. Down near the bottom there should be one that says 'Stroke'. Click on that. Make sure you have the following settings:
And the rest is default. Now, set the Fill of that layer to 0%. Don't worry that it's disappeared - we'll fix that in a second. Duplicate it - or make a copy of it - by pressing Ctrl+J. Set the duplicate to Color Dodge, 20% Opacity and up the fill to 100%.
What should happen is that the text should fade into the background and the it should only be the outline of the text. It's a little too faded, so I duplicated the layer twice and left both on Color Dodge, 20%. However, to create a sort of 3-D effect, with my move tool I nudged both layers up and down a little bit. If this step is a bit confusing, please feel free to ask questions.
5. That was a really long step. Now I wanted some light on the text so I added a light texture. Fabregas is a fairly long last name, so I could use the following texture:
I set it to Linear Dodge and placed it over my text. It was a little too bright, so I lowered the Opacity to 30%.
6. I wanted a little more pattern and light on the background text, so apply this:
I set this to Color Dodge, but that was wayyyy too bright, so I lowered the Opacity to 10%.
7. Now to add a little bit of light, apply this:
I placed this on the 'b' in Fabregas, but you can really place it anywhere on the text. Here's what I have so far:
8. Next add your render/cut-out. I'm using one of Cesc Fabregas in his Spain jersey. This is just a suggestion, but try to choose a render whose clothes fit with your color scheme. I decided NOT to do any render effects, and I recommend not brightening it up or darkening it until after we've done all the lighting.
9. Now to add a little light and focus to the render, add these two light textures and place them on the render:
This should be set on Color Dodge, 100%. I placed it on his shoulder and if necessary you can erase to make the texture fit the shape of the render.
Set this to Linear Dodge, 30% Opacity. I erased a little on his face because the texture was covering it.
10. Now let's add a light source. Make a new layer. Get out your 200px soft brush in White. Set the Opacity on 70% of the brush so the light isn't so strong. Then, brush once on/near his face.
11. Next let's add a little bit of pattern on the render. I used the following texture:
I changed the color to yellow to fit my color scheme (remember Ctrl+U?). Then, I set it to Multiply which will get rid of the white background. You can always do that with a texture/image with a white background - setting it to Multiply will also blend the colored part. I lowered the Opacity a bit to 70%. I erased a little bit of the top just to blend it.
12. Now let's add another light source. The render was kinda dark to begin with, so these light sources brighten the render's face. So add this texture:
Set this to Screen, but that was a little too bright so lower the Opacity to 60%.
13. Now to add a little texture and more color to the background, I added this:
I set this to Multiply, 25% Opacity. I erased on the face and the body because it really didn't look nice. This will also darken the image a bit and therefore help bring out the colors.
14. Next let's brighten up the focal point, in this case the render. With simple light textures we'll bring some contrast and brightness to the render. And since we didn't do any render effects, we need to make it look a little nice, right? Add the following light textures:
Desaturate this - or make it black and white - by pressing Ctrl+Shift+U. Desaturating helps it blend more and plus the blue color would mess up our color scheme. When you set colored textures to Color Dodge it becomes way too bright and dodgy. I also rotated this (Edit>Transform>Rotate) so it fit on the shoulder. Then I set it to Color Dodge, 100%.
I also desaturated this. I duplicated it (Ctrl+J) once. I rotated both of them and placed them on opposite sides of the render. The first one I set to Color Dodge but lowered the Opacity to 50%. On the second one I set it to Color Dodge as well but kept the Opacity on 100%. If necessary, erase some of the texture so it fits and blends nicer.
15. I added my text. All you really need is simple text. An important part of text is placement. I placed mine just above Cesc's forearm and near the middle. Sometimes text that is partially unreadable is nice but you should still be able to make out what the words say.
16. Make a new layer. I took my 200px soft brush in White. On each side of the render, I brushed once next to him. I then set this to Overlay. This should brighten up the sides. It was a bit too bright, so I lowered the Opacity of that layer to 60%.
17. Next I added some textures to my text. You can use these if you tried to emulate my text - or if you didn't. This just adds a little focus to the text and some nice texture. Here are the textures I used:
Set both of these to Screen, lowering the Opacity if you feel you need to.
18. Next I'm going to darken the image up a bit and add some texture. Apply this:
Because this has a white background, we can set it to Multiply and just those black dots will stay. I decided to lower the Opacity to 50% and I also erased on the render because it looked really ugly.
19. Let's add our final texture! This next texture adds some flow because of the squiggly lines. Here is the texture I used:
I desaturated this and set it to Linear Dodge, 35% Opacity. I erased on the render but left the rest of it so it flowed through the banner.
20. Make a new layer. With a large soft brush in Black, brush on the sides of the banner but not on the render. Then lower the Opacity of that layer to 15% but keep it on Normal. This just darkens the sides and adds some focus to the render area.
21. Make a new layer. Go to Image>Apply Image. Always make a new layer when applying your image, which makes a copy of everything you've made so far. Now we're going to sharpen the banner because it is looking very blurry. Sharpening can bring out the colors and, in the case of people, helps to define facial features. Oversharpening is easy to do but doesn't look nice. So I went to Filter>Sharpen>Sharpen. That sharpens the Apply Image layer. It did look oversharpened so I lowered the Opacity to 40% and erased some places where it still looked too sharp, like on the text.
Add a border and you're done! Excuse any typos please, I've been making a lot of those lately. If you see a major one (or a minor one for that matter), please point it out to me! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Comments are <3 as are outcomes.