This coloring looks pretty good with just about any picture, so try it out to see what you can come up with. Before we get started, just a couple quick rules that I'm sure you've heard before but I'm gonna say them anyway. DO NOT claim as your own, I made this - not you...please respect that. Also, it would be nice if you didn't use the same picture I did because what's the fun in that? Use your own, that way you can practice with different settings. OK I'm done ranting, let's get started!
I started out with this picture of the lovely Lauren Graham.
1. Of course the first step is to make your base. Crop, resize (image>>scale image), and sharpen (filters>>enhance>>sharpen)
2. Now we go to our handy dandy channel mixer! (colors>>components>>channel mixer)
My settings are:
Red: 85, -10, -20
Green: 10, 100, 0
yes, it looks really bad right now...don't worry, it'll get better - just be patient.
3. It looks a little dark right now, so I duplicated the base and set it to soft light at 100%, then duplicated again and set to screen at 80%
*the screen layer will depend on your image, so my settings may not work well with your icon. Especially with dark screencaps, you may even need to duplicate that layer to get it even lighter...just play around and see what looks best!
4. Time to make it look a little better, don't you think? On your soft light layer, go to color balance and use these settings: (again, may vary depending on your icon)
Midtones: 100, -100, -20
Shadows: -10, -30, 0
Highlights: 10, 0, 0
5. Much better now! I wanted to bring out those colors just a little bit more, so now on my base layer I went to color balance and changed just the midtones to 10, -10, 0
*optional step: I didn't use this step on this particular icon, but for some of mine I like to add a layer of very light gray and set it to burn, that way it adds a little more contrast. Try it out and see how it looks.
6. OK, the coloring is done, but I wanted to add more to the icon. So I made this brush set it screen, moved it over a little so it was partially on Lauren's hair, and I lowered the opacity to around 70.
- - - - -
MINI TUTORIAL! Just a quick explanation on how to make a brush like that incase you don't have one saved. Open a new 100x100 file and make sure it's white (you can do any color depending on the icon, but I thought anything but white would look weird here). Duplicate that and fill with black. Then take your eraser tool and with a fuzzy edge, just erase a dot on the black layer (I used size 4 scale). Merge that, and set a Gaussian Blur (filters>>blur>>gaussian blur) at around 15 pt. And TA DA!!! You should get something like the picture above =)
- - - - -
Back to the main tutorial: our icon should look like this
7. You can leave it the way it is if you'd like, but I wanted text. I used Arial Bold at 15 pt. and of course typed in "Lauren Graham" and made it right aligned. I also used the thing (I don't really know if it has a name) that makes lines of text go closer together, but anyway I set that to -7. Because I don't want to be confusing, you can just see what I did:
I used the rotate tool to rotate the text 18 degrees, and I moved the layer under the white brush. Now, here's a little trick I use to get the text to look a lot less pixely (new word!!!) Duplicate the text, lower the opacity to around 50 and set a .5 pt Gaussian Blur to the top layer, that way it's just enough to sort of smooth out the edges a little but without making the text all that much thicker.
And that's all folks! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it helped you in some way. If you have any questions or need something clarified, please please ask, I'd be more than happy to help. Also, if you used this I would appreciate a comment because this is my first tutorial and feedback would be great. And I'd LOVE to see what you guys come up with =)
Other icons made with this coloring: