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Helping icon makers one tutorial at a time.


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Icon Tutorial
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
Graphic-making tips, tutorials, FAQ, Q&A, and resources.

Welcome to icon_tutorial! This community was founded by grass_stained with the intention of helping icon-makers of all skill levels, from total newbie to graphic design pro. Here, you can get your questions answered, post a tutorial for others to use, or find help in our extensive archive of tutorials and answers.

Our cardinal rule is that all of your questions should be asking "How can I make...", not "Where can I find...?" Please make sure you read all this information before posting! Any post that breaks the following rules may be immediately deleted without notice.

Before you post...
  • Read this whole page.
  • Read the additional guidelines.
  • Read the community's FAQ post. Thoroughly.
  • Look at the Frequently Asked Questions section of the memories.
  • Learn how best to use the archive and do research.
  • Look at the links and resources further down this page to make sure your question isn't better-answered elsewhere.
  • If you want to duplicate a specific effect you are seeing in a graphic, ask the person who made that graphic.
    When you post a question or tutorial...
  • All posts made in this community MUST contain content posted in this community and have comments enabled. Posts containing only links to entries in personal journals or other communities are not allowed. [for more]
  • Be as specific as you possibly can be about the problem(s) you are having. (Good examples chosen at random: here, here.)
  • Always use an LJ-cut when posting: any image larger than 400 pixels on any side, more than five 100x100 images, an animation sample, and / or a lengthy section of text (like a tutorial). In fact, there is never a wrong time to use an lj-cut.
  • Write as clearly as you can, in the best English you can. You may also write your post in a non-English language.
  • Look at the posting guidelines for additional tips.
    What this community IS...
  • An archive of tutorials and answers
  • A place to ask specific questions about making icons and other graphics
  • A place to share tips and tutorials about making icons and other graphics
  • A place to learn how to use graphic design programs
  • A (very limited) gateway to other resource & instructional communities and websites
    What this community IS NOT...
  • A place to share icons (or other graphics)
  • A place to share the resource (brushes, gradients, textures, *.psd) you just made
  • A place to request icons (or other graphics)
  • A place to request feedback on icons (or other graphics)
  • A place to ask for help with LiveJournal or website layouts / HTML
  • A place to exchange coloring "recipes" or only ask "how do I get/make/find this coloring?" [for more]
  • A place to identify or download fonts, textures, gradients, templates, or any other resource (including *.psd files, actions, and the like)
  • A place for broad, unfocused discussion of graphics, icon ethics, or anything else
  • A place to advertise in or use to solicit traffic for your own personal icon journal / community
    What NOT to do here...
  • Do not ask for, describe how to obtain, or offer to provide cracked or illegally downloaded software or warez. This is a bannable offense. See the FAQ for more explanation.
  • Do not mock, belittle, patronize, or insult other users. icon_tutorial is a friendly place for individuals of all ages and skill levels, and we like to keep it that way. If you're posting a question, be considerate of the people who answer you; if you're posting a comment, be considerate of the questioner. The end.
  • Do not ask us to do your homework for you. If you have been assigned a project by a high school or college graphic design teacher or course, there is a reason you are supposed to do it.
  • Do not delete or strike through the question from your post after it has been answered! This makes it useless to archive, and then your question can't help future users, defeating the point of the community.
  • Do not post twice if you forgot something in your original post. Instead, edit your original.
    If you have a question about the rules, if you would like to post something that you are not sure qualifies, or if you would like to post something that may break the rules, e-mail us at icon.tutorial [at] gmail.com and ask. We don't bite. Promise.

    The resources section of the memories has some excellent information; in addition, you will probably find the following to be useful.

    Instructional LiveJournal Communities

    coloring_help For "Where / how can I get / make this coloring?"
    elementheads Tutorials for creating graphics in Photoshop Elements
    graphicfeedback Constructive criticism and feedback on graphics
    icon_coloring Tips and tutorials specifically regarding image coloring strategies
    icon_feedback Constructive criticism and feedback on icons
    photoshop_lover Tips and tutorials for and discussion of Photoshop
    ps_elements Tips and tutorials for and discussion of Photoshop Elements
    psp7_beginners Tips and discussion for newbies to PSP
    psp8_fun Tips, tutorials, and resources for and discussion of PSP 8
    psp9_fun Tips, tutorials, and resources for and discussion of PSP 9
    psptutorials Tutorials for working with PSP and Animation Shop
    toon_tutorials Tutorials specifically for icons from animated (manga, anime, cartoon, etc) images

    Resource Communities (templates, brushes, etc.):

    100x100_brushes Sharing / Downloading icon-sized brushes
    brush_fanatic All things brush, Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro
    brush_location "Where can I find a brush like...?"
    cap_it Sharing / Downloading screen captures of all genres
    fontaddicts All things font-related, including "What is this...?" and, "Where can I find...?"
    gradiental Gradient files for all programs
    icon_extras Icon-makers' resources of all kinds, for all programs
    icongradients Gradient files and images, all programs
    icon_textures Textures, icon-sized and larger
    photoshopextras All kinds of resources, all versions of PS
    stock_bases Prepared bases (100x100) of stock images; some related tutorials
    texturize Textures, all sizes and programs. Also a useful FAQ.

    Discussion and Networking Communities

    i_communities Look for and advertise icon-related communities
    icon_talk A place for discussing graphics, graphic programs, and their LJ contexts.
    iconchat A place for discussing icons / graphics and their LJ contexts.
    iconrants A place to rant about icon things. Read their rules before posting.

    Offsite Resources and Tutorials:
  • List of brush Websites

  • List of font websites

  • List of image sites

  • List of tutorial websites

  • List of LJ-user resource posts

  • LJDirectory.com: A directory of resource communities

  • And last, but not least, if you've investigated the archive and other resource communities but find that you need some more personalized help, you may benefit from The Icon Tutors Project.

    Know of a community or a website that you think we should add to this list? Let us know! icon.tutorial [at] gmail.com

    Since early 2005, icon_tutorial has been a paid account, to enable us to provide layout features that this community needs. In the newer, ad-using era we are especially grateful for any and all donations of paid time, no matter how small, and thank those who have supported us so far:

    etoilepb, paperdollkisses

    Please note: the list of donors was removed when the community was briefly hacked in April, 2009. If you were a donor and we forgot you, please speak up!

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