Someone actually hoped for this tutorial some time ago, on behalf the "Forums" logo I did earlier.
Level: Easy to moderate. Would make things faster if You have used Inkscape. Iīll try to add as much shortcuts to the tutorial as I remember.
Tools used: Inkscape 0.48.2-1 & Gimp 2.8.1 Partha build, Parthaīs plugin pack + essential registry plugins.
Gimp part can be done with older version too, Photoshop or other pixel editor like Paint.NET.
This can also be done from start to finish with Inkscape alone, but the filters arenīt as good and they seriously make at least my computer lag.
Note!: The orange color I used is too light, You can use f7b521 everywhere I have used fbae2e. in Inkscape fbae2eff to f7b521ff (RGBA).
Step 1: Frame
For a reference import Rockstar Games Social Club .jpg image into Inkscape (ctrl+I). Iīm using the image that came first from google search, 600x450 pixels.
Two optional things to You can do is to lower the imageīs opacity (ctrl+shift+F), and lock the image on canvas (ctrl+shift+O) tick lock.
If You wonder how to unlock image or shape itīs from the menu Object->unlock all.
Right..zoom closer (Z) to the actual logo and use rectangle tool to create as long and as high rectangle as the surrounding neon tube around the text.
Or create just rectangle and use the dimension boxes in the menu, W:512 H:130. Remove fill, set stroke color (RGBA) to fbae2eff and width to 5,0 px.
Use transform Tool (Ctrl+Shift+M) and rotate 3°. Use node edit tool (F2) to round the corners.
Duplicate the design (Ctrl+D), make sure the proportion lock is ticked and make the duplicate 102px high.
As You can see, the stroke is thinner (3,360). Inkscape scales strokes by default. Change the stroke to 5px and tweak the corner radius with node tool to match the bigger rectangle.
This smaller rectangle is used for the upper right corner part, that goes from right of the star to the b letter.
Now we cut the rectangles. Guides can be dragged from rulers by holding LM, for precision.
Youīll cut 2 parts from the bigger rectangle, upper left part and lower part from the point where the S and the rectangle meet.
To cut a closed path, You can use bezier curve tool or a shape. I simply created a rectangle, once again rotated 3 degrees and placed it correctly (see pic).
Select both paths, and from Path menu cut path. Or Ctrl+Alt+/. Cut all the frame parts same way.
Step 2: Star
This is fairly easy step. Select stars & polygons tool from left side tool box. In menu click Star icon, corners:5, Spoke ratio:0,380, Rounded:0
Hold Ctrl down, drag and rotate so that your star is in same angle than the frames. You can get correct angle straight out of the box.
Or rotate till You get pentagram form, click twice either rotate icon in the menu bar and apply 3 degree turn from the transform box (Shift+Ctrl+M)
Donīt mind the size yet, just get it close to the original. In the transform tool, click skew tab and horizontal -22°. Then scale the star, remove fill (if there is),
set stroke to 5px and white. Hoplaa, but our star has sharp joins. Under stroke width setting there is a round joins button in middle.
Now place the frame pieces and star correctly, select them all and use group command (Ctrl+G).
Use Ctrl when You move things by dragging to keep them vertically or horizontally aligned. Or Shift+Arrows.
Step 3: Text
Points & hints: Good mouse will help here. You can create paths also from shapes, which will make them smoother.
For this tutorial I will use path tool trying to get the Social Club. You could also use a suitable font, convert it into a path and manipulate. Lot faster and better results.
Select bezier tool (Shift+F6) and start from upper cap of the S. If You are good with bezier, You know how to get round corners.
Iīm not so good, so I donīt drag after clicking. I just try to keep it in the middle of letter,click, move ahead and click. Till my S is ready. Last node by double-click.
My S has 51 nodes, but itīs still angular.
No problem. Select your character with node tool (F2), and hit Ctrl+L (simplify). Once, twice, three times. Itīs almost good. If needed, tweak the curves from nodeīs handles.
If Youīre unfamiliar with beziers I suggest You create first a random shape and play little out. Check menu for advanced controls, adding, deleting, joining, changing their type etc.
And this is how You do all the characters. If You want, You can join the characters in the end by selecting 1 node from other and 1 from another character and use join.
If You will do so, donīt do it before You are satisfied with all the letters. The advantage with joining them is that You donīt have caps overlapping other characters.
To finish, change stroke width to 5px. If You did not join characters, test changing caps from butt to square. Inspect which once suits better for each character.
Square caps are longer and might overlap another character. I rushed this design, and did not join characters.
Then, use same orange (fbae2eff) as in frame. Align everything correctly and join.
Step 4: Rockstar Games text above the logo
This is actually better to do in Gimp (Or PS if Youīre using that). I just make it now in Inkscape to save it to a state before appying effects.
All You need is suitable font.I donīt have lot of fonts in my home machine so I pick DIN-Pro Medium. Wait a minute...itīs a match! Jesus X for godīs sake!
Parameters: 18 points, Align left, Linespacing 1. Highlight Rockstar and change spacing between letters to -0,5.
Align everything like in the original and group.
Optional: Create 600x450 black rectangle, place it behind the logo (PageDown). Align and distribute (Ctrl+Shift+A), select both, relative to selection, align horizontally & vertically.
This is optional, because we are not going to export that black BG anyway.
We are done for the Inkscape part, except for exporting. Letīs take a look what we have so far.
You can see some errors, but I rushed the bath...path part. I donīt strive for perfection in this tutorial, thatīs your job!
One thing before exporting to bitmap. You may want to make it a HD wallpaper or something instead of 600x450 like here in tutorial.
Itīs a vector, You can scale it to any size without quality loss and then export. Thatīs why vectors rock. Thatīs why You save this for later use.
OK, Select your grouped logo and export to bitmap (CTRL+Shift+E). From the pop-up click selection tab, it should be around 550x177 pixels @ 96dpi. Select "hide everything else except selected".
.....loading Gimp. Those using Photoshop do know what to do to achieve same thing.
Note: You may use help layer, black, magenta or other spot color between the original and working layers to see things better.
If You use Photoshop, some values might be different.
Open your export. You should have transparent cropped logo staring at You. Name the layer as "SC 1"
Menu: Image->Canvas size 600x450, center, resize.
Menu: Layer->Layer to image size.
Open the original reference image, select all (Ctrl+A) and paste it as new layer (Edit->paste as new layer) on this image. Move it to the bottom and rename it guide, original or as You wish.
Your design is probably not exactly 1:1, use scaling tool to match with original (Shift+T)
IF You did the Rockstar Games text in Inkscape, use Free Select Tool to select around the text. Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, Ctrl+Shift+N. Copied to new layer. (Ctrl+J in Photoshop.) Delete the text from SC Layer.
Rename the pasted layer as "RG".
If You did NOT create the Rockstar text in Inkscape, use the guide and Gimpīs text tool to create "Rockstar Games" on its own layer on top and name it RG.
Make sure that all working layers are expanded into image size. Layeyr->Layer to image size.
This what You should have now from top to bottom: RG, SC1, Black (optional for help), Guide or Original.
I have a little scrub in the S which Iīm going to clean fast with a hard-edge small eraser. This is the part we are cleaning the logo for effects.
If You did the path part well in Inkscape, there is only one thing to do before applying effects. Straightening the character caps.
Toggle between yours and Original to see that the caps of S, l & i in Social and l & b in Club arenīt in right degree. It might be little different in yours, depending on the inkscape creation.
In SC Layer Use Free Select Tool (F) to create a long area selection that just goes over the caps, and use subtract selection to unmask the parts that are not supposed to be deleted.
Same thing for the i character under the star, You know the drill...just compare with the original. if the caps seem too sharp after removal, use a bit of feather (optional).
When Youīre satisfied with your logo, create 2 duplicates of the layer and name them SC 2 & SC 3.
You now have RG, SC, SC2, SC 3, Black (optional) & Original.
Activate SC 3 layer, from menu select: Filters->Alpha to Logo, Alien Glow. Glow size:240, Glow color: fbae2e.
The effect creates Alien Glow layer and a background layer. If You had Black help layer like me, You can delete the produced Background layer.
Hide top 3 layers RG, SC and SC 2, Youīll notice that SC3 is weird grey/blackish. Move this layer to the same position You see the black drop shadow in RS original.
Use Free Select Tool to select the star and delete it. Then use Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur: Both values 10.0. Set layer opacity to 50 and Mode Hard Light.
Activate Alien Glow layer and set opacity to 55.
Activate Layer SC 2, use Free Select Tool to capture the white star, Invert selection and delete. (You may do this white star layer at earlier stage if You wish).
Rename Layer to Star. Right-Click the layer at Layers Toolbox: Layer Effects->Drop Shadow.
!!You need layerfx.py or .scm for Gimp 2.6.11, layerfx28.py for Gimp 2.8.* to have this feature (similar to FX in PS)
Values: Multiply, Opacity 60, Angle 120, Distance 5, Size 4.
Look at the original image, thereīs a shadow of the white star visible.
Duplicate the Star layer, and move the lower Star layer to same position as the white Star shadow in original.
Click the triangle Layer Group icon, and change Star opacity to 20, star-dropshadow to 15.
This is additional. I donīt know if itīs the quality of the original image but here goes.
Duplicate SC layer once more. Use selection Tools to remove the Star.
Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur: Both values 20. Filters->Noise->RGB Noise: All colors to 0.30, alpha 0.
Filters->Motion Blur: Length 3-4, angle 45. Layer Mode to Dodge, opacity 30. Activate Alien Glow Layer and drop opacity to around 45.
If someone wants the layered Gimp file I can upload it later.
Sorry about the crappy screencaps. If they get deleted from host, PM me.