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[TUT] Signature Making with PS


Rob.

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A guide to Signature Making

 

 

Everything I know

 

 

In this tutorial I will guide through people who may be new to the world of GFX and signature making. Please note that this tutorial will only cover the use of the program PHOTOSHOP. For the moment i won't talk about image ready, as this is intended for people who are startig out or just want to add a few skills.

 

 

What I Will Be Covering

 

•Fonts and Installing them

•Getting Started

•Tools

•Defining Patterns and Brushes

•Opacity

•Jargon translation (Complicated terms in english)

•Effects for layers

•File Types

•Transparency

 

 

Fonts

 

 

Fonts are what give your piece of work a unique style as compared to other pieces of work. Many fonts can be found around the net, one of my favourate places is:

 

LINK-DA FONT .COM
Me and many others have found this place perfect for GFX jobs. Almost all fonts will come in the file type of .TT This stands for TRUE TYPE.

When you down load a font in a.zip or .rar file you will almost certainly see these:

 

user posted image

 

Most will know this, but to install these fonts, you must place them in the appropriately named "Fonts" folder on your PC.

 

To access this folder take the following steps:

Start>My Computer>C Drive>WINDOWS>Fonts

 

Move your file here, either by copying the file when highlighted (ctrl+C) and pasting it in the folder (ctrl+V) or moving it manually.

 

To help beginners i have upload all of my fonts, and all of them are ready to down load, the file size is just under 20mb large

 

LINK-MY FONT DOWNLOAD

 

 

Getting Started

 

OK open up photoshop, File>New, In THIS forum our limits are 150x500, those measurements are in (px) which stands for pixels, so select your new piece of work at those dimensions, or anything below. So for this example use these settings:

 

user posted image

 

You new document will be transparent, so, the checkered effect will not stay, the checkers represent nothing is you will, only things you add will appear on the document

 

If you wish to have a plain background where it says transparent you select this:

 

user posted image

 

TOOLS

 

Ok so we're ready to go, so that you will understand everything which follows this, on the top tool bar select window and use the following settings:

 

user posted image

 

You should see this as well:

 

user posted image

 

Starting from the top left column and going down and then going back up to the top of the right hand column and down againhere is a list of the most important tools which will get you started and tell you what they do, along with the variations of the tools when you right click on them:

(Note some minor tools may be missed out) Only the Most Important Tools are explained here. Not All will be included.

 

Marquee Tool:Allows you to create shapes which can be used in combination with the fill tool, you can use this tool to select areas where you want to apply effects.

Right Click Efffect Allows you to change the shape of your shape

OtherHolding shift while dragging to create a shape will make your shape dimensionally perfect, eg. without shift you could create an oval shape or a rectangle, holding down shift will allow you to make perfect sqaures and perfect circles.

 

Dragging across the rectanglualr marquee over the whole of your canvas, then selecting EDIT then STROKE you can add boarders to your sig, changing the px will affect it's thickness, Lower px = Thin Boarder

Higher px = Think Boarder

There's also the option to change your colour

 

Lasso Tool:This will allow you to make custom shapes and more detailed than the marquee tool as it allows you to make customs shapes around objects on the page, to use you drag along, however you must connect to the begginning of the where you started before you let go otherwise the shape will be lost. You can use this tool to cut out shapes and move them

Right Click EffectThis allows to change the way the lasso tools works, the polyganol lasso tool allows you to make a polyganol shape around your object, it only does straight lines, to anchor a point click on the page, and continue until you reach where you started again, you can always find where you started becuase a small circle will appear near your cursor.

The Magnestic Lasso tool allows you to make a shape around a shape of a particluar colour or shaded shapes of the same tolerance, so for example say you wanted to cut out this:

 

user posted image

 

The tool automatically selected all of this for me, becuase it's distinguished the black pixels against the other pixels (in this case there were none, due to the transparent background)

 

Crop: Much like the marquee selecting your area you can chop up pictures and use sample from them

 

Eraser Tool: In normal mode this will erase anything you've added, and will phyically remove the pixels you select, alhough it will only remove the pixels for the layer and not other layers, to delete stuff on other layers you need to select your layers (this will be described later on)

Right Click Effect The background eraser tool works in a similar way to the magnetic lasso tool, as it will delete background colour of a certain colour leaving you wiht a forground piece.

Magic Eraser This is an extremely useful tool, and can be very good when you want to get rid of backgrounds of a certain colour, or any solid pieces of solid colour, for example:

 

 

 

user posted image
Before
user posted image
After

 

With one click of Magic Background eraser tool all of the white of the original piece has been removed, and now all that is left is the black ball and the transparent background.

 

The eraser tool brings me onto a clinical point in this tutroial, where i will mention something which will help you use the Eraser and the Paint Brush tools, when these are selected at the top of your screen you will see:

 

 

user posted image

 

This is where you will be able to select all of your brush tip thickness's, for instance a 9px selection will make my tool that large on my document, and will cover 9px's for each single click, so if you want a small brush or eraser, 1px would be better than 10px

Edited by Rob_UK
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Move Tool: At the top of the right hand column you will see a pointer, this, when selected on parts of your layer allows you to move object which you may have cut out with the lasso tool or allows you to move shapes made with the marquee tool

 

 

Brush: Fourth down on the right hand side is the brush tool, this work practically the same as the eraser tool, except, obviously instead of removing colour, it adds it. You can edit the thickness with the tool i explianed earlier on.

 

Fill Tool Sixth down from the right hand column is the fill tool, you will have mostly seen this in most other programs, it allows you to fill selected areas with colour, or even the whole document, you can select where you may want to fill with the Marquee Tool or the Lasso Tool

 

Text Tool The symbol of the letter T allows you to place your text wherever you wish on the document, once selected where you would like the text to start you will have the following options to consider:

 

 

user posted image

 

Using the drop down menus you can alter the options of your text, these menu's will only appear when you have selected the Text tool.

 

 

Defining Brushes and Patterns

 

Ok, the stuff you need to get started has been explained, now, this is a method which allows you to quickly add style to your signatures, and it's incredibly easy.

 

Defining Brushes

 

So, using my friend Google I have found my self a nice picture of some skyscrapers which look like this:

 

 

user posted image

 

Using out knowledge of the marquee tool i will now select part of the picture which i would like to keep for future work, so i do the following:

 

 

user posted image

 

Now, i press the following:

 

user posted image

 

Save it as a brush, and then you will not need the image again, as it's been saved to your PC as a brush tip.

 

Edited by Rob_UK
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Now, to show an example of this brush in effect you then select your brush tool and click all the highlighted areas in the following picture and use the same settings as me:

 

 

user posted image

 

You're going to want to make sure that spacing is at max, so that when you usse the brush it won't blurr, unless you are after that effect, the bar above spacing determins the size, this can be to your preference depending on the size of your signature.

 

Here is a before and after process of when you've selected your brush, and when you've actually used it on your canvas:

 

 

user posted image

 

 

And there you have it, this can be done with any picture, and is a good way of giving your signatures a background.

 

Defining Patterns

 

Patterns are small pieces of pixels, which when defined, can be used instead of filling colour with the fill tool can be used to fill a pattern onto the canvas, here's an example.

 

create a new document that is 5px x 5px, this will be very small, plus make sure the document is tranparent. Use your rectangualr marquee tool to select the whole of your small document, like so:

 

 

user posted image

 

When selected the stroke option select the colour black and a boarder of 1px

 

You end result should be this:

 

 

user posted image

 

Again use the marquee tool to select around the whole of hte document and do:

 

 

user posted image

 

Give you pattern a name and then save it. As with the brush method have your signature ready, and do:

 

EDIT>FILL and then select these settings as follows:

 

 

user posted image

 

Opacity doesn't matter for the mean time, so as i have select it at 30%, you should now have this effect on your signature:

 

 

user posted image

 

 

Conclusion

 

For both the brush prests and pattern defining Opacity can be a major aspectof both, they will appear in brushes and pattersn like so, respectively:

 

 

user posted image

 

user posted image

 

Eg at 100% the opacity will be very visible and very dominant in your piece, however, when i used 30% it made it look less harsh, and more faint, this is Opacity.

Edited by Rob_UK
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Layer Styles

 

By the end of this section, you will be able to make somethinf like this which uses some of the layer effects rather well:

 

 

user posted image

 

So let's start of, using our new knowledge of the marquee tool, and how holding shift creates perfect dimensions make 3 circles close together and apply a stroke to them under the EDIT tab at the top of the screen:

 

I used alternating colours to represent the 3 circles, when using the stroke effect i used the center option as it would cover up any gaps, make sure all 3 circles are bigger than the next, you should come up with something like this:

 

 

user posted image

 

 

 

 

 

Now, becuase we haven't made any new layers, which means we can edit things seperately we can apply an effect to all 3 circles, to do this click the following:

 

 

user posted image

 

All of those in the black box allow for effect to be added to these circles, clikcing on one of them, in the following case for me, outer glow a box with check lists should appear like so:

 

 

user posted image

 

Using the settings i have the 3 circles will now have a soft glow applied to them, so that the transition from circles to background is very smooth, Outer glow is perfect for people who want transparent signatures, like the one at the top of this section (best viewed in Fire Fox)

 

We have the glow, now to add the sheen which makes the circles look nice and shiny, we apply the gradient effect as seen here:

 

 

user posted image

 

Using the settings i have allows for a gradient effect on a low opacity, meaning you'll get a faint sheen, as if light is hitting the surface, this i feel can add some 3D depth to pieces which before could of been judged as flat.

 

you should have a finished result like so:

 

 

user posted image

 

All these effects, can be added to text as well as anything as long as it's in a layer.

 

There ar emany other tools that can be used such as filters, although i feel it takes some of the fun away from creating signatures, filters can be found on the tab at the top of the screen, where there is many different genres of filters, they are all explantory, and apply to only your selected layer.

 

 

Layers

 

Layers can be created by selecting the layers tab at the top of the screen and selecting New for someone starting out layers shouldn't be too much of a worry, as when making text layers are created for you, if you wish to edit something which is not in a layer you can scroll through the differents layers in this window:

 

 

user posted image

 

 

 

Types of Files

 

When yu finally come to saving your new masterpiece, you will be given options of what type of file to save it as, here is a list of what files types are best used and why

 

Psd: I highly recommend saving yuor work as this type of file first, as it retians the layers which you used when you created you piece, so if you want to alter it, uisng a .psd is very easy and quick at hand, not compatible with this, or most forums.

 

jpeg: standard image file, will work on these ofrums, and can be used, but doesn't have great quality, will not save transparent sigs.

 

GIF:When using a GIF it allows for transparent sigs, but the quality is poor when compared to a

.png. The quality though is better than a jpeg, and it's transparency is visible on all browsers.

 

Png: I highly recommend this for forums use, of transparent and normal signature, although the only downfall is that IE will not supprot it's transparency, whereas fire fox will, when used it's got better quality than a GIF and a jpeg.

 

 

user posted image
PNG Format

 

 

user posted image
GIF Format

 

Words from pdescobar

 

These are the words of Pdescobar only, he's more knowledgable about formats,:

 

After saving in the native format, you should then convert to another format for use on the forum. The most popular formats for use on the web are JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Each has various strengths and weaknesses and should be used in different situations.

If your image is animated, then GIF should be your choice as it is the only one of the three formats with support for animation.

 

If your image needs to have alpha transparency, PNG is the only format to use. Be advised that current versions (6.x and earlier) of Internet Explorer do not properly display such images although other browsers such as Firefox do.

 

If your image is 8-bit color with a more simple palette-based transparency (where one specific color becomes transparent) then either PNG or GIF can be used. Both are lossless compression formats and should create similar-sized files for an image with 8-bit or lower color (256 or fewer colors).

 

If you need neither transparency nor animation, then your format choice should be based on which format gives the best combination of quality and file-size for your particular image.

For images which need 24-bit color (such as photos), your choices should be JPEG or PNG. The JPEG format is designed for 24-bit color or greyscale images but it is a lossy compression format. This means you get a small filesize but some loss of quality. If your image needs a high range of colors but you don't need crisply defined lines and text, JPEG will often be the best choice. PNG, on the other hand, is a lossless compression format which produces bigger files but with no loss of quality. If saving your image as a JPEG degrades the quality too much for your taste, you can use a PNG to retain the clarity; however a 24-bit PNG may be much too large for use as a signature. An alternative in such a situation is to reduce the image to 8-bit color before saving as PNG; if the color reduction still gives you acceptable quality, the resulting image should be clearer than a JPEG without being too much larger in size.

 

If your image has a small number of colors and/or large areas of solid colors (more like a cartoon than a photo) then you should stick with the lossless formats of PNG or GIF. Such images should be no more than 8-bit color (256 colors) and may even be reduced to fewer colors to further reduce the file size.

 

 

Thanks immensely for these words mate icon14.gif

 

END OF PDESCOBAR WORDS

 

When usingPHotoshop it asks for a quality range for which you want to save your signature, usually at max settings 12, the file will still fall comfortably into the size limits for the forums (80kb) it's when animation gets involved that file sizes have to be chopped down.

 

 

Uploading

 

There ar emany places to upload your work, i personally either use:

Photobucket

Imageshack

 

I favour for photobucket becuase of the album option, when uploaded you will be given many lines which you can paste into your signature box on the forums, because we use BB CODE always opt for the line which contains

 

 

' alt='p>
'>

at the end, so you signature could be:

 

 

[img=http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c207/Rob_UK/shiny.png]

 

 

Post Wrappers

 

Not everyone does this but i quite like the idea, to change yuor forum font colour to match your new sig, you can select the block of colours on your tool bar, find the colour you want and look for the filed with the # next to it, paste that number into your profile details, and it'll be the colour next time you post, how ever, where sigs update even old posts, old fonts still remain the same, they will change for your pposts from whence you've changed only.

 

 

END OF [TUT]'s

 

I hope for that the new people who come here, this is of some use, even to the complete novice, an hopefully this has been of interest to you guys, it was a nice 4 hour project whilst it lasted and now it has come to an end, if you need any help feel free to PM me.

 

For all my Fonts click here:LINK

 

Enjoy having fun with GFX, have as much fun as i do smile.gif

 

Edited by Rob_UK
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Hey nice job. This covers a lot of problems that newbs might have. I would just probably add how to add a border (that took me a long time to figure out). icon14.gif

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You clearly spent a lot of time on this and it looks easy to follow. I'll try this out later using these steps. Good job, buddy. Though, there are a few minor errors (not that it matters or anything) but I've noticed a few grammar and BBCode Tags left open, etc. But that shouldn't matter. Good job once again. icon14.gif

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GIF:When using a GIF it allows for transparent sigs, but the quality is poor when compared to a

.png. The quality though is better than a jpeg, and it's transparency is visible on all browsers.

 

The quality will only be better (due to it being pretty much lossless) while it is at its colour limit (256).

 

This is due to the GIF's compression method of eliminating colours to reduce filesize.

No dough this post will get questions and and maybe even some fighting.

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Very nice tutorial. Helps me alot with a few things i was having problems doing with Photoshop. Great job icon14.gif Edited by jarjar
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Just what I've been looking for.

 

I just got Photoshop CS2 and don't know what the hell I'm doing, so this will definately help.

 

Nice job.

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Superb work Rob. So much stuff there I didn't know like installing fonts wink.gif I do hope to see this come in use to many members...and yourself.. smile.gif

oldschoolsigs14.png

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Unbelivible.

What a great tutorial.

Just want to put this tutorial to the test by making a good image for my website.

This (guy, seems to me tounge.gif ) deserves some karma.

I know, you can't give karma on request , but this dude deserve that.

 

SUGOI

*The only Japanese word I know, thanks to a friend of a friend of mine dozingoff.gif *

(It means funny) sigh.gif

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Since I don't own Photoshop, I can't comment on a lot of the specifics, although it looks pretty thorough and will probably be quite helpful. However, I can comment on the file format section and would like to see a different approach with some increased detail here.

 

 

Psd: I highly recommend saving yuor work as this type of file first, as it retians the layers which you used when you created you piece, so if you want to alter it, uisng a .psd is very easy and quick at hand, not compatible with this, or most forums.

This part is good aside from some highlighted typos. (should be "your", "retains", "your", and "using" respectively) I think it is almost always a good idea to initially save an image in the program's native format before converting to another format for uploading and use on the forum.

 

 

jpeg: standard image file, will work on these ofrums, and can be used, but doesn't have great quality, will not save transparent sigs.

 

GIF:When using a GIF it allows for transparent sigs, but the quality is poor when compared to a

.png. The quality though is better than a jpeg, and it's transparency is visible on all browsers.

 

Png: I highly recommend this for forums use, of transparent and normal signature, although the only downfall is that IE will not supprot it's transparency, whereas fire fox will, when used it's got better quality than a GIF and a jpeg.

At this point, though, I'd prefer a fundamentally different approach. Rather than focusing on describing formats, I think it would be more useful to focus on the specifics of the image and discuss how that impacts format choice. I'd imagine replacing the above quote with something like this:

 

 

After saving in the native format, you should then convert to another format for use on the forum. The most popular formats for use on the web are JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Each has various strengths and weaknesses and should be used in different situations.
  • If your image is animated, then GIF should be your choice as it is the only one of the three formats with support for animation.

     

  • If your image needs to have alpha transparency, PNG is the only format to use. Be advised that current versions (6.x and earlier) of Internet Explorer do not properly display such images although other browsers such as Firefox do.

     

  • If your image is 8-bit color with a more simple palette-based transparency (where one specific color becomes transparent) then either PNG or GIF can be used. Both are lossless compression formats and should create similar-sized files for an image with 8-bit or lower color (256 or fewer colors).

If you need neither transparency nor animation, then your format choice should be based on which format gives the best combination of quality and file-size for your particular image.

  • For images which need 24-bit color (such as photos), your choices should be JPEG or PNG. The JPEG format is designed for 24-bit color or greyscale images but it is a lossy compression format. This means you get a small filesize but some loss of quality. If your image needs a high range of colors but you don't need crisply defined lines and text, JPEG will often be the best choice. PNG, on the other hand, is a lossless compression format which produces bigger files but with no loss of quality. If saving your image as a JPEG degrades the quality too much for your taste, you can use a PNG to retain the clarity; however a 24-bit PNG may be much too large for use as a signature. An alternative in such a situation is to reduce the image to 8-bit color before saving as PNG; if the color reduction still gives you acceptable quality, the resulting image should be clearer than a JPEG without being too much larger in size.

     

  • If your image has a small number of colors and/or large areas of solid colors (more like a cartoon than a photo) then you should stick with the lossless formats of PNG or GIF. Such images should be no more than 8-bit color (256 colors) and may even be reduced to fewer colors to further reduce the file size.

If you think that would be helpful, feel free to use and/or modify any of it.

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Nice job man, I'm just learning PS, and this really helped.

 

By the way, how do I make the "marque tool" in a circular shape, that part was a bit unclear

Edited by Bryceroni69

G1T

GT-1's a f*cking pussy

Nah, GT-1 likes the pussy, you and I differ in that department though, after hearing you came out the closet at the Z towers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nice thnx ,

Btw can I ask somthing.

Were do I get more fill effects ?

Edited by Derrick92
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Nice thnx ,

Btw can I ask somthing.

Were do I get more fill effects ?

Try this link mate;

 

Fill Effects

 

Thanks to all for the positive feedback.

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Nice thnx ,

Btw can I ask somthing.

Were do I get more fill effects ?

Try this link mate;

 

Fill Effects

 

Thanks to all for the positive feedback.

Yeh Rob, do you know any sites with free text styles for PS7 or PS CS2. I only have the basic ones that come with it, i want some of the new ones.

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Nice thnx ,

Btw can I ask somthing.

Were do I get more fill effects ?

Try this link mate;

 

Fill Effects

 

Thanks to all for the positive feedback.

Yeh Rob, do you know any sites with free text styles for PS7 or PS CS2. I only have the basic ones that come with it, i want some of the new ones.

then after doing the effect how do i save them ?

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Nice thnx ,

Btw can I ask somthing.

Were do I get more fill effects ?

Try this link mate;

 

Fill Effects

 

Thanks to all for the positive feedback.

Yeh Rob, do you know any sites with free text styles for PS7 or PS CS2. I only have the basic ones that come with it, i want some of the new ones.

then after doing the effect how do i save them ?

Edit. Define brush preset, or define as brush preset. Try both for safety.

 

@Jar Jar,

 

If you mean fonts, try this:

 

Link - Lots of free fonts

 

 

user posted image
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The font will help with a few projects i am working on, but what i mean is this panel:

 

user posted image

 

Are there add-on's you can get for this, these are very cool effects and a stong reason i love PS, that and the other 5000 reason PS is better than anyother photo editing software.

user posted image
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  • 5 years later...
Narcis_speed6
Wow, thanks bro! really handy.

tounge2.gif

You just bumped a 5 years topic, check last post date before posting.

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