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Tutorial Mecha's Noob guide to Brushing cool Backgrounds for Sigs/Avatars

Discussion in 'Art 101' started by MechaTC, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. MechaTC

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    MechaTC’s Basic Forum Signature BG Tutorial.

    This tutorial is designed to help even the noobiest noob out there be able to make a signature background from start to finish in Adobe Photoshop CS.

    What you need:
    400x150 Document in Adobe Photoshop
    Default colors (Black and White. Hit the D key)
    Abstract brushes, grunge brushes, whatever kind of brushes you would like to use. You can download brushes at places such as Deviant Art

    Installing Brushes:
    Once you download some brushes to your desktop, all you have to do is unzip any zip files you have and select all the brush files together and right click -> cut. (downloading brushes does not consist of saving the picture of them on deviantart. You actually have to click a download button). Now open windows explorer and follow the following path C:\program files\adobe\photoshop cs\presets\brushes and paste the files into this folder. Now your brushes are installed.

    Loading Brushes in Photoshop:
    To load a brush in photoshop once you have it installed, you must open up the program. Then click on the brush tool.

    Now in the upper left hand corner please click the brush selection menu.

    Now click on the little arrow.

    Now go to the “load brushes” option. Click this and select a set of brushes. They will be located in the brush selection menu.

    Congratulations. You have loaded a set of brushes.
     
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  2. MechaTC

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    The Project:

    Make sure you have a new 400 wide x 150 high pixel document ready for work (It should have a transparent background). Set your colors to black and white by hitting the D key on your keyboard.

    To start, fill your current layer with black using the fill tool.

    Next, create a new layer by clicking on the new layer button.

    Now select a brush (using the brush tool), any grunge or abstract brush will do for the purpose of this tutorial. Now click on the flow option. This adjusts the speed at which the color comes out of the brush. Set your flow to around 50% for the first part.

    Reverse the colors by hitting the X key now. Now you are using the color white, instead of black. Now take your brush and click on the sig background (make sure you are brushing on layer 2). Only make 2-3 clicks in different spots. Your sig should look something like this:

    Of course you are probably using a different brush than I am, so it will look different.
     
  3. MechaTC

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    Now create a new layer by clicking the layer button again. Select a different brush the same way we did before. This time reduce the flow of the brush to around 30-45%. Now make sure you are drawing on layer three and click a few more times over this layer. Feel free to click on top of your previous brush strokes. Do whatever looks good to you (remember you can undo anything in photoshop by hitting the keys ctrl+alt+z).

    Ok. Now that that is done, you should have something that looks like this:

    Now make another layer. Do the exact same brushing procedure as we have been using on the past layers. Select a new brush and reduce the flow by 5% this time however. Click a few more times here and there and you should have an interesting looking design something like this:

    Good, you are done with the brushing part!

    Now what we have to do next is click on Layer 4. Now click on Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Brightness/Contrast.

    Click ok, then adjust the levels so they read Brightness:20 Contrast: 40 (or whatever settings look the best and hit ok. Now your image will look something like this:

    In the next step, we click on layer 4 again. Now go back and click Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> this time click on Color Balance.

    Click ok. Now mess around with the sliders until your sig bg becomes an interesting color that you would like.
     
  4. MechaTC

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    Now that you have a nice colored sig BG it is done. It should look something like this now:

    (optional): You can add more colors to your BG by adding more of the Color Balance layers (One over each of your brushed layers. This will result in each of your brushed layers being a different color.) In order to do this, all you have to do is repeat the color balance layer step, but place one over each of your individual brushed layers. If you do it correctly, you could create something like this:

    You will notice that there are three different colors on the signature. You can add more if you wish as well.

    You can do what you would like with it now, add a picture, add some more effects or whatever you can think of.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  5. Blue Supporting Staff Retired Staff

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    Well that explains it...you have much cooler brushes then me. :amazed
     
  6. MechaTC

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    The one used in this tutorial was among the ones I sent you :laugh
     
  7. Ichimaru Gin

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    Very good tut for begginers i like you included pictures makes it very easy.
     
  8. PATMAN

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    Hey mecha, are the ones i sent you in there? O_O good tutorial btw ^_^
     
  9. MechaTC

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    I used some from the link to deviantart that you gave me. Downloading your brushes now. Thanks :laugh
     
  10. Utz

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    Nice tut man, good way to help people.
     
  11. Rurouni

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    Nice tutorial. But I have a question. I'm trying to make the background have multi-colors, but everytime I change the Color Balance thing, the whole bg becomes that color so I can't get it to have more than one color...
     
  12. MechaTC

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    That is how my layers were set up for the multicolored sig. Make sure you have one of the color layers over each of the brushed layers. Just play around with the sliders till you get the colors you want (colors are going to be somewhat similar since they are on top of each other).
     
  13. kyubinaruto75

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    how'd u get certain parts of hte backgorund to glow like that?
     
  14. MechaTC

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    When you add the brightness/contrast adjustment layer, you adjust for better and brighter brightness/contrast so it appears lighter.
     
  15. Empress

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    Thanks for the tutorial MechTC
    I't's really helpful!!!
     
  16. Mithrandil

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    Nice tutorial... well done...
     
  17. Lo Gah Lok

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    Great tutorial, but sadly i have the older version 6 of photoshop...i can't upload any brushes with it...:crying
     
  18. Experiment_Jon

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    nice...this was infinatly helpful for a n00b like myself. Eh, its too bad I have Photoshop Elements 2, and cant seem to find that color balance layer thing...oh well...filling it with a solid color will have to do for now...
     
  19. MechaTC

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    I don't think elements has that. I used to have elements 1.0
     
  20. Steve L.

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    Buy the upgrade version of Photoshop CS. Check it out here. It's only $169.00...
     
  21. Lo Gah Lok

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    ok, well i have one that my friend let me borrow. ok now. how do you change to the brushes you uploaded? i know this seems n00bish..but please...help.
     
  22. MechaTC

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    There is a part of the tutorial on how to dl, install and load brushes.
     
  23. Lo Gah Lok

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    well, it didn't say in the tutorial what i need to know. but i found it anyway, so ok. i made 2 sigs so far, thanks for the tutorial, mecha!
     
  24. krescentwolf

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    Wow, thanks for the tutorial, it helped tons!
    *oogles his new sig* ^_^;;
     
  25. tehdemonic

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    does ne one know a good website for hosting pics?
     
  26. MechaTC

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  27. Experiment_Jon

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    Eh, too bad I cant upgrade to CS, since I have silly Elements. I'd have to pay like 600+ to get it. But what do you mean only $169 You make that sound like so little! I do have that much money on me, but heck, there's no way I would spend it on an upgrade even if I could. Well, that's what China and the Philippines are for right?
     
  28. Hazanko Zero

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    Wow. Thanks alot Mecha! I've just been given access to PS in the past few days and I've always been interested in makin' sigs and such. Lots of pertinent info here, thanks! :D
     
  29. lost_wan

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    and how do you insert the picture properly? or 'stock' they called it..
     
  30. Rurouni

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    You open the original file, copy and paste. I usually use the Marquee tool (or whatever it's called, the rectangle with the dotted lines ^_^)
     
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