[Graphics] Simple Sig Tutorial + 2 Sig & PSD

*Note: This tutorial is intended for photoshop only. If someone out there can translate this into a GIMP tutorial, I’d really appreciate it. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m just absolutely lost beyond lost in GIMP… That and I suck with it…
Feedback on this is also highly appreciated. I’d really love to see your results.

So I’m going to teach you how to make a really simple sig, using this image:

I’m going to break this tutorial up into two parts:
Keine & Mokou. Both of them are going to use two different coloring techniques. You can use images that are different, but I suggest finding images that are similar in coloring for this tutorial to work properly. Keep in mind you are going to have to improvise for colors.

More beneath the cut

First Part: Keine

Go ahead and crop the Keine image. I suggest resizing her to about 450×150. You’re gonna need to trim it a bit. If you don’t like 450×150, somewhere from 400×100 ~ 525×175 should be an ideal sig size. I wouldn’t recommend going over 525×175 as it will do things like break forum layouts or just look awkwardly huge. Some people push for 600 on places, but in a lot of cases, less is more…

Anyways, go ahead and make yourself a new color balance layer. If you don’t know how to get to color balance, it’s in your layers window, the half circle next to the new folder icon (the one in the middle, half black circle)

Tweak your colors to something around this:

MIDTONES: -21, -41, +55
SHADOWS: -40, +43, +22
HIGHLIGHTS: -6, +6, +20
PRESERVE LUMINOSITY ON

Just to make reference, your first number refers to the balance between Cyan & Red, your second number refers to the balance between Magenta & Green, and your last number refers to the balance between Yellow & Blue

Looks a bit cleaner than before yes? But still, let’s tweak it a bit more.

Add a selective color layer. Adjust your colors around this:

REDS:
-24, +29, -19, 0

NEUTRALS:
Now, there’s a few ways to do this. It’ll make Keine either more green, more red, or more blue focused.
Green based:
-95, +14, +46, 0
Blue based:
+64, -28, -100, 0
Red based:
-100, +45, -81, 0

My personal coloring:
+54, +31, -46, -35

Another reference, but the 4 numbers stand for CMYK respectively. Before anyone asks… K = Black.

Now, one last adjustment layer, lets goe with Hue/Saturation. Be careful on toying with this at times. Putting your saturation too high will really make your image begin to look artifacted if you do not use it with the lightness.

Settings should be somewhere around:
HUE: 0 (I do not reccomend playing with this in graphics. If you do, only change it at the most, to either +/- 5.)
SATURATION: +46
LIGHTNESS: +19
COLORIZE OFF.

Now we’re gonna use a quick texture. I used: http://kaneko-yue.deviantart.com/art/Light-texture-105651964

Open the texture separately, select all, copy and paste into the sig. Set the layer to screen and adjust as you feel fit.

Now, for some quick text. I used her name, you use whatever you like…

And then we have Keine:

Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?929a9r5ynhhljee

And now for Mokou:

I’m going to be using the same size for Mokou as I did with Keine.

As you can see, Mokou is already pretty bright. We’re going to be toning her down. Duplicate her layer and set the top layer to either Soft Light or Overlay. I will be using Soft Light. Now go to filter and select Gaussian Blur. Blur her to somewhere between 5 – 6

Now, put a brightness/contrast layer ontop of that. Settings should be:
BRIGHTNESS: -44
CONTRAST: +30

Then pull out selective color. Use these settings:
REDS:
+48, +84, -39, +12
NEUTRALS:
-31, +22, -67, +22

Select the bottom layer again. Go to filter, then smart sharpen. Settings should be:
AMOUNT: 63
RADIUS: 0.9

Now for the last step, grab a red c4d. I used this:

Open it up separately, resize it to about 1000px wide and paste it into the sig. set it to screen, and position it how you want.

Then add some quick text, a 2px border, and save.

And there we have Mokou:

Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?zvvv3z2d04k8qia

Well, that wraps that up… Also lol another post at 4 am…

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31 responses to “[Graphics] Simple Sig Tutorial + 2 Sig & PSD

  1. C4Ds and textures combined with different layer modes are the way to go huh?
    Looks like I’ve been doing it wrong for a long time xD
    Also color balance. I never dared to go near such a thing!

    Learned a lot with these tutorials, thanks!
    Tried something following the first one here:
    http://vsect.deviantart.com/art/Keeper-of-Time-220592196
    Had to skip the selective color step though, since I don’t know how to make something equivalent in GIMP

    • Ahh yeah, I really need someone to translate this into GIMP lol. I think I’ll ask Raiku at Doujinstyle to do so. He’s beyond pro with GIMP. His skills >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> mine.

      Also, may I offer a bit of CC?
      Your image choice is alright, though one thing I would highly suggest you change up in the future is your cropping. She feels a little too dead center, and her face is really close to the end of the sig. Feels like the less you zoom in in some cases, the better.

      As for your coloring, it’s not bad, but it feels a bit too blue. I realize you probably used my settings without kind of fiddling around with what suited the image. My colors are more of an example than anything. I think in this case you should have gone brighter and really focused on shadows. I think this would have benefited the drawing a bit more.

      The other thing I think you should work on is the placing of the texture. It looks like you were going for the illusion of stars, but they look a little oddly scattered. If anything I’d suggest either bluring the particular texture before applying it, or going with a different texture that could work better as stars.

      Last thing I have to pick on is text. I suggest plain white next time, as the odd transition in color just looks kinda awkward in this case. Creative, but it doesn’t really benefit the style of this sig.

      Otherwise good job. I hope this helped.

      • Constructive critics are always welcome^^

        The image cropping… yeah actually it was the image choice that wasn’t the best because of the original aspect ratio. Initially I had it zoom out quite a bit more but then the layer wouldn’t fill the image width… In such a case I would either change the image or not make the sig at all but oh well… That is also the reason she is so centered.

        For the coloring I did stick with your settings except for the step I skipped and the Saturation / Lightness which I didn’t increase as much. I’ll follow your advice and try it with more emphasized shadows and increased brightness.

        Hmmm the texture… at the beginning I did try to go for the star effect, I even went and smudged some particles that ended up on top of the tree to the left, but then it felt like the right side wasn’t getting the proper attention and added another layer with the texture to go for a sparkle effect in her hair. I guess I went a bit overboard with the Screen mode thingie xD

        Now, the text… that is my greatest weakness. If you notice my other sigs, I rarely add any text at all. I have a hard time picking the right color / effect for it and so most of the times it ends up looking too solid or with these strange transitions =(
        Anyways I’ll try it with a solid color and maybe a light drop shadow.

        Thank you very much for your opinion and suggestions^^

      • Ahh,size is always flexible, remember that. Just cause I used a particular size doesn’t mean you have to follow it exactly. In your case I would have gone smaller, so you could zoom out on her a bit.

      • I think that this one looks really good. Your positioning is a lot better (though I personally would have used rule of 3rds, sometimes an image placed at the corner works pretty well too) and your coloring is very relative to the image. I must say I feel you’ve improved a lot. Also HNNNNNNNNNNNNG CAPURA LIN. I really like his art.

        But yeah I’mma agree with you, that the lines look odd. For your backdrop text layer though (yknow the alt color of text that gives it that shadow look) i suggest you should go with a blue that’s in the image. It might work a bit better, but with the way you’ve put the text, I don’t think it’s super necessary to read it. I also would have put the text maybe on the same line and downsized the actual letter size itself, but then again, that’s another personal habbit. I’m not too keen on the text face either, but thinking about it, I don’t know many fonts that aren’t my beloved FELIX TILIDING or whatever its called that would fit. Anyways I think you did a good job. I am looking forward to seeing more from you.

  2. ooh very nice
    i’ll probly do a quick one tomorrow or somethings
    i’ll upload on to imageshack to get some criticism off of you :DD

  3. alright, got bored so did a quick one of remilia owo)/
    before you even look at it, i’m sorry for the crappy quality m(_ _)m
    couldn’t find a higher resolution for the image i had D:
    anyways
    heres the link

    welcoming criticism owo)b

    • Was getting ready to prep some crit, but I think I’ll say whats staring me in the face: Quality. What happened? Did you save it really low? Always, ALWAYS go for the highest quality, especially in jpeg. The abysmally low quality has killed your sig.

      What I can tell though is that you did get creative with coloring. I like that. Cropping’s okay, but I would have moved her upward and put the text next to her head, to the right specifically. It’s okay if it overlaps the wing, that’s why I usually recommend white text, even though a lot of people fear it… But yeah, if you could upload it in higher quality I could provide more help

      Edit: NVM I cannot read. Use places like safebooru.org to search. Better quality.

      • hmmm…alright i’ll take a look at safebooru to see if its there
        then i’ll try getting the same image again, though…it wont be exactly the same i got into the habit of not saving my psd’s…lol
        i’ll link you again on this post when i do ^w^

    • aye
      thats why i stopped saving PSDs
      looking for the image nows…no luck so far, on the verge of giving up
      my non-refined search has…500 images, gotten through 150-ish
      my refined search has 70, gotten through…20 probly
      if i still can’t find it in my refined, i’ll just make a new one for Flandre owo)/

  4. lol nice double post owo)b
    i’m working on my Flandre right nows
    just playing around with some effects
    be linking soon owo)/

  5. ok done

    this time
    higher quality image owo)b
    i feel as if somethings missing though…idk feels a bit empty to me, but i dont have my brushes with me right now so i can’t really chuck some on xP

  6. Well, you’re right to say it’s missing something, because it really is. The image looks really blank and really zoomed in on her face. It doesn’t have much of a background either. Personally I reccomend using images like this: http://safebooru.org/index.php?page=post&s=view&id=118912 in comparison to images like this: http://safebooru.org/index.php?page=post&s=view&id=78316

    The reason is because the original images have way more depth and something going on in the background.

    Also I really think you need to toy with the coloring in relationship to a background to the image, rather than focusing on flan’s coloring. As for the coloring itself, not bad, but in parts, you’re going way too magenta. You could use a bit of work on the cropping. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial on creative cropping soon…

    Also, I would like to see JSCH do this tutorial, because I know he can do it…

    Edit: Erm this was directed as a reply to Paul but it derfed.

    • lol
      yea i see where your coming from
      the image i used had like…a gradient background…noting else so yeah
      i usually put a cloud+difference cloud background, but i didn’t bother this time round
      yeah…i rarely crop, most of the times i just erasered the background out of the image and had the whole character there, so i’m not too skilled in that way

      • yeah i should
        but then, i dont photoshop as much as i used to so i kinda lose my creativity xP

      • lol
        nah i’m just saying, cos the more i use photoshop, the more of a feel i get towards using colours etc.
        but lately i havnt needed to (addicted to monster hunter atm >.>)
        but yeah
        i might go on deviantart to grab some later on

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