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09 September 2007 @ 02:44 pm
Coloring Tutorial  
Go from to .

For PS CS2 or up. Psd-file included.

1. from to

We’re on the base layer. Copy it once. Go to
Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight
I used the following settings:
  • Amount: 35%
  • Tonal Width: 10%
  • Radius: 2500px
  • Color Correction: +60
  • Midtone Contrast: 0
  • Black Clip: 0%
  • White Clip: 0%
For future icons, it is best to do this step last since it allows you to play around with the settings and see the effect on the resulting icon immediately.

2. from to

We will sharpen the image now.
Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen

Some of the edges got a bit too sharp. Therefore, from your tools bar, choose the blur tool with a round brush of about 5 pixels in size.
Mode: normal and Strength: 20%.
Then go over parts of the image you want to smooth out a bit.

3. from to

Add a color balance layer.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance

4. from to

Change saturation levels.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation

5. from to

Add a selective colors layer.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Selective Colors
  • Cyan: -100
  • Yellow: +70
  • Black: +2
  • Yellow: -58
  • Black: +16
  • Black: +9

6. from to

Copy the previous selective coloring layer.
Take the eraser tool from the tool bar. Put the opacity to 30% and go over his skin areas to reduce the red in that part of the picture.

7. from to

Add a new layer.
Layer > New > Layer
Fill it with a light blue (#bae5f2). Choose Overlay as layer mode and reduce the opacity to 40%.

Take the eraser tool and erase everything around Dean.

8. from to

Add yet another new layer.
Layer > New > Layer
Fill it with a grey (#aaaaaa). Change to layer mode vivid light and reduce opacity to 20%.

And you’re done!

Download the psd-file if you want.

Other icons made using this technique:

Comments and criticism much appreciated!

Current Mood: cynicalcynical
Steffilegoline on September 9th, 2007 02:38 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh - shiny tutorialkins!
ヴェレーナ: sd bunny earsongiara on September 9th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)

The tenth Dr. rocks, by the way.
Steffi: Doctor Who - New Earth Tardis by alleycalegoline on September 9th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
Ten rules. And he's quite angsty, too :-)
ヴェレーナ: low sodium freaksongiara on September 9th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
Yup, I see potential ^__^
cetpar on September 9th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
Nice tutorial.

I use Photoshop Elements, which is actually a pretty nice program, but the lack of curves and other advanced stuff is killing me. I've been thinking about getting a copy of the full PS--I can get the student pricing--but I'm still debating it.
ヴェレーナ: Jess b&wongiara on September 9th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, and all I can say is that depending on what you want to do, getting a full version of PS would certainly be woth the investment :)
zora_sourit: laurenzora_sourit on September 9th, 2007 04:20 pm (UTC)
Uhm.. not iconing but totally love your lj-cut-quote!!
And your tutorial-icon... whatever Dean is doing there... it involves his hand and his pretty pretty mouth though... uhm... yeah... Dean.
ヴェレーナ: sam smile croppedongiara on September 9th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Haha, the cut quote is shamelessly stolen from Hollywood Babylon - another scene in which Dean is munching away food. He's so adorable eating, so yeah ;)
zora_sourit: marg camerazora_sourit on September 9th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I remember that scene, it was adorable. And Dean is great doing anything... he would make staring blankly at a wall look squeeee!able.
Kristencakeholes on September 9th, 2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
Awesome tutorial! Definitely saving, thank you :]
ヴェレーナ: coffeeongiara on September 9th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Hope it's useful, thanks!
sn_ds35111sn_ds35111 on September 9th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
how do you lighten really dark SN screencaps. whats your techinque and not so redish tint. ty~
ヴェレーナ: sam wetongiara on September 9th, 2007 06:05 pm (UTC)
I lighten them the way I did here. If you want less red, leave out the second selective coloring layer and play around with the settings of the first, especially in the reds and yellows.

Working with saturation layers is a way to make them look brighter too. Up the saturation and reduce the saturation of specific colors, ie red.

Hope that helps.
°°  £å  §âM¥  °°lasamy on September 9th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
lovely!!! will try it later! *_*
ヴェレーナ: jensen Klappeongiara on September 10th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Have fun playing around with this :)
lobagrislobagris on September 9th, 2007 07:08 pm (UTC)
I am meming this tutorial to try it later. I really like the coloring, it's great!
Thank you!
ヴェレーナ: ash dr badassongiara on September 10th, 2007 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Have fun playing around with this.
not_so_tal_ianot_so_tal_ia on September 11th, 2007 02:58 am (UTC)
very nice :D
i love photoshop, but i'm not so smart with it.
i want to save the file as an action, but i don't know exactly where to save it and how to complete it. D: yeah, i know!

perhaps you could point me kindly in the right direction?
ヴェレーナ: ash dr badassongiara on September 11th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC)
Referring you to an how-to-use-actions tut is the best I can do in this instant as I have no idea how to work with those, I'm afraid.
nighoney: whoanighoney on September 11th, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
This is wonderful! I'm always looking for new ways to spiffy up my art. Photoshop is like a maze to me. :) I've never used the Shadow/Highlight tool before, I don't think. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for this, hun.
ヴェレーナ: sd promo skullongiara on September 11th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC)
The Shadow/Highlight function is neat. Always helps with brightening up caps and all. Have fun trying this out.

*glomps* Just because ;)