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Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures
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Old 26 Mar 2007, 10:25   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Hey guys,

Please be wared, this is a very large tutorial.

Well its been put to me to create a grunge signature tutorial. Doesn't that sound fun? Well, for many beginners, it probably sounds daunting. But following a tutorial, you can create signatures that are absolutely fabulous, without having to take 9 years at University!

A grunge signature, however, needs a little more than just the normal photoshop brushes. You'll need to install some more brushes, and luckily for you, I've zipped my absolute favorites, just for you guys! You can download the brush pack JUST HERE. To install them, extract all the files to: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS2\Presets\Brushes
Please note, you need to close photoshop and then open it again for it to recognize the brushes.

Now, grunge is a dirty, broken, random look. If you look at my signature, that is a grunge look (however, I went for a really heavy grunge look, and the beauty of making your own is that you can change this to your liking). Once you've installed your brushes, and restarted photoshop, we can begin.

Open a new project, by going to File --> New. Next to Width, make sure the drop down box is set to pixels. Make the width 400 and the height 100.


We now want to set a background, something to work with. Make sure your colours are reset by pressing the D key. Go to Filters --> Render --> Clouds. Try to get an even distribution of white and black, instead of it all to one side. With the image below, we DO NOT want Image 1, but we do want something like Image 2.


Its time to start grunging. Whip out your brush tool by pressing B. Make sure in the toolbar that its the brush tool selected, because by default its the pencil tool, and we don't want that!! Right click the brushes icon, and then select the brush tool (as depicted in the picture below).


Just for a little bit of tidying, rename your background layer (the one with the clouds) to Background, by double-clicking the name and typing the new name. Delete any other layers by dragging it into the trash can in the layers window. We now want to create a new layer, and brush a little bit of grunge. You can right click on the main main window with the brush tool selected, and have the quick-select menu popup. This is great for doing things quickly and easily. You can then click the little circle with the triangle point to the right, and this will allow you to select a grunge brush set. For example, click "grunge", and then OK. It will now give you grunge brushes!!

Grunge a little on the layer, and then set the layer overlay to "Soft Light". Don't grunge it too much, we want it on different layers. Whats the point of this? Its so we don't darken areas by accident. You should have something like the following:


We now want to do this for .. say .. 10 layers. Remember to set each layer to Soft Light, otherwise it will get too dark after Layer 2 or so. If it gets too dark, change the brush colour to white and then keep going. In the last couple of layers, try some tech brushes (these give a technical, cyber-age feel to the sig). Examples of these sets are: SK_Tech_Set, Xyber Tech, zd tech. Your project should now look like this:


So we now have 11 layers, but we don't want that clogging up our window. In the layers window, down the bottom (near the trash can) is a picture of a folder. Click it once, and you get a Group 1 folder. Double click it, name it Background. Click once on Layer 11, hold shift and then click the Background layer. It selects all of them, and drag them into the folder. Click the triangle next to the folder to close the folder. There we go, nice and tidy.

Its now time to find an avatar (also called renders). If you google search, you should find some great sites. I chose this one:


So we trim the image up by removing the background and making it transparent. You know if its transparent because you should see little grey and white boxes, which are Photoshop's background telling you that there is nothing there. Copy and paste this image into your main signature. If its too big, press Ctrl + T to show image anchors, and drag one edge in until its resized nicely. You can hold down shift while dragging the anchor to make it resize perspectively. Call the layer "Render", and you should have this:


We now set a colour balance layer, which changes all the images below the layer to what you set it as. Make sure you have the top layer selected (which should be called "Render"), and go to Layer --> New Adjustment Layer --> Color Balance. Name it if you wish, then click OK. Your color balance window pops up. You can set the colour for shadows (dark colours), midtones (middle colours) and highlights (light colours). Fool around in here until you get just what you want. If you like myn below, use these settings:
Shadows: +30, +44, +14
Midtones: +91, +6, -37
Highlights: +63, +1, +5


If you prefer not to lose the colour in your Render, drag the layer above your color balance layer. We're extremely close. Time to add text. Press the T button to open your text tool, click where you want the text to go and start typin'. Its general custom to type your name, then in smaller text, a little quote or phrase. Heres what myn looks like so far:


Ok, so the text sticks out like dogs balls. Lets make it a bit better. If you right-click the text layer, you can select Blending Options. This is where the magic happens. Fool around in there, but the main tools are:
Stroke: Adds a border around the text entered. I usually put this on, with the colour as black.
Drop Shadow: Adds a shadow under the text, giving it a 3D kinda look.
Outer Glow: Gives a godly glow outside the text, letting it stand out just that little bit more.
Color Overlay: Lets you change the colour of the text.
Heres what myn looks after I added the style to both layers. If you make the style on one text layer, and like it, you can right click the layer and select "Copy Layer Style". You then right click the other text layer and select "Paste Layer Style".


Now for a border. Make a new layer, and push it to the top of the list. Press D to reset the colours. Press Ctrl + A to select everything. Hold down Alt and press backspace to fill the layer. Go to Select --> Modify --> Border. Enter 2 (or your preference) and click ok. Press Ctrl + Shift + I, press delete and BOOM! Border! Ctrl + D to deselect.

Any finishing touches can now be made. If you want scan lines, look up a tutorial and place it on. Otherwise, save it as it is. This is my finished product:


I hope you guys liked my tutorial. I know its ABSOLUTELY HUGE but you should have picked up some nice hints. There are whispers of a new signature competition, so keep this bookmarked for reference.

Also, if you like my sig, and want to use it to (to support Battle Royale 2007), you can use the code below:
Code:
Thanks guys,
Beefa
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Old 26 Mar 2007, 10:31   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Very nice.... Karma cookie
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Old 26 Mar 2007, 11:26   #3 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Spank you
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Old 26 Mar 2007, 12:30   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

A well deserved karma cookie.
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Old 28 Mar 2007, 08:22   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

I can't get the brushes up, why is this?

EDIT: Oh, I know. I opened the file, instead of saving duh...
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Old 29 Mar 2007, 10:51   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Sorry about this double post, but it's urgent. WHY CAN'T I UPLOAD MY PHOTOSHOP PICS TO PHOTOBUCKET???
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Old 01 Apr 2007, 01:54   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Munchkin, what is the error you get? You need to be registered, logged in, and then just go to your album. There will be a giant advertisement, and to the right will be a box with the browse button. Try to upload you picture, and tell me what the error is.
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Old 01 Apr 2007, 15:33   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Wow, awesome tutorial, this has helped me out alot!
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Old 01 Apr 2007, 19:00   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Don't worry, I've figured it out. I was saving it as Photoshop format instead of BMP. One more question.... how do you use downloaded fonts?
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Old 01 Apr 2007, 21:47   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Beginner's Tutorial to Grunge Signatures

Go to the control panel (typically in My Computer) and open the fonts folder. You can insert the unzipped font there. Sometimes, the font will install itself (nifty!)
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