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Old 01-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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PS Tutorial: Layer Blending

Blending for Sigs A Photoshop Tutorial

Ok, so here is a pretty in depth tutorial on blending in photoshop. As with all elements of photoshop there are loads of ways to create similar results and this is just one of the ways that I use sometimes.
You will need a basic knowledge of PS, but I have gone into it in quite a lot of detail. So... On with the turorial


Prep (i.e, what you will need before beginning the sig)
• An artworked image of your choosing, preferably removed from it’s original background. I have chosen a pretty awesome photo of the Reem
I can do another tutorial on how to properly artwork an image if there is a demand?

Step 1
Open Photoshop (I’m using CS4) and create a new document. Set the size to whatever you want, I used 420x220 within the max sig size on this site. Set the resolution to 72dpi and we are ready to rock.


Step 2
Drag your Artworked image into the sig.[1] (just click and drag). If you artworked an image of a decent size, then it it will come in massive. What you need to do is transform it down to an appropriate size. To do this you can use the keyboard short cut for free transform (cmd+T on a mac or ctr+T on a PC) or alternatively go to the edit drop down menu and select Transform, then free transform.
You will notice anchor points appear on your image. Click one of the corners, making sure to to hold down shift (to constrain image proportions) drag the image size down to your liking.[2]
Once you are finished transforming click on the select (arrow) tool in the tools palette and then confirm the transformation. Now position the image where you want it. In this case I have moved it to just off centre to the left. [3]
[1]

[2]

[3]



At this point it is good to point out that it is a good idea to name all of your layers as you create them. It will stop a lot of confusion and time wasting later on. I called the Layer with the main image on ‘Overeem Main’.


Step 3
We now have our main image named and positioned where we want it. Now what we need to do is begin creating our blending layers. We will do this in a number of similar stages, all of which I will talk you through as we go.
Duplicate the ‘Overeem main’ Layer and call it ‘Blend 1’[1]. Now Hide the ‘Overeem Main’ layer by clicking the eye next to it. ReSelect the ‘Blend 1’ layer by clicking on it.
Go to the Filter menu and select Lens Blur.[2] Mess with the settings and when you get one you like ‘OK’ it.[3]
You now need to drag the ‘Blend 1’ Layer underneath the ‘Overeem Main’ Layer in the layer menu. (so that if the OM layer was visible the blend layer would appear behind it.
Transform the ‘Blend 1’ Layer and scale it up, roughly double the original size. [4](do this the same way you did in step 1)
[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]


Step 4
Duplicate the ‘Overeem main’ Layer again and call it ‘Blend 2’[1]. Position it Below the OM layer.
Go to the Filter menu and this time select Motion Blur.[2] Again, play with the settings but don’t go to mental. You want the blur at roughly around the 60 mark. Now move ‘Blend 2 along a bit so that it is positioned to the right of the sig. Now set the opacity of the layer to 80%.
You should now have something that looks similar to [3]
[1]

[2]

[3]




Repeat step 3 and 4 again so you now have 4 blend layers. When doing this, alter the blur properties and the opacity levels to your liking. ( I think I set blend 3 and 4 to 40% and 20% opacity and positioned them in the top left corner and the middle)

Step 5
Select ‘Blend 3’ (or 4) and duplicate it. Call this layer ‘Front Blend 1’ an move it above the ‘Overeem Main’ Layer in the layer list.[1] Position the blend so that it overlaps reem a bit[2].
Now select the Rubber tool from your tool palette and select a brush with a feathered edge [3]. What you want to do now is begin to erase out some of the blend from in front of Reem. Don’t erase too much, just pick out a few key areas.[4]
[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]


Step 6
Select ‘Blend 3’ (or 4) and duplicate it again. Call this layer ‘Front Blend 2’ an move it above the ‘Front Blend 1’ Layer in the layer list.[1] Position the blend so that it overlaps reem to the left this time[2].
Now select the Rubber tool again and erase out some of the blend from this layer. Again Don’t erase too much, just pick out a few key areas.[3]
[1]

[2]

[3]


Step 7
At this point it is worth thinking about what sort of colour you are going to make the sig. For the purpose of this tutorial I am going to go for Orange. So, select the bottom layer (layer 1) [1] and go to your tool pallete and select the bucket tool.[2] select your colour and then fill the layer. [3]
[1]

[2]

[3]


Step 8
Select Blend 1 and Blend 2 layers. [1]. Go to the layer options and ‘Merge Layers’. Rename this layer ‘Combined Layers’[2].
You now want to go into the ‘Image menu and select ‘Adjustments> Hue/Sturation. In the window that appears click on the ‘Colorize’ button and it should move the sliders to match the colour you chose for your background layer.[3]
[1]

[2]

[3]


Step 9
Select the ‘Overeem Main’ layer again and duplicate it. Call it ‘Front blend Layer 3’ and blur it with the ‘Lens blur’ described in step 3. Drag it to the top of the layers so it is now the front layer. Transform this layer so it is roughly 10% bigger than reem and position it directly over the unblurred Main reem image. Now go into the Layer blending options [1] and select ‘Linear Burn’ from the drop down menu. (the blending menu is found in the layer palette). Your image should now look a bit like [2]. Using the same method as before, erase out the bulk of the darkness, leaving mostly just the edges of his shoulders and head etc. don’t delete ‘too’ much.
[1]

[2]


Step 10
Select the ‘Overeem Main’ Layer and go to the curves menu. Found in the Image>Adjustments>Curves or by using the shortcut (cmd+m on a mac or ctrl+M on a PC). Click about a 3rd of the way from the bottom of the line and drag it a little bit bellow. This will increase the shadow density.[1]
[1]


Step 10
Now what I would do, in order to get your layers all a bit more ‘blended’ is go to the Image menu , select adjustments and go to ‘Photo Filter’.[1] Select a colour or a filter from the list and make the value about 60%. I used Warming filter LBA. [2]. Repeat this step on Every layer.
[1]

[2]






Step 11
You can very much leave it here, there is no need to do this step if you are happy with the results you already have. However... I prefer a sig with a little less luminance so what I did is Merge all layers and then go into the Hue/saturation menu and colorized again, but this time took the saturation down a bit to give it a more sepia tone.[1]
[1]


You can now add borders and Text and what ever else you want to finish up the sig like so:





ENJOY!
Feel free to ask any additional questions
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