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03 May 2010 @ 07:59 pm
This is a general kind of how-to on how I make the backgrounds for my quote signatures, requested by HM Swanwhite and lover of narnia, both from NarniaWeb. I apologize in advance for how roundabout and convoluted this tutorial may sound (not to mention being late!). If you have any questions, please leave a comment or PM me, I'd hate to think I'm being helpful, but am actually stirring up confusion.

Originally asked for this signature, but due to losing the file, done on this one

Just getting this out of the way: PLEASE DO NOT take any of the backgrounds that I post here and put your own words on them without asking me first. This is supposed to illustrate how to do it yourself, not be a resource for bases. :)

Since I could not find the original file detailing how to change a plain background to a textured fun one, I'm going to attempt to create one before your eyes.

What I do is open a new image that's 300x100 pixels, and drag in textures on top of it. I'm starting out with one of bambinainnero 's textures, since they're so pretty and colorful.

Here's what I've got after resizing and moving it around a little.

Then I did something different than I normally do. Lately, I've been pretty obsessed with the Curves tool so I duplicated that layer and played with the Curves settings. It's a fun way of lightening and coloring images at the same time, so I tried it on this. I'm not going to give exact coordinates, since I read a tutorial recently about the curves of the lines are or should be different for every image (and because I'm lazy :P), but I can tell the directions I went. :)

Value Channel: Drag up and a little to the right, but stay a good distance from the diagonal line. This makes it brighter and I think this direction has more contrast than others.
Red Channel: Drag down to the bottom left-hand corner, but again, don't cross the diagonal line. This really made the pink in the middle of the texture stand out.
Green Channel: Drag up and a little to the right, towards the upper right-hand corner, but not very near it at all. Again, don't cross the diagonal line. This balanced out the pink some by adding more green.
Blue Channel: To make the blues more of a bright royal blue, drag out almost straight from the middle to the upper left corner. On this image, it didn't really matter how far I went, but all images are different.

Here's what I got. As you can see, it looks much different now.

I set that layer to Screen 100%, duplicated it, and set that one to Burn 100%. It's sharper and more pronounced now. Then I added a new layer from visible.

On the new layer, I went to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the blur radius to about 20. I set that layer to Multiply 100%.


Then, I added another new layer from visible and went to the Colorize tool. I decided to make it red (This is why this process is so convoluted. I go to all the trouble of making the blues pretty, and then I destroy them all and make them red. :P)

^To get this, I used these settings
Hue: 360
Saturation: 58
Lightness: 28

Here's where I got bored with what I had and decided to throw another texture on there. 

I added this texture, that I have no idea who it's by. I got it off deviant art a looong time ago and don't remember who made it. I resized it and set it to several different settings. It looked good on several different modes, among them being Multiply, Burn, and Soft Light. I noticed there was a dark spot, so I smudged that out of existence. I finally went with duplicating it, setting the bottom one to Soft Light 50% and the top one Burn 50%.

Here's what I've got now.

Then I added text and a drop shadow to see how it looked (quote from BBC Robin Hood)

I don't know. Maybe I'm picky, but I'm not completely satisfied yet. So, off to create a new layer from visible and colorize it again! I used similar settings as before, but I made it lighter and with less contrast, like so:

I set this layer to Soft Light, realized that made the light in the middle even more pronounced, and decided that wasn't what I had wanted. I inverted the colors (Colors>Invert) but that gave it a slightly odd tint on the edges. So I desaturated it (Colors>Desaturate>Luminosity) and left it on Soft Light. I checked it with the the text and it looked almost perfect.


I added a new layer from Visible and played with the brightness/contrast (more contrast, less brightness) and set it to Normal 50%.

Excellent! Just what I wanted. :)


Now, I'm just going to see that this finished red sig/base can be morphed into other signatures.

After some very drastic curves:

After colorizing:

Duplicated, blurred, set to screen:

More colorizing:

Another texture (also from Deviant Art) added, resized, and set to Grain Merge:

More colorizing: 

Another texture (by yunhe ) added and set to Hard Light 70%:

Compared to where it came from: 


Total signatures made from the original base:

So you see, these background are very very easy to edit and play around with. I hope this was of some use and if you have any questions, feel free to let me know!

Again, please do not save and use any of the example backgrounds above without asking me. If you have a good reason, I promise I won't be unreasonable. :)
feeling: lazylazy
listening to: the Glee soundtrack my friend lent me that I may or may not be hooked on