Warning: First tutorial, wrote for beginners. Very image heavy.
This tutorial is designed for Photoshop CS though I think it's probably translatable.
Step 1. Open your selected image. In my case I choose a screencap of Atemu taken from Capsule monsters episode by daimeryan_rei.
Step 2. Cropping
In Photoshop cropping is extremely easy. For it, we simply have to use the crop tool, step by step as indicated bellow. The dimensions used are appropriate for lj icons but they can be used for several other things, simply needing to adapt for the required use.
- Select the crop tool
- Insert the dimensions you desire for your picture (100x100 px as we wish to do a lj icon)
- Select the area you wish to crop
- Right-click and choose crop
- After cropping
Step 3. Image treatment
a) Unsharp mask
I learned this little trick in another tutorial and since then I’ve always used it. It’s much easier to control the degree of sharpness in an icon if we keep an eye on the settings that we are using. I normally use the ones bellow and adjust them to what I wish.
- Go to Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp mask
- Insert the settings seen on the picture
- Go to Edit/Fade Unsharp Mask
- Set to the degree of sharpness more adequate to your picture. In this case, I set it to 50 %
b) Auto contrast/levels
Depends on the user but I use at least auto-contrast. I can chose later to use curves but it depends on the user. It’s merely an easy way to prepare an image.
- Go to Image/Adjustments/Auto Contrast
- Repeat with Auto Levels
Step 4. Coloring
a) Add exclusion layer
- Go to Layer/New fill layer/Solid color
- Set to Exclusion
- Introduce the code of the chosen color. I choose #0C0C56, a dark blue.
b) Add gradients
- Open the gradient file. Right-click on it and choose select all. Press ctrl+C
- Return to your picture and press ctrl+V
- Set to soft light
- Set to 70% opacity
- Add this gradient and set to soft light, 100% opacity. Gradient by lavaliere.
- Add this gradient and set to Overlay, 100% opacity. Gradient by lavaliere.
- Duplicate the base image (right-click on the layer and select duplicate layer) and drag on top of all others. Set to Pin light, 100% opacity. This is alternate step.
- Add this texture and set to soft light, 100% opacity.
- Duplicate the base layer again and drag it on top of all others. Set to soft light, 100% opacity.
- Add this texture on multiply, 50% opacity.
- Add this texture on multiply, 100% opacity.
- Add this texture on multiply, 38% opacity.
This last step depends on whether or not the user wishes for the lines to be more or less visible. In this icon I didn’t so I erased the part covering most of Atemu and simply lowered the opacity until I thought it seemed alright.
And that's it ^___^ I hope it's alright, any questions or doubts and feel free to ask them. Also, all gradients are not mine and I will credit if I am informed as to who they belong. All textures except for the first (which is by dearest) are mine.
Please credit to exiled_valkyrie or to oceanicicons if you wish to take the icon.