warnings: IMAGE HEAVY, DIAL-UP USERS BEWARE.
LOTS OF CURVES+SELECTIVE COLOR LAYERS. IF YOU'RE UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS DON'T BOTHER LOOKING AT THE TUTORIAL.
LOTS OF ME BEING OH-SO-SMART, WHICH MIGHT ANNOY YOU. comments are nice.
veronica mars caps are tricky. they have pretty, stunning, but hard to work with colors. most of S1 caps are rather yellow-ish. some major scenes happen in the dark, so yeah, logically, the caps are dark as well. the ones outside can have too much light. then, there are those flashback caps. so hard. BUT POSSIBLE. we will try and cover all these caps in this tutorial. basically, how to get a rather good looking icon.
also, i'm making this tutorial from scratch. no pre-made icons or anything. i work with you. all caps from vm-caps.com.
veronica mars caps BEG for a center crop. i just discussed this last night with adiaaida. of course, other crops work too.
say we have this cap. there she is, a lot of space above her head and in perfect pose for a center crop. like i said, others will work too. as long as you keep your focus on your subject because a crop with her nose in it would just be pointless.
then, we have those close ups. the way i usually crop this is kinda off-center but stil center crop. a part of her head crop off. her hair all visible. like so. i don't do it any other way so yeah. can't help you with that.
then, we have group shots. two or more people. logan and veronica, veronica and wallace, logan and wallace, veronica and keith....you know, the usual. say we have this cap. what we want to do is either include them both in the crop OR base the crop on solely one person, meaning, we don't want wallace there. we dont CARE wallace is there. we only want to make v look good. this is too much philosophing for me but god i'm good at it :D
and we're done with cropping.
ok now this will be a bit harder to explain. each cap has its own way of coloring but in principle i always start the same. yes, i ALWAYS USE screen layers. so sue me. i just cant bear without it. screened base layers are the SHIT. now, i'm not gonna go into the whole HOW-DO-I-MAKE-A-BASE-? thing, but basically, crop and resize. lately i even blur. weird.
we will start with s1 yellow-ish caps.
we have our base
what we need to do first, is enlighten the image enough so we can apply the coloring. i usually do this by duplicating and setting to screen till it looks enough. here, i did it 2 times. base+2 screen layers.
now, thats a little enough lightness. we now need to darken the parts that should be darker. we use CURVES to do this. it's the setting of curves i ALWAYS USE, IN EVERY SINGLE ICON I MAKE.
RGB - Input: 106 Output: 150
Red - I: 115 O: 137
Green - I: 114 O: 130
Blue - I: 82 O: 142
set it to soft light and drag it UNDER the top screen layer. i also blurred the top screen layer once, cause it got too sharpened with this.
now for the coloring. first i see what i can do with curves. i solely use this to FIX colors. not the coloring. we can see a bit too much red there. so we go to RED from drop down menu and make a point on the line, and move it a bit down. this takes away bits of reds. then move over to green and make a point and slide it JUST A LITTLE BIT DOWN. definitely not like we did the red.
RGB - /
Red - I: 203 O: 165
Green - I: 180 O: 171
Blue - /
note that we can see the background here starting to get all grainy. well not here, but usually it does.
now, add a new selective color layer. we will try and fix the yellows now. (i still don't know how this is gonna look i swear ill kill myself if it doesnt work :s)
first move over to neutrals. move the cyan slider all the way to +100. see how the yellow in the background fades? thats cause it's mixed with red. YAY. this is so gonna work! next, again in neutrals, there's a yellow slider. move it all the way into minus as long as it looks natural. here i moved it to -80.
next, move to yellows. move cyan to +100. or as much as you need to fix the red in yellow. then move yellow into minus as much and as long as it looks natural (let the skin color be your indication). here i moved it to -35.
and then, finally move to reds. move yellow to +100. cause we took away the yellow and we only need a tiny bit back. then, move the cyan to minus for as much as red you want. ashley says i usually overdo this but GOD I SO LOVE IT WHEN HER LIPS TURN ALL RED. naturally, i move it to +100!
and there you have it. a rather yellow cap turned into a not-so-yellow icon. now i would go a bit crazy here and maybe duplicate the selective color layer and lower the opacity (here to 50) but lol, that's just me. i just love the colors you get that way.
so here's our progress
next, we will to the dark caps.
we have our base.
now, if thts not dark, i don't know what is. all i can say now is that we will probably have A LOT of screen layers. 4 in particular. so base+4 screen layers. and while we're at it add that curve i like underneath the top screen layer and set it to soft light.
from here it all actually depends on what you want the result to be. here's one version.
add a new curves layer and then we start. add red (make a point and move it up). take away just a TINY BIT of green, something like in the yellow cap (make a point and move it just a teensy bit down). keep the yellows, but add blue. k now this is a bit more complicated but here we go. make a point and leave it liek that. then make another point and move it up (thats adding blue).
RGB - /
Red - 138/172
Green - 189/182
Blue - 170/179; 56/112
now yes, i realize this looks like its too much red, but we can so fix it. like i said, i still dont know hows the result gonna be...
now, add a selective color layer. take add all the cyan (+100) in neutrals. take away half the yellow (-50). move to yellows and add whole cyan (+100). move to reds and take away the cyans(-100).
and then in the end, add another selective colro layer, move to neutrals and add cyan +100.
and you're all done with this cap.
the too-light caps. yes, you set them once to screen and they are too light. and yeah, i can't live without my screen layers so it's a must.
say we have our base.
duplicate once and set it to screen.
now thats too much light for me. so first, we add the curve i like oh so much and set it to soft light underneath the screen layer.
that helps a LITTLE but not enough. so next we add a new curves layer. underneath the soft light curves layer.
RGB - 227/255; 126/162; 83/106; 50/60; 14/3
Red - 188/127
Green - 60/56
Blue - /
set that to MULTIPLY. see? MUUUUCH BETTER.
now, onto the coloring. try the yellowish coloring tut or smthn. OR....just do this
add a new selective color layer, in neutrals add cyan to +100, and take away some yellow -20. then in reds take away the cyan -100 and add yellow +100, and then in yellows add cyan to +100 and take away some more yellow -55.
and thats basically it. play some more with selective color till you get what you like.
flashback caps....theyre tough. but can be done.
basically, flashbacks are pretty much blue-green tinted. and thats easy to fix if you know how. yellow takes the blue away. so thats how you do it. basically, here...
set to screen once. add the curve i love between the base and the screen layer.
now, fixing the blue. add a new curve on top of everything
Red - 96/125
Green - 124/135
Blue - 0/23; 157/131
see, now we have it. the colors are starting to look a lot more natural. duplicate that curves layer for as much as you want so that colors finally look normal-ish. i have it 4 times.
now that we have these more normal colors. we can play with them. add a new selective color layer. move to neutrals (always do neutrals first). cyan -50, yellow -20. then move to yellows. cyan -100. and then finally move to reds. again, cyan -100. and voila
and well, thats basically it for this tutorial. i know this didnt cover ALL caps, but some of the most often ones did. now be nice and friend the community :D