how to go from this:
in PS7. involves selective coloring, so it's only partially translatable to PSP or GIMP, sorry =( feel free to check my tutorials guide-- someone else might've made a tutorial that can replicate this effect in other programs. also, keep in mind that this still does not work with every picture. play with the settings if you can.
***PLEASE DON'T COPY THIS EXACTLY!*** try to learn what i think while i'm making these instead of just copying and pasting every single layer onto your images, ok?
base_ here it is. i ran auto contrast and auto color as necessary, but just that. no sharpening until the end.
soft light_ to give it more brightness & contrast, i duplicated my base, upped the brightness of the duplicate by about 40, and the contrast by about 20. then i gaussian blurred it with a radius of about 4, and set that layer on soft light. here's the layer and what the result looks like after:
screen_ to lighten it up, i duplicated my base once again, dragged the copy on top of the other layers and set it on screen. here's what that looked like:
color burn_ nat's skin is tanned, so the icon gets an overall yellow tone, right? i wanted to put in some blue, so i flood-filled a new layer with a light cyanish-blue (#C2FFF8) and set it on color burn. i lowered the opacity just enough that it was noticeable without turning the icon green-- an opacity of 35%.
soft light 2_ she was still a bit too yellow, i wanted her skin to be a more fleshy tone. so i flood-filled a new layer with a light purple/pink (#F1B3FF) and set it on soft light. this also brightened up the icon a lot. i lowered the opacity of the layer until it wasn't TOO washed out, at 70%.
hue/saturation_ i wanted the colors to pop out, so i inserted a hue/saturation adjustment layer, increasing the master saturation by 40. this made her face way too orange, so i adjusted that in the vector mask that accompanies the hue/sat layer, like i explained in my previous tutorial, step 5. i used a soft round brush and painted over her face in black, at about 50% strength. here's the result:
color balance_ i was liking the pinkish hues, actually, i just wanted to make them darker and deeper (without losing the lovely cyan color of her shirt), so i inserted a color balance layer with these settings:
this gives it an overall purple/magenta-ish tone, as you can see here:
multiply_ the column behind her was waaaay too white and bright; it should correspond a little better with her tones, so i flood-filled a new layer with a medium brown/tan color (#E1AE75) and set it on multiply. this darkened everything, but i didn't want it to be too dark, so i lowered the opacity to 35%.
color burn 2_ just to make the shadows a little darker, i flood-filled a new layer with cyan (#6DCFF6) and set it on color burn, again. i kept the opacity low, at 10%, just so it was barely noticeable. i didn't want to lose the pink.
selective color 1_ time to bring some of the blue in the background back in. these were my settings:
reds for the "blush factor," 30 in neutrals to make the blues pop, the rest in the yellows to keep her from becoming completely orange. she was still looking a bit too bright, though, so i fixed that with the vector mask, just like i did in the "hue/saturation" step.
selective color 2_ i still felt the background could be bluer without losing the pink on her, so i added a very simple SC layer that i have saved up in my hard drive. it basically makes the overall icon bluer.
and there you go, the finished icon. here's the layers palette, in case you got lost somewhere along the way.
i hope you found this tutorial useful, and i would love to see your results, so please comment! if you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask. and if you like my icons/graphics and/or want to know how i made them, be sure to step by wakizashi_. i'd be glad to help you ^^