1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Simple Signature Tutorial

Discussion in 'HGP Archive' started by SiriusB, 12 Jan 2006.

  1. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    This tutorial has now got a followup Simple Border Tutorial

    I know there are many websites in the sticky for tutorials, but I thought I would post a very simple guide to get you guys started as the list is rather overwhelming.

    For the last two to three weeks I have been fulfilling people’s requests for signatures and so far I have done around 20 of them! What struck me is that many people who have Photoshop said they didn’t have a clue.

    Well, for you lucky people and anyone else on the forums that has Photoshop and hasn’t given a signature a go yet, this is for you.

    Just before I begin, this tutorial is for creating a very basic signature in quite a short amount of time [depending on your images]. This tutorial serves only as a basis for creating some very complex and, hopefully, amazing-looking signatures. The onus is on you to experiment and try new ideas. Also, a number of techniques I show you are techniques you will be using a lot in Photoshop. This tutorial was written for Photoshop CS. Everything in this tutorial should be possible with versions 6 upwards.

    Right, that over with; here we go!

    First of all you will want to open a new document and call it something like mySig. Since many of you will be using it on these forums the size you will want is a width of 400 and height of 75. You can have it smaller than this if you wish, it is up to you. You can leave the other settings and click OK. You should now be looking at a blank rectangle.

    Thee next step is to find yourself an image that you want in your signature. This can be anything you like and is limited only by your imagination.

    For the purpose of this tutorial I shall be using this image:

    [​IMG]

    I only want Auron as part of my signature, and not the background. To get the portion of the image I want I could use one of several tools. I could use the Lasso tool, the Quick Mask or if I am feeling adventurous – the Pen Tool.

    The method I am happiest with is Quick Mask. Open your image into Photoshop then press Q to get into Quick Mask Mode. Now you wont see any difference until you take a hard-edged black brush and start painting in the areas you want. You will notice it will make the area you paint a red colour. Keep going taking your time to go along the edges. Change the size of the brush if you need to get into smaller spaces and you can use a large brush for the inside.

    After a bit of work you should have something like this:

    [​IMG]


    Mine isn’t the neatest it could be but it will suffice for this tutorial. You lot, however, have no excuse!

    Should your outline be a little rough and ready you can use the Gaussian Blur Filter to smooth out the edges a little. Simply go to Filter>>Blur>>Guassian Blur. For my Auron image I found a value of around 1.5 good enough to smooth out the edges. I can't imagine many images needing more than that. - Tip supplied by Chaos

    Once you are happy with your masking, press Q again and your image should now have the marching ants around everything but your chosen item. Don’t worry, just press Shift+Ctrl+I and your selection will be inverted. Now press Ctrl+J and this will move your selection onto a new layer.

    [​IMG]

    Assuming you took your time when masking your cut out should be perfect. Now take your Move Tool and click and drag the layer onto your mySig project.

    This will create a new layer. Name this to something meaningful. I named mine Auron.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jan 2006
  2. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    Once you have renamed the layer, you might want to move the image around to different parts of the signature to see what you like best. If, like me, your image is much larger than the signature, you can use the Free Transform tool. To access this press Ctrl+T. You will be presented with a box surrounding your image and a series of nodes. Select a corner node and then drag it around. You will see the image changing size. If you press and hold Shift while you drag you can force the image to keep the same aspect ratio, which means you wont distort the image when you resize. When you are happy confirm the transform by pressing the Enter key. This is what I have after resizing:

    [​IMG]

    Once you are happy with the positioning of your render duplicate your render layer by pressing Ctrl+J. Now you will have two layers which are identical. On the bottom layer of the pair take a Column Marquee Tool and find a part of the render that has some interesting colours, for my example I chose to go right down the centre so as to get some of the red of Auron’s collar.

    Once you have made your selection press Ctrl+T again to open up Free Transform. You should see a box around the selection and a series of nodes as before. Grab one of the nodes in the middle and drag it all the way to either the left or the right. If you have background showing on the other side of the render, grab the other middle node and drag it that way so the whole of the background has several bands of colour. Click OK and deselect Ctrl+D. This technique is called Pixel Stretching and is very useful since the background is nearly always guaranteed to match the main focus of your signature.

    This is what I have after the Pixel Stretch.

    [​IMG]

    Okay, nearly there guys!

    The next bit to do is the text for your signature. What font size, style and position you choose is entirely up to you. Simply type what you want and check out all the fonts available. You can also download many free fonts from the web. I usually go to www.dafont.com for my fonts. If you do not know how to install new fonts on your system here’s how:

    In Windows open up your Run dialog box [This is in your Start Menu and also can be brought up by pressing Windows Key + R]

    In the Run dialog box type what is in bold: C:/windows/fonts

    Take your font file/s that you have just downloaded and uncompressed, then drag and drop them into the Fonts window that will have opened. After a brief moment you fonts will be installed and will appear almost instantly in the font drop-down list in Photoshop.

    Once you have chosen your font and its size etc, you will notice that it doesn’t look all that great [In some cases it could look fine as it is, but this rarely happens for me]. To change this make sure you have your Text layer selected, then right-click the layer and choose Blending Options…
    This will open up the Layer Styles dialog where you can either choose some of the default styles or create your own. I wont go into detail on this as I could fill a dozen pages on just Styles. For your text to look good on the page you should try adding a Drop Shadow, Bevel and Emboss, Stroke and perhaps Inner Glow.

    Simply click on each of the items on the left-hand side of the dialog and it will open a set of options. Play around with different values and colours. You can see what kind of changes will take place almost instantly as your text will change on the fly – that is to say straight away – so make sure you can see it while you are experimenting. When you are happy you can go ahead and click OK. Should you want to change the style afterwards, simply right-click the layer again and choose Blending Options… again. Also, the style affects the whole layer, so should you change the text on that layer, the new text will automatically use the settings in Styles.

    Here is mine:

    [​IMG]

    You have a render you lovingly extracted looking good in your signature, you have a matching background, some lovely text… are you done? NOPE!

    There is one thing that every single signature needs, and that’s a border! Without a border your signature is nothing!

    There are so many ways to create a border for your signature, and I am going to show you just the simplest one for now.

    Create a new layer above everything else and call it Border. Now press Ctrl+A to select the whole layer. Now go to Edit>>Stroke… and this will open up a Stroke dialog box. Enter a value of 3 px in the top field. Then make sure you have chosen the location as Inside. The next thing is the colour, click on the colour box and change it to black if it isn’t already. Now click OK. DO NOT deselect, go back to Edit>>Stroke and enter a value of 2 px and changing the colour to White. Leave the location as Inside. Click OK then press Ctrl+D to deselect.

    There you have it, your very own signature. My final result:

    [​IMG]

    I hope you enjoy trying this out for yourselves.

    If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Also, should any of you have any additions or spot any mistakes let me know and I will make the changes as soon as I can.

    There are one or two stages, such as the Blending Options and Borders that I didn’t go into great detail about. This is because this tutorial would have become much too large had they been included. However, I have already begun a small tutorial and the various different borders I use and how to create them.

    SiriusB
     
  3. vaultingSlinky

    Mobster

    Joined: 2 Apr 2004

    Posts: 2,708

    Location: Aberdeen

    Thats a nice little how to guide have some stars :)
     
  4. Bony Maloney

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,808

    Location: Welsh Wales

    Nice one SiriusB, more stars to you.
     
  5. Augmented

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,464

    Location: London Town

    Great tutorial :).
    Flag it up for the archive in the GD sticky so it won't get pruned.
     
  6. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    How would I go about doing that?

    Thanks for the nice comments so far :D

    SiriusB
     
  7. Chaos

    Soldato

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,420

    A little tip, once you make your mask you can apply a gaussian blur filter to it and it will smooth out the edges before you cut it.
     
  8. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    Good point. Adding it to the guide now :)

    Thank you.

    SiriusB
     
  9. Augmented

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,464

    Location: London Town

  10. isset

    Gangster

    Joined: 16 May 2003

    Posts: 444

    Location: Surrey

    thanks that was totally awesome :)

    this is what i got

    [​IMG]
     
  11. SamHandwich

    Gangster

    Joined: 11 Apr 2004

    Posts: 341

    Location: Loughborough/Stafford

    I followed your tutorial to the letter, but my results didn't really come out much like yours:( I did add some shadow to the text though so I should get bonus points.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    If that has been anywhere near Photoshop you should be ashamed of yourself for violating it in such a way :D:p

    Nice shadow lol

    SiriusB
     
  13. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

  14. SourChipmunk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 9 Nov 2003

    Posts: 9,474

    Location: The Motor City

    Excellent tutorial. I hope people find it useful. :) Thank you for taking the time to write that all up.
     
  15. Chaos

    Soldato

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,420

    I used this technique a while back when I done a sig for simmey.

    [​IMG]

    Then a little brushing for the white bits.
     
  16. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    Like the colours... NO BORDER!!!!! :eek: lol :D

    SiriusB
     
  17. SourChipmunk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 9 Nov 2003

    Posts: 9,474

    Location: The Motor City

    This is what you should have got:

    [​IMG]:D

    (pic of Carl Isset's car)
     
  18. Chaos

    Soldato

    Joined: 20 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,420

    That wasnt the finished sig :)
     
  19. SiriusB

    Capodecina

    Joined: 16 Dec 2005

    Posts: 14,448

    Location: Manchester

    Was only messing :D

    SiriusB
     
  20. Pebbles

    Mobster

    Joined: 4 Oct 2004

    Posts: 2,854

    Location: In my happy place

    SiriusB rocks! (and loves Harry Potter)

    More stars!