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How I Make My Signatures

Discussion in 'Unofficial Guides' started by chaos546, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    So, as many of you know, I've made plenty of signatures and avatars for many forums users. People have requested me tell them how to make them, which is quite difficult, so I decided to make this tutorial so that I can direct anyone else who asks to this.

    I'm going to start by saying that in this case, practice makes perfect. I taught myself all of this, and it took me a loongg time, so don't be worried if you don't make good signatures your first try. It's nothing to be embarrassed about; you should see some of my first atrocities!

    Okay, so to begin, I'm going to introduce you to my two best friends; pixlr.com and picmonkey.com. These two sites are my saviours; without them, you wouldn't see any of my signatures. I also have to pay my respects to google.ca and deviantart.com, as they are my image resources. I also use imgur.com to share my signatures.

    Let's start this by pretending that someone has posted this;

    This request is fairly simple, but it involves using my basic techniques.

    GOOGLE
    Well, you always have to use a base, right? I start with a background, always. For this, I think an fiery background would be useful, so search whatever you want, then hit 'images'.

    A word of advice; at this stage, you want to avoid watermarks (a sign of copyright) and generally, deviantart. While deviantart is good for textures, most backgrounds are not stock, and therefore copyrighted as well.

    [​IMG]
    I like this one, so I click 'view image' on the right and then copy the url in the top box.

    Tip: A stock image is an image that is essentially not protected by copyright; exactly the image we want!

    PIXLR
    I normally start all my signatures with pixlr, depending on the request. Generally, I use pixlr for putting things on top of other pictures ie: adding an object, or adding textures. I also tend to start cropping here.

    Okay. Let's grab that url we copied from earlier, and click 'Open image from URL' in Pixlr.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Tip: Ctrl + V on a PC will paste, while Command (Apple) + V on a mac will do the same.

    Now that we have our image, we should crop it to the right size for a signature. Generally, I try to make them short and wide. The crop button should be automatically selected when you open pixlr, so if you draw the size you want to crop it to on the picture, then click anywhere else on the screen, then click yes, it cropped your picture!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Okay, now we need our Charmander! Generally, we want to find an image with a transparent background. This means, when searching, we should add 'transparent', 'transparent background', or 'png' to our search. However, for the sake of the tutorial, I'll show you how to erase a background.
    [​IMG]

    Ah, I like this one! Copy it the same way you did with the background, but instead of selecting open image from url, mouse over 'Layer' and choose 'Open Layer from url'.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Uh oh, looks like my Charmander is way too big for my picture. Unfortunately, pixlr doesn't let you resize layers individually, so we have to delete Charmander and resize him a different way. To delete a layer, right click on it in the right-hand tool box, and then select 'Delete Layer'. Tip: If you don't have a right click button on a Mac, hold Ctrl and then left click it.
    [​IMG]
    Now, with Pixlr, you can open more than one image at a time. Go to 'File' in the top left corner, and then click 'Open Image with Url'. Paste in Charmander's url, and hit Ok.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Now, if you move the charmander to the right a bit, you'll notice two little numbers by the bottom left corner of the background picture (Number x Number). The first number is width, and the second is height. Therefore, you want the height of your charmander to be a little less than that height. Hit 'Image', then 'Image Size', then in height, put a number a little bit lower than the height of your background.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    (to be continued)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  2. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    Now that it's a better size, you have to save it to your computer. Select 'File', 'Save', and then save it as you want it named to a good place on your computer. Personally, I like my Pictures folder, but it's your choice.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Click back onto your fire background, then hit 'Layer', 'Open Image as Layer', then select your picture.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Move the Charmander to where you want it (I prefer the edges myself), and select the eraser tool. Select the brush size you want (depending on the image, I select a hard, round, 9 or 15 or 20).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Now, wherever you draw, it will erase the background. Try to keep a steady hand, and if you mess up, don't be afraid to undo using the 'History' box on the left. Once you erase most of it, you can use smaller or larger brushes depending on what is left. Tip; Zoom in by scrolling down on your mouse wheel, or however else you scroll. Note that I also felt that it should be on the other side, so after erasing the background I went to 'Layer', 'Flip Horizontal', then selected the move tool and moved it to the opposite side.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I also added a bit of glow on the tail, which you'll notice later.

    Alright, now for the fun part; textures. I usually get these off deviantart, due to the fact that I can tell if they are free to use or not. My favorite person is sirius-sdz because all of their textures are free and wonderful, so I suggest trying them first. Once you find a picture, copy the url (right click and select 'Copy Image Url'), then add it like a normal layer. This is where the fun begins; You can change the effect on the layer. With the layer selected, click the arrow in the bottom left of the box, and then select the drop-down menu for Mode. Layer, Alpha, and Erase modes do nothing, so I suggest not even trying them. Play around with these for awhile, then when you are happy, adjust the opacity until you are satisfied. For this, I chose 41 opacity and a Hardlight mode, which I thought enhanced the glow of the picture.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I think that should be it for Pixlr. Select 'File', 'Save', and then put it in the correct folder. Keep this tab open though, just in case.

    PICMONKEY
    Open up Picmonkey.com. Select 'Edit', then find your picture. I often use simple, easy to remmber names, such as personnamesig and personamesigtxt, so I can remember well.

    Picmonkey is the place to play. There are so many effects, text, and other fun things to play around with. For this sig, I decided to use 65% faded green Cross Process, 10% strength Boost, size 13 round Bokeh, size 39 intensity 40% black Dark Edges, size 74 black 0% faded Santo Dumont text saying 'Randomuser123', and size 20 black 20% faded La Belle Aurore text saying 'the brightest fires are those of the heart'.

    When you are done, you can exit all your tabs and upload the photo to imgur.com. Share it using the url at the top, I'd love to see your work!

    Ask me any questions below, I'll even be happy to hop on TS with you and give you a full walkthrough.

    Final product:
    [​IMG]
    http://i.imgur.com/VJhkuMt.jpg


    Visit my store below:
    http://meepcraft.com/threads/chas-sig-and-avatar-store-warning-image-heavy.1008/
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2014
  3. Muunkee

    Muunkee Legendary art supply hoarder

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    Looking good Cha!
     
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  4. Pyro707

    Pyro707 Popular Meeper

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    Great, I'm sure many will find this helpful, personally I would use Adobe PS but of course that's not free or web based, anyway your signatures are great, in fact even though I'm proficient with Photoshop I'm not sure I can match your creativity, maybe I'll pay your sig shop a visit :).
     
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  5. superbros1211

    superbros1211 Most Popular Meeper

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    Awesome guide! Will make a new siggy later :)
     
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  6. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    Trust me, if I had access to PS I would use it, believe me. I would self-teach myself that thing in a heartbeat lol.

    <3 thanks for the compliments though, I'd be glad to make a signature for you. Did you make your own signatures?
     
    CrazyYoungBro likes this.
  7. n00bslayer_99

    n00bslayer_99 i like kebab

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    at first when I saw the "to be continued" I was nuuuuuuuuuu me can't wait for full tutorial!!! I was just getting ready for the biggest cliffhanger preparation in history, when I scrolled down and saw the rest was there :D :3
     
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  8. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    Heehee. I normally try not to leave people hanging, I've read enough books to know it sucks :(
     
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  9. NotRyqn

    NotRyqn Celebrity Meeper

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    AMAZING! I LOVEEE your work! Your signatures made me wanna make ones too. How about next time you make one record it so we can experience it too.
     
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  10. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    Hmm, I can try, but my internet is really bad and uploading takes forever. But I can try and speed it up.
     
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  11. funkyrainbows

    funkyrainbows Double Rainbow

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    Awesome tutorial!
     
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  12. ManUtdFTW11

    ManUtdFTW11 Celebrity Meeper

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    Very Nice Cha, I made my Pic off this. <3 ty
     
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  13. Bob4444444

    Bob4444444 Celebrity Meeper

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    That's how you made the best signature in the world for me. :)
     
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  14. Draqq

    Draqq beans on toast

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    All about them torrents.
     
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  15. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    ?
     
  16. KaiUsesThis

    KaiUsesThis Celebrity Meeper

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    I made my own!! Thanks!!! :):):):):):):):):)
    [​IMG]
    Feedback? Suggestions? I accidentally made the crop too big. :arghh: lol.
     
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  17. Splasho

    Splasho Celebrity Meeper

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    You hack for dis stuffeh
     
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  18. Muunkee

    Muunkee Legendary art supply hoarder

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    Torrentz.com
    Download things illegally off the internet.
     
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  19. KaiUsesThis

    KaiUsesThis Celebrity Meeper

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    What pixel size are you sigs? i can't seem to get mine like yours.
     
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  20. chaos546

    chaos546 Canadian Forums Stalker

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    Ew illegal
    Crop is far too tall, I'd also go as far as to say that the avatar thing is too big as well. I suggest adding bokeh, crntrring ir better, making it shorter, and moving some of the text. If you send me a link to the background, I can make what I woild do.

    As for Pixel size, it depends on how large the background is. All I know is that they are a lot wider than they are tall.
     

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