Forum Signatures

Plaxinator

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I've been very impressed and secretly jealous about some of your signatures. So this is basically a question really about how you actually make them as I'd like to be able to. I have had a little try but failed miserably. I have Adobe Photoshop 7 - is this good enough to make my own signatures? If so is there a dummies guide available?
 

The_Carpet_Frog

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I tend to use a template I made as a starting point, I can send you it if you want.

I haven't got time at the minute but if no-one else does it before I will do a quick demo of one to give you an idea. I do keep all of mine.











 

HaloJ

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I use Photoshop Elements 9, would love the full blown Ps but can't afford it.

I tend to sketch out on paper or do a rough version first to get the layout correct before going for the final.





Most of the work for the StarHawk sigs was just reworking the font. Making letters out of what was available and tidying the torn metal. Mine is only a background from the many Starhawk images I sourced. Andy's on the other hand was more complex as I took the foreground and background from different sources.

My Maya Borderlands one was fun. Taking a sourced image of Maya, masking out each section and then desaturating them before adding a colour overlay to recolour them as I wanted. The below elbow open hand was sourced, masked and scaled in from another image. The Background is only two layers as I moved the far distance to give a view of more sky. All the swirls where drawn quickly freehand using a tablet rather than a mouse. In fact I work quicker when using a tablet as I can be more accurate. The most time consuming part is sourcing the images and finding hi resolution ones that match your requirements.

Maya I did most of the work in hi-res which does mean that her right arm doesn't look as metalised in the final sig. Basically I was turning Maya into a proxy of Corporal Hart (my avatar) from Time Splitters.



EDIT : Oh and the BF3 sig is mainly code with the only pieces of artwork being the background, logo and border. The rest comes from the site used to produce them, dogtags n all.

EDIT EDIT : The Maya image can be zoomed twice to get it to it's original size.
 

Slaine

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To get to the above, I had to start off with a base object.



After I created my base object, I realised I had no talent, so I dropped subtle hints to Herman who is a genius.


He eventually caved and "helped" me create the above sig file. You might be familiar with some of his other work.
 

Plaxinator

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So I take it you do stuff with layers and that? I'll have to sit down one weekend and read the online manual.
What kind of template do you have Mick?
 

ColSonders

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Plaxinator said:
So I take it you do stuff with layers and that? I'll have to sit down one weekend and read the online manual.
What kind of template do you have Mick?
The layers thing will become very clear once you start dicking about, it certainly did for me when I started to do stuff in photoshop for customised joystick graphics, though I don't do forum sigs myself, I rely on people with some form of artistic talent.

The reason to use layers is that you can basically create a background image and then never have to go back and change that, you simply slap another layer on top of that with required text or extra images, then you can shuffle the layers about without having to redo the whole thing.

It's all very clever stuff and personally I found it really hard to get to grips with even basic functionality...which coming from an IT Professional of some 15 years who is a systems developer kinda shows just how user friendly Photoshop isn't. :roll:
 

HaloJ

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Plaxinator said:
So I take it you do stuff with layers and that? I'll have to sit down one weekend and read the online manual.
What kind of template do you have Mick?
Layers are everything in Photoshop. They allow you to "paint" over a piece of background without damaging the data so that you can go back to it if needed.

May I ask what version of Ps you're using Plaxi?

There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube about all aspects of Ps including a "Layers for Beginners" etc. I've got a sig in mind and I'll happily save each stage for you if you want to see my workflow.
 

Plaxinator

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I have Photoshop 7. I'm not sure if I have an elements one, I don't think so but I inherited a load of disks off my dad so I'll have a rummage and see what's there. There might be an ancient version or demo version somewhere.
 

Martok

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For anyone who doesn't have a decent graphics program, a couple of free ones which are pretty good are:

paint.net

GIMP

I wouldn't recommend gimpshop these days. It is a version of GIMP that made it look a little more like Photoshop. However, it's based on a very old version of GIMP and hasn't been updated for years. On further research, there seems to be a dispute on ownership going on according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIMPshop and although there appears to be an updated version on the gimpshop website, it doesn't seem to be owned by the original author of the gimpshop software and I'm rather wary of the installer it comes with and the other software it 'offers to install'.
 

HaloJ

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Plaxinator said:
I have Photoshop 7. I'm not sure if I have an elements one, I don't think so but I inherited a load of disks off my dad so I'll have a rummage and see what's there. There might be an ancient version or demo version somewhere.
Elements is the more "user friendly" version of Ps although I'm often left frustrated due to some of the advanced features that I'm used to using being watered down. That said though it is what I tend to use these days and only switch to my old copy of Photoshop 7/Illustrator 9 when I'm doing font work.

Most of the tutorials that are out there are for the more modern Creative Suite versions of Ps but they're often still usable. The latest versions have some superb features for speeding up the work flow of retouching.

A couple of standard defacto shortcut keys are as follows

Zoom control
CTRL + : Zoom in
CTRL - : Zoom out
CTRL 0 : Fit to work space

Workspace control
Tab : cycle menus on/off
F : cycle full screen modes
CTRL Shift N : create new layer

Tools
Most can be gleaned by hovering the mouse over the button
X : switches between foreground and background colours (useful when masking)
D : defaults foreground and background colours to black and white
[ : decrease brush size
] : increase brush size
CTRL A : select all
CTRL D : deselect all

One final thing to note is that combinations of CTRL, ALT and Shift allow quick access to other features when a tool is selected. For example the Move tool (V) becomes a copy tool when the ALT key is held.

Now everyone is fast asleep I'll carry on with what I was doing. :D

:tumbleweed:
 

Jkrohn1

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I updated to the latest Gimpshop but don't use it very often. Was updated via the actual application I already had on so I can only assume it's legit :D

It's a lot smoother now but still takes a while to start up loading fonts etc.
 

Acegadgets

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I download images using google images, Print them off, cut around them with a pair of scissors. Stick them on a piece of A4 paper with flower paste. Then I use some felt pens to finish it off. Finally I scan it and upload the finished work of art.
 

The_Carpet_Frog

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Acegadgets said:
I download images using google images, Print them off, cut around them with a pair of scissors. Stick them on a piece of A4 paper with flower paste. Then I use some felt pens to finish it off. Finally I scan it and upload the finished work of art.
Thats genius :clap:
 

Jkrohn1

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mick said:
Acegadgets said:
I download images using google images, Print them off, cut around them with a pair of scissors. Stick them on a piece of A4 paper with flower paste. Then I use some felt pens to finish it off. Finally I scan it and upload the finished work of art.
Thats genius :clap:
I don't think you understand, that is what he does :-\ he's special in the mind
 

Plaxinator

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A big thank you to Mick for the time he took to knock up and send me a tutorial :clap: Below should be my first ever attempt at a signature. Not the best in the world but at least now I know what I'm supposed to be doing!

Edit - what size do you usually use for your "canvas"? Mine looks a bit small in comparison to what other peeps have.
Edit 2 - Is it OK that it has Hope on it? I feel it's like advertising and don't want you to get upset with me
 

Martok

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Like the sig. :1thumbup:

Here on Senior Gamers we allow sig sizes up to 550 x 125px which is what most of us have. Yours is smaller but I know that HoPe doesn't allow them as big as this (I couldn't use my standard sig on your site as it was too big).

As for your sig having HoPe on it, that's absolutely fine, we have no problem with that. HoPE is your community and I'd expect to see that in your sig. I mean, you're not here to steal our members, are you? ;) It'd be an odd, paranoid community that would ban sigs from other communities! :)
 

Plaxinator

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Martok said:
Like the sig. :1thumbup:

Here on Senior Gamers we allow sig sizes up to 550 x 125px which is what most of us have. Yours is smaller but I know that HoPe doesn't allow them as big as this (I couldn't use my standard sig on your site as it was too big).

As for your sig having HoPe on it, that's absolutely fine, we have no problem with that. HoPE is your community and I'd expect to see that in your sig. I mean, you're not here to steal our members, are you? ;) It'd be an odd, paranoid community that would ban sigs from other communities! :)
Cool Beans. I think I'm going to take some GT5 pics and use those as a sig.
 

HERMAN_JELMET

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Martok said:
It'd be an odd, paranoid community that would ban sigs from other communities! :)

I see this. ;)
 

Jkrohn1

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HERMAN_JELMET said:
Martok said:
It'd be an odd, paranoid community that would ban sigs from other communities! :)

I see this. ;)
Tickled me a little
 

Acegadgets

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Good start Plaxinator.
I am highly offended by the advertising for HOPEGAMING.COM, a female gaming community who love to gossip about and play games , but will keep it to myself.
Hmmm Plaxinator, where did you get that name from?
 
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