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27 June 2005 @ 02:39 pm
ICON TUTORIAL : Pip Bernadotte  

More 2-D tutorial goodness.  Because I got REALLY bored one day and decided I needed a new Pip Bernadotte (Hellsing) icon.  Ah, Pip.  The one French person I like.  (*ducks flaming pate foigras*)  Easy easy.  No harm intended.  Anyway.  Yes.  Tutorial time.  Once again, rediculously simple.  Written for Adobe Photoshop 7.0, although it's easily translatable.

Okeedoke.  Today, boys 'n goils, we'll be making this icon:


We start off with our base - that of a neat back shot of Pip Bernadotte from the Hellsing manga done by Kohta Hirano.  This particualar page is from Chapter 6 - Soldier of Fortune 3.  Also, of special note, this is the version of the manga translated by The Birds of Hermes.

Well, for starters, it's plain, it's monochrome (although there's nothing wrong with that), and it is WAAAY too big for LJ.  I'd had a general idea of wanting some negative space in this particular icon, so I cropped it down, getting most of Pip's head and shoulders.  When I had it placed nicely, I went in with the Eraser tool and got rid of the background.  And, oddly enough, I just now realized this, when I was erasing the background, I kinda hacked off the portion of Pip's nose that was showing.  WHOOPSIE.

The main problem with iconning manga images is that they're black and white, so most of the time it's a pain in the arse trying to add any semblance of color without the whole image being affected.  I started to color this in, starting with Pip's blonde braid, then stopped.  Wait.  Idea.  Just color his braid.  Yeah.  Nice artistic touch.  So, setting the cropped base layer to MULTIPLY, I created a new layer beneath it, grabbed a suitable color (#CFB458), and colored in the braid.  When that was done, I merged the layers down.  We now have this:

Yes, that is a transparent base, right now, so forgive any image dithering.  Now I've got a semi-colored-mostly-ugly base staring me in the face.  Time to start tinkering.  First, color.  An idea was forming in my head, based on the angle of the shot, the context of the storyline it came from, and my own rabid Pip x Seras fandom.  I wanted a faded, brown, dusty look.  So I made a quick, no-nonsense brown-to-black gradient in about .5 seconds:

(foreground of #593511, and background of #000000, regular default linear gradient.)

This goes on the BOTTOM of all your layers.  Just leave it alone - no Layer Style, 100% opacity.

I'd stopped by icon_textures the other night, and fell in love with some textures made by dearest and projectdisorder and decided it was time to tinker with some of them.  I finally settled on this one (by projectdisorder:

This is set to LUMINOSITY, on a new layer above the gradient, 100% opacity.

I found another fantastic set of brush textures by dearest.  This particular one fit my icon like a match made in heaven, using a #AA8E73 tan, on a new layer above the previous texture:

(I added a white floodfill on this cap so that you could see the brush itself, it's very transparent.)

Leave this layer alone.

Now we have four layers.  From BOTTOM to TOP, they are : brown gradient, texture, texture, semi-colored Pip. It's all downhill from here folks, don't worry.  (not like it was that hard to begin with.)

Duplicate your Pip layer.  Set the original copy to LUMINOSITY, 100% opacity.  The copy is set to NORMAL, 26% opacity.  This duplicated layer darkens the linework on Pip, previously made brown by the Luminosity settings and the earthtone layers below it.  It also makes his hair less ... glaring yellow.

Despite all the browns and beiges we're rockin' here, I still feel it's too damned bright for me.  So above all these layers, do a simple flood-fill of black on a new layer.  Set this to 33% opacity SOFT LIGHT.  Here's what we have so far:

Here comes the text.  Whoa nelly.  Slow down, you wild icon fiend, you.  Being a huge Springsteen fan, I was listening to 'Spirit in the Night' at the time, when the idea struck.  Devils and Dust.  Pip.  PERRFFECT.  The text, Devils and Dust, is done in 11px Incised 901 BT, smallcaps, 200pt Kerning, and the anti-aliasing set to Sharp.  (I believe Incised came with my computer, if you don't have it, try your favorite font website or substitute another Sans Serif font.)  I rotated it vertically (using CTRL-T), and scootched it over between the left-hand border and Pip's shoulder.  Still looked kind of plain to me, so I added another line from the same song, using the teenytiny text fad that's been goin' around.  The line 'tonight faith just ain't enough' was done in 4px Incised 901 BT, 200pt Kerning, anti-aliased to Smooth.  No capital letters whatsoever.  I rotated that vertically again, and squeezed it in just under the Devils and Dust text, nudging it more to the top of the icon.

...it's still missing something.

Oh, wait.  Perfect time to try out those stitch X brushes I've seen everywhere.  Mine come from lovemelikemusic - once again, found on icon_textures.  I think.  Stupid bad memory.  New layer time.  The original brush was a chain of 4 X's, but I erased three of them, and made the remaining X a bit smaller.  Doing a bit of the icon content shuffle, I nudged Pip over, bumped the text up, and squeezed the X in.

Now, for those parts of LJ where icons don't get a border around them (comments, some layouts), this would need a border.  For my LJ layout though, it likes to stick in a border around my icons, which pisses me off, because now the icon has a big clunky black box around it.  But I deal with it anyway - and use a simple black 1px line as a border all the way around this particular icon.  And before you know it, our icon is done:

NOTE: Obviously, the textures/brushes are not mine - and I know that most folks who make stuff for icons like a comment to be dropped when a package is downloaded, so that way they know what is going where.  I found these on icon_textures, of which I am not yet a member.  I'm trying to drop a comment on the respective creator's journals, but I keep forgetting to do so.  D'OH!  So no harm or foul play was intented by taking these particular things without commenting. Full credit was given in comments section of my regular journal - metalsyko, where this icon is currently living.

This type of tutorial is good for manga-images, methinks.  Don't like, Pip, Hellsing, the color brown, or Bruce Springsteen (*gasp*  SCANDAL!)?  Heh.  Try it with your favorite manga.  And as for those out there who want this particular icon.  Um.  Um... could you possibly hold off for a little bit?  The newness of it still hasn't worn off, and I'm oddly proud of it.  So you can have it, but .. heh... wait a few days before using it?  :D  Just so that the fangrrlishness gets out of my system.

*wanders off to a corner dragging a plush Pip behind her*

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Bruce Springsteen - Rosalita
Line Bine: Gerard Wayleloo on June 27th, 2005 11:57 am (UTC)
added this tut to my memories, it's real nice. LOVE the icon but don't worry I wont snatch since I have yet to read the manga and encounter the lovely (or so I'm told) Pip.
Ing: Piphysteriagalore on June 27th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
yes pip is lovely.... and so is the tutorial!

Great job :)
SIR LORD BARON VON VADERHAM: Nu (Chrono Trigger)metalsyko on June 28th, 2005 11:13 am (UTC)
The Hellsing anime is great, but the manga is way better in my opinion. Not only because it has Pip, but it just doesn't feel so ... rushed. Plus the main 'villains' of the manga are neato. Better than Incognito the Wonder Nude. XD
♥:Chelsea  Vengeance:♥ruination on June 27th, 2005 12:08 pm (UTC)
*spaz* HELLSING! Anime love!

Awesome tut, saivng to memories.
Lil'♥pure_hatr3d on June 27th, 2005 12:26 pm (UTC)
Yay hellsing icons:D.
the ashleyastralis_lumen on June 27th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC)
Oooh. Pretty.

Very pretty.

Adding to memories!
bleedtoblue: bluetearsbleedtoblue on June 27th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC)
ooo, great icon, nice tutorial...and now I want the manga, too.
la Contessalacontessa11 on June 27th, 2005 02:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I had been looking for some new ideas for manga images!
kabukikatze on June 27th, 2005 08:47 pm (UTC)
Someone else who colors their manga icons! Great tutorial, you used some wonderful textures on it.
Selphie Blacksboardman711 on June 28th, 2005 10:01 am (UTC)
Wow, fab tutorial, thanks!
Excuse me, but have you seen my spork?fire_rag on June 28th, 2005 09:04 pm (UTC)
Adding to memories! Thank you!