Illustrator Icons

just a quick note, today I’ve been making icons at the company I work at, in Illustrator no less, I’m really poor at Illustrator but I’m getting better, and I’ve loved making icons I think they look pretty cool but to anyone out there that thinks they would like to do icons, and I highly recommend you do its well fun and you can be as creative as you like. just remember do them in a square!!! I’ve just done a butt load of icons and they are all different sizes and they have to fit  a 48×48 square…  probably all reading thing going Duh!!! I just didn’t think so if you wanna do icons make sure you do it in a square canvas. And I’ll try to remember too. lol

ETA: I’d also like to say welcome to my new affiliate AnMarie at Never Say Goodbye go check out her site its got some fantastic art work on there.

Growing and Expanding

Just a quick update as I’m on my break at work, I was just wondering what people thought to adverts on sites, I’ve found a nice site that does affiliate programs that don’t look horrible. Personally I hate adverts, but these ones when I first saw them I thought they were just links put up by the host but it seems its a huge affiliates program that people get paid for, so I was wondering if anyone reading this had any major problems with it, cause I wouldn’t put any up if no one liked them not that I get major traffic but I want to keep the traffic I do get.

This is the site that I found the affiliate program on they look really well designed, and you can get specific links that are similar to your own site categories, Also it is my favourite site and I read it daily!!! so please check it out. PSD TUTS Its an Amazing site. and here is the link to the affiliate program Buy Sell Ads Just in case anyone wishes to add it to their site and make a few extra bob lol.

Also I’ve been looking into getting personalized icons for members cause at the moment its just that little blank person on the comments which looks kinda boring. but I’m going to work on that at the weekend.

Yes I’m Still Alive

Hey everyone, if your still reading this, thank you so much, I am still here, and although nothing has changed yet again, my life has been taking a step forward or 30 lol, I recently got a new job as a website designer, been at it a few months now so its been pretty hectic getting into the swing of commercial design but getting there, I have some big plans for elucidation I’ve learnt a lot about wordpress which is what i use to blog here, and I was thinking of making this site back into a design blog rather than a general one, as this site was originally meant to be a tutorial site only not a gallery of my work, however that does take time so gonna be difficult getting things into gear however New Year and all I have plenty of New Year Resolutions.

1. Redesign Elucidation.
2. Update once every two weeks at least.
3. Get my portfolio up and running.
4. Redesign the Fanlistings :s been a long time coming.
5. Get Twilight Fuse up and running to host people on this server
6. And get Elucidation to be as Big and useful as possible.

Not neccesarily in that order mind you but I wanna get all that done, and continued. gonna need to get back into forums again, I’ve become a bit of a recluse of late… well in the last two years :s but with uni over I gotta get out there and start enjoying the internet again.

So an Update! just a small one for starters is.
Midnight Tears Link has been updated. and also Happy Xmas and a Better New Year to you all.


Basic Blending in Photoshop

In this tutorial I will talk about blending image together to create a seamless effect for any kind of image and fanart that is easy to use for anyone one from beginners and advanced users alike. This tutorial shows you two methods of blending that work perfectly on their own or used together to create an advanced level of blending.

First Part to BOTH Methods

OK so lets start, firstly pick your images, I like to use large images that way you can minimize them and sharpen then, if you use smaller images you loose quality when you enlarge them. I have chosen two pictures of Brendan Fehr star of Roswell. if you want to use these images to test out this tutorial or you like Brendan Fehr you can get them from these links Image One || Image Two

Create a New canvas any size, I tend to use wallpaper sizes 1024×768 or 1280×1024 it gives you a large area to work with an you can always crop it later. Copy and paste both images into the same canvas and arrange them where you like. (as you know Photoshop uses layers so when you copy and paste the images onto the canvas they’ll be separate layers this is good as you’ll see later.

Now look at your Layer pallet that can be found on the right hand side of your workspace, if you look at the bottom of that pallet you will see a square with a white circle, this is the layer mask button. A layer mask basically allows you to control different areas of the present area in this instance it will help us to control the opacity of certain areas of the images.

Once you press the layer mask button you should notice that a white box has appeared next to your selected layer and also your colour pallet (on the left hand side of your workspace) ha changed to black and white. This is because the layer mask relyes on the black and white tones to tell it weather to delete or show the areas. Black = 0% opacity (Delete) white = 100% opacity (Show)

Method One

Ok now onto the first method. With this one we are going to use the gradient tool, you have to make sure that the colours don’t change from black and white. Using this method is the easiest way to create a smooth fade, it is best to use this method if want a gradual fade.

Now that you have your gradient tool selected click and drag your cursor across the area you want to fade. (remember that black means hide. if you suddenly find you’ve deleted the the side you want to keep just reverse the direction you drag your cursor. )

This is how it looks with a gradual fade, this is just the first time you can repeat this several times to get it the right way, but notice how even the fade is on the images, this is useful if you want to blend images rather than manipulate images to make them look like they are the same image.

To repeat this action you will need to finalize each action, you can do this by right clicking on the gray box next to the selected layer (in the layer pallet) and select “Apply Layer Mask” then repeat the layer mask and the gradient drag to create a new fade on the image.

once you repeat the action a few more times you could come up with something a bit like this, however this is just a quick example, if you spend more time over your placement of the gradients you can make it seamless.

Method Two

Ok now onto the next method, in this way we are going to use the paintbrush tool. Select the paintbrush remembering that black means delete and white means show, you can also change the opacity on the paintbrush by looking at the options tool bar found at the top of your workspace, by changing the opacity you can get a gradual fade, you can also use different styles of brushes, as long as you remember black means delete and white means show.

So paint over the area you don’t want to keep, and if you look at the layer pallet again it should look similar to this where the black area shows the area you have just deleted.

As you can see this provides a more precise way of deleting unwanted areas, I use this method to make images look like they are the same image (photo manipulation) I find it easier to use this one when I know the specific areas I want to get rid of rather than a general blend.

How to Use Gradients

There is no set way in how to use gradients however I am going to show you the way that I think is best, it will hopefully show you that its not just a slap on effect but can make blending gradients easier and look better.

1. have your image to the ready. It doesn’t matter what stage your image/art is at, you can add gradients at all stages of art work I always find it best not to add gradients at the end (although not always) So when you have your image ready look to the layers pallet and click on the adjustment button at the bottom of your pallet, it looks like a circle that’s half black and half white.

(N.B. if you click the arrow in the circle next to the list of gradients you will get an even bigger list for you to select from)
2. Select GRADIENT MAP and a small window will pop up, with a large gradient and with an arrow next to it, if you click on the arrow you will get a lot of other choices of gradients.

3. Once you have chosen your gradient, you will see that even though the gradient is showing on the image you can still see the underlying image, this is in my opinion what makes it blend better. Im not sure why but it does look better.

4. here you will notice that a new layer has been created on you layer pallet, it is this layer that you can edit and modify so without ruining the image or the layer you can edit it all you want.
for editing the layer you would have to use the layer mask which is the white square next to the layer preview. If you want to change the gradient all you have to do is double click on the layer preivew.

5. usually with gradients I just change the Layer Mode and change the opacity, because I like to have all my colours and tones equal to each other. here is an example of what I did with this image of Jake.

6. The best advice I can give you about gradients is don’t be afraid to use horrible and shocking gradients, as you see with the one I used the horrible Yellow and sickly greens Blue and Purple, actually made a nice tone to the image, I also find with gradients they make the image textured simply by highlighting shadows that were unseen before the gradient map was added.