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MY FIRST TUTORIAL - so the finished product is much rougher than I would have done now. But the basic idea is still there, so you may still find it useful. :)

Look, a tutorial from an icon-making beginner! Of course, I know everyone started somewhere, and it's fun to share the tiny little things I have learned so far. All the advanced icon-makers on my friends' list will just want to skip this, unless you promise not to point and laugh... :D I showed almost every step with screenshots, so forgive me if it's TOO detailed.

I used GIMP 2.4 on Windows XP, so hopefully all will translate.

Anyway, Rae asked me how to go from this:

Using this texture by cdg:

To this:

The edges around the hair are rougher than I'd want, but I'm happy enough with it for the sake of this tutorial. :) Maybe I'll fix it more later. Moving on...

I started out by getting rid of the ginormous annoying CW logo. I used the Clone Tool, and set the brush to Sand Dunes. By cloning the lighter and darker parts of the blouse and one of her hair curls, I made the logo go away. Not perfect, but once the image is sized down, it's hardly noticeable.

Next I cropped the image down to just Lois:

Using the fuzzy select tool, I selected the areas around Lois, then pressed delete to clear everything bit by bit. Make sure your background color is set to white, or the delete will change it to another color.

Once I got enough deleted with the fuzzy select tool, I moved to a large eraser. Using both back and forth helped me erase around her hair more easily.

Then I blew it up to 400% to make the finer erasing easier to do, and used a fuzzy brush.

Next step was to scale the image down. I decided to make the height 80, since the texture would probably look nice with the golden rays shooting over her head. :D

Then I increased the canvas size to 100x100, and moved Lois down to the bottom right corner of the canvas.

Now I needed to make all of the background behind Lois transparent. I'm sure I could have done this somehow before, but I have no idea, so now's as good a time as any. I used fuzzy select to select the white area to Lois's right, then went through the steps to Color to Alpha.

After clicking OK, I did the other side as well.

Next I opened the texture as a Layer:

And then dragged it below the Background Layer.

I could see then that there was still quite a bit of white around Lois's hair. So I zoomed out:

And then finely erased, using Circle (01) - which seems to catch one pixel at a time:

Now it looks like this:

It seemed a bit dark to me, so I copied the background layer, moved it up to the top and set it to Screen.

This gives me the final version:

Hopefully this helped you, Rae, and anyone else who might wonder... :)



( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
Oh cool, nice one! I need to get over and review your icon post! =D

Love seeing tutorials from my friends. Can I make a concrit suggestion though? (I never know when to offer advice and when to let people learn for themselves, LOL. *facepalm*)
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
I think I'm thinking what you're thinking. ;) (or well... anyway, I'm thinking 'lasso' - what were you thinking? I'm curious!)

@Barbara - nice job! The icon turned out pretty nice, and your tutorial is well made, too. :)
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
I see the lasso thingy on my toolbar but I have no idea how to use it yet... LOL.

Thanks! Even though it's not perfect, I was trying to show her how I did a similar icon using her pics and textures. Hopefully this isn't totally wacked out. :D
(no subject) - northern_star - Feb. 11th, 2009 01:49 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Feb. 11th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - northern_star - Feb. 11th, 2009 01:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Feb. 11th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Yes, please! I am such a newbie, and as long as you aren't pointing and laughing...
(no subject) - januaried - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - northern_star - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Feb. 11th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
I've been looking for software other than Photoshop, preferably something free and easy! I like this. Is this free?! Or cheap, at least??
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:39 am (UTC)
It is free!
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC)
And downloadable here!
(no subject) - babettew54 - Feb. 11th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
Thanks B! That's very helpful. I didn't even know there was a fuzzy select tool!
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
So glad it helped! And you should track the thread, because januaried is going to give concrit... maybe other more advanced people have advice as well.

Edited at 2009-02-11 01:43 am (UTC)
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)

Oooo, that should be good. That way we can ask questions. :D I read some of the tutorials and I think "I don't understand any of this." But I feel to silly to ask.
(no subject) - htbthomas - Feb. 11th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - autumnrae89 - Feb. 11th, 2009 02:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Feb. 11th, 2009 02:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - autumnrae89 - Feb. 11th, 2009 02:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - htbthomas - Feb. 11th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - januaried - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - januaried - Feb. 11th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 11th, 2009 04:31 am (UTC)
Ooh, I love tutorials! And you've reminded me of the use of setting a layer to screen. I need to try that.

Also early in it you mention the fuzzy select tool, is that the same as the magic wand? I use Gimpshop but it looks like the same use.
Feb. 11th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC)
Setting to screen is one of the first things I learned, so I use it a lot! :D

Yes, fuzzy select is the magic wand.
Feb. 11th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
You seriously impress me with your mad icon skillz! This is simple enough that even I kind of understand it. Thanks!
Feb. 11th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Oo, really? :D Thanks! I definitely still want to play with it, but I love the simplicity of icons like this - just the main figure with a plain or patterned background. :)
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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