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Today I'll be showing you how to go from this to
I was going for a Silent Hill-y look. I think I succeeded. Basic details: I used Photoshop CS, but this one should be fully translatable. I used no curves, no selective coloring, and no special tools of shinydom of any kind. Heavens to crap!


Create your base, a blank 100x100 canvas. And leave it blank. Rather than bringing your image in right away, we're going to prepare your base! Get your floodfill tool, and pick a color. Any color that suits what you're going for, as long as it's a bit lighter. The darkening comes later! I used #9B7E77. Take this texture (I do not know who made it, I'm sorry!) and paste it on your base. Set it to either Multiply, Color Burn, or Linear Burn - whichever looks best with the color you've chosen. Then take this texture (again, no idea! I suck to the highest degree), paste it in, put it on screen. I had to duplicate this layer twice to get it looking how I wanted it. My base is ready! ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO ME!


Now we bring in the picture you've selected! Once again, I've ended up with a Michelle Rodriguez picture. What can I say, she's stalking me. I'm looking into the matter, don't worry. Anyway, paste it as a new layer, and rotate it around until you're convinced it is in its optimal shiny position. Stay away from exact centering, because now Zeus is on board, and if you exact center, he, baby Jesus, and Buddha are going to go tag-team on your ass. Now get out your shiny stick eraser tool, or whatever it is you prefer to use to erase a background. Personally, I prefer to create a layer mask when I'm deleting things - that way if I screw up, NO ONE WILL EVER KNOW BECAUSE I FIX IT IMMEDIATELY - MWUHAHA. HA. If you're a little unclear on this, there are a lot of great tutorials out there to help you get the feel of erasing backgrounds.


Duplicate your picture layer, desaturate, and set the layer to soft light. Holy crap, that was pretty simple, and she's already starting to look sort of bad ass! I do not yet consider this an accomplishment, for Michelle Rodriguez sort of always looks bad ass. Alas, I cannot take credit for this.


We're going to switch things up now, so get our your security bankies. Take your original picture, and paste it in as a new layer beneathe your first picture layer. Desaturate it, and reduce the opacity - it will depend on the color you used and how many screen layers you had, but I reduced mine to 35%.


Remember your screen texture? Duplicate that layer, and drag it up to the top. Duplicate again if needed (for me, it was). Moving on!


This step you can skip if you want. Truthfully, it's kind of pointless. But I created a text layer, typed in some lyrics, lowered the opacity to 15%, and erased everything covering my main Michelle image. You can just hardly see it! It's pointless! But dammit, I know it's there, and it made me feel better about myself as a person. And who are you to judge me? Hmph.


After my utterly pointless text layer, I created another text layer! And guess what? This one isn't pointless! YAY! Just a few words over the background, with the layer set to overlay. Kind of nifty, huh?


Remember your original, boring, opaque base? Duplicate that, drag the duplicate to the top, and set this layer to linear burn. HOLY PLOT TWIST, BATMAN! That drastically changes things - and completes your badass icon. Give yourself a pat on the back. I hope you found this tutorial edumacationable and funktastic. As always, I'd love to see what you guys come up with. :)

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