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Sarah Connor Chronicles Tutorial

Okay, so I set out to write a tutorial for the icon I made for an icon challenge the other day. Unfortunately, I hadn't saved the .psd, so I had to recreate the icon and, naturally, couldn't remember exactly what I did. I got close to my original, but not exactly the same, but that only bugs me since I'm not posting the original icon here anyhow! Nur!

Anyway! So today we're going to be going from this to Photobucket


I used Photoshop, as always :-)

So! Start off with your initial picture, for which I took this lovely, amazingly good quality screencap which I believe is one of dj_capslock's. Obviously the first thing I did was to cut out the bit I liked into a 100x100 icon size. I wanted to use Cameron on the right as a frame, given the way she was standing and then have the focus on Sarah - I messed around for quite a while deciding on the cut, but I ended up with this:-

Photobucket

Well, that was a little dark and fuzzy for my liking, so I messed around with it. My general prep is to duplicate the image, set it to soft light and then sharpen the soft light layer and then decide whether I need to add screen layers to brighten things up. Obviously what needs to be done depends on your image. Here I ended up duplicating the image four times. I set the first two copies to screen and the second two copies to soft light. Which, I have to admit, looked a little weird, so I went back to faffing around.

In the end I got a balance I liked by setting the brightness of the first screen layer to +29 and the contrast on that layer to +21. I then lowered the opacity of the second screen layer to 40%. I then desaturated the second soft light layer (currently your top layer) and set the opacity to 50%. I sharpened both of the soft light layers and ended up with this:-



One thing that I liked was the way that increasing the contrast on the screen layer had brought out the red in Sarah's hair, so I wanted to emphasise that, plus give a darker feel to the quality of the light coming in from the window on the left hand side of the picture. I did this by adding a selective colour adjustment layer (layer --> new adjustment layer --> selective color) with the following settings:-

REDS C +33; M +40; Y -18; B +3
MAGENTAS C 0; M+14; Y 0; B +22

Photobucket

Okay, don't know about you, but that looked a little too clean cut and smooth for my liking, especially since I wanted a grungy, dark feel. So! I added in this scratch texture (sorry, I have no idea who it's by, if you know, please tell me so I can credit!) and flipped it horizonally. I then set it to screen. Muuuuuch better, but a little too bright white, so I lowered the opacity to 60%. Better:-



Okay, nice, could leave it there, but I'm aware that there's that light coming in from the window on the left hand side. I'd like to emphasise that. So, I added this texture here (which is actually one of mine - go me!) just above the original layer. I then set this to soft light.
Photobucket

Still not happy though - it's far too pink-y now and I think that that round glow on the left could be better. So, the first thing I did was to desaturate the layer (by by purple!) and then I messed around with the brightness and contrast settings for just that layer (image --> adjustment --> brightness/contrast). What I was trying to do was to increase the halo of light. I widened the spread by increasing the brightness of the layer to +76 then decreased the contrast of the layer to -10, which made me happier with the focal point of the light effect.

And we're done!

Photobucket

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