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 Beginner's Guide to Making a Forum Signature

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Blink
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PostSubject: Beginner's Guide to Making a Forum Signature   Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:38 pm

I would put this in another category, but this seemed like a good place.

This is my guide that I, Blink, made specifically for this forum.

Now, I won't be showing you how to actually make a specific signature because I don't want you to make the exact same signature as me so I will tell you, step by step, on how to make your OWN personal signature to your liking.

Code:
What you will need:

1. Photo editing software(ie. Gimp, Photoshop)
download GIMP: http://www.gimp.org/

2. Some knowledge on how to use the software( the software is useless if you don't know what you are doing)
Go on Youtube for lessons on this

3. Brushes/fonts(brushes are pretty much stamps used in Photoshop)
site to download free brushes: http://www.brusheezy.com/
site to download fonts http://www.refont.com/

4. Renders and/or pictures of what you want to edit(renders are pictures without the background)
site to download renders: http://planetrenders.net/

From this point, I am going to assume that you went on Youtube and learned what each of the tools do.

Lets start!

Start by opening up your software( I use Photoshop CS3) and start a new project

Now, when you start a new project, it will ask you for your dimensions. Signatures aren't meant to be big so keep it moderate in size and make sure it's a rectangle. You can set it from 400x150pixels to 600x250px. Anything bigger would be kind of big.

Now the main thing you want in a signature is flow, this splits the bad signatures from the good ones. So what exactly is flow? I can't give you a direct definition but I can exaplin how it works. There are colors that can match with other colors(ei. black & white, yellow & purple, red & blue, etc.) so try to use only two main colors in a signature that match with each other for flow. Something like that. Opposites tend to work well with each other so try that.

So now that you know about the colors and dimensions of how a signature should be, we can move on to actually making the signature. Start by making a background. When you start, start by choosing a background color and fill it in with the Paint Bucket Tool. Since this is a beginner's lesson, we're going to make the background cloudy so on the top of your screen go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Ctrl+F to change how the cloud looks.

I'm hoping that you guys have already downloaded a render from the site I have provided for you guys. Place the render towards the right or left side of the signature. Please do not place the render the in middle, it messes up the flow of the signature. You can if you want because some signatures look nice like that, only some though. Make sure you have flow(the color of the render flows with the color of the background) so try not to use 15 main colors when you only need around two.

If you are using a picture, you can either keep the given background and edit the entire picture as a whole or you can remove the background. Depending on the background, you can use anything from the "Background Eraser Tool" to the "Lasso Tool".

From here, you can get creative and start using brushes to help create the flow of the signature. You can also go to Image>Adjustments. From here, you can adjust anything from your color balance to your hue and saturation.

The last thing you should do is add your text. If you add text to your signature before doing anything else, it will be much harder to choose where to place things because the text will just be in the way. Adding the text after completing your signature would be a good idea because your signature's flow won't be ruined, just as long as you know where to place the text. Your text can be a "make or break" thing for your signature. If every part of your signature is flawless except for your text, then your signature is ruined. Your text needs to flow with the rest of your signature in order for it to look nice. To add effects to your text to help create flow, all you have to do is check your layers and make sure you are on the right layer( the text layer) then on the bottom right side of your screen( default settings), click "FX". From there, click "Blending Options". It will take you to a small window with many options to choose from, from "Outer Glow" to "Gradient Overlay". You can also right-click on the text layer then click "Warp Text" to warp the text. You will notice that your text layer will have a "T" on it. Remember to right-click and click "Rasterize Type" when you are done editing your text. This makes the text layer into a normal layer. This is vital because if you save the file as a PDF file so you can open it up on another computer and you did not rasterize the text layer, it will NOT appear on the other computer if it does not have the font that you used.

Now remember, this is a beginner's guide on how to make a signature. This is the easiest way to make a somewhat decent signature in Photoshop, literally. I can go into extreme details on how to make really good signatures that are way better than mine.

I might as well show you some of the signatures I made in a slideshow:
http://img825.imageshack.us/slideshow/webplayer.php?id=airsoftmarine.jpg
Some of them are requests from other people and the rest are mine. "Dukie827" is my other name and PSN ID.

As you can see, I showed some of my good and bad signatures from when I started til now. I'm not that good and I have some bad signatures. Everyone starts off bad so don't worry.

I'll make a video if I can but don't count on it.


Last edited by Blink on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:44 pm; edited 2 times in total
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death_unites_us
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner's Guide to Making a Forum Signature   Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:45 am

Stickied, great work Blink Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Beginner's Guide to Making a Forum Signature   Tue Aug 24, 2010 9:39 am

Very Detailed and formative, I like it
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner's Guide to Making a Forum Signature   Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:23 pm

I just added a paragraph about signature text.


Post questions if you guys have any because I wouldn't mind helping you guys out. Also, if I am missing anything, just tell me and I'll add it.
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PostSubject: Re: Beginner's Guide to Making a Forum Signature   Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:56 pm

Maybe loco could give us a gimp based tutorial?
Razz
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