Ariel (lunar47) wrote,

Comprehensive Icon Making Guide

Here is the promised tutorial list. It turned out way longer than I thought so I organized it. I hope people find this helpful.

Just a note: this is by no means an all inclusive list of good tutorials. These were just the ones that I mem'd or favorited and have found useful. If you guys out there have tuts that you would like to share please feel free to comment with links. Oh and I use photoshop so my tutorials tend to focus on that program, sorry PSP users.

Beginners Tutorials

Icon Making Guide: This one covers basic image prep, aspect ratio, cropping, coloring and includes lots of links to other guides on more specific topics (i.e. Selective Color Tutorial for PS). Also has links to screencaps.

Aspect Ratio: SO SO IMPORTENT.

Basic Photoshop Tutorial: Shows you where tools are in photoshop. 

The Photoshop NOT a tutorial: Using your photoshop Help function is actually really useful. This shows you how to navigate your Help files.

Prepping a Base: Uses screen, curves and levels. Not really meant for absolute beginners.

Tips on Icon Making: Doesn't teach you how to use these techniques but gives you tips. Includes image selection, cropping, text, exclusion layer coloring, textures and patterns. I do highly disagree with her stance on filters. She says that unless you know what you are doing never use filters. Well if you don't mess around with all the features you're never really going to figure out how to use your image program. Filters are fun!! lol. 

Personally I'm not a big fan of all those coloring tutorials or tutorials where the original pic looks almost the same as the finished icon. That's just me. BUT I highly reccommend them as practice for beginners. That's what I did for the first few months. It shows you the basics of several different functions. 

Photoshop/PSP Tools

Fonts: Places to get free fonts  

Brushes: places to get brushes  

icon_textures  is good for textures

Photoshop/PSP Techniques

Brightening of very dark caps:

2 different tutorials on how to blend images: Blending using feathering, lasso tool and smudge tool, and blending using feathering and layer masks (my preferred method)

OMG AWESOME TUTORIAL on Curves. It's a video tut too. Makes it even easier to understand. 

Color correcting with Curves: video tut

Need Help with Text? rayvin813helped me immensely. type tools, shortcuts, spacing and sizing.

AWESOME collection of black and white tutorials gradients, desaturation, colorizing b&w pictures

optimizing file sizes in Image Ready: used for shrinking file sizes for animated icons.

Alan Rickman icon using Offset filters  I used this tut for my Apollo icon

Textures: By far my favorite guide to using textures

Creating Actions: I haven't tried using saved actions but people find it very useful. I guess it's something I have to learn myself, lol.

HUGE list of Effects tutorials by  myrasis 

Rules of Thirds: a photographers rule of thumb for taking interesting photos. For your purposes it translates into interesting icon cropping.

How to fix underexposed/overexposed photos: aka using Image>adjustments>Shadow/Highlight (only for CS and above but they include info for earlier versions.

How to create sepia tones: using photo filters

Exclusion/Fill Layer Guide: I always find coloring my image by fill layers difficult so this is a handy guide. 

Random Tutorials

Animated Icons:  learn to make an icon like this

Animated icons using VLC Player (love that little player to pieces) : makes icons exactly like the one above

I used this tutorial to create my Lee in a towel icon  Shows you how to color in black and white icons.

Double image effect  or this one  

mirrored reflection

Oh the wonders of rounded corners (everyone loves this technique included, lol)  my example  

Make your icon look like it was a watercolor painting. This is in PSP. I don't know if it's translatable to PS. It looks cool though.

Hand drawn look: This one is in PS.

love those ipod icons? Here's how to make them  like my little iLeoben    *hearts*

Learn how to make those pop art sunbursts  here using custom shapes feature. Or ths tutorial using distort filter (also teaches retro dots and overcontrasted images). OR you can be lazy like me and download this brush set by lemonbirdy and resize to 100x100  =D

Mass Collections of Tutorials

icon_collide's  collection

dionisia2005's  collection  

as_rare_as's  collection  

dolover's collection

glass_mercury's  collection  

myrasis's collection 1 has over 200 tutorials and here is collection 2  

myrasis's header/banner collection  


wtf_tuts is a good com to learn techniques is an awesome place to find PS tutorial videos. The 2 curves examples came from this site. He has a bunch of other videos on youtube as well. Seriously though, check this guy's stuff out.

Comms I friended

icon_tutorial  the most known comm
big_tutorials  for banners, headers and wallpapers
cap_it  screencaps for tv and movies. Check the memories for a full list.
dj_capslock more screencaps. Again, check the memories.
hdtv_caps HD screencaps
fontaddicts  need to identify a font or are just browsing for different fonts? this is the comm for you.

Tags: icon tutorial, icons

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