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My First Attempt at Making Banners

Recently I just downloaded Photoshop CS2 trial version to test it out.  I've been trying different things with it.  So I figured I'll make a banner.  I LOVE the one the talented  qqzj  made for me, but I just want to have a clue in what is involved in making one from scratch.  It turned out to be quite difficult--I don't really have any techniques and neat tricks at manipulating the images.  In particular, extracting an image from its background is really hard for me.  Style is another issue, but that can only come from talent and experience, and I don't have either one of them at the moment.  Anyway, my first attempt turns out to be pretty crude.  There were plenty of frustrations, but all in all, I did have fun making it!

Oh what the heck--here's the first one I made:




After getting advises from o_yannik, I've reworked on this banner a bit.  In particular, I redid the 2nd and 3rd heads, and here's the result:


One more thing I learned--Photoshop is at least ten times better than PaintShop Pro! Before I tried Photoshop, I downloaded PaintShop Pro (among other things, I used it in my first attempt at making icons).  But the program keeps crashing on me all the time!

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
suffolkgirl
Apr. 27th, 2007 09:35 am (UTC)
You know, I was just admiring this on AR a few minutes ago. I think I could stare at it all day :D
...but unfortunately work is calling!
xwacky
Apr. 27th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words. I struggled very hard with it but it was fun. I still think the gorgeousness of the man elevates the siggy and hides my lack of technique.
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Apr. 27th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I was hoping you could give me some of your wonderful suggestions when I posted this--and you didn't disappoint me!

I was having real difficult time in getting the right text color (and font). It not only have to work WITH the other colors in the graphics, but also need to stand out enough for the text to be seen. I'll keep experimenting with it.

The suggestion about the focal point is fantastic! It makes a lot of sense. When I was making the siggy, I did worry about there were too many heads here. But I didn't have a good way of extracting a head from the background. As a result, they were all cropped funny. So I had to stack them together to somewhat hide that fact.

I will take your fabulous suggestions into considerations when I make the next one--my hands are already itching... It was rather fun to stare at and work on the pictures of that beautiful man!

I'd love to see a slashy Lee/Sam wallpaper! I agree qqzj is awesome, but I LOVE your works too!
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Apr. 27th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
...secon one sucks, ;)

Actually, they ALL have many problems, but you are right, the second one was the worst! I had the hardest time with that one, and I finally gave up and faded it out quite a bit to make it "blend in." I thought if I gave these heads different intensity and opacity, I maybe able to get some kind of spatial effect going.

It was really hard with the first 3 heads. Part of the reason is because I was working with the crappy screencaps I made instead of the higher quality promo pictures where the other 3 came from.

I'd really appreciate your tips on cropping. But I can wait till you have more time!
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
xwacky
Apr. 30th, 2007 11:05 pm (UTC)
Wow! It does stand out, and it blends very well with the background.
xwacky
Apr. 30th, 2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
BTW I started working full time two weeks ago (first real job after five years!), and I can now say I'm rested. :D

Congratulations! Best wishes to you at your new job!

Whoa, your advice on cropping is wonderful! I tried some of the techniques you've mentioned here over the weekend, and it worked really well. In the past, I did "Pencil" eraser and it always left jagged hard edge. Also I was zooming in too large before. The softer brush with less zoom-in made a world of difference!

I see what you mean about the scene with Cottle--how Lee and Kara stood out while the background is blurry. But I still don't quite get how you achieved this. And how did you make that scene blend in so seamlessly with the Lee/Kara scene down below? Even though I don't quite understand your technique here, you gave me the idea for this icon--I used "Blur Tool" to blur the background in this scene from HoG so that Lee can stand out a bit more.

I've always admired this icon of yours and never knew how you achieved the effect. This is such a cool trick! I shall try it sometimes.

The quality of my screencaps depends on the source. If I can make screencaps off episodes that have been released out on DVD, the quality can be a bit higher. But the few screencaps I did for season 3 are captured off the recordings from TV, and the quality is lower. My screencap sources are mixed--I also use common ones I found from google search.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 28th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Banner
X, your banner looks great. I already saw it on AR. Don't be so hard on yourself, I would say you have a lot of talent. I use photoshop as well (an old version), but I'm not very good at it. You did a fantastic job with your new banner :)

Lg Silwyna
xwacky
Apr. 30th, 2007 11:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Banner
Thank you Silke! You are very kind to me. *blushing* I'm glad you like the banner.
rosie_posie77
May. 2nd, 2007 11:47 am (UTC)
wow, really good as first attempt! i used psp for making icons. now i've installed ps cs2, but haven't used yet, so i can't tell which one is the best/simplier to use...
xwacky
May. 2nd, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the encouragement! I've used trial version of PSP in the past, and the program kept crashing all the time. So I switched to PS CS2. From my limited experience, CS2 is a lot easier and user friendly.
rosie_posie77
May. 3rd, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC)
for me, psp was easier cause i used it at work too. ps scares me a bit cause earlier version were less user-friendly. probably cs2 is better in that. i'll check it out soon!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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