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How to make a forum signature tutorial (Updated 4/...

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Hiya, It's Guts the Black Swordsman here! And because I'm such an awesome guy I'm going to be giving away free advice! which is a guide about the steps needed to make an awesome looking signature. For starters the overall design is going to be quick for my standards, Thus it only took me about eight or so minutes to figure out the methods needed to recreate it for others. On a note, my more detailed signatures can take somewhere up to three or more hours to make if i spend time on them.

(Updated 4/23/2015)
Given how the original links and pictures were removed due to being on imageshack, i've re-wrote the tutorial and added new pictures. Clean the guide up a little too. I hadn't checked this in some time. Now everything is fixed. Feel free to once again read through this and make a signature yourself up. The Guide was made using Photoshop CS 5.1 So please note terminology might be different and whatnot if you're using a different program.

So, with the introduction out of the way lets begin on the actual making of the signature, i know there's a few aspiring signature makers here on I'm going to make this as easy as possible for people to understand. For the guide i'll personally be using Photoshop CS 5.1. But i know some of you probably use a different software such as Gimp. Or simply can't afford Photoshop. Though they are means to get it  ::)

But i'll try to make this guide as universal as i can so everyone can follow it. The Signature we're going to make isn't hard, nor does it require any special Photoshop Plugins or achieve, all it needs is some time and a few fonts and brushes. Seriously, that's all we need!

For the signature that i'm going to be showing you how to make, we're going to be going for a Girly Princess look. Don't judge me, just go along with it for the sake of learning (mostly because of the techniques) Now before we begin we'll need a few things to be downloaded beforehand. Which is going to be part of the guide, now while it looks like there's a lot of work involved, truth be told there's only four external items which are going to be used. Two downloaded brush sets, a picture and a font. Everything else needed for the signature is just playing around with the settings. And that's important also, no point in having 25 layers just to achieve an effect on a signature when a simple overlay does it in one layer. On a average you should be having 5-10 layers on a decent signature and maybe 15 or so more on a more advanced one.

 Alright this is what we intend to make.(Bare in mind I'm not going be able to make an exact copy of it)

*Quick things to take note before opening your program*

Brushes get installed into.
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS5.1\Presets\Brushes

And Fonts get installed into.

Photoshop or the program you are using will need to be restarted in order for it to load the new downloaded brushes remember that (Not for fonts though)

Also remember depending on your computer and program used the directory may be different. But basically brushes go into the brushes folder and fonts goes into the windows/fonts folder.

For starters you'll need this before even starting this signature (The original Brush is no longer available, So we'll use a substitute)

This Brush set also is needed (Or any Glitter style brush)

And this picture of course (or any picture of your choice)

And lastly this font is needed.

Step 1

Start a new document at the size of 600(Length) x 150(Height) Pixels (largest size allowed for AVP Galaxy) and pick a white background. (This will be your base) Then click the unlock button on the layer to allow us to edit it later down the line, then make a fresh new layer above that one. Rename the layers to Layer 1 and Layer 2. select the rectangular marquee tool (The dotted square line tool) and select it over Layer 2

Go onto image and then Stroke. Select Black as the color and the width 2 and have it centered, for this will be our border. Rename Layer 2 to Black line. Always keep the layer called black line on the very top of all the other layers.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Okay, now select Layer 1 and pick a color like peach or a brown/orange and paint two different shades of the color, one dark and one light on the top and the lower of layer 1

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Then to blend both colors go into filter and Gaussian Blur and turn it all the way up until both colors are mixed.

Step 2

Now, lets make a new layer on top of layer 1 and paint it completely pink. Have the color somewhere between red and pink, but not too bright nor dark, then select layer type and make it hard light, this should change the color somewhat. After that make yet another layer (Layer 3) and also set it as hard light, for this will be the layer we apply the dreamy brushes to (Actual results will vary given the original brush is no longer available) Make sure the brush is set to white for the color else it won't get the effect we need.

If done correctly you should have something that looks similar to this.
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Now make Layer 4 and get any basic brush, select it black and paint layer 4 black, then make it soft light. We should have a darker looking signature without destroying the colors and make it less bright. Then make another layer above Layer 4 and add some glitter. Make sure the color is white for layer 5 The result so far should be something that looks similar to this.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
Step 3

Time to add the glow! which is very simply to apply, we'll apply it to both the glitter and the dreamy brushes. This way, we'll have a nice glow to the signature. Personal preference is on how much glow you want to add. To add glow, right click the layer which you want to apply it to and go into blending options, select outer glow or inner glow and mess around with it until you get a good result. Play around with the opacity and whatnot. Then add the Elf lady into the signature, I personally would use a PNG render or format when adding images to signatures as you don't need to remove any of the backgrounds.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
After we've added the Elf Lady, or any picture of your choice if you don't want to use the one i suggested. Make sure you place it above Layer Five. Then select the Elf Lady layer and Rasterize it. Rasterizing a Photoshop layer converts a vector layer to pixels. Vector layers create graphics using lines and curves so they maintain their clarity when you enlarge them, but this format leaves them unsuitable for artistic effects that use pixels. I personally always Rasterize.

Select the Elf Lady Layer and Duplicate it Select the duplicated layer and go into filter and again select Gaussian Blur, but don't make it too strong. Make sure the same layer is selected and then select Soft light for it. This will soften the picture up.

Finally Whip out the font we just downloaded in Photoshop by Selecting the Font button (The Big T) and place it onto the signature and type Deedlit, or any word or name of your choice. Also edit this in the exact same way you did for the picture, or the dreamy fantasy brushes. By applying blurs, duplicating it and applying filters or glows. Take my advice, if you're ever going to edit any picture, render or text, always duplicate it and then add the filter or effect to the duplicated image. Always make it so that any text isn't hidden by any background. Else you won't be able to read it. Apply shadowing to it or whatnot so you can see it stand out. After you've done all that and are happy with the result merge all layers save it and you're all done

Yes, this might be different from the original picture, it was pretty much made using the same methods. The techniques i explained should be doable on most photo editing software. I know different programs can yield different results, if not then you can often replicate it by some other means. But look what we made! just by blending a few layers with hard and soft light. Adding a glow or two, and using a downloaded brush and a render. Making signatures isn't hard. But utilizing the options your software has and being creative is all you need.

*Other useful information and tips*

Always use custom brushes for the best results. Want lightning bolts? download a lightning brush and apply a glow to it to give it a neat lightning effect.
Just do a Google search for brushes. Grunge Photoshop brushes, Fairy brushes, Lightning Photoshop brushes, tree brushes and so forth, They are 1000s of brushes online available to use.
Scan-lines, and other similar effects are classed a pattern. Do a Google search and install them to the Pattern folder (patterns install the same way as brushes)

Downloading wallpapers or stock images and using them for overlays onto signatures is generally a good idea too, i often use this technique if i need a specific background for a signature.

Keep a art asset folder on your desktop and keep all the brushes, wallpapers, and other images you find in there. I have a huge collection of renders, stock images and other assets that i use to make signatures etc with.

Listen to music while making a signature, i find it often helps me creatively to come up with a good signatures. Like if i'm making a Naruto Themed Signature, i'll listen to music from Naruto.

Hope this helps. And feel free to ask questions too. I've seen a lot of guides on the internet that never explain or they skip over steps without showing you exactly how to do it. And i've followed this guide myself in order to make the same signature and it works.
Read and learn, knowledge is power. Hope this helps in giving a a basic insight on what is needed to make a signature. Feel free to comment and ask questions, i'm quite adapt at making signatures, and others on this forum are too. But please remember if you want a signature making use the request topic. This is merely a guide and a place of advice on making signatures either if your a newbie at it or a advance user wanting to share advice for others.

** Useful Links and software**

Paint.Net was my first software i used for editing pictures! It's great and very easy to use and is a great start for beginners. Though it lacks a lot of Photoshop professional stuff. Start here if you are wanting to make signatures.
Haven't used gimp much but it can do effects that can't. My sister uses this a lot.
Photoshop elements is like a simpler version of Photoshop CS. While it can't do a lot of the more impressive CS stuff, its still a great flexible program.

*Websites that let you download custom brushes and other useful stuff*

thnx for this :)

Those who can't afford Photoshop but have used it and are familiar with how it works can use the browser based Pixlr Editor. It's surprisingly good, though I wouldn't start any big projects with it. :)

Neat. Photoshop can be quite expensive actually.

Updated the entire guide.


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