Miss Val (tinebrella) wrote in psychedelicats,
Miss Val
tinebrella
psychedelicats

Tutorial: that trippy effect!

How to go from: to:

How to go from: to:


jsfunction & monstersinyou requested a tutorial for those two icons and jsfunction wanted to know how to pull off "that trippy effect" in particular. So you'll find exactly that under the cut C:
(no PSDs this time because they're not allowed!)


Please note: if I don't mention the opacity, it means it's at 100%.

TUTORIAL #1
>>>

Step #1: sharpening & brightening the base
>
I duplicated my base and I sharpened it with the Paint Daubs filter (Brush type: Simple, Size: 1, Sharpness: 1). I masked it a bit because the edges of her clothes were a bit too sharp (actually, her face is too sharp as well, but it didn't seem to bother me at the time - oh well).
Then, to brighten the base, I created two Curves layers and set them to Screen, the first at 100% opacity while the second one at 59%.
As I've said in other tutorials, you can use any adjustment layer to do this. You're not going to change the settings, so it doesn't matter if it's a Selective Color layer or a Hue/Saturation layer. It's like creating a copy-merged layer and setting that to whichever blending mode, but this way you can replace the base whenever you want without having to replace all the copy-merged layers accordingly.

Step #2: textures + clipping mask tricks
> > >
Now, maybe this isn't news for anyone else, but it's something I've only found out while working on this set for 20muses: you can use clipping masks to alter textures using not only fill or adjustment layers but also other textures! I mean, I knew in theory you could do that, but I didn't know what a nifty trick that could be.

So, I used this texture by raiindust:

And I set it to Screen. I liked it how it worked on the contrast/lighting/whatever, but I didn't like the grey. So I created a new fill layer (#d50de2, ███), set it to Multiply and I applied it as a clipping mask to the texture. That got rid of the grey.

Then, I used this other texture by lookslikerain:

I set this one to Screen as well, at 38% opacity and I applied it too as a clipping mask to the texture. That worked nicely with the sci-fi vibe I was trying to enhance.
Basically, this is what happened to the first texture:
> >
Just for the record, with the same layers, same blending modes, but no clipping mask, you get this:
vs.
Cool, right?

Step #3: contrast
>
It was lacking contrast at this point, so I created a Brightness/Contrast layer:
Brightness +15
Contrast +27

Step #4: the trippy effect!
> > >
So, the trippy effect is really really simple to achieve.
I created a new Group, I duplicated my sharpened base and dragged it inside the Group.
Then, inside the Group and above the duplicated base, I created a Gradient Map adjustment layer going from black (#000000, ███) to cyan (#49e9fc, ███). To make the highlights pop out more, I dragged the cyan slider about 1/5 to the left.
I set the Group to Screen (please note that the base and Gradient Map layers are both on Normal), then moved the base (not the Group!) a tiny bit to the left (so that the trippy effect would be quite subtle). I also added a layer mask to the Group so that the trippy effect would only show on her clothes.

You can go about this differently, that is you can apply the Gradient Map layer as a clipping mask to the duplicated base and then mask the base layer, of course. You don't need the Group, it's just how I do things, sometimes. I like having groups for things that work together.

Anyway, I liked the trippy effect, so I duplicated the Group. Twice!
The second Group is the same as the first, but I moved the base a bit more to the left and masked only the part overlapping her face.
The third Group doesn't actually add to the trippy effect. I wanted to add a trippy effect in a different color and by moving the base in the opposite direction, so first of all I switched the cyan in the Gradient Map with a green (#49fca1, ███). But then, moving the base to the right, I noticed that the leftmost part of screencap worked really well as a texture:

So I just did that, I used it as a texture to add that bit of vertical lighting on her face. C:

Step #5: coloring
> > >
I decided the coloring was a bit too bright and cold, so I added a fill layer (#fce88a, ███) and set it to Multiply.
Then I added some contrast back with a Brightness/Contrast layer:
Brightness +13
Contrast +19
Lastly, I added a Curves layer and clicked on Auto. The warm yellows were mostly gone, though, so I set it this layer at 90% opacity and masked almost all of it aside from the part overlapping her face (which was indeed a bit too yellow).

Layers:

(I only expanded the first Group, the other two are similar)

TUTORIAL #2
From: to:

Step #1: sharpening & brightening the base
>
I duplicated my base and I sharpened it with the Paint Daubs filter (Brush type: Simple, Size: 1, Sharpness: 1).
Then, to brighten the base, I created a Curves layer and set it to Screen.

Step #2: painting the hair
>
I was making this icon for the complementary theme, so I needed to add some green. I decided to do so by painting some green strands of hair. I believe I used a soft round brush (1px of diameter from the look of it?).
It looks like this on a black background:

I set this layer to Hard Light, then I duplicated it and lowered the opacity of the second layer to 48%.
Now, below these two layers, there is another one, in which I painted the whole hair red and set it to Multiply. It looks like this on a black background:

I probably did this later on though, because her hair was looking washed out due to the coloring?

Step #3: textures + clipping mask tricks
> >
I added this texture by bluestoplights:

I flipped it horizontally and set it to Screen, but it was overwhelming so I went looking for another texture to mask it through a clipping mask. I found this one by lookslikerain:

I set it to Multiply, so that only the parts of the first texture overlapping with the white/grey parts of the second one would show:

I liked the effect, so I duplicated both layers. In this case, I masked a bit of the upper part of the clipping mask so more of the other texture would show:


Step #4: coloring
>
The coloring was a tad too magenta, so I added some yellow through a Selective Color layer to make it more reddish:
Reds: Yellow +60

Step #5: more textures + clipping mask tricks
> >
I used this texture by lookslikerain:

And I set it to Screen. I wanted the background to have a green-ish hue, though, so I created a new fill layer (#c4f921, ███), set it to Multiply and applied it as a clipping mask to the texture.

Step #5: contrast
>
It was lacking contrast at this point, so I created a Brightness/Contrast layer:
Brightness +9
Contrast +30

Step #6: the trippy effect
>
It's the same trick I explained in the other tut! This time I didn't mask the Group, though, and I used a Gradient Map going from black (#000000, ███) to green (#aeff00, ███). I didn't move the green slider.

Step #7: Auto-Curves
>
I created a Curves layer and clicked on Auto.

Step #7: text
>
I added some text!
Font: Courier New
Size: 24pt
Line spacing: 14
Letter spacing: -50
Colors: white and acid green (#dfff07, ███)
Anti-alias: Strong
I duplicated this layer to make the text look less thin (Courier New is a great font but it does look too thin, imo).
Then I duplicated it again, dragged the layer below the other two, changed the color to an orange-ish red (#d43e1b, ███), set it to Screen and moved it a bit to the left and up, I think.

Layers:

The Group you see on top contains the text layers.

THAT TRIPPY EFFECT (tips&tricks)
So, that trippy effect is just about:
- duplicating your image;
- applying to it a gradiend map going from black to some bright, saturated colour (possibly picking it from - or complimenting - the hues you have already going in your icon);
- moving the gradient-mapped copy a bit to the left/right;
- setting the copy to Screen (or Lighten);
- masking the bits you don't like.
This trick works with dark backgrounds, otherwise you'll have to play with the blending mode (for example, you might set the copy to Darken/Multiply with a bright background) but chances are you'll have a harder time with the masking.
Plus, I think the icon should have the right mood for the trippy effect to work. For the first icon, I picked a screencap with a sci-fi-ish vibe and built on that. The second screencap was about Peggy having a weird, down the rabbit hole kind of dream. I wouldn't use the trippy effect on something pastel and floral (but you are welcome to try and I'd love to see you pull that off!).
Another thing to pay attention to is the difference it makes to move the copy just a couple of px to the left/right, so you should try different placements for the copy. If the shift is barely noticeable, like in the second icon, you get some sort of "out of focus"/3d-ish effect, while if it's more pronounced you get the effect you see in the first icon - like some kind of not mirrored reflection? Idk.
Btw, if you're having a hard time moving the copy juuuust a px to the right, try using the last option in the Filter > Other menu (it should say something like "Move...").
And that's about it, I think?



Btw, you can ask me stuff @ the Ask the Maker activity hosted by icon_talk! (my thread)
Tags: !maker: tinebrella, *tips&tricks, *tutorial
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