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Art Tutorial: Faking Transparency in a Banner with Photoshop


Delta
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[COLOR=#35425e]This was meant to go in my thread (now long extinct) but I figured to put it up as a tutorial instead.

I was never really a fan of rectangular banners, so I often end up making ones with irregular shapes. How do I do it? With transparent pixels of course! Well, they're not really transparent (that would require me to save them in ridiculously large image files), but their color is the same as OB's background. That's why they blend into it! I do hope more artists make transparent banners after this, because they're really, really not that hard to make.

Please excuse the format; I don't know how to teach this subject without using an example. And I've left out the extraction process; that's another tutorial. So is "How to Make [i]Sakura[/i] Petals". Oh, and if you think this post is tl;dr, feel free to skip to the summary which I've put at the very end.

[center]~*~*~*~*~*~[/center]

[center][img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v487/meoi/banners/Beretta-Byakuya2.jpg[/img]
[b]SENBONZAKURA[/b]
[b]Made:[/b] 08 August 2009
[b]For:[/b] Beretta[/center]

Word Association Game! When I say "Byakuya", you say... "Sakura!"

Thus the cherry blossom theme. Because however manly and stoic Kuchiki Byakuya's character is, he goes very well with pink and purple. (Go on, google "Byakuya wallpaper" and the main color theme would be pink. Blue is a far second.)

Now for the extracted image:

[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v487/meoi/Tutorial/Beretta-Byakuyasharp.jpg[/img]

Notice that the raw had sharp and jagged lines that didn't go well with the quiet, serene feel I was going for. So I blurred Byakuya's shoulders to shift the focus to his face (well, his chin) and make him look 3D. Oh, and I felt that the scarf needed texture, so I blurred it to make the whole thing look soft and fluffy... like very fine pelt!

To give the banner depth, I made two layers of petals: one behind Byakuya, and another in front. I varied the blurriness of each petal in the background to play up the concept further.

[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v487/meoi/Tutorial/Beretta-Byakuya-nobg.jpg[/img]

Niiice. Now for the background. This is a photo of a tree (mangrove?) by the sea which I used because it has a large expanse of white space that I can blend into OB's background.

[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v487/meoi/Tutorial/Beretta-Byakuya-bg-untreated.jpg[/img]

Aside from making the white space look like OB's background, the rest of the image had to carry the pink/purple theme. To do this, I needed to desaturate the image, tint it the right hue, and adjust the levels:

[list=1]
[*]I placed a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the stock image, and set its Saturation to 0.
[*]I made a Curves adjustment layer above the previous layer and played around with the red and green channels (select from the drop-down menu) to achieve a purplish tint.
[*]Top the whole thing off with a Levels adjustment layer and slide the arrows until the white space is totally white.
[*]From here on, it was just a matter of putting a border. I didn't surround the whole banner with a border, just the parts where the image goes up to the edges.
[/list]
And just to make sure that the lighter parts blended seamlessly into the webpage's background, I made a new layer over everything and filled it with OB's background color. Then its Blend Mode was set to "Darken".

[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v487/meoi/banners/Beretta-Byakuya2.jpg[/img]
Q.E.D.

[center]~*~*~*~*~*~[/center]

[b]IN SUMMARY:[/b]
[list=1]

[*]Color the to-be-transparent pixels white.
[*]Create a layer over everything and fill it with OB's background color
[*]Set the layer's Blend Mode to "Darken"
[/list]
[/COLOR] Edited by Delta
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