Shaman Signature Tutorial

Before I start, there are a few things I want you to know. This tutorial will focus on Gimp and Photoshop! For this tutorial, I am using Photoshop CS5 and the latest version of GIMP. I'll post all the resources used at the end of this tutorial.

Step 1
Start off by creating a new document by going to File > New in both programs with the dimensions 500x250 (in pixels). Next, place your render of on your canvas wherever you want. Keep in mind that your render will be your focal point, so make sure it is right where you want it before moving to Step 2.

Step 2
As you can see, I used a plain black background to make it easier to focus on one spot (my character). Pick a soft rounded brush with a size of around 300 pixels and create a light source behind your render, preferably with a color that's already on your image. I used a light brown color, but white is also a nice color for light sources. I smudged my light source a little bit and duplicated the layer twice: both set to Overlay and lowered the Opacity of one of them to about 59%.

Step 3
Here's the part where we start adding effects! I used an already edited orange C4D found on Google and placed it right behind my render, on top of the light source I created in Step 2. Next I smudged my C4D, set it to Color Dodge and lowered the Opacity to about 65%. You should now have something like this.

Step 4
I added bubble C4Ds and smudged them yet again. I set the layer to Color Dodge and duplicated it twice to intensify the colors. I erased unwanted part by creating a Layer Mask. Layer Mask allow you to hide parts of a layer in a non-destructive way, unlike the Eraser tool. If you aren't familiar with Layer Masks, here easy tutorials for beginners: GIMP | Photoshop.

Step 5
Next, I added a bokeh texture and rotated it to follow the natural flow of my signature. I set the layer to Screen, lowered the Opacity to 26% and Fill to around 42%. Then, I duplicated this layer and set it to Color Dodge, with an Opacity and Fill of 100%. I added a Gaussian Blur on the duplicated layer with a radius of 0,2%.

Step 6
Now we're going to blend the render a little bit, so that it doesn't just look slapped there. To do that, duplicate your render layer and set it to Overlay. Then, I lowered the Opacity to 59%. Your signature should look like this at this point. If you are satisfied with your current signature, you don't have to go further. Sharpen it a little bit and you're done. The next steps are optional!

Step 7
I wanted to work a bit more on my background, so I added a C4D wallpaper and smudged it so that it didn't look too perfect. As you can see, I used a C4D that has similar colors as my focal point. Lower the Opacity of this layer to 65% and duplicate it, setting the blending mode to Overlay (Opacity at 100%). Duplicate this new layer again, set it to Color Dodge and play around with Opacity and Fill (I used 57% and 47%, respectively).

Step 8
Now go back to your very first base layer (your black background), lower the Opacity to about 40% and Fill to 60%. Add a text if you want.

Step 9
In Photoshop - Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast, set Brightness to 20 and Contrast to 13. Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and set Saturation to 11. Next, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance and set your Midtone values to -36, -27 and -17 (in this order). Feel free to repeat the Hue/Saturation step to give it an even more colorful look! Now go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves and slightly push your curve above the line (Output: 150; Input: 140). Finally, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Exposure and set Exposure to 0,23.

In GIMP - Go to Colors > Brightness-Contrast, set Brightness to 20 and Contrast to 13. Now go to Colors > Hue-Saturation and set Saturation to 11. Feel free to repeat the Hue-Saturation step to give it an even more colorful look! Now go to Colors > Curves and slightly push your curve above the line (Output: 150; Input: 140). Finally, go to Colors > Levels and set Input Levels values to 5; 1,00 and 245.

Sharpen at your own liking and you're done! You can download the resources I used for this signature here.

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