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  • The one where we brainstorm how to make the section more beginner-friendly

    In an attempt to keep it a bit tidy over here; a seperate thread where we can brainstorm what we want to do for people who are about to open Photoshop (or Paintshop Pro) for the first time or they who already did that but wonder what to do with all those options. Also people who just began or think about beginning can post here so we can get a clear idea what would help them out. Stoney was already kind enough to write down what she hopes we can do. She would like to see "tutorials" and "links/suggestions/nudges in the right directions for pic resources etc.". Plus the chance to ask questions and more feedback/encouragement.

    Not sure what the best way of doing this but I was thinking about at least a masterpost with the most complete and best resource sites, tips in general plus the best tutorial for important things to learn when you start with PS/PSP. In case we can't find a good one we should make one ourselves. I can start three lists here in this post and update it with the suggestions. It's just a rough sketch of how it could look like. Everything can be changed of course.

    Questions about making fanart? Send a PM to one of us. We would love to help you out.
    ciderdrinker
    HisMRS
    Nina (uses Photoshop CS5)
    Mara (uses Photoshop 7.0)
    Bre (uses Paintshop Pro X)

    Sites with resources:
    Stocks
    Free Images (used to be Stock.xchng/you have to register but it's free and totally worth it.)
    CG Textures (again you have to register but it's also free and worth it.)
    All Night Noise
    Texturer
    Ciderdrinker69
    Fine Art (human anatomy)

    Promo Images/Photoshoots/Stills
    Daydreaming (tv shows)
    DominoArt (tv shows, movies & celebrities)


    Screencaps
    Kiss Them Goodbye/Grande_Caps (movies & tv shows -they update with new episodes within days after it's first airing-)
    Pretty as a Picture (Screencap Paradise is part of this site; focus is on older tv shows)
    Screenmusings (movies & tv shows)
    Home of the Nutty (movies & tv shows)
    Screencapped (movies & tv shows)
    Captacular (movies & tv shows)
    Shadow of Reflection (movies & tv shows)

    Brushes
    Brusheezy
    Krakograff
    Shizoo Design
    Daydreaming
    Blakravell

    Textures
    Tumblr (Check who made the textures; the link only brings you to a blog that collected many beautiful packages.)
    All Night Noise
    9 Liters of Art
    Aldieb
    Beckas
    High Resolution Textures (also other resources like brushes and patterns)
    Krakograff
    Hybrid Genesis
    Shizoo Design
    Daydreaming
    Blakravell
    Ugly Business

    Gradients
    Daydreaming
    Lady Oak (You have to register, but it's free)
    Brushes Download (Rumor has it they have brushes as well )

    Fonts
    Dafont
    Fontspace
    Fontsquirrel
    Urbanfonts

    Other
    Hybrid Genesis (patterns)
    Forever Dreaming (transcripts)

    Tips:
    How to get certain things done. (Tips for programmes/resources/uploading etc.)
    • When your fonts do not appear after you installed them it's possible you've to trick your computer. Instead of dragging your font directly to the right folder (In the case of Windows: C-drive >>> Windows >>> Fonts) you have to drag it to your desktop first and after that you can drag it to the Fonts folder. Next time you will open PS/PSP or Word the new font should appear.
    • Looking for a certain photoshoot or you want to make a wallpaper with images of a celebrity? Google if they have a fansite. Most actors/actresses and singers do have a fansite with a complete and up-to-date gallery.
    • Most of you already have a program to open .rar packages but in case you never heard of those and you want to open a .rar package (most brushes, fonts and patterns come in .rar or .zip packages) download WinRAR.
    • When you want to show others your work you'll have to upload it on a site. A lot of fanartists do this on their own website but when you do not have a website you can use sites like Imagebam (this one has a tumbnail option which is easy when you want to post your art on a forum), imgur or Photobucket (you have to sign up).



    Dos and don’ts in fanart. (Don't take these too serious of course but some of these tips could help you)
    • It's a nightmare for BtVS/Ats fans because they have no choice but try to pick images of decent quality at least. There are some tricks to make grainy screencaps look a bit better but it will never look great. So do yourself a favor and work with images of good quality when possible. When you want to art a certain scene of an older show (like BtVS) check if there are stills of that scene somewhere.
    • If you can only find small pictures; be creative and think of a composition with small pictures. Because you should never blow up a picture.
    • Are you lazy and you want to do a quick coloring? Go to Image >>> Adjustments >>> Curves and click on "auto". Big chance your picture looks better than it did before. It doesn't work at all times but it's worth trying out.
    • When you use several pictures in your wallpaper try to make sure that your images have roughly the same color, darkness and contrast. Doing that really helps you create one coherent look.
    • Learn how to use the pen tool.


    Dos and don'ts when you use the pen tool.
    • Choose high quality images if you can't find a HQ image as a beginner I would say don't cut.
    • This might go without saying but don't resize your image to make it smaller and fit the canvas and then cut it out.
    • Learn to make basic shapes with your pen tool.
    • When cutting images use different techniques on the same image, not all parts of the image will be best cut out with the pen tool some require other means like brushes or color range. For me usually a combination of pen tool and Color Range works best.
    • Attempt line art/vector art (and watch your brains dribble from your ears...) No seriously, line art is not beginner friendly however, do one line art piece, even if you don't finish it, and it will teach you the pen tool in one go and forever. Line art is the best way I know of to learn the pen tool in one go. Bit of a warning though line art is hard work. All this also goes for vectors but IMO they are more difficult.


    Tutorials:
    Installing brushes 1/brushes 2/gradients/fonts/patterns
    What is what in PS/PSP? x x x
    The different ways of saving your file in PS. x

    How do I...
    use layers? x
    use adjustment layers? x
    select things? x
    use brushes/gradients/patterns?
    create brushes/gradients/patterns/textures 1/textures 2
    blend? x x x
    use the mask function? x x
    use textures? x
    crop my picture? x x
    cut a figure out of it's background? With the Pen Tool or you use the Lasso Tool!. And what if this figure has curly hair? With the Color Range tool of course.
    create a clipping mask and what can I do with that? x
    improve the quality of the pictures I use? x x
    sharpen my image? x
    add shadow? x
    remove a watermark? x
    swap heads? x

    Text/Typography
    A Comprehensive Introduction to the Type Tool
    How to Work with Text
    Big Text Guide
    Text Effects
    Words on a Line (Pen Tool)
    Golden Text
    Typographic Portrait (Intermediate Level)
    Font Guide
    What is Typography?
    Warp Text
    Text Seeing Through Image

    Coloring
    How to color dark screencaps?
    How to use Match Color?
    Enhancing Colors
    Muted Colors
    Color Balance Explained
    Simple Coloring (using curves and selective coloring)
    Brighten up a dark screencap.

    Tutorials for wallpapers and graphics
    Game of Thrones Wallpaper by Destiny (Intermediate Level)
    How to edit a photo? (Beginners)
    Ciderdrinker's tutorial for beginners in which she explains the basics while making a wallpaper.
    Last edited by Nina; 22-08-14, 05:46 PM.

  • #2
    Thanks for starting the thread Nina. I think we had some kind of masterpost with screencaps and things like that but it can't hurt to have a new one.

    Ok, my tips&tricks for cutting

    If there is one piece of advice that I could give to anyone opening Photoshop or Paint shop Pro for the first time it would be learn how to us the pen tool. It will make you learn how to cut out pictures,give you the tools to start making your own shapes, make your art more creative in the long run and give you the basics needed to learn vector art (tracing over a picture to make it look like it consists of shapes) and line art (tracing over a picture to make it look like it is made out of lines)

    Learning to work the pen tool is the best thing I ever did as far as fanart goes

    The best tutorial for learning the pen tool that I know of is Melissa Evans: How to use the pen tool(for those interested this is also where I learned line art and vector) Her whole site is great but not really beginner friendly. However the tutorial with the pen tool is beginner friendly and worth your time as far as I am concerned.

    Another tutorial on cutting that I cannot be without: Cutting out people and hair in Photoshop She teaches to cut out curly hair

    Some do's and don'ts on cutting and the pen tool:
    - Choose high quality images if you can't find a HQ image as a beginner I would say don't cut
    - This might go without saying but don't re size your image to make it smaller and fit the canvas and then cut it out. Try to cut from your main source (aka don't do what I do )
    - learn to make basic shapes with your pen tool
    - When cutting images use different techniques on the same image,not all parts of the image will be best cut out with the pen tool some require other means like brushes or color range. For me usually a combination of pen tool and Color Range works best
    - Attempt line art/vector art (and watch your brains dribble from your ears...) No seriously, line art is not beginner friendly however, do one line art piece, even if you don't finish it, and it will teach you the pen tool in one go and forever. Line art is the best way I know of to learn the pen tool in one go. Bit of a warning though line art is hard work. All this also goes for vectors but IMO they are more difficult.

    Some screencaps/pictures sites that I often use:
    Home of the nutty (HQ Tv shows and movies)
    DominoArt (this one is Russian but I think it is easy to use and it has a lot of images
    Screencapped (a lot of tv and movies)

    Tutorials I find helpful (text mostly):
    Adding text on a line - (oh look more pen tool )
    Making golden text - (follow friendly, will teach you different blend modes and show you what can be done in PS also golden text pretty)
    Working with text- (where I finally learned working with text)
    Wallpaper walk-trough- (will show you the making of a wall from start to finish this is one of the best walk trough tutorials I know of especially for light background)
    Make yourself into a typography portrait- (this is fun, not completely beginner friendly though, it teaches, pen tool (again...) making patterns, making brushes using text to the extreme)

    I hope some of this is useful
    Last edited by Mara; 18-08-14, 04:07 PM.
    Awesome Icon/Banner made by Bre
    sigpic

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    • #3
      Great thread!!

      As far as tutorials go, I think one of the most important things a person can learn when they're just starting out is blending. They need to get familiar with all the different blend modes, as well as how to use masks or brushes to get the look they want. Here is a GREAT link that I have referenced several times both for fanart and photography purposes about what the different blend modes in Photoshop do:

      Photoshop Blend Modes

      What about fanart mentors?? Maybe some of us can sign up to take on "newbies" who want to learn and have someone to readily answer questions?? I know Lyri was a HUGE mentor to me when I first started out, as was (and still is) Bre. I would be willing to do that, as well.

      Not to sound like I'm tooting my own horn at ALL, but my site offers lots in the way of textures. I also have a couple gradient collections (and will be adding more soon), stock images, and other stuff, too:

      All Night Noise:
      Gradients
      Stock
      Textures
      Tutorials

      Some of my favorite "go to" sites that have not been mentioned already:

      Fonts:
      FontSpace
      FontSquirrel
      Urban Fonts

      Textures:
      9 Liters of Art
      Aldieb
      BeckaS
      High Resolution Textures
      Hybrid Genesis
      Krakograff
      Shattered Memories
      Shizoo Designs
      Sweet Destiny
      Texturer

      Caps:
      Shadow of Reflection

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mara, it's funny because I NEVER use the pen tool. EVER. And I would love to learn it! One thing that we should focus on, that Nina already has done, is the idea of translating between PS and PSP because there are so many tutorials for PS out there, and some don't translate easy to PSP without someone there to help translate.

        As far as links, some of my main go-to for screencaps are:

        Home of the Nutty
        Screencapped
        Captacular

        I LOVE the idea of "mentors" - like Nina, there's so many magical things you do that I can't even wrap my head around and Britt's coloring. Would it be worth it having a thread separately for such a thing? Asking for a specific person's advice? Or would that be too focused? Maybe, like the Fanart Tutorials section, it could also be a place to ask specific questions to that one person (I will say that section needs a good sprucing, since a lot of those images are gone anymore... ) in response to their tutorials, asking for a specific tutorial for a method/one of their wallpapers? I would be all over that.
        Last edited by Bre; 18-08-14, 05:27 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I was thinking that maybe we should have some real beginner tutorials, like how to use layers or how the tools work for the newbies who have never tried anything like this before. I know when I was learning I jumped straight in with the tutorials that were on here but it took me quite a while to understand how everything worked.

          The problem with the beginner tutorials I see online is that they talk about how to lay out the palettes in your workspace and go into detail how the tools work without anything practical to work on - boooorring!. What I wanted to do is play around with stuff to understand it better, and a simple tutorial to follow that taught me how a tool or technique worked and gave me something I've created at the end would've been ideal. I'm going to have a search round this evening to see if I can find any that don't bore me to tears, if not I'll have a go at writing something really basic and simple myself. I use PS so I could do with a PSP translator if anyone is willing to help with that?

          As for resources, I use Daydreaming for all of my promo shots. Thank you, thank you, thank you thank you Jenni Lou!
          For screen caps I use a variety but they've all been mentioned already
          For transcripts I use Forever Dreaming. You have to join to see the transcripts but they have a lot of shows and are updated pretty quickly after the episode airs.
          http://foreverdreaming.org/
          For stock images I use Free Images as already listed, but I do also use Google. I use it to find sites that contain the kind of images I'm looking for mostly and then go to the site itself to get them. I found the following site that way:-
          http://www.fineart.sk/
          It's an artists reference site so there's a lot (I mean a lot!) of nudity but there are clothed images too and a few textures. Good for manipulation bases.

          I am a member of Deviant Art and they have a stock images section. A lot of them require a notification on how the image is used, but not all of them. I have my own made stocks there which are completely free to use as you wish:-
          http://ciderdrinker69.deviantart.com/

          I'm not sure how good I would be a mentoring as I don't think I'm very technically skilled, but I'm more than happy to be asked about anything and I'll try and help whenever I can. I'm pretty good at explaining how to do things but not at why to do things, if that makes any sense.

          Mara, I've never got on with the pen tool. Maybe because I struggled with it and haven't given it the amount of time it needs to become proficient but I've given up trying to learn it. Personally, I can't say enough about layer masks. I use them for everything but especially cutting out because if you really mess up, you can correct what you've done easily. Although I will definitely go look at the hair tutorial....

          Loraine
          sigpic

          Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

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          • #6
            Perhaps we should put together a thread of tutorial thoughts and combine everyone's advice into one single tutorial for each task, and post that in the tutorial section.

            Everyone does things a little bit differently, and it would be neat to get everyone's thoughts on how they layer their work, erase, blend, etc. The more basic stuff. Of course we'd need a kind soul who would be willing to go through and collect everything to put into a cohesive and much more readable format for the tutorial, and title each section "HisMRS Technique" or "ciderdrinker Technique" or "Nina Technique," etc.

            For example, I know for a fact that many of us use very different methods when it comes to erasing images for blending. Some mask, some use the lasso tool thing, some use brushes, some just cover the edges in textures, etc.

            And I would suggest we include screencaps of the actual process, what each person is talking about with (i.e., what I did for one of my tutorials: http://www.primordialsouls.com/rando...ial003/008.jpg), because that helps me more than anything as I'm very visual and even giving me a line-by-line instruction is useless. It's also why I get lost driving three blocks from my house unless someone says, "Look for the large ugly egg-colored house, and turn left right after that."

            Comment


            • #7
              I've updated the first post with almost all of your tips and links plus some more.

              Originally posted by HisMRS View Post
              What about fanart mentors?? Maybe some of us can sign up to take on "newbies" who want to learn and have someone to readily answer questions?? I know Lyri was a HUGE mentor to me when I first started out, as was (and still is) Bre. I would be willing to do that, as well.
              Originally posted by Bre View Post
              I LOVE the idea of "mentors" - like Nina, there's so many magical things you do that I can't even wrap my head around and Britt's coloring. Would it be worth it having a thread separately for such a thing? Asking for a specific person's advice? Or would that be too focused? Maybe, like the Fanart Tutorials section, it could also be a place to ask specific questions to that one person (I will say that section needs a good sprucing, since a lot of those images are gone anymore... ) in response to their tutorials, asking for a specific tutorial for a method/one of their wallpapers? I would be all over that.
              Having a thread could help. Usually I would be in favor of sending a PM if you want to contact only one person but it's obvious that most are not very comfortable doing that with Fanart questions otherwise it would happen more often. And others could also learn from it. But thread or no thread; I'm in favor of mentors and if somebody wants my help with something I would love to help. The least we could do is making a small list of people who have no trouble answering fanart questions so anyone who wants to can send a PM or another kind of message to them with a question or request.

              One thing that we should focus on, that Nina already has done, is the idea of translating between PS and PSP because there are so many tutorials for PS out there, and some don't translate easy to PSP without someone there to help translate.
              Yes we're certainly in need of some PSP knowledge especially since a lot of people start with PSP when they want to start making fanart. I hope somebody using that program has either some great guides and tuts or otherwise the time to write something about the biggest differences.

              Originally posted by ciderdrinker View Post
              I was thinking that maybe we should have some real beginner tutorials, like how to use layers or how the tools work for the newbies who have never tried anything like this before. I know when I was learning I jumped straight in with the tutorials that were on here but it took me quite a while to understand how everything worked.

              The problem with the beginner tutorials I see online is that they talk about how to lay out the palettes in your workspace and go into detail how the tools work without anything practical to work on - boooorring!. What I wanted to do is play around with stuff to understand it better, and a simple tutorial to follow that taught me how a tool or technique worked and gave me something I've created at the end would've been ideal. I'm going to have a search round this evening to see if I can find any that don't bore me to tears, if not I'll have a go at writing something really basic and simple myself. I use PS so I could do with a PSP translator if anyone is willing to help with that?
              I found some tuts about the real basic stuff (example: how to use layers) but it's all fragmented. A good "how to make something in photoshop" tutorial for people who just opened that program for the first time would be delightful.

              Originally posted by Bre View Post
              Perhaps we should put together a thread of tutorial thoughts and combine everyone's advice into one single tutorial for each task, and post that in the tutorial section.

              Everyone does things a little bit differently, and it would be neat to get everyone's thoughts on how they layer their work, erase, blend, etc. The more basic stuff. Of course we'd need a kind soul who would be willing to go through and collect everything to put into a cohesive and much more readable format for the tutorial, and title each section "HisMRS Technique" or "ciderdrinker Technique" or "Nina Technique," etc.

              For example, I know for a fact that many of us use very different methods when it comes to erasing images for blending. Some mask, some use the lasso tool thing, some use brushes, some just cover the edges in textures, etc.

              And I would suggest we include screencaps of the actual process, what each person is talking about with (i.e., what I did for one of my tutorials: http://www.primordialsouls.com/rando...ial003/008.jpg), because that helps me more than anything as I'm very visual and even giving me a line-by-line instruction is useless. It's also why I get lost driving three blocks from my house unless someone says, "Look for the large ugly egg-colored house, and turn left right after that."
              I love this idea; although I would prefer it if we all made a tut of a basic wallpaper in our own style in which we do some of the same things (blending, adding textures, coloring, cutting etc.) and some of the things that make our wallpapers our wallpapers. By example I use the 'creating clipping mask' option often while Mara loves the Pen Tool (love that one as well btw) etc. I think that is more helpful for others because they see more techniques next to some of the things everybody does.

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow, this is all really helpful, thank you everyone. I think a list of people who would be happy to find they had the occasional pm would be great to know.

                To be honest there is so much here already from a beginner's perspective that I think there is also the risk of overload!! Tutorials which gave examples of people's individual approach to what they see as the basic techniques used in most of their work would be interesting. I am definitely a visual person so screen captures would be a massive help. I would say for me personally it wouldn't have to be anything in depth either. A simple stage 1 - use x tool to go from 'this' to 'this' with a tip or two would be great. In the end practice and experimenting with the resources and techniques is what consolidates it all and the prompts of challenges is great for nudging to have a go and try out something new. There is probably enough here for me to go through a few month's of challenges trying out different resources/techniques!!

                Originally posted by Nina View Post
                [*]When you use several pictures in your wallpaper try to make sure that your images have roughly the same color, darkness and contrast. Doing that really helps you create one coherent look.
                Yeah I'd noticed that problem in the screencaps I'd used for the crossover challenge and managed to equal them a bit better later by altering the vibrancy (I think it was) in one and colour balance in another. I basically kept changing things ad hoc/willy nilly until something seemed to work! Pointing out things to consider like this is really helpful.

                Learn how to use the pen tool.
                I'll definitely have a look at what this can do.
                Last edited by Stoney; 19-08-14, 04:16 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  What if we resort to basic tutorials from each willing member? Each person would take a wallpaper (or a few) and take it step-by-step through the entire process (aka a lot of what's already in the Tutorial section, but again, I think that could use some cleaning up, a lot of those images are outdated and the links broken so they're basically useless). Bring some life back the Fanart Tutorial section! Those helped me a lot when I first got started, seeing it laid out like that until we get to the final presentation. Just the process, not necessarily copying the wallpaper.

                  It would also encourage a lot of experimentation on the part of the person using the tutorial.

                  And you wouldn't feel like you have to bounce between multiple different tutorials to get a certain effect.

                  On top of that, having one thread in the Tutorial section for people to request certain tutorials from certain people, or certain techniques and have some people volunteer to write a tutorial for it.

                  I use PSP, but I've never used PS, so I don't think I would be very helpful. When I use PS tutorials, I have a tendency to skip certain steps if I can't find the translation easy enough. I suppose I (and others, if they use PSP) could get together and discuss which stuff is what in PSP vs. PS.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is a great idea everyone!

                    To jump in! Two things that I still haven't learned. Manips and clone tool. It would be great if there are some beginner (easy going) tutorials for this.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I think we need a mod to help with bringing life into the tutorial section. But it would be great if that one was brought back to life. I like Bre's ideas. Talking about tutorials.... is there a certain wallpaper or effect made/used by me that people are interested in? I've been thinking this morning about a tutorial but had no clue what I should make/explain.

                      And Sky when you say manips you're talking about headswapping? I'm not the best maniper around here but I could do a tutorial for headswapping if you would like that. I never use the Clone Stamp so I can't help you with that one.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nina View Post
                        And Sky when you say manips you're talking about headswapping? I'm not the best maniper around here but I could do a tutorial for headswapping if you would like that. I never use the Clone Stamp so I can't help you with that one.
                        Head, face. That's what I mean!
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          JL made a good point about needing some mod activity in this section, and asked if anyone would be interested in helping out as a mod.

                          Is anyone interested?!
                          Last edited by Bre; 19-08-14, 05:13 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If there is nobody more qualified than me I'm willing to help out to regulate this section and trying to keep it alive. But I've never done something like this before so perhaps there are people with more experience around.

                            Anyway I'll make a headswap/manip walk through for Sky. And I'll try to make it beginner-friendly so it can be added to our list.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK I'm being all proactive! I've written a beginner tutorial that covers nothing more complicated than layer masks and gradient maps. Should I just open my own thread in the Tutorials section or do I need mods to do that? Does anyone need to check the tutorial is ok before it's posted? I've got it in a word document at the moment, but it's too large to upload as an attachment here. I could upload it somewhere else if anyone wants to read it first...

                              Also, what is involved in being a moderator? I'm not sure I have a lot of time and I don't know how much time it will take but I may be able to do something....

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                              Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

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