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Masterpost for Beginners

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  • Masterpost for Beginners

    Fanart and programs to make fanart can be a bit overwhelming when you're a beginner. That's why we made a masterpost with tips, resources and tutorials. It's a good list already but there is always room for improvement so please let me know if you have something that should be on this list. You can do that by sending me a PM or by posting in this thread.

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

    Sites with resources:
    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
    Fine Art (human anatomy)

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

    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)

    Shizoo Design

    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
    High Resolution Textures (also other resources like brushes and patterns)
    Hybrid Genesis
    Shizoo Design
    Ugly Business

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


    Hybrid Genesis (patterns)
    Forever Dreaming (transcripts)

    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.

    Installing brushes 1/brushes 2/gradients/fonts/patterns
    What is what in PS? 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

    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

    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 for beginners
    How to edit a photo?
    Ciderdrinker's tutorial in which she explains the basics while making a wallpaper.