LJ Icon Tutorial #3

Today we'll be going from to

Step 1:
Select the image you wish to use and crop it to a square (it doesn't need to be 100x100 yet). If you like, you can move this step to the end, and crop just before you resize.

Step 2:
We're going to play with the Histogram Colour Levels. Go to Adjust-->Brightness and Contrast-->Histogram Adjustment. You are going to Edit the Colors, not the Luminance, so make sure the radio box next to Colors is selected. As for your red, green, and blue levels (you can choose which colour you are working with from the drop down menu), here is what I used:
Red:

  • Output max: 231
  • min: 0
  • Low: 5
  • Gamma: 0.62
  • High: 255
  • Midtone compress: -11
    Green:
  • Output max: 242
  • min: 0
  • Low: 0
  • Gamma: 1.00
  • High: 255
  • Midtone compress: -10
    Blue:
  • Output max: 255
  • min: 0
  • Low: 0
  • Gamma: 1.31
  • High: 222
  • Midtone compress: 17

    You are, of course, more than welcome to play with the colour levels as much as you like until you get the colouring you want. Subtle tends to work better here than dramatic level changes for me, though if you like the result of a dramatic change then go for it!

    Step 3:
    This step is optional. Applying a low-level Gaussian Blur before you resize sometimes gives your final image a less "pixelated" look. Go Adjust-->Blur-->Gaussian Blur, and use a radius of between .40 and .60, depending on your tastes and the size of your image. I used a radius of .50 for the tutoral image.

    **If you skipped Step 1 (the crop to a square step), do it now.

    Step 4:

    Hints:

  • If your image seems too dark, you can play with the Curves settings. If you don't know anything about curves, duplicate your layer, and set the copy layer to Screen. If it's too light, adjust the opacity of the layer.
  • This tutorial tends to work better with bright images that have a lot of yellowish reds in them.

    Other LJ Icons made with this tutorial:

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