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16 May 2009 @ 10:39 pm
Banner Making Tutorial  
How to make a banner!

We're using this icon from mmrobitussin:

To make:

This tutorial is for the program GIMP, which is a free alternative to Photoshop. All steps should be translatable.

one Create a new 300x100 image and put the icon on one side.
two Next, add a texture to match the one in the icon. The nice thing about black & white textures is that you can take any similar looking texture regardless of its color and desaturate it to match; this saves a lot of time searching for that perfect texture.

I ended up using this texture from colorfilter and desaturated it:

On the toolbar: Colors>Desaturate...
Select Average and click OK

Because it's a large texture, move it around in the banner space until you're satisfied with the visible section. (make sure the texture is on a layer under the original icon!)
three Time to add the image! This is it, courtesy of SLG.

To match the icon, the image will take up half of the banner and the texture the other; for the sake of variety, I switched both these elements (ie. image on top and texture on the bottom). The image is large, so resize it accordingly.

I also flipped the image around to create a sense of symmetry.
four The image is rather sharp, so let's blur it slightly:

On the toolbar: Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur
Set the Blur Radius to 0.5 for both Horizontal and Vertical and click OK
five Now we begin to adjust the color:

On the toolbar: Colors>Hue-Saturation
Set Hue to 10
Set Saturation to 17
Click OK
six Duplicate the image and set it to Overlay. Then, adjust the color further:

On the Toolbar: Colors>Color Balance
Select Shadows and set the following:
Cyan-Red: 6
Magenta-Green: 5
Yellow-Blue: 32

Select Midtones and set the following:
Cyan-Red: 31
Magenta-Green: 23
Yellow-Blue: 73

Select Highlights and set the following:
Cyan-Red: 0
Magenta-Green: 0
Yellow-Blue: 24
Click OK

I usually like to do steps five and six simultaneously to get the colors just right. Don't be afraid to experiment!
seven The image became sharp again, so lets blur the top image layer a bit:

On the toolbar: Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur
Set the Blur Radius to 0.5 for both Horizontal and Vertical and click OK
eight Time to add text! It's not always possible to get the exact font to match the icon, so just do your best. There are lots of free fonts out there, like at Dafont, so look around for a bit until you find something reasonably similar (or, if you search well enough, you'll find the exact font!).

We will put an 'F' in the banner for 'First Place.'
Font: Olde English
Color: HTML notation#5A5C95 (Alternatively, you can just use the Eyedropper tool to get the exact color.)
nine The font of the grey text is a bit harder to identify because it's so small, so a similar serif font will do. I used Sell Your Soul.

Color: HTML notation #827378

I spaced out each letter so that it would take up more of the banner space. Finally, use the Rectangular Selection tool to erase part of the big 'F.'
ten Almost done! Now, using the same font as the 'First Place,' add the username and the community/week number. These parts are usually smaller than the placing.
eleven Finally, let's add a light texture from silverqe.

Insert the texture and Duplicate it.
Flip the duplicate texture:
On the toolbar: Layer>Transform>Flip Horizontally and move the layer over to the right so that there is a seamless transition from the first layer of the texture to the next.

Set both light texture layers to Screen and Opacity to 88%.
For each layer, adjust the lightness:
On the toolbar: Colors>Hue-Saturation
Adjust Lightness to -94 and click OK

And voila! The banner is completed!