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Tips For Sig Makers...


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#1 taikara

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 08:45 PM

Far be it from me to claim to be an expert, but I've learned quite a bit along the way in my graphic design experiments during my time with Abandonia, and I thought I'd share what I know. Feel free to contribute your own tips, too :)


The better the resource pic, the better the sig.

Look for excellent quality resource pics, or make your own. Blurry pics, badly dithered pics will just detract from the overall quality of your sig. You *can* fix badly dithered jpegs and pngs by carefully blurring areas of the same color. You can also remove elements of a resource pic that you don't want to include.

Use interesting cuts and crops that bring out the best in the resource pics you use.

There are various methods of cutting out pictures to use in a signature. One of my personal favorites is using a freeform pen tool to create a shape that matches the area of the pic I'm trying to cut out, then making the shape into a selection and use the selection to cut out the area. This is the cleanest way I've discovered, and doesn't leave an outline.

You can also "bluescreen" the background and carefully paint around the area you want to select, and use a magic wand selection, but this sometimes gives an outline.

You can also use a lasso tool to carefully click around the area to make a selection, but this can be very time consuming.

When you crop images, don't be constrained by the idea that you must make the image fit the signature area. Use interesting crops that let part of the image overlap the bounds of the sig. Since you're working with a limited area, making an image fit will often end up with an image that's very hard to make out details on.

Resize intelligently.

When you resize to make an image smaller, up the color depth before doing so, this will preserve the details, making a nicer image. Never resize to make a picture bigger, it will always look bad. Start bigger, make it smaller as necessary.

Boring lines makes for a boring signature.

If you use only horizontal & vertical lines in your design, it will be pretty boring. Make sure that the design makes the viewer follow different lines... diagonal, circular, wavy... You can use color and contrast to create the illusion of lines in an image that will draw the viewer to look at all aspects. You can also use the natural borders of your images to create an illusion of lines.

Boring font also makes for a boring signature.

Your default font library is littered with a bunch of boring font that will never amount to a spectacular design. There's tons of free fonts available on the net, go look them up. It takes patience, but it's worth it.

Don't forget to play with font effects... often, simple is best, but an outer glow in the right color in size can make all the difference in the world.

Also, outer glows tend to work better for most "flowing" fonts than strokes. You can achieve the same effect as a stroke, but it will be more tweakable, and often less choppy.

If you have an idea, but don't know how to achieve it, look it up.

There are thousands of tutorials online for all sorts of different graphics programs. Background effects, text effects, techniques, etc. Don't be afraid to look it up, or ask someone who might know how, it will increase your ability, and make all the difference in the world.
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#2 Himmler

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:05 PM

Quote

Boring lines makes for a boring signature.

I have to disagree with this tip
if the lines are used properly for the goal of making balance in the composition they are good but only used with caution

#3 BeefontheBone

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:39 PM

Did you mention borders? A nice, clean border can add loads of definition and look much more professional. Plus it's pretty easy to do.
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#4 DeathDude

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Posted 27 July 2005 - 09:49 PM

Wow nice list with definite hints, been meaning myself to try out sig making one of these days and these should help.  :)

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#5 DakaSha

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Posted 28 July 2005 - 02:50 PM

work in layers!

i mean make every addition to your project an extra layer except if it NEEDS to be part of an existing layer for some reason... i learnt this the hard way on the sig im working n right now

Posted Image
For all you artists here... and we have enough. Please draw me something :D Click Here. If possible include your nick. A simple Test. dunno of the PICKLEWAESEL order!!1!2


#6 Moogle

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Posted 08 August 2005 - 05:52 AM

Ya, nice job! And ya, making a pic biger is bad....make it all furry and blurry ><.

#7 KA_Oz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 05:38 PM

It's always interesting to have a pop out image, but only where it fits size requirments mind you!

For Example,
Posted Image

Also if you have Adobe's image ready program you can make your signature have sweet animations built right in!

For example,
Posted Image

Or even more complex,
Posted Image
user posted image

#8 DakaSha

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 06:11 PM

you know i never did think of having images popping out :)

Posted Image
For all you artists here... and we have enough. Please draw me something :D Click Here. If possible include your nick. A simple Test. dunno of the PICKLEWAESEL order!!1!2


#9 KA_Oz

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 10:47 PM

I do it all the time, as it looks really cool. It can also add a bit of depth to the image.
user posted image

#10 Himmler

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Posted 11 August 2005 - 11:45 PM

Careful KA Oz, the blue one has too much contrast

#11 Tom Henrik

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 01:33 PM

I love you avatar KA_0s (and also the smiley hidden in your nick), anyways... What do you mean? Of course I like Tom! Tom is the greatest!

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#12 KA_Oz

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Posted 12 August 2005 - 06:24 PM

There's a smiley in my name? Actually my name is a play on my real name K being the first letter of my first name, A being the first of my middle and Oz being the first and last of my last. Glad you like the avatar by the way.
user posted image

#13 Sean

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Posted 23 August 2005 - 12:59 PM

:) KA Oz.. your pop out sig background was the wrong colour for the 'invisible' bits.. I paint filled it ;)

Posted Image

It really needs to be a transperency image so that it works on the mulitple forum skins, Hopefully this will help anybody that doesn't quite understand what you meant!

Also, do you have an account over at www.abandonia.com/forum?

I wouldn't mind browsing through your galleries.. I don't check this site as often though ;)
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#14 PrejudiceSucks

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 12:36 PM

I have created my own signature, and it is brilliant. I shall be using it henceforth.

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#15 Tulac

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Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:43 PM

Does anyone know where good resource pics can be found, I mean sure google is useful, but I never seem to find any of those flashy backgrounds that I often see in people's sigs...
So if anyone's got a link, I'll be grateful...

Oh and sorry for the bumpage... :)

DakaSha:if you go into a kindergarden and give all the kids rubber schlongs they will prob just hit each other over the head with them
DakaSha:and you have a class of little kids hitting eachother with rubber dongs which must be quite funny (also Picklweasel knight I am)





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