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May 7th, 2009 / 9am
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Full Metal Alchemist photoshop signature tutorial

Welcome to this Full Metal Alchemist signature tutorial. We will be using some cool effect by brushing combined with the displace and sharpen filter to create texture, as well as clipping masks combined with photoshop adjustment layers. You can download the signature PSD in the premium section. We will be using the stock of the Full Metal Alchemist character as well as some fire stock photo. The signature was created by Roroni. Let’s get started:

Full Metal Alchemist Photoshop tutorial

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Create a new file (File > New), our size was set to 420 pixels by 130 pixels.

Full Metal Alchemist signature tutorial

We’re going to use a stock photo of what seems to be a building on fire. Place a stock photo somewhere on your canvas, and resize it if needed.

Fire stock photo

Paste your render somewhere on the canvas. We’re using this Full Metal Alchemist character.

Full Metal Alchemist render

We will be creating a sort of flame effect by brushing, which we will edit on to achieve a good looking result. First, you have to set your Brush opacity a little lower and turn on Airbrushing at the toolbar.

Brushing toolbar

Select a light color (yellow in our case), and brush a little over your signature.

Soft Yellow Brushing

Now select Filter > Distort > Displace…:

Photoshop Displace Filter

This screen will come up. Experiment with the settings to create different outcomes. When you press OK, it will ask you for a file to displace with. Select any image you like:

Displace settings

If it still looks too much like the brushing, repeat it again. When you’re done displacing, Sharpen it by selecting Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen…

Photoshop Sharpen Filter


Sharpened brushing

We’re going to apply an outer glow to add a flame effect to it. Select Layer > Layer Style > Outer Glow, and pick these settings:

Outer Glow settings

This brings us to our outcome:

Flames brushing

Repeat this again, add brushing:

Flaming brushing

Set the same outer glow effect:

Outer glow applied

We’re going to add some blue flames to it now. Select a light blue color, and brush softly on the signature:

Blue Brushing

Apply the same effects, Filter > Distort > Displace… (once or twice), then Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen…

Displacement filter

Now apply this outer glow settings to it (Layer > Layer Styles > Outer Glow):

Blue outer glow settings

The outcome:

Full Metal Alchemist

Now change the blending mode of the blue flames to Screen to blend it in a little:

Screen blending mode

We’re going to add a Color Balance adjustment layer. To do this, select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance. Obviously, use your own settings, ours probably won’t work on your signature. Here’s an example animation of the adjustment layer settings:

Photoshop Color Balance Layer

Outcome of the Color Balance layer:

Color balance result

We’re going to add a Black and White adjustment layer. To do so, select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Black and White (or select the ying/yang ish icon on your layer panel):

Photoshop Layer Panel

Our settings:

Black and White layer

We’ve set the blending mode to Lighter Color:

Adjustment Layer

We’re going to use the Reduce Noise function. You can also use Topaz for this. First, select Image > Apply Image:

Apply Image

Now select Noise > Reduce Noise, and play around until you’re satisfied:

Reduce Noise

The Reduce Noise function:

full metal alchemist

To create the good looking blue effect, select Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation, and move the Hue a lot (experiment with the colors):

Photoshop Adjustment Layer settings

With the Hue changed:

Hue Saturation adjustment layer

We’re going to remove some of the blue effect. To do this, select the Layer Mask in the adjustment layer like shown below:

Layer Mask

Select areas on the signature with the Elliptical marquee tool, and press delete. Optionally, you can use a splatter brush to do this:



Splatter brushes

Add a Gradient Map (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map). The settings are set Black to White:

Gradient map settings

Change the blending mode to Darker Color:

Gradient map result

Another Color Balance layer with these settings (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Balance):

Color Balance

And an exposure adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Exposure…). Set the opacity to 50%:

Exposure layer

Outcome after the adjustment layers:

Adjustment layer result

Now add some dots with a soft brush on your canvas to create some extra lighting effect.

Lighting fixing

Change the blending mode to Screen afterwards:

Blending mode to screen

We’re going to sharpen the image. First we have to Create a new layer, then select Image > Apply Image.

Apply Image

Optionally you can use the Topaz filter if you have it.

Topaz Sharpening

We’re going to blur some sections we don’t like with a lens blur. Apply the image on a new layer:

Apply Image

Then select Filter > Blur > Lens Blur:

Photoshop Lens Blur

Outcome (experiment with the settings):

Lens Blur result

Erase most of it except for the parts that you want to blur (in our case, the cape and the corners):

Blur result

To finish up the final coloring, add another Color Balance layer:

Color Balance settings

We’re nearly done, finish up the coloring with some more adjustment layers, experiment.

Full metal alchemist

We finished with a Curves adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves):


This brings us to our final result:

Photoshop signature tutorial

We hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial. You can download the PSD file in the premium member section. Good Luck!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Base. I've been developing and designing websites and graphics since 2004, and I love sharing my knowledge with the rest of the world!

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