I know this won't be very useful, but i think it should help some new people.
A Few Helpful Tips:
Subject One: Focal Points
A focal point is key to signatures with renders with characters or people and i have seen many people screw this up, which is partially why i decided to make this. So, what is a focal point? Well, it is the focus point of the piece, in simpler terms than that, the second you look at the piece, you will look at the focal point. Now the human eye can be tricked into looking at a certain point by use of certain tools and illusions that should be in every GFX artist's arsenal. Well, how do i create this "focal point"? The easiest way to do this is to take your piece, create a new layer, apply the image and sharpen it. Then erase the parts that are too sharpened and that aren't the focal point, if the focal point looks too pixely, use the blur tool a little bit. Another useful thing to do is after you do that create a new layer, apply image, and go to Filter>Other>High Pass, and set the layer to soft light, if you have to, lower the visibility.
Subject Two: Lighting
Now this, this is screwed up constantly, even i screw this up sometimes. Due to that fact, i can't give that great advice on this topic. But for what it is i will try. DO NOT, i repeat, DO NOT, focus your light on a spot that you do not want to be the focal point. I see people put this giant globe of light in like the corner of the sig, it totally takes away from the focal point. Alright so, lighting, what can i say about it, every signature needs a source of light, it adds depth, it adds color, and it makes the signature more attractive to the eye. The simplest way to do this is to take a nice 300px soft brush and just dab it a bit in one spot with some white, dont spread it that much. Ironically, lighting is a huge thing when it comes to focal points, don't forget that lighting doesn't just involve light, it also involves darkness. So it might help to darken the around your render a bit. A couple more advance ways to create lighting would be photo filters, brightness/contrast layers, and many other things that i will get to later.
Subject Three: Text
Text, text, text... it is an easy and simple concept screwed up CONSTANTLY. Well, basically, blend it in. Some ways to blend it in include, putting colors that relate to your sig, making it small, making it transparent, hiding it in the signature (a good example of this is apeguy, in my opinion he does this very well in some of his sigs), or doing many other, simple things. Keep in mind, if you screw up the text, it will totally ruin your signature by taking the focus away from the true art in it. SO IF YOU THINK YOU SCREWED IT UP, DO NOT ADD TEXT. It is pretty simple, if you can't get your text right, don't add any. I have seen to many good sigs be ruined by bad text work.
Subject Four: Adjustment Layers
Alright, these are beautiful, a signature isn't a signature without at least one of these. Now in my opinion, an adjustment layer could be a layer just used to create an effect in your signature, like a layer that you use to sharpen. I find that these are layers that are used to adjust your piece, even though they are technically "Filters" i will talk about them here. Alright lets get to some specifics: Photo Filters: These are great, you can create some great effects with these. but remember, if you don't pay attention to what your doing, these will sometimes take away from your focal point. So, what i like to do is take some of your sigs main colors and create photo filters with them and take a nice 100px soft brush and brush some parts in black.
Brightness/Contrast Layers: These add a lot of depth and help create a focal point. This could give you a sort of luminosity to your signature that will help highlight it's good parts. It is sort of hard to screw these up, just don't use to many of them.
"Filters": These take time to become good at. These really depend on your own personal style that you will create over time. So mess around a bit try some new things, test everything out, you'll get a good technique eventually. On a lot of my sigs, there are like 15 copies of each layers, involving some smudging and filters with different visibilities.
In general, you will use many different adjustment layers once you work your talents. So just remember to try everything once, it is worth it in the end.
So i hope i covered some points that might help some people. If anyone wants to cover anymore simple points, just reply to this with it. I'm sorry about the sort of wall of text, just look at the bold parts if you don't want to read. Thanks for reading, I hope to see many of you using this information to improve and hone your skills to your max potential
Gift from ECsTaSY
The Following User Says Thank You to AirCuddles For This Useful Post: