The original tutorial was posted by vnt8
Gimpdome staff has taken over maintenance on this tutorial 09/21/10
Hey wassup, I've been to this dome for a while and hadn't contributed much. So today I decide to sit down and make something new, non-grunge, non-abstract. This tut won't go too detail about the use of the tools, so basic knowledge about GIMP is required.
1. Ok first off, you create a new doc. The one I made was at 350x120px, but sizes dont really matter. Fill the background with black.
2. Now create a new layer and choose your brush tool, and pick...no, not those fancy grungy brushes you used to use, I want you to pick the default Circle (19) brush. Change the color to red . Brush a random blob shape in your sig. Like this:
3. After that change your color to yellow and create a smaller blob within the red one. And then change your color to white and make another blob within the yellow one. You should have this by now:
4. Looks odd? Yeah it should be. Now you open up the Gaussian Blur dialog (Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur). Change both of the Blur Radius to 85 or so (IIR) and apply it. Your image should look like this:
5. Aye, now make a new layer. You'd want to create some clouds now. You do so by using the Solid Noise filter (Filters>Render>Clouds>Solid Noise). Here's the setting I used, use a random seed as you may:
6. Make another layer and repeat step 5, remember to generate with a different seed. Now you set the blending mode of both cloud layer to "Burn" and reduce their opacity to 50%.
7. Kewl, isn't it? Now to enhance the explosion a bit, you could add some stars. If you dont like using other people's brushes (yes I know some of you dont), you can use the pencil tool at different opacity to add every single stars tongue.gif . This is however, a very tedious and frustrating work.
Ok, make a new layer now and put it between the cloud layers and your explosion layer. Choose one of the brush, I used the one with many little stars in it, and brush over the edge of the explosion. Can't help you much on this, this depends on your brushing skill. This is what I got:
8. You can add more stars to the empty space on the right if you want. Now we should add a render (yay!). Since this is a spacescape scene, I think it's best to choose a spaceship render to add in. These are somewhat rare ^__^. Best I could find is this Homeworld render that luckily, matches the perspective of this sig.
Copy and paste the render on your sig, scale it down to your whatever the size that you think is right.
Note: make sure the 'Keep Transparency' option is unchecked. It's the little checkbox next to the blending mode drop down.
Duplicate the render, apply a simpe 5px Gaussian Blur and set blending mode to 'Overlay' or 'Soft light'. This'll help blending the render in and adding depth to the overall sig.
9. Here's the sig has already gotten its general shape. Now you can go wild and do whatever you want, add text, add border, tweak the image etc. Don't have to follow me anymore. These final touches could make a difference to your sig, so do them good.
Ok now I'm gonna add some miscellaneous things. First, I'm gonna add extra explosion thingies to the ship. This is where I use a script-fu called 'Electricity'. This script is usually used on text but in this case, an image as well. After you installed it, you can find it at Script-Fu>Alpha to Logo (MS)>Electricity.
In that Dialog I set Grow=-8 and Electricity=12, and an orangeish color (#ff7200). Then I apply it and got this (you may have to re-try a couple of time to get the result you want, since it's generated randomly, here I just use the first one I got so it looks crappy)
To improve it a little bit, on the electricity layer, take out your Smudge tool. I used the Circle Fuzzy (03). In the Smudge options, I have Opacity at 75%, with Fade Out checked at 92px. Rate = 88.1. Now start smudging the electricity layer, brush outward from the ship. Another step depends entirely on your skills and creativity. Here's what I have right now:
10. Now what's left is text and border. Everyone has their own text style and I won't dig into that. Borders tutorials are many too. Here I'm just gonna use the old border style that's been whored a millions time by PS users:
Just create 3 new layers and set them to 'Soft Light'. On the first layer, click on Select>All, and then Select>Shrink and shrink it by 1px. Then Slect>Invert. Fill it white. On the second layer, go to Select>Grow by 1px and fill it black. Same for the 3rd layer, grow it by 1px and fill it white. In PS there's a 'Stroke' feature that makes it less time consuming but this is the GIMP way.
Here's my final tag (I think would look better on a lighter background tongue.gif)
That's it for my tutorial. I hope some of you may find it useful. Remember that tutorials aren't some sets of rule, it's a guideline and you should experiment as much as you like. Any step you think is unnecessary, feel free to omit it. Anything you think could make it better, don't hesitate to test it out.
Good luck, any comment/criticism/question/result are welcome.