Since I've gotten some requests for Avatar/graphic tutorials in the past I thought why not start a thread about it here now that I have the time to devote to my hobby. All I ask is that the tutorial not be reproduced without permission on any other sites.
Just to let you know, I am not a professional and have very limited knowledge in avatar/graphic making. This is my first tutorial so be gentle.
How to go from this: to this:
1. Open Image in PS8. Adjust the size of the avatar as per your requirement. I am going to use the standard 100x100 pixel avatar size.
2. Duplicate image and set new image to "Pin Light" 100% Opacity.
3. Go back to the original image and go to "Filters" then "Sharpen" (twice). I do this to make the image look more crisp and higher quality.
4. (At this point the image should be looking dark. To make the image seem lighter we copy another layer of the original image and set it to "Screen"; Opacity "50%."
5. Add this gradient: . Set it to "Darken"; Opacity "55%."
6. Layer and "Merge Visible." Partially cut and paste the icon as a new layer. i.e:
7. Go to "Image," click on "Adjustments" and select "Desaturate."
8. Make a new transparent layer and "Fill" it with a thin line (of the color you prefer.)
9. Add text or brushes.
That wasn't so bad was it?