i promised a tutorial (although this seems to be more like a novel) of how i color caps so this is what i’ve come up with. hopefully it helps everyone :)
- if i’m going to be doing a picspam first i crop my cap to something around 250x136
- after it’s been cropped i duplicate that layer and apply these smart sharpen settings:
- since usually on caps that i’ve cropped this small these settings are usually a bit too sharp for my taste i usually lower the opacity on that duplicated layer that’s been sharpened until it’s sharpened to my liking
- then the first step in coloring a cap is to go automatically to curves. create a new curves layer and just click on ‘auto’. that should enhance the colors in the cap dramatically and create better colors to make ‘pop’
- next i’ll add a brightness/contrast layer. this is where things start to vary by cap. usually if this is my first brightness/contrast layer i’ve used then i’ll increase the brightness until all the colors begin to pop but it’s not overly bright and then increase the contrast until everything looks nicely
- then is vibrance. i know lots of people tell you to avoid vibrance or say don’t use it, but i personally love this tool, as long as you don’t over do it, it works wonders. first increase the vibrance until the colors come out somewhere nice and bright but not overly saturated. sometimes the saturation can be increased depending on the cap. if you want to touch the saturation, don’t increase the vibrance as much. just play around with it.
- GRADIENTS. i love these. first if you don’t have any gradients downloaded into photoshop i recommend these and these and these. gradients will be your best friend. i seriously love them. but the gradient that i chose depends on what the main color of the cap is. if there’s lots of blue colors i’ll pick a lighter gradient with blue colors and set that layer to soft light. play around with these too. sometimes just playing around with the gradients you’ll discover the best combinations.
- these last couple of steps depend on the cap and how much more it needs. but next what i’ll usually do is add a new layer on top of all the previous stuff and set it to overlay. then i’ll take a soft round brush and on all the blue areas brush over with a light blue color, all the purple areas with a light purple brush, etc. then lower the opacity as needed.
- now merge all the layers together and duplicate that merged layer. go to filter > blur > gaussian blur. put the settings to 8.0 and hit enter. then create a brightness/contrast layer and increase the brightness a bunch and the the contrast until you have a nice looking ‘texture’ merge the blurred layer and the brightness/contrast layer and set that to soft light. lower the opacity/erase parts that don’t look right.
- now this is purely optional and i don’t do it on all my caps. usually i’ll do it if i remember i have it. but this is a topaz layer. merge everything you have so far and duplicate the layer. then add a topaz layer with these settings:
- and that’s it!
i’ve created a graphic that shows visually each step that i used.
and here’s an example of other caps that i’ve done using the same exact steps.
although some i’ve added more gradient soft light layers or more brightness/contrast on top of new gradients. just play around with settings and just don’t try and go too crazy. you don’t need to do too much to a cap to get it to look nice.
if anyone has any other questions feel free to ask! :)