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I've made a tutorial for this piece (I did try to keep it simple, "try") so I will post it here tomorrow if anyone's interested. The Angel season two screencaps were pretty low quality but they are all I could find so apologies for that. Thanks!
Okay, so I use Adobe Photoshop cs6 but I'm hoping most of these steps and techniques can be used on other programs too. The brushes/filters and everything else I use are pre-installed so nothing fancy here, other than a few downloaded gradients (I will link to those). A lot of the techniques I use, I have learned from watching or reading other tutorials online, aswell as experimenting with tools and filters and whatnot almost daily.
So we're going to make the season 4 Cordelia wallpaper shown above.
Step 1 - Blending your images
Open a new canvas (I always go for 1240 x 760 so I can add a 20px border at the end, but just go with what you're most comfortable with as your workspace).
Fill it with a background colour (I went with #bb959a as the screencaps I'm using have red tones, again, it's up to you).
I then took this profile shot of Princess Cordy and placed it on my canvas and resized it (all my screencaps were from KILLCOLOR / Screencap Archive).
Now we have to get rid of the edges and blend. Some people use the lasso tool, some people use brushes, it's up to you. I just use a plain, old large soft brush (you could also use the eraser tool with the same settings) and a layer mask. With my brush set to black, and with my layer mask selected, I set my brush size to around 300, opacity and flow both at 65%. And so we erase away the edges.
Carrying on, we place the next image (forlorn Cordy in bikini at the commercial shoot) onto the canvas, resize it, but this time move it under our princess Cordy layer.
Again, erase away the edges to blend the images.
I added the smiley Cordelia image over the other two images on the canvas and once again resized the image, erasing and blending the edges.
I added my last remaining image of a shocked Angel and the gang to the right side of the canvas, resized again and erased the edges.
I added this background from ANN and put it under all my edited layers but above my filled background and set it to soft light.
The tree bark stock image I added next, resized it to make it a little bigger and set it above my horizon stock and set it to soft light once again.
I then added this texture from Para Bellum and set it above the tree bark image, set it to soft light and blended anything away I felt was in the way.
I added this tiara stock photo above all my other layers, set it to soft light and erased the edges and blended the image into the canvas.
I also added this pearls stock image, resized and rotated it a bit, placed it on top of all my layers again and set it to soft light, blending and erasing the edges.
At this point I moved my Angel and the gang layer slightly as I wanted to see more of Cordy's arm.
So this is where we're at.
At this point I usually individually select all of my layers and brighten them up a bit. You can do this using curves, or simply brightness/contrast, whichever you feel works best for you. I sometimes use the burn and dodge tools to give faces some contrast aswell if that's your thing.
Step 2 - Colour
Now we'll do some colouring. I like to use gradients as you get a good selection of pre-made gradients from most artists' sites for free and they are pretty beautiful and work amazingly with wallpapers.
So once you're set with your gradients all loaded up, you want to go image>adjustments>gradient map.
I started with this gradient from set #3
Set it to blend mode screen - opacity 75%
Next gradient from set #9
Set it to blend mode multiply - opacity 80% and fill 80%
Next gradient from set #11
Set it to blend mode overlay - opacity 75% and fill 85%
Final gradient from set #1
Set it to blend mode hard light - opacity 50% and fill 50%
Okay! I hope that part was understandable.
Step 3 - Final touches
If there's anything else you want to add to your image, or any parts you want to brighten or reduce, now is the time because we are going to flatten all of our layers now. Best to make a save of your layers at this point too, incase you need to go back to edit anything.
So, layer>flatten image. Then you want to right click and duplicate your flattened image. With the duplicate selected we will go Filter>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Paint Daubs (Brush Size and Sharpness both set to 1, Brush Type: Simple) and that will sharpen everything up a bit.
So layer>flatten image again, and again you want to right click and duplicate the flattened image, with the duplicate selected we go Filter>Stylize>Diffuse and make sure Anisotropic is selected, click ok. It's going to look a bit too blurred so take that layer's opacity down to 60% and again, flatten your layers.
Duplicate your layer again and now we go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Paint Daubs (again, all the same settings as before) and take the duplicate layer's opacity down to 90%. This should give you wallpaper a nice overall effect.
Flatter your layers and make a duplicate again, and to make the textures you've used stand out that bit more, make sure your duplicate is selected and this time go Filter>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Poster Edges and adjust the settings to edge thickness 0, edge intensity 2 and posterization 1, click ok. Take the opacity of this layer down to 15% and using your eraser at about 300px 65% opacity and flow again, delete anything that isn't background. Again, flatten your layers.
I brightened the whole thing with curves and this is how we're looking now.
Step 4 - Text me
I personally HATE text and find it really hard to get right. I did some very basic text for this wallpaper because really, with text, the more YOU experiment, the better it will look.
For "THEY MADE ME" I used Book Antiqua, all caps, 30 pt, 200 spacing and colour #ae6482.
For "ruler" I used Old English Text MT, lowercase, 150 pt, 0 spacing and the same colour #ae6482.
For both text layers I went to my blending options and selected drop shadow for both, using colour #473e7a.
Finally, with everything flattened and finished, to add my border, I went to image>canvas size, width and height both set to 20 px and the colour was set to #29225e.
I hope this has been helpful. Sorry if I haven't explained enough. If you have any questions feel free to get in touch, and if you do make anything feel free to post it here! Thanks