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Old Alexia's Wing Tips! (GIMP)

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2011, 09:19 AM
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Wink Alexia's Wing Tips! (GIMP)

Did you get the pun in the title there? ..No? Oh, ok...
I've been looking through all the tutorials here (new & old) and I thought: "Hey, why not? I'll make one as well!"
Now, I'm not an expert, so please tell me if something is not correct, if there is an easier way, or if you need extra help.
What this guide is all about: I will share with you my simple tips and tricks on how to give your fairies beautiful wings! This is a step-by-step guide, which will hopefully be easy to follow.
A big thank-you goes out to Ella for being the model for this tutorial!!


Enough with the introduction... let's get started!


Step 1: Adding you fairy.

I won't go into detail here. The important thing is to have your fairy cropped and on its own layer. This is our starting image:


As you can see, my cropping was done rather messily (and quickly!), but you will see that it won't matter in the end

Step 2: Selecting the wings.

Using the Fuzzy Select Tool (the glowing wand icon), click on any part of a wing.
The threshold amount should be high enough to select the whole wing, but low enough not to select the hair and clothes.

In this picture, I set Threshold at 40.3 - tinker around with it and find the best one.


(You may also use the Free Select Tool to select the wing)
Once you have a selection, press keys in this order: Ctrl+C, Del (Delete), then Ctrl+V.
Right-click the "Floating Selection" layer and choose "New Layer".

Take a look at your layers:


As you can see, the wing is now on a separate layer and detached from the body.

Go back to your first layer and repeat the same thing to the rest of the wing pieces, except after selecting "New Layer", right-click the new layer again and choose "Merge Down".
Don't forget tiny little bits as well! Ella has curly hair, so I have to select each one of those wing parts in-between the curls. Zooming in might be helpful

You can check your progress by hiding the top wing layer [click on the eye] and see which parts of the wings you still have left.
In this picture, you can see that I still have to transfer Ella's whole left wing.


When you're done, hide the bottom layer (the one with your fairy on it) and erase any extra bits from the wings layer.

This is what you should have now - a clean pair of fairy wings


Step 3: Making the wing patterns more prominent.

Select the wings layer. Go to Colors > Brightness-Contrast.
Tinker around with the two settings. Lower the brightness and increase the contrast.
Wings of every talent need different settings Here's an example of what I made Ella's wings look like:


I also used the Dodge/Burn tool a little, by burning Shadows at a less-than-average exposure (20 to 30).

So, when you're satisfied, click OK.

Step 4 (optional): Changing the wing colors

Sometimes, you might want to do this, as the Brightness-Contrast tool might have changed the color tone. (Once, a light-talent's wings turned green after I've done Step 3! Not good!)

Go to Colors > Color Balance. This is what the menu looks like:

Adjust the color levels in any way you want. Choose between Shadows, Midtones and Highlights and adjust each one to your liking.
It's quite straighforward, so I'm sure you will manage Again, if you need help, ask!

Here's an example of the variety of tones you could have:

There are many more variations available!

A simpler option: Go to Colors > Colorize. It is a much simpler coloring tool. Sometimes it's better to use than the "Color Balance" tool

Step 5: Making the wings Transparent

Since the wings are on a separate layer, this step is very easy
Simply select the wings layer and lower the Opacity level as much as you want.
Around 75% is reasonable, but it always depends on the types of wings and the options that you have chosen in the previous steps.

For a better comparison, I added a background image. The first one shows the wings with no brightness/contrast/color change.
The second shows brightness/contrast change. The last one shows a special purple color change.


See the differences? I might not have made them transparent enough, so why don't you try it out for yourself?
♦ Step 3 is important, because when you make the wings transparent, colors are less prominent and the wing patterns are lost. ♦


Extra: How to decorate wings!
Want to make your own decorations on the wings?? Then skip Step 3 & 4!
And after Step 5...


Step 6: Wing Decorations

Right-click the wings layer and choose "Alpha to Selection". Right-click on any layer and choose "New Layer", click OK.
Move the new layer under the wings layer OR lower the opacity of the layer to around 20%.

You now have a new layer for the decorations, and the wings are selected so that the decorations will stay in the same shape as the wings.
Make sure your new layer for decorations is selected! Use your brushes to create different patterns. Go crazy!

I chose a simple leaf brush with a simple color - dark moss green.
'Draw' on your wings, and press Ctrl+Z if you make a mistake or two. I use it all the time! (click, undo, click, undo, click -yes! Click, click, undo, undo.. )
This is how mine looked like when I was finished:


I'm sure you could do much better ^^ You are not restricted to only these instructions. I have created interesting things by experimenting - you never know how it will turn out!

Step 7: Finishing touches

Blur the edges of the wings by choosing the Blur/Sharpen tool (the water drop icon), select a basic circle brush and go around the edges with your mouse.
Sometimes, you might want to do the same for the decorations layer.

Add a glow around the wings! There might be a simpler way to create a glow, but this is how I do it:
Create a new layer. Move the new layer under the wings, the decorations and the fairy,
choose a simple circle fuzzy brush at a reasonable size (I used the largest one with a scale of 1.8),
choose a nice, light color, and go around the edges and underneath the wings with your mouse as many times as you want to intensify the glow.

And there we are! My finished wings, plus the list of layers:


Have fun beautifying your fairy wings!!

PS. If you have any extra tips, I would love to hear from you! Also, if there are any spelling mistakes, please inform me

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Last edited by Onionleaf; 07-08-2012 at 08:22 AM. Reason: tinkered a little
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2011, 09:12 PM
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Wow Alexa! This is such a cool guide ~ if one day I try GIMP I know who to come to for a tutorial
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:29 PM
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Great guide Alexia.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:36 PM
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So that's where Ella flew off to
Twilight and Nightfall were looking high and low looking for her and sje was with you the hole time!

What a very informative guide, if I ever decide to download GIMP this
will be very helpful.
Love those wings!

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  #5  
Old 11-02-2011, 04:07 AM
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Haha, thanks for the comments! I just wanted to show everyone the steps I take when creating fairy graphics ^.^
Ella had a lot of fun modelling her wings for me! I was so sure that she left a note for Twi and Nightfall to tell where she flew off to.. I hope you weren't too worried about her absence.
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Old 07-16-2012, 04:25 PM
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This is awesome! Thanks so much for the tutorial type thing!!!! I am going to try it!!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:39 AM
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Thumbs up Alexia's Wing Tips (GIMP)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onionleaf View Post
Did you get the pun in the title there? ..No? Oh, ok...
I did get the pun and it is flitteriffic! It made me smile.

Stormy
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:17 AM
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That's great, Lilac! Hopefully this thread will be able to start you off, and you'll be able to re-create pixie wings however you like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StormyLightningberry View Post
I did get the pun and it is flitteriffic! It made me smile.
Oh Stormy, you put a smile on my face by writing that comment. I'm glad that somebody understood!
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:26 AM
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Oh yeah, I get it now! "Wing Tips"- awesome Alexia and awesome tutorial too!
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:51 AM
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What a fun and informative post! Good Job Alexia, and thx!
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:37 AM
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Aww yea, I'd forgot to repair the wings in 3D fairies
Every time I make the 3D fairies, I always copy minister wings. It's that true or wrong?
Please answer .


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Old 02-02-2013, 10:38 AM
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You may use almost any type of wings for your 3D fairy; I've never tried using the Minister's wings before (only those of other Famous Fairies), but I'm sure they look beautiful.
There is never a "right or wrong" in art or graphics, if you feel that something looks nice, then you should go for it!
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