I just noticed that I made a few mistakes on this tutorial – I wrote it when I was kinda tired, sorry about that ^^; Hopefully I've fixed all of them~
Base time, whee~
This is a really interesting picture, so I picked a crop that showed off Lightning's face as well as the weapon. I kept in mind where I was going to put the text when I was cropping, as a side note %D Anyway, to start, I randomly decided to follow the first two steps in this awesome tutorial by luxrays. The only differences I made were in rotating and Gaussian Blurring the first light texture, so I got this:
It'll make a difference later, promise xD So now, since the base isn't very vibrant, duplicate it and set it to Screen, 40%.
Duplicate it again on Soft Light, 100%.
Fill layers, because they're so much fun~
☆ #000724, Exclusion, 100%, gives you this
☆ #F58F8D, Soft Light, 50%, gives you this
☆ #C1C1C1, Color Burn, 100% gives you:
I know it doesn't seem to make that much of a difference, but it changes more on other images. We want to make it even more shiny, yes? The next few steps will up the shiny factor a lot! Another duplicate on Soft Light, 75% for this:
And now my favourite part 8D Make a Hue/Saturation... adjustment layer with saturation on 40, hoping your image can take that much without bugging out~ If not, move it lower, just as long as the colours pop!
Moving right along~ Make a Color Balance... adjustment layer with these settings...
Midtones: -64, 0, +45
Highlights: +29, 0, 0
And another one for good measure!
Shadows: -40, 0, 0
Midtones: -40, 0, +40
Highlights: -40, 0, 0
Leaving these both as-is is fine, but if your image goes nuts after applying the second Color Balance (most of them do, because the blue is overwhelming) then you can either take it out entirely or set it to Soft Light, whichever works. Just a warning ^^; Soooo~ Duplicate your base one more time, and set it to Color Burn, 15% for even more contrast.
Lightning's skin looks unnaturally white, and to fix that, we can add #D79B6E on Darken, 35%.
Much better, right? We're almost done! I was having second thoughts about the crop at this point, as it's not too inspiring the way it is. So, let's add a border! I kind of forgot which one I used originally, but this texture (by ohfreckle, rest of the set here) will do just fine. So inverse it (so the majority of the texture is black), set it to Screen, 100% and move it around according to your image. As you can see, I duplicated it, rotated it 180o and put that part in the top right as well.
And because I love glowy dots, take this light texture (by ohfreckle, rest of the set here) and set it to Lighten, 100% %D Again, move it around depending on your image; I like to put it right next to the character's face for effect. Using Lighten instead of Screen on this sort of thing doesn't wash out the image as much, and it tends to blend more into the blacks on the image instead.
And to finish it off, a little bit of text! The font is Cataclysmic, which looks quite nice small.
Yay! \o/ And there's another icon under your belt~
Now that you have still more of Mumpo's secrets, I encourage you to go play around and show me your finished icons! DOOO IIIIIIT, I wanna see what you guys come up with, as usual~
If you like what you see, why not friend tacticons for future updates?