Note 1: My graphic program is Corel Photo Paint 11. However, it should be easily adapted to PS or PSP, or any other graphic programs.
Note 2: Tutorials are nice for inspiration, and to learn new tricks. Please do not reproduce it exactly. There's no fun/creativity in that.
||I start with this cap found at the LOTR Image Library. I start by cropping a big 250x250 square of the sky on the left, and then reduce the square to 100x100. I then crop a big rectangle with Frodo in it. I reduce it so the width is also 100. I put it on top of my sky background and cut it the way I want. In the case of this icon, I paste Frodo twice, cutting the pic a bit differently each time. I merge all layers together.
I then do the basics: I lighten the pic gradually. I enhance the contrast: reduce the brightness, push up the contrast and the intensity. Again gradually. I sharpen the picture (gradually again). Zoom in and with the blend tool set on 2, I erase the small imperfections created by the sharpening. I get (01). I duplicate it.
||I then desaturate the copy of (01) by 50% and enhance the contrast once more. I get (02). It's now a nice base to work on.|
||I take (01), put it on top of (02), set it to soft light, transparency: 50%. I get (03).|
||I fill a new layer with #FF9900 (R:255 G:153 B:0), and then with the transparency tool and create a fade-out effect towards the right like you can see in (04a). The white is actually transparent. I then set (04a) to red. (Note: I've been told the red setting doesn't exist is PS or PSP, however an equivalent surely does. Basically what it does is giving that red coloring/glow you can see in (04). I'm sure you can do it in PS, I just don't know the name of the setting.)
||Now, in a new layer on top, and with the brush tool, in I put some white on top of Frodo's face - the one in the right top corner. You can see what I mean in (05a). The black in just here so you can see the white. I set this layer to saturation, and get (05). Top-Frodo is now in black and white.
||However, black and white pictures need to have a higher contrast that pictures in color, so now top-Frodo looks all blah - plus I'd like the two Frodos to be more different. In my program, I can create a lens with a specific effect over the area of my choice. So I create a lens over top-Frodo and enhance the contrast. I get (06). (Note: If it doesn't exist in your program, you have to find a way to enhance the contrast in that part of the pic, and that part only. An easy way to do that is to never merge the pics in step one, unlike what I did.)|
||I use then one of TRE's amazing icon textures: (07a). I modify it a bit: desaturate it completely, and erase the part which will be on bottom-Frodo. I get (07b) - the black part represents the erased area - which I set to subtract, and get (07).
||I now add the last details. With the pen tool set on 1, I draw a black line across the icon above bottom-Frodo. I set its transparency to 14%. I then add small text in white on the left. Finally, I write "master knows" in Dokyo, in black, size 4, transparency: 50%. I get (08).
All done! :P