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How would I make a high quality custom flag image?


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Hi there! I'm a little new to the more advanced portion of editing software, but I've used Paint.net for random things for a few years and I know the most basic tools. I made this account specifically for this question.
 
To the point- I play a lot of online games, social media, stuff like that. I've always liked flags. When I was little I came up with a design similar to the UK's Union Flag (or the Union Jack), but instead of a blue field (background), white saltire (X), and red cross (+), mine had a dark red/crimson field, a gray saltire, and a black cross. 
 
I few years ago when I set up my steam profile, I found a cool HD square version of the Union Flag: (hopefully insert image here) ...and I want to make it with my colors. 

 

The issue is, the best two-years-younger me could do was a flat 64x64 pixel image with literally 3 colors. When I say 3 colors, I mean THREE COLORS. No shading, no variant within the color, nothing but solid red, gray, and black. 

 

My main questions are:

How can I edit the original Union Flag to have my colors, but still have the time-worn look and the used effect?

If I can't do that, how can I make up a new image with my colors, but not have it be 3 solid colors? PS- I would prefer not to do this pixel by pixel. I'm shooting for a 184x184 image, it would take a while to do it without shortcuts. 

 

PSS- How do I add images to the thread without putting it in the attachments? The original I mentioned is in the attachments by the way. I can't seem to find a way to make sure it's there, so my profile is the original Union Flag I mentioned. Sorry for noobiness, I made this account 40 minutes ago. 

Edited by Kies
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My very short description:

 

1. Load a flat, 3-color version of the original flag (maybe from Google Image Search or Wikipedia) an change the colors as you wish

2. Use a plugin for distortion like Wobble to simulate a more fluttering flag

3. Create one or more additional new layers and load to this layers a "grunge texture". Set the Blend mode to "Multiply" oder "Overlay" and change if neccessary the opacity. Eventually repeat in this layer the distortion effect from 2.

4. Merge layer down. Finished.

 

And this is the result of 2 minutes:

 

oldflag.png

Grunge Textures you can find here:

Edited by IRON67
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It would be hard to change colors without affecting the brownish worn effect of the flag. I would draw a new one as it iscomposed of lines only.

color-flag-4ecc804.png

 

If you want to add some ripples you can use SinWaves effect.

Edited by Eli
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Thanks, both of you. I had no idea layers were this useful, I've spent the past hour or so trying to do it all pixel by pixel (I told you I was a noob.)

 

Iron67, what "grunge" effect did you use? I really like your example there. Also, how did you show that example below the text in your reply? I'd like to do that so I can ask for more help later or post on another thread. 

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Iron67, what "grunge" effect did you use? I really like your example there. Also, how did you show that example below the text in your reply? I'd like to do that so I can ask for more help later or post on another thread. 

Besides it's done I will answer your question.

 

I've collected over the years from different free sources a huge amount of textures and so I used one of these textures as a "grunge effect". In fact its simple an image of an old piece of canvas.

 

To show an image here in the forum just upload it to an image hoster of your choice an paste the given code for boards in your posting.

Edited by IRON67
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