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The Most Copied Sig On The Forum (AKA the pyrosig)

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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to open or download it


Here's what you're making:


Yup, here it is. Finally. The long-awaited pyro-sig tutorial. I didn't even want to write a tutorial on this, but was suckered into it by countless requests, both in the main forum as well as private messages. A few emails even came my way... weird. To be perfectly honest, I don't think this is actually worth a full-blown tutorial, but hey, anything to keep y'all happy...

These instructions are to create an exact duplicate of my signature. Obviously, you just might want to change something or other, especially the name... unless you're the nitwit who keeps stealing my username on other forums. And deviantART. Grr.

Font and plugins needed:


from pyrochild's plugins:

Gradient Bars

Outline Object

Curves+ (Optional)

Gradient Mapping (Optional)

from MadJik's plugins:

Water Reflection

from evanolds' plugins:

Conditional Hue/Saturation (Optional)

The procedure:

1 - Set Primary color to WHITE and Secondary color to BLACK

-Paint.NET starts up with Primary BLACK and Secondary WHITE. Click the little bent arrow by the color wheel or press 'X' on your keyboard to swap them.

2 - Create a new image, 1000 x 200 pixels.

File -> 🆕 New...


3 - Select the top half of your image

Tool: -> :RectangleSelectTool: Rectangle Select

-Your selection should span the whole width of your image, and go from the very top to about halfway down. You can use the text in the Status Bar to help you select the correct height


4 - Run Gradient Bars

Effects -> Render -> Gradient Bars...

-Set Scale to 1.50


5 - Create a new layer

Layers -> :AddNewLayer: Add New Layer

6 - Set your primary color back to BLACK and Secondary color to WHITE

-Press 'x'

-or click the little arrow again

-or press the black and white swatch button

7 - Draw a reflected gradient across the image

Tool: -> :GradientTool: Gradient, :LinearReflectedGradient: Linear (Reflected)

-Start your gradient from the middle of the image and drag it across to either the right or left edge

-It's fine if your gradient only covers the top half of the image


8 - Set the Blending Mode of the top layer to Color Burn

Layers -> :LayerProperties: Layer Properties...

-Depending on your gradient, there may be a black bar in the bottom half of your image. Ignore it; it'll disappear in step 9.


9 - Merge the layers

Layers -> :MergeLayerDown: Merge Layer Down

10 - Duplicate the layer

Layers -> :DuplicateLayer: Duplicate Layer

11 - Set the Blending Mode of the top layer to Negation

Layers -> :LayerProperties: Layer Properties...


12 - Merge the layers

Layers -> :MergeLayerDown: Merge Layer Down

13 - Color!

-Use whatever methods you feel comfortable with to recolor the image

-I used Curves+ in the original, but now I think I'd prefer Gradient Mapping. Conditional Hue/Saturation works also.

-If you don't know how to recolor it, well, there are lots of other tutorials that cover that, so ... http://searchpaint.net/


14 - Run Water Reflection

Effects -> Distort -> Water Reflection...

-Set Duration to 200, all other values can be left at default.


15 - Create a new layer and name it Shadow

Layers -> :AddNewLayer: Add New Layer

16 - Draw your text on the Shadow layer

Tool: -> :TextTool: Text

-Font: Evanescent 72pt


17 - Duplicate the Shadow layer and name it Text

Layers -> :DuplicateLayer: Duplicate Layer

18 - Put the shadow behind the text

Layers -> :RotateZoom: Rotate / Zoom...

-Start with these settings, then tweak them as needed to make the shadow look like it's being cast by the text

-Roll / Rotate: 0.00, -90.00, 75.00

-Pan: 0.00, 0.30


19 - Add a new layer under the Shadow layer and name it Glow

Layers -> :AddNewLayer: Add New Layer

20 - Draw a filled ellipse

Tool: -> Shapes Ellipse :ShapeInterior: Draw Filled Shape


21 - Run Gaussian Blur

Effects -> Blurs -> :BlurEffect: Gaussian Blur...

-Radius: 25


22 - Recolor the shadow

You know how... if not, http://searchpaint.net/


23 - Run Outline Object on the Text layer

Effects -> Object -> Outline Object...

-Width: 15

-Softness: 254


24 - Run Water Reflection on the Text layer

Effects -> Distort -> Water Reflection...

-Distance: 70.00

-Waves period: 1.50

-Duration: 100.00



Post your results...

-If you plan on using this as your sig image, remember to scale it down to no wider than 500px and no taller than 150px. Otherwise, a moderator will remove it.


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ambigram signature by Kemaru

[i write plugins and stuff]

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Still classic. :-)


The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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Thanks pyrochild, I may never use it, but the inward sloping gradient bars ('grass'? Yes?) were a complete mystery.

Blend mode *slaps forehead*.

Yep, that's the problem I've seen in pretty much every imitation version. (Up until I put up this tutorial, at least)


ambigram signature by Kemaru

[i write plugins and stuff]

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Sweet! Thanks Pyro!

I've been wanting to try that out. I'll post my result later. :wink:

---- Gallery | Sig Tutorial | deviantART | Sig Videos | PhotoBucket ----

D                  E                  S                  T                  I                 N                  Y

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Also: I like how you did the instructions. :wink:
Very well written tutorial pyrochild.
Thanks. I figured since I'm one of the people who is constantly bashing people who write mediocre (or just plain crappy) tutorials, I figured I'd better do my own tutorial pretty darn well, lest I be deemed a hypocrite.


ambigram signature by Kemaru

[i write plugins and stuff]

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About a week ago, right after you changed your signature and before this tutorial I tried whipping up a replica (spent hours trying to find the font). Granted, I used jitter and reflection rather than the water plug-in, but I believe it turned out better than it would have with the new version of the water plug-in.

And, by the way, really like the tutorial. If only I had thought to color burn...nah, I woulda never thought of it..


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spent hours trying to find the font
Coulda searched... it's only been asked about 20 times ;)
it turned out better than it would have with the new version of the water plug-in.
Yes, the new Water is kinda screwey. MadJik claims it has always been that way... I found the old version and tested, and indeed the problem is present, but in the old version it's only even noticeable if you're looking for it. In this new one, it's much more pronounced. It slaps you in the face.

And yes, yours is probably the best one I'd seen before the tutorial, besides mine (duh) and Crazy Man Dan's, but that was mainly just a recolor. I think.

(And Crazy Pyro Man's, but that's a-whole-nother story)


ambigram signature by Kemaru

[i write plugins and stuff]

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Actually, my copy was made from scratch.


Crazy Pyro Man's was a recolor of that one.


As you can see, the gradient bar seed is exactly the same. Lazy me... :wink:

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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Gah!! The layer modes! I should've known I missed the layer modes!! No wonder yours was so brilliant and mines was bloody potato.

Heres my first attempt at duplicating it. Which was utter bloody potato.


And heres my second, much better than the first.


And heres the finished product.



The font I used was Dark Crystal, you can find it on dafont.

Thank you so much for posting this Pyro, your sig is actually the first thing I've ever tried to duplicate. Read my DA page and you'll see how I did the shadowy bit at the top.

A little perspective knowledge helps aye?

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Cool results Quenlin and rasengan105.

*sigh* if MadJik doesn't fix his water reflection bug soon, I'm going to have to rewrite the blasted thing myself.

I'll stick some useless new feature in it and tack a + on its name ;)


ambigram signature by Kemaru

[i write plugins and stuff]

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