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General Art Signature and Avatar Resources and Tutorials


But you called me here...
Aug 6, 2010
The purpose of this thread is to together the community's resources and knowledge of signatures and avatars. It is also to increase the knowledge of users that wish to create signature tags and avatars. This thread is not for showing off your work, so please don't post it here.

Image Editors

Alright. We'll start off with some great image editors that I've come across. These are placed in my personal preference order.

Adobe Photoshop: If you want an extremely powerful image editing program that you plan to use for things other than signatures and avatars, then Photoshop is for you. You can check it out here: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/compare/ . Photoshop is an extremely powerful image editing program packed with a ton of features. If you're willing to spend a few hundred bucks to get it, then its perfect for you. Adobe also offers a free trial for each version of Photoshop (see previous link for Photoshop to check it out). There are also older versions that you can buy on third-party sites (i.e. Amazon.com) that are cheaper than the newest version.

GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program): If you head over to http://www.gimp.org/ , you'll find a wonderful website that has one of the best freeware image editing programs out there. It is a program under the GNU General Public License, so its completely free and the source code is available for users that want to check it out. This program has even been compared to Photoshop in its capabilities. Great for people with a limited budget that don't want to spend the money for Photoshop.

Paint.NET (don't follow this link, follow the next one): Another freeware image editing program can be found at http://www.getpaint.net/ . Pain.NET is another really powerful image editing program that is great for users that want a decently powerful image editing program, but they also have a limited budget. This program has also been compared to Photoshop with its features and capabilities.

Microsoft Paint: All of the previous choices are my personal favorites. Now, I won't stop you from using paint for your avatars and signatures. But you need to know that there are other programs that can do a ton more than Microsoft Paint. And lets face it... why bother with Paint when you want to make an epic sig that you can be proud of and that you can call your own? I wouldn't...

Tutorial Sites

Now there are a lot of sites that have great tutorials for Signatures and Avatars. This section will focus on sites that I've come across that contain tutorials for all difficulty levels. If you're a beginner at these programs, I'd recommend starting at the beginning and work your way up. If you think that you're moderately advanced, feel free to challenge yourself and learn some new techniques. To visit the site click the name of it.

SigTutorials: This would be my favorite website. This website is full of awesome Signature tutorials. The tutorials range in difficulty and techniques, but anyone can find something suitable to their tastes and levels. Some features, like dome download packages and psd files, require a donation to the site. Its only 5 dollars, or something like that, and once you pay it, you don't have to pay it again. I haven't payed the fee, and I've had no trouble with the tutorials. Their forums are also really great. There are a lot of user submitted tutorials that also teach using various techniques and difficulty levels. Its a great site for all levels of users.

TutZone: TutZone is another good site that has a bunch of tutorials for people to follow. Simply doing a search for "Signatures" will come up with a few results of tutorials that you can follow.

GIMP Tutorials: These tutorials focus solely on GIMP users. There are tons of different types of tutorials that you can follow for various mediums. If you do a search on the site for either "Signatures" or "Avatars," you'll come up with pages of user submitted tutorials for each.

Tutorial Hero: Go to Tutorial Hero for yet another tutorial site. Do a search for either "Signatures" or "Avatars" and some results will come up for each. I have only recently come across this site, and it looks like it has a lot of good things.

Planet Photoshop: Planet Photoshop has good video tutorials for getting familiar with the many various functions and tools of Photoshop.

PSD Vault: A website with tutorials for more advanced users of Photoshop.

Photoshop Lady: Photoshop Lady contains some good tutorials for techniques for use in Photoshop.

I haven't come across any sites that focus solely on avatars, but I'm certain that if you do a Google search for an Avatar tutorial, one will pop up that you can follow. You can also use some signature effects in your avatar if you think that it would make an avatar that fits you.

And obviously, I can't include every single tutorial site out there. That would be impossible. Doing a Google search for tutorials will come up with a ton of sites that contain tutorials. You are always free to experiment with any and all sites until you find one that suits your fancy.

User Submitted Tutorials

This area contains a few of the tutorials submitted here at Zelda Dungeon by some of our own users.

Kybyrian's "Elite" Photoshop Tutorial: A tutorial submitted by Kybyrian that focuses on the use of C4Ds, gradient maps, and other effects in Photoshop. Click the image to access the tutorial.

Kybyrian's Photoshop Tutorial: This is a tutorial submitted by our own Kybyrian in hopes to get other users to get more familiar with Photoshop and to find a new love with signatures. Click on the image to access the tutorial.

(Please post results in original thread: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?13650-PS-amp-GIMP-Signature-Tutorial )

Kybyrian's GIMP Tutorial: This is a tutorial also submitted by our own Kybyrian. It had the same purpose as the first one, but it was for people to like and get familiar with GIMP.


(Please post results in original thread: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?13650-PS-amp-GIMP-Signature-Tutorial )

LozzyKate's "Making a Signature (GIMP Users Only): This is a tutorial that our own LozzyKate made to show users how to make a basic tutorial using GIMP. It is a very popular tutorial that is well done and definitely worth the time.


(Please post results in original thread)

Seamus' "Kefka Signature Tutorial"
: A pretty advanced tutorial that one of our users submitted several months ago. It contains a lot of cool techniques that an advanced user should learn how to do.


(Please post results in original thread)

Hero of Music's Photoshop Tutorial: A moderately hard tutorial that I made to teach users how to use basic C4D techniques. A really good tutorial that a few people have had success with. Click on the picture for the tutorial.

(Please post results in original thread: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?14553-Hero-of-Music-s-Photoshop-Tutorial )

Hero of Music's "Photoshop Tutorial for Signatures": Another tutorial that I did to further the use of C4Ds and to create some really cool render outline effects. A well done tutorial that has had some success. Click on the picture for the tutorial.

(Please post results in original thread: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?15115-Photoshop-Tutorial-for-Signatures )

Vee's Photoshop Tips and Tricks and Tutorials (for Gimp Users too): A new thread that our own Bigelover88 has made for the tricks that she uses and for the tutorials that she will eventually create and post for users to follow.


(Again, please post results in original thread)


There are many great resources out there that can really help with tutorial making.

Brushes: Brushes are key in many different signatures. There are tons of brushes out there made for both Photoshop and GIMP. All Photoshop brushes are compatible with GIMP. The site that I got most of my brushes for both Photoshop and GIMP is http://www.deviantart.com/ . You can do a search for either "Photoshop brushes" or "GIMP brushes" and it will come up with pages of really good brushes. Another site that has some good brushes is 22 Pixels. http://www.22pixels.com/ . Just pick up a few sets of brushes that really catch your eye and stick them in the brushes folder in each application. (If you get lost installing brushes, VM/PM me for instructions, or do a Google search on your own.) There are many other sites out there that have great brushes for each program, so just open up good ol' Google and search for them!

C4Ds: C4Ds are becoming very popular with signature making (the two tutorials that I've made focus on the use of them...). While they are for more advanced users, beginners are certainly welcome to learn how to use them. There are essentially 4 types of C4Ds: Standard C4Ds, lighting C4Ds, effect C4Ds, and wire frame C4Ds. There are tutorials all over that will teach you how to use them.

A great pack of C4Ds that I've come across was a pack that I found over at SigTutorials. You can get them here: http://www.sigtutorials.com/resources/sigtutorials-c4d-pack.html . Some of the standard C4D renders that they have come with a black background. I bypass that by using the magic wand tool (in PS) and setting the tolerance to 0 to select the black background. Also, there is usually an alpha channel that you can disable in the channel tabs that usually gets rid of the background. Some other good sources of C4D renders are Planet Renders and DeviantART. Searching for the term C4D usually yields good results.

If you want, you can create your own C4Ds. You can check out instructions here: http://darkztar.com/forum/showthread.php?117165-How-to-make-C4Ds .

Basic Signature Making Introduction: For those of you that are fresh beginners, or want to learn how to make cool signatures, check out SigTutorial's intro to signature making. They have a starter's kit that has some great brushes, great C4Ds, some cool renders, some tutorials, and some sample files. Its a great kick start to signature making.

Renders and Rendering: Now, there is a key part to signature making. You have to have a render for the signature (well, unless you're doing text or just cool effects... but we'll not worry about that yet). A place that has a lot of great renders with transparent backgrounds for easy inserting, is http://planetrenders.net/ . You have to make an account to download them, but it is well worth it. They have tons of different renders that you can use as long as you have an account. Another site that has some good renders is 22 Pixels, located here: http://www.22pixels.com/ . You can also do Google searches for images, but unless they have transparent backgrounds, your going to need to put in more work for them. To render an image, look up a tutorial on Google or YouTube that teaches you how to render images on the program that you use.

Fonts and Text: Sometimes, text is a great addition to a signature. But if it doesn't fit well, it won't look good. One good way is to use a small font with little words in it and to use a proper font that matches the mood of the signature. There are a couple great places to go for fonts, but my favorite is http://www.dafont.com/ . This website is full of great fonts that work on both Mac and PC. The only down side is that some of the fonts require registration and a fee, but most of the fonts are free to download. Another great place is http://www.urbanfonts.com/ . Both of these sites have categories, searches, and previews for the fonts, so check them out and add to your font library! (There are tutorials and sites that tell users how to install fonts on their system, so do a Google search for one of them and you'll figure out how to install them.)

Zeruda's "Graphics How-To": Zeruda has conveniently made a thread here that teaches users how to put pictures inside your signature and how to upload avatars. If you follow that, you will know how to use your signature and avatar on the forums. So please, DO NOT make a new thread asking how to do it, because you will be referred to that thread. Go here for that thread: http://zeldadungeon.net/forum/showthread.php?9769-Graphics-How-To .

Commonly Used Terms

Apply Image: This term is used when you are supposed to put the whole image on one new layer. A shortcut for this in Photoshop is CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E or go to Image > Apply Image.

Stock: An image that is not rendered as a .PNG with a transparent background.

Render: An image that has been cut out or made otherwise with a transparent background. Usually used as the focal point for the signature.

C4D Render: Commonly abbreviated just as C4D, these are render images that are commonly made in the program Cinema4D. They add flow and effects to your signature.

Brushes: This refers to various brushes that you can find scattered over the internet, typically on deviantART. These brushes help to add flow and texture to your signature.

Gradient Map: These are used to change color aspects of your signature. They are typically used as a final step on a close-to-finished signature to make it look more appealing.

Blending Mode: The blending mode affects how the layer is presented. There are various blending modes such as Overlay, Soft Light, and more. Experiment with blending modes to get cool effects! You can change blending modes in the layers palette in Photoshop or the layers dock in GIMP.

Clipping Mask: Clipping masks display the image from the mask over the image below it. To apply a clipping mask (Photoshop only!) right click on a layer above another layer and click "Create Clipping Mask". The clipping mask will be displayed on the image it is applied to.

Filter: Filters add various effects your signature. Commonly used ones include Sharpen, Blur, and other types. Experiment with filters to get different effects!

End Notes

Well, that's all of the Resources and Tutorials that I could think of at this time. If I think of anything, I'll be sure to edit the post to add them. I'll also be editing the Tutorial section of this post to allow more user submitted tutorials to be added and featured. So, if you have a tutorial, send me a PM/VM and I'll stick it in!

*When following tutorials please post your result in the original thread. This thread is for tutorials and resources, not for showing off what you've done. You can create your own thread to show off your stuff or just post it in the official Graphics/Art Thread found at the top of the section of the forum or post in the original thread made for the tutorial.

If anyone has anything they'd like to add to this thread, like resources and tutorial sites, feel free to post! If anyone has any questions, feel free to shoot me a PM/VM with your question. I'm also certain that some of the other experienced users will be happy and thrilled to help you out.

Well, thank you all for reading and using this post to help you with your signatures. I just hope that the standard of signatures at Zelda Dungeon will now rise and the site will be full with amazing signatures that everyone can be proud of! (wow... that took forever...)
Last edited:


Jan 19, 2011
I made my Image but it's on my pictures so I can't insert a URL to make it my signature, what should I do


Wild Card
Jun 14, 2010
I made my Image but it's on my pictures so I can't insert a URL to make it my signature, what should I do

You can upload your picture to a place like Photobucket where you are able to get a code for your picture with
tags around it. When you get that copy and paste it when you go into Edit Signature here. Then it should show ^^


But you called me here...
Aug 6, 2010
I found a great site that has some awesome renders and brushes - TwentyTwoPixels. And the best part is they're free :)

Thanks for your contribution! I added them into the post. Remember, if any of you guys find something that can be added to this thread, post them in here, and I'll add them.


But you called me here...
Aug 6, 2010
Thanks for finding them. I'll be sure to add them to the main post. :)


Alright.. so this is a very nooby question but How do you edit your signature? :)


Oh! That was not working for me earlier for some odd reason.
Thank you :)


Graphics Help? :)

well, I'm kinda new to this n I was wondering if anyone could help me out by making me a cool picture thing :) i know I sound like a mean person for asking, but i don't have any photo things on my computer. Anyway, thanks! :)

:) ~x~ ForeverZelda ~x~ :)


But you called me here...
Aug 6, 2010
well, I'm kinda new to this n I was wondering if anyone could help me out by making me a cool picture thing :) i know I sound like a mean person for asking, but i don't have any photo things on my computer. Anyway, thanks! :)

:) ~x~ ForeverZelda ~x~ :)

You posted this in the wrong thread. :) Please state your request in the request thread. You should be able to find it very easily as it is in the same forum as this thread and is also pinned to the top.

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