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Duplicating A Driver's Signature/Autograph

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Sage

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I've been asked to explain how I go about duplicating a driver's signature/autograph but instead of just replying to the requester I thought I'd share my process with the community. Are there other ways in Photoshop to achieve the same results? More than likely but this is what works for me.

1. We're going to have to assume that you can find a reasonably decent example to work from. With that in hand you'll want to create a 'New Document' (File>New or Ctrl+N). Use these settings.


2. Copy and Paste the signature into the New Document.


3. Enlarge the signature example to the extreme of the document (hint: hold down the 'Shift' key while dragging a corner to keep the same proportions).


4. Create a 'New Layer' above the signature example (Ctrl+Shift+N).

5. We'll be using the 'Pen Tool' to create 'Paths' for the 'Brush' to follow to duplicate the signature.


6. If you aren't familiar with the 'Pen Tool' I recommend the links at the end of this tut. Using the 'Pen Tool' click wherever you feel like beginning. If you move in a clockwise direction then you'll also be dragging the ensuing point modifications clockwise. There's no hard and fast rule about where to place 'Anchor Points'. I generally go for where whatever I'm following changes direction or curve. Begin clicking and adding 'Anchor Points'.


7. Once you have a 'Path' completed switch to the 'Convert Point Tool'.


8. Drag on the 'Anchor Points' until you get a pleasing curved line (unless the signature you're trying to duplicate was done by a drunk ~ but the general processes are still the same).


9. Because these aren't closed 'Paths" that will be filled you will need to create 'New Paths' as you move along.


10. Once you've completed a 'Path' (or more if you're familiar with selecting different 'Paths') it's time to 'Stroke' it (He He...he said 'Stroke' ~ there, now we've gotten that out of the way). Before you can 'Stroke' the 'Path' you'll want to first adjust the 'Brush Tool' settings. In this instance I set the brush at 7 pixels with 100% hardness (sigh...go ahead).


11. OK. Time to 'Stroke The Path'.


Once you finished Stroking all of the Paths you are essentially done with this part. If you fee that the signature is too thin when reduced you could always add an additional 'Stroke' to it. I tend to shy away from using too large of a diameter 'Brush' when 'Stroking' as, at times, it can fill in areas that should be open. By 'Stroking' after-the-fact you can control just how bold you want the signature to be.

For those unfamiliar with the 'Pen Tool' I highly recommend the following tutorials which will give more in depth instruction that I can here.

Pen Tool, Photoshop Pen Tool - How To Use The Pen Tool In Photoshop Tutorial
http:///psd.tutsplus.com/tools-tips/photoshops-pen-tool-the-comprehensive-guide/
Practice Templates For Using The Pen

Got questions/problems/criticisms? I have answers (and opinions) and some of them might even apply to what you ask.
 

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MattyO

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Nice tut!

My only suggestion would be to use a image hosting service (we have one too) so you can insert the pics after explaining each step. Like step 1, then insert pic showing what your talking about. Step 2 insert pic etc...

Other than that, thanks! Much appreciated :)
 

JeffJordan

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Sage, nice job on the tutorial.

Also, if you paste the images by direct
 

Sage

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Matt...I never use outside image hosting services so that never occurs to me. Whenever I need something like that I usually just upload to my site and link from there. How would I go about accessing your image hosting? The only thing I've ever seen when making posts was the 'Manage Attachments' thingy.

Jeff...Pretty much the same as I replied to Matt. Whenever I link to images hosted at my site I always use the coding.

edit: Aha!! Do you mean the 'Image Hosting' link on the top bar? I never noticed it before. I always try to learn one new thing a day. I guess I'm done now.

Is it possible for one of the Admins to alter/modify/correct it? I think it would certainly 'read' better.

Thanks for the compliments. I'm never sure if I've explained every step in detail whenever I do one of these. Sometimes I forget the things that I do that are 2nd nature. Sort of like indexing my finger on drills, saws...pretty much anything with a trigger. An unintentional consequence from my firearms training.

edit part deux: I re-did the entire post. Is this better?
 
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MattyO

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lol, yeah bud, much better.

It's funny, your far from the 1st person to mention that we had image hosting and where it was located.

Excellent tutorial!
 

Corey Carpenter

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lol, yeah bud, much better.

It's funny, your far from the 1st person to mention that we had image hosting and where it was located.

Excellent tutorial!
Wow... I did not know that..... I feel really dumb right now.


BTW great tut Sage.
 

HoosierDaddy

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Great tut. I didn't know about the convert point tool. I also suck at the pen tool. But seriously great! Thanks.
 

Sage

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I didn't know about the convert point tool. I also suck at the pen tool.
As has been said time and again at numerous Photoshop forums, 'The Pen Tool is your friend'. Learn it. Live it. Use it.

The best tutorial I knew of was at PhotoshopGurus but it's gone now so I recommend either of the 1st two that I linked to at the end of the tut.

And 'Thanks' for the kind words. Just trying a little 'pay back'.
 

super39fan

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Thanks, that's a great tutorial! Just out of curiosity, whose signature is that?
 
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