Create a custom smiley

This tutorial describes how you can create your own custom smiley in Adobe Photoshop.


Getting started

Step 1.
Create a new document:
- 30 x 30 pixels
- transparent background

Step 2.
Select the Zoom Tool from the tool palette and press the ‘Fit On Screen’ button in your toolbar.

Step 3.
Save the following smiley template to a folder on your computer:

We will use this image as a base for our custom smiley. To save the image on your PC click with your right mouse button and select ‘Save picture As’.

Step 4.
Open the image you have saved in step 3 in Photoshop.

Step 5.
Click on the image you just opened to make sure your base smiley image is on the foreground. Press CTRL-A to select the entire image. Or choose All from the Select menu.

Step 6.
Press CTRL-C to copy the blanco smiley or select Copy from the Edit menu.

Step 7.
Select the untitled document we created at the beginning of this tutorial and press CTRL-V to paste the base smiley in your new document, or select Paste from the Edit menu.

Step 8.
Your document should now look like this:

Step 9.
We can now start with customizing our smiley. We are going to create a border patrol officer smiley for someone who requested it at the phpBB forums.

Step 10.
Click the ‘create new layer’ icon in your layers palette

Step 11.
Click on the Move Tool and select the layer from the base smiley and move the base smiley a bit down.

Step 12.
Double click the new layer you created at step 10 and name it “Hat”.

Step 13.
Select black as the Foreground ColorĀ  and select the Pencil Tool.

Step 14.
Set the brush size to 1 pixel, Mode to Normal and Opacity to 100%.

Step 15.
In the next image you can see the outline of the hat I created.

16.
Fill the outline with a color using the Pencil Tool. I used 6F5E00.

Your layer palette should now look like this.

Step 17.
Take a darker shade of the color you used to fill the hat. I used 4F4200. Draw two lines as shown in the image below.

Step 18.
Take a darker shade of the color you used to fill the hat, but lighter than the color you used in the previous step. I used 665400. Draw one line beneath the two lines you have draw at step 17.

Step 19.
Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool from your toolbar.

Step 20.
Select a darker shade of the color you used to fill the hat again. I used 5B4700.

Step 21.
Create a small round selection in the left corner of the hat > see image.

Step 22.
Fill the selection with the Paint Bucket Tool (and the color you selected at step 20).

Step 23.
Select the Marquee Tool again and move the selection to the right side of the hat. Repeat step 22 and press Ctrl-D to deselect the selection.

Step 24.
Select the Pencil Tool again and set the opacity to 30%.

Step 25.
Make the corners of the right side of the hat a bit darker. The opacity is set to 30% so you should use a darker shade of the color. The darkest corners I clicked three times and the lightest only one time.

Step 26.
Do the same with the left side of the hat only now use a shade lighter than the color you used to fill the hat. I used 7A6A11.

Step 27.
Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool again and set your Foreground Color to yellow. I used FFEA00. Select an oval shape in the middle of the hat for the badge and fill it with the Paint Bucket Tool.

Step 28.
Select a light orange color as foreground color. I used FBBD00. Select the pencil tool and set the opacity to 30%.

Step 29.
Make the corners of the badge on the left side orange as shown in the following image.

Step 30.
Select a New Layer by clicking the new layer button in the layers palette. Double click this layer and name it “Face”.

Step 31.
Your layers palette should now look like this:

Step 32.
Select black as your foreground color and choose your pencil tool. Make sure the opacity is set to 100%.

Step 33.
We are going to give him a stern look by making the inner corner of his eyes go down a bit (3 pixels horizontal, 1 pixel vertical).

Step 34.
Instead of an actual ‘smile’, we are going to use a straight line of 5 pixels for the lower lip, and a mustache covering the upper lip.

Step 36.
The mustache are two lines of 9 pixels and one line of 7 pixels above lower lip.

Step 37.
Take a shade darker than the color you used to create the mustache. I used 603D13 to draw the shadows in the mustache.

Step 38.
Take a shade lighter than the color you used to create the mustache with. I used 693F18 to draw the highlights in the mustache.

Step 39.
Save the image as an .PSD file so you can reuse it later.

Step 40.
Press CTRL-A to select the entire image. Then press CTRL-SHIFT-C to copy all layers (or select Copy Merged from the Edit menu).

Step 41.
Press CTRL-N to open a new document. It should automatically have the correct size based on the copied selection in your clipboard. Make sure the background is transparent again. Now press CTRL-V to paste your smiley in the new document. The final result should look like this:

Step 42.
To save the image for the web, choose Save for Web from the File menu. Make sure you save your image as a .GIF file to keep the transparent background.

This tutorial is created originally for 3Dvalley.com. You are not allowed to redistribute this tutorial in any form.

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One Response to Create a custom smiley

  1. JS says:

    Thanks. Easy tutorial. I managed to make the smiley :)

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