4th place in the TMU Writing Contest. Part 2 of 2. Written by JumperJack.
This article continues where part one left off. First read Part 1.
For this tutorial, I’ve made a screenshot with two cars. Now open your image-editor (Photoshop CS2 in my case).
Designing the screenie
Mostly the cars are in different parts of the screenshots. When that’s the case, pick one screenshot and just remove all stuff on the screenie, except for the rough silhouette of the car and its shadow, which will let it look like this:
Since the other car (in the other screenie) is really near the place of this car, I deleted the screenie around the back of the car really precisely.
Now select the whole image of that particular layer, since you don’t want to have the white parts included. Paste it in the other screenie and replace it until it fits exactly. Then merge the two layers together.
NOTE: when making a screenie to add it to a track at TMX, don’t forget to check the dimensions. When these are not 4:3, then use the Crop Tool (press C) to cut it into a 4:3 dimension!
Right now, you’ve already got the basic screenie. Now we’re going to use our artistic minds to make it look cool!
At first, like you can see, screenshots from TrackMania mostly include some really sudden and hard transitions. To fix this, I mostly use some Gaussian Blur (Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur). In this screenshot I used a 2.0 pixels Gaussian Blur:
Then go to Image > Adjustments, and there you can play with the Color Balance, the Brightness & Contrast, the Hue and Saturation, the Variations and many more. It’s a matter of taste what you use therefore. I made something easy with these options, and now it looks like this:
Then make a new Layer. Now you can make some text if you want, or add a signature, or whatever you want to add to the screenie. Since I used Kyo’s track Rattlegore, I’ll just add that trackname in the screenie.
With Layer > Layer Style, you can make the text look nice, like adding some depth to it, or using the Stroke function.
Now we get to the last step to make an easy but nice screenie, and that are the filters. Of course, when you already think that the screenie you’ve got so far looks good, then stop changing it, but when you think you should be able to add a nice extra dimension, play a bit with all different kinds of filters that are included in Photoshop.
NOTE: Don’t forget to select the image-layer, and not the text-layer when you’re going to use the filters. When you want to include the text to the image when using filters, merge the layers together, but then don’t forget to save your screenie before doing so!
It is pretty common to first duplicate the layer you’re going to use filters with, set the layerstyle to “Overlay” and to reduce the opacity of that duplicated layer, to get a nicer effect.
To get the specific effect that I made in my screenie, I duplicated the layer, set it to Overlay, reduced the opacity to 50%. Then I used the filter Pixelate > Mozaic at 25 pixels, followed by five times a Sharpen > Sharpen filter. Special thanks to HwanDoo for learning me lots more about Photoshop filters!
Now you’ve finished your screenie. Don’t forget to save the Photoshop-file with the different layers first, then save it as a .JPG file.