So Nonnie requested that I make a tutorial of how to create a graphic which looks like my icon, and so I delivered. I make no promises however on how clear this tut is, since this is my first one, but I hope this at least helps in some way. Enjoy! :)
Firstly, I use Photoshop CS5, but any version of PS should work. The controls or commands however might be in different places but they should all work the same.
1.) Open the image in Photoshop. For best results, find the highest quality version of the image, For example, this picture is 1593 × 1058 px. The bigger the better.
2.) Then, using the Quick Selection Tool, select the areas of of the picture you want to keep. In this case, Select all of Loki. This might take a while - I tend to take forever selecting the areas because I want to be absolutely sure I have left out bits of his hair or horns or the such.
3.) Then, go to ‘Select’, and click ‘Refine Edge’.
Your screen should pop up with something like this:
Now, feel free to use your own adjustments along the bars, depending on how smooth you want the edge of the selected area to be. Or feel free to copy my setting, whatever you wish. :)
4.) Now press “Ctrl + C” to copy the selected area. Then open a new document, (500 x 500 px) and “Ctrl + V” to paste the figure into the new document. Then, resize the figure using “Ctrl + T” to fit into the document area. It should look something like this now:
Optional: If your photo looks blurry, use the Sharpen filter to make it more clear.
5.) Duplicate the Layer with the figure on it. Drag the new layer under the old layer. Then, shift it over towards the left or right depending on where you want the shadow.
6.) Then, create a new layer on top of the Second Figure Layer, and fill the entire layer in white. Then right click on the white layer, and select “Create Clipping Mask”. It should now look like this:
7.) Fill in the background with a colour of your choice now. I picked yellow because I like yellow. So yeah lol… Aaannnddd it should look like this now:
8.) Now, feel free to adjust the colours and brightness and contrast of the picture. I played with random adjustments to reach this outcome:
Annnnnd there you go! I hope this was helpful~