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Old 2006-12-15, 06:37  
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
How to get this:
  • Short Version
    1. Make your sig as you would normally..
    2. Increase the Canvas Size..
    3. Group all the layers..
    4. Add a Layer Mask..
    5. Select the Gradiant Tool.. chouse Liniar Transparent to Black (or vice versa)
    6. Select the Layer Mask and add the transparent gradients you want..
    7. Trim it back to size..

  • Long Version
    1. Complete the sig.. borders etcetera should appear..
    2. Increase the Canvas Size.. there are 2 ways to do this..
      1. Using the Crop Tool..
        Select the Crop Tool ( C )
        Using the Crop tool Select everything
        Now drag on the corners to increase the selection (increase the selection on all sides)
        Click OK (or hit Enter)
      2. Alternative
        Go to Image > Canvas Size ( Ctrl + Alt + C )
        Change from Pixels to Percentage
        Increase Hight and Width to 130 or greater..
      Your Canvas should be bigger now

    3. Group All Layers.. again 2 ways to do it..
      1. Using Shorcuts..
        Ctrl + Alt + A
        Ctrl + G
      2. Using the mouse..
        Click First Layer
        Shift + Click last layer
        Go to Layer > Group Layer
      You should see a folder with all the layers in it. (indicated by the fact they are now indented a little)

    4. Add a Layer Mask.. just select the Group Folder and add a Layer Mask
      You can do this either via the Add Layer Mask Button (Gray Square with White Circle in the middle) in the Layer Pallet.. or, go Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All
      After doing this nothin' should change visually..

    5. Select the Gradient Tool.. and chouse Liniar Transparent to Black..
      The Gradiant Tool is located right bellow the Bucket Tool, you can select it by tapping Shift + G two times.. or by clicking and holding on the Bucket Tool (a menu should pop up) or by Shift+Click on the Bucket Tool or by left clicking on the Bucket Tool (menu should pop-up) etcetera (yes, there are other ways *wink* )

      When the Gradient Tool is selected (which looks like a gradient btw) the Tool Settings bar above gets updated.. There should be a gradient indicator.. if it's going from Black to White the click the little arrow next to it to bring up a pop-up windows and select the Black to Transparent gradient from the list....
      On the right of what I refered to above as the gradient indicator, there should be a series of bottons (that look like difrent gradients..) Select the first one (if it's not already the selected one).. it should have the tool tip 'Liniar Gradient'

    6. Select the Layer Mask.. and add the transparency..
      Now, when you added the Layer Mask to the Group you noticed that a big white thumbnail appeared on the right of the folder icon.. (just like with a single layer.. where adding a Layer Mask would add a thubnal next to the old one.. resulting in 2 thumbnails for the 2.. )

      The thumbanils aren't useless.. they are basically buttons.. (with only one selected at any given time).. The one that is currently selected should have alil black outline around it..

      Like I mentioned earlier in the thread a Layer Mask is just like a picture.. and for a Layer Mask.. Black hides and White reveals.. so if we were to cover half of the Layer Mask in black then that would result in half of the image being invisible..

      If you find it dificult to draw withouth seing what you draw then you can view the Layer Mask by Alt + Click on the Layer Mask Thumbnail.. or Alt + Shift to overlap the Layer Mask on the fill (in partially transparent red)

      To add a gradient click on a starting point and then drag and release on an end point.. the grater the distance the less compact the gradient would be..

    7. Trim it.. as in remove all the useless transparent pixels around the edges.. as in go Edit > Trim > OK

<?> Why increase the Canvas?
<!> You could eye-ball it right.. but that's very tricky and it's very easy to get fooled.. the general error that happens is that you make the transparency.. but because your not seing 0 fill as a comparison you don't notice that at the edge your sig isn't totaly transparent.. so when you load it on a page.. a little edge appears, where the fill goes from being a lil' transparent to totally transparent.. very ugly..
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