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CONTEST Contest - SotW #552 Doctor Who


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How Doctor Who logo has regenerated down the years | In pictures |  Television & radio | The Guardian


Create a signature based on Doctor Who

Closing date for submissions: 24th January 2022

Next Week's Theme


Submission Stage Rules:

Participating rules:

  • Anyone can submit.
  • Screenshots are allowed JUST be creative. Don't leave them unedited!
  • Signatures resolution must be 500x250 or less. Make sure you do stick to the size limit. Width AND height. Entries with more pixels than the size limit won't be put up for the vote!
  • Do not use your past work which has already been submitted to the competition.
  • Do not use work that has been taken from another Author.
  • No Nudity.
  • No offensive remarks.

Breaking any of these rules can, and will, lead to disqualification from the current weeks SoTW.  

Participants can also write about their submitted signature. To do so, please write it underneath a title, Creator's Note. It will then be pasted under your submission in the voting stage.

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Helena Revan

Here's mine!

SotW 552 Helena.png



Artist's Note:



I knew from the beginning I wanted to do old-school Who, but high-quality images suitable for signatures aren't easy to come by—they tend to be blurry, low-resolution, or poorly lit, and you don't often get the characters in poses you want, plus I've learned to make my signatures about double size to get a cleaner final effect, which means I need large originals!  That ruled out all the images I could find of companions such as Sarah Jane Smith or Romana—they just wouldn't match this image of the Fourth Doctor, which I rendered in rough with the lasso tool, then edited around the edges (and especially the hair) with the eraser tool.



Since the original render is backlit with a lot of visible lighting along the Doctor's left side and arm, I needed a background that would account for similar lighting.  I'd already decided to try a space photo, and looking in my archive of nebulae I found this infrared view of the Orion Nebula, taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope:




The original was vertical, and I flipped it horizontally to get the bright center stars on the Doctor's left.  I later altered the hue to blue (on Draggy's advice) to complement the Tardis instead of the Doctor, making the Doctor stand out more.




The Tardis is rendered from this image, which I saved from a previous signature project, although I think I ultimately rendered a different image for that.  As you can see, the lighting makes it too bright, but I was able to darken it about 75% using the brightness-contrast tool, while increasing the contrast by 25% to make sure the light parts still stand out.  I rendered the window panes as a separate layer at full size, and tried a simple colorize to pale yellow, which seemed to work nicely.  Then I scaled them to match the Tardis and they fit perfectly.  I added a duplicate layer over top of them with a Gaussian blur of 5px to produce that nice, warm glow.


The title is really the Third Doctor's logo, but it's sometimes used for the whole franchise, and it works well here.  I originally envisioned a shiny green that faded into transparency, but after trying both yellow-green to complement the stars in the original red version of the background, and bluish green, which I preferred, I wasn't happy with the multiple colours across the signature.  Once Draggy suggested changing the background to complement the Tardis, changing the title to a complementary shade of blue seemed logical.  It took a few tries with masking and gradients to get both the shiny blue hue and the transparent fading at top and bottom to where you could read the beginning of "Doctor" but still see it fading out at the top.


The border just consists of 2px black lines (4px in the original) with 10px black at 50% opacity between them, layered below both the Doctor and the Tardis so that they could both pop out.  Originally I meant to put a row of lozenges in the center of the border, inspired by the Fourth Doctor's lozenge-shaped logo, but they were too distracting no matter what I did with them, and the plainer border (originally with white lines) produced a nice, understated look.  I added my signature and SotW number in Queen of Camelot Italic, a good title font I've used several times before, white with low opacity (the SotW number is more opaque, as it's over a lighter segment of background).


First version (the others between this and the final look pretty similar to the final version, with tweaks to the logo and text):

SotW 552 Helena 0.png


Thanks so much to Draggy for helping me refine it, and to IronSkull for encouraging everyone to keep making signatures!





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