Beginner How To Make A Simple CoA on Photoshop


In this tutorial, I will teach you how to make yourself a simple CoA (this is mainly for beginners) so that you don't keep bugging us artists about it. xD

Anyway, you can probably do this with gimp, but you'd have to figure some stuff out.

This is for beginner's who have photoshop.

Keep in mind that I probably have a different version than you. So, you'll have to figure out some things on your own. Sorry about that.

1. Starting Off
First, open up Photoshop (any version) and create a new template. Make the size 240x180 pixels. Click Ok.
Go to the Custom Shape tool.

Go to the top toolbar of the screen and select the Shape. Make it Rounded Square.

Click and drag from one corner of the picture to the other. It should end up like this:

Click and resize the rounded square so it looks like this:

2. Adding a Cool Gradient
Click on the Magic Wand tool.

Then, click on the rounded square. It should highlight like this:

With it still highlighted, go to Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient

A little window will pop up.
Click in Gradient in the box. Another window will pop up.

Select the black and white gradient.

Click on the small white square.

Then, click on the white Color box.

A new window will pop up. Select any color that you like. Click OK
I chose red, so it made the top part of the gradient red.

Click OK on both of the windows.

3. Outlining It
Next, you need to select the layer called Shape 1.

Go to File>Stroke (Outline) Selection...
A window will pop up.

Click the Color box and choose a white or light grey color. Make it 2 pixels as shown.

Now, go back and repeat the above process, but this time make it a black color instead of white. It will look like this when done:

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4. Adding A Picture
Go to google and find a picture you want on your CoA. I chose this one:

Now, drag the image to the Photoshop icon. The picture will pop up in a new template in photoshop.

Double click on the CoA template to go back to it. Now, drag the picture into the CoA template.

Resize it to fit the rounded square.

Hold down the Option/alt key on your keyboard, and click right between the two layers.

They will connect together, and the picture will be inside of the rounded square.

Then, go back to the layers, and click the opacity. Drag it down to somewhere between 20-60. Whatever looks best while showing some of the gradient.

5. Adding Text
I bet you want text on it. Click the Text tool.

Click on the picture, and type in the needed text.

Go to the top of the screen to change the color, font, and size of the text.

Click on the smudge tool.

Now, click anywhere on the picture. It will ask you to simplify the text. Click yes.
Once it is simplified, go to Edit>Stroke (Outline) Section again. This time, just do it once and make it black. You might need to adjust the pixels. It should now be outlined in black.

For cooler looking text, go to the layers bar and select the box that says Normal. It will pop up a list of options. Click overlay. If it is too dark, click soft light or something else. Experiment.

5. Finishing It Up
Delete the layer titled Background.

Click File>Save As.
Title it, and go to the format. For ingame transparence, you'll have to make it .gif. Click the option called CompuServe Gif. Click save. A little window will pop up now. Make sure you edit everything to make it the same as this:

Click OK, and there you go. It is saved. Now, just add it to your CoA ingame!

Finished Product:

If you do this tutorial, make sure you send your finished product to me! I'll want to see it! :)
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I have CS5 and believe me I felt like a noob who never touched PS while reading this tut :D so I think you should make a gimp version of this tut if you really wanna help noobs/beginners as most of them won't be using PS.

BTW nice guide +rep,only thing that I don't like is Gmap is way too opaque,lowering down its opacity would have resulted into a clear focal.

I have a question too,
Where did you get that shape tool which you used to make rounded rectangle ?
I mean it was inbuilt or you downloaded it ?


It was inbuilt. You just go to the Custom Shape tool, then you'll have to browse through the available shapes. It is in there.

Sorry, but I've never tried gimp. I don't plan on it either. Who knows? I had photoshop before I even knew what the heck it did lol. Some other people might too.


So this is what I ended up making with your tutorial Spyder:

Added a few extra effects in there, what do you think?

Just Added: 2 Variations:

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@ blurious excellent job
but I like the 3rd one most,only thing I will advice you is to erase the effects from the middle render


Okay so I re did the 3rd one...


By the way this is really my first time getting something successfully done in photoshop. So thank you Spyder for this tutorial which inspired me to try these out.


Definitely 2nd version is lot better
Maybe text is little dull,a brighter color would fix it


Loving how the guide already has a satisfied customer. :p And the result of it is pretty good, too!

Spyder, you should make templates for different steps. :D