How Do I Make the Backgrounds?

Over at The Delta Institute, I have a wide variety of backgrounds to chose from to make those nifty little graphics. (Like the ones that say “news”, “entertainment”, and “really boring story”.) But have you wondered where I got those backgrounds from? Who I commissioned? How much money I shell out to get them drawn up, because if I pay money for them, I should really start considering a refund?

Actually, I make them all myself. What I generally do is take some general, generic photo. It doesn’t really matter WHAT it is. In this instance, it’s a close-up of a Christmas tree, all decorated for the holiday.
There’s no real way to make it all fancy-shmancy in order to use it for TDI, right? WRONG! First, I open the image in Adobe Photoshop Elements. I them duplicate the image into 2 images, or “layers”. For layer 1, I use a blurring effect that kind of makes it look like some sort of vortex is sucking the image in. I use the same effect for layer 2, but only in a different location. I then remove the color from one of the layers, so I don’t have conflicting interests. I then simply merge the images together, chose a nice color (which I could change later, if I want to), and voila! You’ve got yourself a TDI-ready graphic.
It’s so easy. The headers for the Delta and Epsilon Institute’s? I made them through a very, very similar process. All of my backgrounds started off as ordinary images, but through a flurry of blurring effects and filters, I’ve got myself a flashy backdrop, ready to use. And now you know a little bit more about how stuff is put together for TDI. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

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