Friday, 13 September 2013

Colourful 3Dish Text With A Stroke

Here i will show you how to create the colourful text made with the german flag gradient from my last post.

01. Start with a canvas 700x300px in #35323d.

02. Type your text and align it as usual.
I used the font 'Ultra Violent BB' 173px, then converted the selection to a path and stretched the text to give it more height.
Also save the alpha selected text to a channel for future use.

03. Then fill the customised path with the 'German flag smooth' gradient. I had to try several times to get it right, so there wasnt too much black.

If you find that difficult try this instead:

a) Create a new layer on top and drag the Gradient Tool (with adaptive supersampling ticked, to get a nicer gradient), from the bottom to the top of the text.

b) Turn your saved channel on, change Opacity to a 100% and the colour to something else than black for good contrast (i chose green).

c) now you can drag around your gradient layer with the Move Tool or scale it with the Scale Tool until your text looks eactly the way you want it.

d) I scaled my gradient layer 97% down in height. To be able to see it better, i reduced the Image Opacity in the Scale Tools Options Menu

e) when happy, apply layer to image size and turn off the channel

f) with the gradient layer active, apply a 'Layermask From Channel'

04. Next the Stroke. Duplicate the gradient layer. We could now alpha select the base text from the saved channel and shrink it by 5, but there is a problem:
you get rounded edges and the very sharp corner on the right side of the number THREE doesnt look good.

There is a better way to grow the selection and get sharp corners, that is based on a technique by RobA.

Create a new layer on top.
Stroke the path with a width twice the size you want your stroke (i want a stroke of 5, so i used 10).

Now the tricky part: alpha select the stroked path and with the selection active, go to the channels tab. On your saved channel, right click and choose 'Intersect with Selection'.

That will give you a selection thats exactly the size your want your stroke but with sharp corners.

Now with the layermask of the Stroke layer active, fill the selection with black.
Then deselect.

You cannot see the result yet, because Stroke and Gradient text have still the same colour, but if you turn off the Gradient layer for a moment you see what we have done.

05. Lets quickly make the Inner Shadow:
-New transparent layer on top of the Gradient Text.
-With the Layermask of the Stroke Layer active, choose 'Mask to Selection'
-On the Inner Shadow layer, fill with black, then deselect !
-Blur by 10px
-Add 'Layermask from Channel'

06. To change the look of the stroke i applied 'Hue/Lightness/Saturation', like this:

Then created a new transparent layer under the Stroke Layer and filled the alpha selected BaseText with white.
Next i applied a Colour To Alpha on the Stroke`s gradient to get rid of the black and finally applied a layermask on the white text by calling up a selection from the mask, by rightclicking the layermask of the Stroke layer, choosing 'From Mask' and then applying the layermask 'From Selection'

07. Because the Stroke is a bit jaggy, i blurred both Layermasks (!) by 2px and then fine tune with a Value curve.
I chained both layers togester, then clicked on one layermask and applied the curve. That way, both layermask will be affected in the same way (thats a trick i learned form K1te).

08. Add a dropshadow (i used a Blur of 12px and an offset of 4/4). 
Reduced the Opacity to 55% with the Grain Merge Mode.

09. I want to make the Inner Shadow a bit stronger. No problem with an alpha curve:

Then reduced the Opacity to 45% at Multiply.

10. Finally i want to add an Outer Glow. I turn off Background and Dropshadow, click 'New From Visible' and turn everything on again.
Put the new Glow layer on top of the Dropshadow and blur by 8px. 
Reduce Opacity to 45% and set Mode to Adddition.

11. Looking at my piece i find it needs a bit more contrast. So i create a new transparent layer on top of the Gradient Layer, name it Outline.
Then i go to the layermask of my Stroke and apply 'Mask To Selection'. That gives me a selection of just the stroke. I Grow it by 1 and then fill it with black on my Outline layer.
Set the Mode to Grain Merge and reduce the Opacity to 71%.

12. At last i tuned the gradient of my Stroke layer with an alpha curve, so that the purple gives more space for the white from the Stroke tune layer.

And thats it, hope you did not find it too confusing as there are quite a few tricks involved.
If you want to have a look at my xcf, here is the download link:

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