Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Ultimate Oldskool Chrome-Effect

A texteffect i made by following a tutorial by Shawn Kent:

His video-tutorial is based on an old 90ies Photoshop effect book, called the 'WOW Book 4'.

Because Gimp doesnt have the same filters as PS, i recreated the effect by using the Displacement Filter.

Instead of using the channel technique that didnt work for me, i just made a frame by shrinking the alpha selected text by an amount i wanted for the bevelling, then cut and blurring the frame.

So i end up with a blurred frame on a transparent layer and used that as my Displacement-Map.
You chose pretty big values for the displacement because you want a zigzag effect on the original image.
And thats really it.

I added a bevel with layerfx and applied anisotropic smoothing in G'MIC to make some of the jaggy distortions a bit nicer.

As you may remember, i have talked about landscapes as gradients inside a texteffect before. In case you missed it, here are the relevant posts:

Layer Play

This is an exercise in playing with layering gradients and textures. 
The Inner Glow has different values for horizontal and vertical.

The texture is made from a Grid with Spread and then Motion Blurred

If you want to study what i did, here is the XCF

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Shiny Tekniqz

All texteffects in this post follow the same principle:
  • The basetext is filled with a texture (an image or a gradient).
  • The basetext has a stroke made of a gradient that gives the edges of the text a shiny look.
  • The basetext has an outer bevel. Highlight and shadow are treated with curves to give the bevel a shiny look.

The texture of this texteffect is a metallic gradient. I think Draconian made it and you can get all of them here:

I also applied the G'MIC Fish Eye Filter to the gradient layer as you see below.

The shiny edge gradient is no custom-gradient, just the normal FG-BG on repeat but treated with a colour-curve.

Font is 'SedonaScriptFLF Medium'.

XCF for the following two effects.

Here the texture is a scaled image of the sea, i found with google.
The shiny edge gradient consists of two gradients layered and blended with layermodes. A bit of curves as well, of course ;)

Same texture as above again, but this time treated with the new G'MIC 'Frosted Glass' filter that Ronounours created and then bumpmapped with itself.

The Inner Shadow (Blur 5) between shiny edge and texture got the ring-contour treatment.

Tekniqz XCF

For this experiment i used the Square Gradient.

Cherry XCF

Sunday, 17 November 2013

shiny diagonal Edges

Same technique as below, but with a different Shape, Repeat and a simple 2-color gradient. Then Color-Curves.

You could do this with the layerfx Gradient Overlay and get very precise results, because you can always preview and tweak the values until you are 100% happy. The problem is: it will give you jaggy edges.

As a workaround to this problem, you could make a rectangular selection around the text, fill it with any colour on a new transparent layer. Then make another selection from the text and fill the rectangle with a different colour.

With that layer as your base, apply the layerx Gradient Overlay, and finish your Stroke with a layermask.

shiny Edges

The gradient editor in Gimp has a lot of limitations in comparison to Photoshop.
There is no live editing. 
You can do live editing in Inkscape but switching between the two programs for a text effect is not ideal.

In Inkscape you can give each object (like text for example) a fill and a stroke.

A fill can be colour, a gradient or a pattern. Same for the stroke. They dont have to be identical and thats the cool thing:
you can give your text a fill of, say gray, and make the stroke a gradient.

This is especially useful when you want to give your texteffect a stroke that looks shiny. And the best thing: you can edit the gradient and see how it immediately changes the look - in realtime so to speak.
Like adding colourstops, position them wherever you want and change the angle of the gradient.
Thats the power of vectorgraphics. Doing the same thing in Gimp with the gradient editor would be very hard and tedious.

As an example, here is a texteffect i made in Inkscape:

and here is a screenshot, so you can see the gradients:
(The diagonal line with all the little squares, thats the gradient of the stroke and each square is a stop for a colour. You can move these stops around and change the colour whenever you want)

In this tutorial i show you an easy way of getting a shiny stroke on a metallic looking text.

01. I used a canvas of 800x300px and the font Ethnocentric 194px.

02. Create a new transparent layer and name it 'Gradient'.

03. Alpha select your text and save it to a channel.
Deselect, turn on the visibility of the channel and set the fill opacity to a 100%. Now everything outside the textboundaries is black.

I made this gradient, and you can download it from mediafire if you want.

04. With the gradient layer active, stroke the gradient from the top to the bottom of the text !
Make sure 'Adaptive Supersampling' is ticked and hold down CTRL to get a perfectly straight gradient.

05. When you are happy with the look, turn off the channel and apply a layermask 'From Channel' to the gradientlayer.
Also get rid of the basetext layer, by either turning it off or putting it under the Backgroundlayer.

06. For the Stroke we duplicate our gradient layer and rename the original into 'Stroke'.

07. Alpha select the basetext and grow the selection by 4px (or whatever you like for the stroke size).

05. With the layermask of the Strokelayer active, fill the selection with white.

06. Deselect and desaturate the Stroke layer. 
(For our chrome-trick to succeed, we need the layer to be grayscale - otherwise the blue will become brown.)

07. When you now play around with a Value Curve, you get your shiny stroke.

Shaping the curve gives you a bit of control how the light and dark areas will distribute so that you get a shiny look in the end.

08. For the finishing touches i added a Dropshadow (Blur 10) and tweaked the original Gradient a bit with a Value-Curve.

The End

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Halo goes off


01. Type your text - Font is 'MaroonedOnMars BB' 647px.

02. Apply Bevel.
Make sure 'Merge with layer' is checked !

03. Alpha Select Text, Grow (I used 8).
Fill with colour.
Deselect and offset if thats your thing.

04. Add a little Dropshadow for contrast (i used blur 8).

05. The Bevelled Text had slightly unclean edges (white border).
I fixed that by alpha selecting the text, shrinking by 1, then inverting and blurring by 2.
Then sharpening with an alpha-curve.

06. For the Halo, create a new transparent layer on top of the background.
Alpha select the Outset Halo Layer, fill with white to transparent gradient.
From top of the letter to approx. the middle.

Deselect, blur (i used 20).
Then apply an alpha-curve with the Ring-Contour.

07. Duplicate the Halo-layer and put some guides where you want your vanishing point.
With the duplicate Halo-layer active, apply 'Motion Blur' of the 'Zoom' type, with the 'Blur outward' unchecked,
For the X and Y-Value ('Blur Centre') use the coordinates of your guides.
For the 'Length' i used 65.

Then apply an alpha-curve to the motion blurred layer.

If you dont fully understand this technique, have a look at tutor4u's video. Thats where i got it from.

08. Next i erased the white from the middle hole of the A and applied a Grid texture (Filters → Render → Pattern → Grid) on a new layer.

Set the Mode to 'Grain Merge' and reduced the Opacity to 30%.

09. To get rid of the Grid inside the extrusion:

- i copied the white extrusion-layer to the clipboard, 
- added a black layermask to the Gridlayer 
- and pasted the copied layer into the mask.
- With the layermask active, i inverted the colours, 
- then applied a Value-Curve, to make the black areas of the layermask completely black, so that the Grid-lines vanish inside the extrusion.

10. Now for the magic ingredient:
turn off the grid and Background layer and apply 'New From Visible'.
Then turn the layers on again.

Apply G'MIC → Artistic → Graphic Novel.
For the Output, i chose: New Layer and set this new layer to 'Grain Merge' Opacity: 62%.

I cant tell you any exact values – i guess they depend on your individual case, but here is a screenshot of the values i used.

That concludes this tutorial, hope you find it useful.