Sunday, 28 December 2014

Homework [Inkscape]

25x25px Grid - snap rectangles and half of a circle to grid - boolean op with two circles on another rectangle for the top/bottom - union everything - add stroke or duplicate with dynamic offset - tile

Saturday, 27 December 2014


After processing the image with the Quantize script, i selected each colour and filled it with a colour from a palette.

Get saulgoode's Quantize script here.

The background was made in Inkscape with the tiled clones tool.

old Version

Poster Style

This effect uses filtered stripes for a hatching look.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Friday, 18 July 2014

3D Doodle

Extrusion made in Inkscape. Textures (MotionBlurred Noise) and colours in Gimp.
Inspired by the mighty ChrisF's tutorial.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Stroke Tutorial II

This tutorial is an update of my Adding a Stroke/Border post from 2013.

Judging from my blog-statistics, people are interested in this technique, but i felt the original post was really ugly and needed an overdo.

So here it is. If you like what you see, please post a comment. Always interested in feedback !

Whenever we want to add an outline to a text, we do that by stroking a path.
The reason is quite simple: if you stroke a selection instead of a path, your result will not look smooth.
Here you can see the difference:

Stroking a path is easy:
a) Alpha select your text, then go to Edit → To Path
b) a path will appear in your paths tab
c) with the path selected, you stroke the path on a new transparent layer

Now what if you want a stroke made from a gradient ?

a) Stroke the path as above.
b) Lock the alpha-channel of the stroke layer.
c) Drag your gradient over it.

And if you want your stroke to be made of a texture (an image) ?

a) open the texture as a new layer and scale it to your needs
(im using a sandtexture from here)
b) alpha select your text
c) with the textlayer active, add a layermask from selection

d) shrink the selection depending how thick you want your border
e) with the layermask active, fill the selection with black, then deselect

This technique has certain disadvantages.
If you look very closely, you will see the textlayer bleeding through at the edges.
We can fix that by alpha selecting the text, shrinking by 2px and then apply a layermask from selection to the textlayer.

Also there are no sharp corners where the selection has been shrinked.
Plus the jaggy edges inside...

Here is a different technique, that may be a better solution. 
I will use a gradient layer this time.

a) alpha select your text and save it to a channel
b) activate the quickmask (Shift + Q) and stroke the path with white (!), but at double the size you want your border to be !
So if you want your border to be 8px, stroke the mask by 16px !

c) deselect the quickmask (Shift + Q), a selection will appear
d) go to your channels tabs and choose 'Intersect with Selection'

e) fill the selection with a gradient/colour on a new transparent layer
d) alpha select the base text, shrink by 2 and apply a layermask from selection to prevent the bleed

Want the gold-gradient ? Download here !

Friday, 11 July 2014

Brushed Aluminium

This tutorial is an update of the brushed aluminium effect i posted one and a half years ago somewhere else.
The effect is very much based on the Satin, the rest is a bevel and a texture.

Lets begin:

Im using the font 'Simplified Arabic Bold', 250px, Spacing -6.
Colour: 4c4c4c

The background is 1000x400px, #9c9c9c.

Alpha select your text and save it to a channel for future use

Call up layerfx, make sure the basetext is active and apply Satin with the following values:

Add a bevel:

5.) Add a Dropshadow:
Alpha select your basetext, fill on a new transparent layer with black, deselect,Gaussian Blur by 8-10px.

That is the basic effect. You can tweak the Satin with an Alpha-Curve if you like.
In this example the Satin is tightened and you get a sharper look to the highlight.

Or do some funky stuff with your highlights and shadow. In this example i applied an Alpha-Curve (rounded steps) to the highlight.
(Open image in new tab to see better what i did)

This tutorial is called brushed aluminium, so we have to add a texture to the effect.
We will create this texture with Noise and Motion Blur.

a) create a new layer in 50ies grey (808080) on top of all layers
b) apply RGB Noise 0,2 and Motion Blur
c) add a layermask from channel, to get rid of everything outside the textboundaries and set the layermode to 'Soft Light'
d) you can play with the effect with Contrast and/or Levels, depending on what you want
i recommend going for a very subtle look – dont make it too stripey !

6.) To finish the project, i applied a bit of Noise to the background to make it look less clean and added a very subtle highlight, which is a radial gradient from white to transparent.

If you want to take this basic effect a step further, turn off the background layers and the dropshadow, then apply a new from visible and work with it.


G'MIC → Colors → Color Temperature (18):

And after a heavy filter orgy, i came up with this. Dont ask me how i did it, though :D

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

same old

Revisited my Aluminium tutorial and tried to take it one step further with filtering and colour-curves.
Doesnt work on all parts (the 'a' and 'b' look crap), but if you click on the image and open in a new tab, you can see all the detail that i really like in its full 1600x1600px glory.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Street Glitz

Anyone remember ChrisF's Hollywood Glamour texteffect ?

Well that was fun, because i was so fascinated by Chris' excellent result that i wanted to create something similar and one of my experiments was the green glittery Phase2 text.

Last week i finally found the lost xcf on my computer and thought i could write a tutorial.
Unfortunately i cant remember how i did the glitter, which is funny because my techniques are pretty samey and predictable.

So i will present a variation of the Phase2 effect today.

01. Start with a canvas of 1000x500px, colour: #bababa.

02. I made the texture with a grunge brush. Unfortunately i cant remember which one.
Possible, it was xBlblx's Grunge Brush Set, treated with G'MIC Pastell Art.
You can find the set here:

Obviously any other grunge brush, texture (concrete for example) or technique will do.
Or you can use mine (open in new tab and save):

03. Set the mode to 'Soft Light' at approx 45%, then merge down.

04. Next type your Base-Text.
Im using the font: 'Kaushan Script' at 284px in a #b3de27 green.
You can get that font here:

05. Alpha select your text, save it to a channel and a path, then deselect !

In this tutorial i will set up the basic design first and the decorating later.
Normally i would do it the other way round:
Make the text, add bevels, texture, etc. and then build up the composition.

06. For a Shadow-Mat, alpha select your text, grow the selection by 15px and fill it on a new transparent layer with a 20ies gray (#343434).
Convert the selection to a path then deselect.

To make the edges nicer, stroke the path on the same layer, with the same colour by 3px.

If there are some gaps left, fill them with a brush.

07. On a new transparent layer underneath your text, Stroke the path by 7px with a medium gray (#808080).

Now for the decoration:

08. Add an Inner Shadow to the Base-Text.
a) alpha to select Base-Text
b) invert
c) fill with a darker shade of the green we used for the text: #002e1b
d) deselect
e) Gaussian Blur by 20px
f) Offset by x: -2; y: -4 ('Layer → Transform → Offset')
d) add layermask from channel
e) set Mode to 'Hard Light'
f) adjust blur with an alpha-curve at coordinates approx: 121/172

09. For the Highlight:
a) create new transparent layer on top of the Base-Text-layer (name it Highlight-Base) and turn it off !
b) alpha select your base text and shrink it by 3px
c) fill with any colour (i used red for visibility)
d) use the values from my screenshot
(adjust Angle and Altitude so that you get a nice highlight, depending on the font, that can vary)

e) delete the shadow-layer
f) tighten the highlight with an alpha-curve (thats why i used the high value of soften (= blur) in the first place) – again, this curve can vary, depending on your project !
Use the Force, Gimper !  ;)

g) i like to set the Mode to 'Addition' for the strongest white, but 'Screen' will do as well

For reasons unknown to me, the path of the Shadow-Mat has a few artifacts (little triangles).
You will have to delete them manually with the Paths-Tool.

With that done:

10. Create a new layer on top of the Shadow-Mat (name it Shadow-Mat-Stroke) and stroke the Shadow-Mat path with a 40ies gray (#656565) by 2px, then Gaussian Blur it by 1px to smooth the slightly jaggy looking edges.

11. Add a Dropshadow to the Shadow-Mat:
a) alpha select Shadow-Mat
b) fill with black on a new transparent layer (named Dropshadow)
c) Blur by 12px
d) set Mode to 'Multiply' at 75%

12. Activate the Stroke layer and apply a Bevel, with the following values.

13. I added a Mini-Shadow under the base-text layer:
a) create new tansparent layer underneath the Base-Text
b) alpha select Base-Text, fill with black
c) Gaussian Blur by 1px

The effect is very subtle !

And last, the killer feature, you've been all waiting for: the Glitter !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a) Duplicate the green Base-Text and rename it Glitz.
b) Apply the Cubism Filter (Filters → Artistic → Cubism) with the following values:

c) Apply a layermask from channel.
d) set the Mode to 'Soft Light'

a) Duplicate the Base-Text again, put it on top of the Glitz-Layer and name it Glitz 2.
b) Apply the Mosaic Filter (Filters → Distorts → Mosaic)

c) alpha select the Base-Text and shrink by 5px
d) apply a layermask from selection, then deselect
e) with the layermask active, Gaussian Blur it by 5px for a softer transition
d) with the Glitz 2 layer active apply 'Adjust Hue/Lightning/Saturation'
Make sure the yellow channel is ticked !

Did a few tiny tweaks on this one for better contrast.

And with a few more tweaks this looks like cherry strawberry (hi ofnuts).

Aaaand another version that is from the development phase: