Friday, 8 December 2017

The Need For Gold


December is always the time of year when you are suddenly in need of gold.
Goldtext and golden gradients for christmas and new years eve.
I find gold a lot harder to make than chrome, and there arent many good tutorials online.

Luckily we are in the age of flat design which makes things a bit easier, because we dont have to struggle with complicated texteffects. So no bevels, shadows and glows, just a basic golden texteffect.

With this in mind, it all comes down to gradients once again and we all know Gimp's gradient editor is a bit intimidating.

But fear not, here is an easy tutorial.


Before we can start we have to decide on what kind of gold we want.
Fire up your searchengine of choice and find a goldimage with colours that you like, then open in Gimp.

01. Click on 'Create New Gradient' in the Gradients Dialogue.
The 'Gradient Editor'will pop-up in a new window .
Give your gradient a name and save.

 
02. Now here's a cool trick not many people know of (although its documented in the manual):
you can drag and drop colours on the little black triangles with your mouse, and add new triangles (called stops) by dragging and dropping a colour into the field where the gradient is displayed.

Theres one thing we have to be a bit careful about: the gradient editor has no Undo function.
So one mistake can mean that you will have to start all over again, if you cant fix it.
This tutorial is so simple that it shouldnt be a problem.

03. Find a base goldcolour and a shadowcolour with the Colourpicker Tool from the goldimage you downloaded from the internet. Drag them on to the left and right triangle stop in the gradient editor.


04. Call up the menu with a right click and replicate the segment by two.


05. Select one segment (Shift will add segments to the selection) and flip it, so that the gradient will be darker at the ends.


06. Adjust the gradient's colours by moving the white triangles. Most of the times its good to have more light than dark.


07. You can also make use of the 'Blending Function For Segments' and change the way the colours blend into each other.


08. Click the save button again and exit the Gradient Editor by clicking the X.
You can go back at any time to your custom gradient and change it with the 'Edit Gradient' button.


Now lets apply our new gradient to a text layer.
Im using the font Yokawerad Medium 150px.

Make sure you have your text in the position you want and before you apply 'Layer To Image Size', create a path by clicking 'Text To Path' with the right click menu.
This will give you a better quality path than converting alpha selected text into a path.
An important detail when we want to add a stroke to our text.

Here you can see the difference: left side (blue) 'Text To Path' is accurate, while on the right side (red) 'Selection To Path' is sligthly rounded and inaccurate.


After you converted the text into a path, apply 'Layer To Imagesize' and lock the Alpha Channel.


Now you can drag the gold gradient on to your text. Make sure you have 'Adaptive Supersampling' ticked, for the best quality gradient.


To add a stroke, we simply stroke the path on a new transparent layer that is behind the text. Dont forget to check the 'Line Style' in the dropdown menu. Some strokes look better with rounded corners.



To make this stroke look shiny, lock the alpha channel on your stroke layer, and drag the same gradient (or a different one) over on Repeat Mode.
The most straightforward is using the 'Sawtooth Wave' for the 'Repeat'.



Of course you can also use a simple FG to BG gradient for the stroke, without making a custom one.

Its important to not make the gradient stroke look too stripey. What you want is a bit of random looking highlights.

So use about half a letter width at 45° angle (hold down Ctrl to restrict angle while dragging the Gradient Tool).


That concludes this tutorial.

As a bonus im adding eight examples of gold gradients i made for you to use as a reference.

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