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