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by Juan Manuel Sepúlveda



Creating Text with Photoshop



The graphics corner continues to review and compare two good Image manipulation tools: Photoshop and Gimp. This month our reviewers explore the creation of text banners.

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How to Create Text with Incandescent Effects

First let us open a new image of the size and resolution desired. If we are working on an image for a web page or screen the monitor resolution 72 pixels/cm is sufficient.

Under Photoshop before we start working it is advisable to load a palette of colours. You can find web palettes for Mac and PC in the page of Adobe. The use of web palettes let us "see" exactly on our screen how the final output will appear on the target platform. Not all platforms and makers interpret colours the same way.

After loading the palette and with a new clean image open we begin.

  • Fill the first layer with white colour.
  • Write the text (Please remember to use a thick type because applying too many effects on a thin type will make it illegible).

  • After writing the text Photoshop creates it on a new layer. Just merge it to the white layer.
  • Make a copy of this layer..
  • Select the copy and invert it. (That is make white colour into black and the other way around).
  • Next apply a Gaussian blur to the inverted image. The amount of blur to be applied depends on the resolution of the image. For an image of 10 x 5 cm at 72 pixels/cm resolution it is sufficient to use 3 or 4 pixels.

  • Now it is time to play !!! We can start testing various ways of combining both layers. This way we can experience the effects made by the layer operations like : multiply, divide, intense light, soft light, luminosity.

    For this example I have chosen divide y here is the result! Nice and simple.
  • But this is not all. If you notice carefully what our combination did was to let through slightly the black colour only in those regions where the borders where blur.
  • After having done all these, without merging the images, we select the magic wand. In options we choose a small tolerance in order to select only the white background, for example 10 and we select all the background and the hole of the "O". After everything is selected erase it.

  • Let us make another copy of the layer. Hide the upper layer. Push the edit quick mask mode to preserve the transparency and paint over the text filling up everything in red.
  • Now we can opt for two interesting steps:

First we can fill the text in the background with any colour, several colours or even a texture, and if we go to the upper later (with diffused borders) one can combine it in a couple of ways: First by multiplication ....
.... Or with soft light . The final effect is completely different but equally good.
If you decide to use a texture the results can be incredible....

  • We have created the main text already. This result is already excellent for a title on our web page. Let us next introduce a bit of incandescence effect on the text. This will enhance the perception of the text.
  • First combine both layers. The will end in normal mode.
  • Select the background (which is simpler to select than the text). To select it go to the magic wand and select 'similar'. That would select everything...

  • First let us make a new layer just in case we do not like the changes introduced and would like to try the same effect with other parameters.
  • After selecting the background and the holes of fonts like "o" shrink the selection a bit, about 3 pixels. Then feather it 2 pixels.
  • Next fill the selection in a strong red color and once again shrink it 4 to 5 pixels (always take into account that these numbers depend on the resolution of the image).
  • Feather the selection once more 3 pixels. At this point delete the selection pressing the DEL key.

  • If you do not like the result try again using other values for the parameters or even copy the layer multiply it with itself to enhance the effect.


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© Juan Manuel Sepúlveda, FDL
Translation information:
es --> -- : Juan Manuel Sepúlveda <jsepulveda(at)sinix.net>
en --> es: Miguel Angel Sepúlveda <sepulveda(at)linuxfocus.org>

2002-11-02, generated by lfparser version 2.34