Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GIMP: "COOL & EASY" No-Hassle Text Effects

I see a lot of GIMP text effect tutorials and they always involve creating multiple layers upon layers, this effect, or that effect. What if you just made your own text effect that could be re-used over and over again and NOT require duplicating layers? Could it really be that easy and simple, you ask? Yes, it can. It's not really a secret, but I am surprised that (up til this point) no one has taken advantage of (*gulp*) making animated brushes of their text. It's incredibly simple and quick, it will blow your mind why you didn't think of it before. Or maybe you did think of it before but just thought it was too complicated. First, the effect, so you can see what you're signing up for:



These are all brush strokes, folks.

I'm using the "Subway" font. If you want to use it, too, you can grab it here.

Video Tutorial:


Best viewed FULL screen.

Now on to the tutorial:

STEP 1:

Make your drawing window BIG (640 x 640), transparent, and at least 300 dpi.

STEP 2:

Type whatever it is you want to make a text effect of (i.e. your name, a title, etc.). Enlarge the font so that it takes up most of the width of the new drawing.




STEP 3: Using the Perspective tool, slightly angle the top of the text down toward the horizon (middle point of your text height):




You can lay it down even more, if you want, but keep in mind, the flatter you lay the text down, the smaller it gets.

STEP 4:

Now would be a good time to delete the transparent background layer. Crop the text to a decent, even size:




STEP 5:

The fun begins. Now that you have it in the perspective you want, and cropped to size, it's time to make it into an AWESOME animated brush. Save the file as whatever you wish to name it, but use the extension .gih, (Save the file to your .gimp-2.6/brushes folder):



These are also the settings for your new animated brush.

STEP 6:

The final step is "refreshing" your brushes and then testing out the new brush:


Using the Airbrush tool, selecting "Use color from gradient" start drawing with your new text brush, changing the gradients to test with. Now that you got this covered, you can always make new text brushes for other names or titles, etc.

(NOTE: If you don't feel like saving a bunch of text brushes in your brushes dialog, you can circumvent making the text into brushes by simply saving the text to an alpha selection, copying the selection - this automatically creates a brush default in your brushes dialog and will remain there until you copy another selection or image. While having the copied text selected, simply move the spacing slider down to 1 and off you go making cool 3D effects.)

EXAMPLES:

Here is just one example of the kinds of cool effects you can make using this text brush:




I used the text brush set at Incandescent gradient and in combination with Bernhard Stockmann's "Hot text on flames/fire" tutorial found here.

The trick here is to do Bernhard's tutorial first, using the text brush you made, setting both foreground and background colors to white, when using color as a gradient. You'll have to make the background black, the text white. Once you follow that tutorial through to the end, then set your text brush to the incandescent gradient, and work your way up.

If none of this is making any sense to you, leave a comment. If I get enough requests I'll just create the tutorial for this effect.

Enjoy! :)

12 comments:

  1. that....was a lot of fun. I'm going to make brushes using my daughters names.

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  2. Yes, these are fun. Family members had me making "their" names like I did mine. It's pretty easy getting caught up in the testing phase of different gradient effects.

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  3. when i save it and refresh it doesnt come up in my brush do you know why?

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  4. There could be a number of reasons. First check and make sure you saved it to your users/.gimp-2.6/brushes folder. Do you see the file you saved in the brushes folder? Let me know.

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  5. I'm REALLY new to this stuff. I've downloaded gimp 2.6 and i'm really strugling to use it.
    When you say in step #4 now is the time to delete the background and crop the text to size? I'm afraid I don't know how to to even that. I know i'm pathetic, but I gotta start somewhere. This brush idea is great for me cause I'm not to smooth with layers right now either. LOL great turorial tho. Thanks. Gimpnic

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  6. this is a very cool and helpful tut. thanks....only problem i have is i it's always black? i try and make it other colors and it just comes out black?

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  7. If you are using the paintbrush tool and you change the option to use color from gradient, (step 6) it will be in any color you select for the gradient.

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  8. when i press save and i refresh my brushes it doesnt show up im confused and can you plz give me step by step exactly wat to do starting at #5 because from there on im confused and it isnt showing up in my brushes box thing.
    I appreciate ur help :)
    Thanx

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  9. Not sure what more I can add to help you "get it". All you do is save your text image as an animated image (step 5 has a screenshot of the menu option for when you save your image/settings). I'll make a video of my steps within the next couple of days.

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  10. I put the video up here:

    http://www.mahvin.com/?p=2221

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  11. Very cool tutorial, mahvin.

    I watched your video about it also. Had to laugh when I saw you scrolling through your brushes. Looks like mine. Brushes are addictive as are patterns, fonts, scripts, etc. :)

    O

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  12. Yeah, I had to force myself to use GURM to keep better control, but I think I need to organize them better so I can remember what brushes are where.

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If you intend to comment to complain about being unable to perform certain steps with tutorials, please explain where you are in the step process and what step you are unable to get to work correctly, instead of saying something like, "I can't do this!". Your comments will help get tutorial corrections made and help give clarification to future viewers who may have trouble in the same locations. Thank you. :)