This week’s free InDesign FX video demonstrates the kind of complex and subtle effects you can achieve by blending several instances of an object with different fills, opacity levels, and blending modes.
Posts Tagged ‘Text Effects’
As Deke points out in the video, some fonts already have an engraved, or sculpted effect built in, like Imprint Shadow for instance:
You don’t have to rely on a font to come with this effect though. You can create your own built-up, carved effect using any font you have available, Adobe Illustrator, and a host of Transform and Offset effects applied systematically to a collection of strokes and fills. Take this type from last week’s project, which is set in the classic 1910 typeface Hobo, for instance:
In the video, you’ll see how Deke transforms flat letters into sculpted, almost molded, letters by duplicating the stroke and resizing, moving, and changing its colors to create shadows and the illusion of highlights. In the finished font below, you can also see he’s applied a similar treatment to the stars, which he demonstrates with another set of effects in this week’s video. Note the number of effects applied to the multiple strokes in the Appearance panel. These are all just mutated duplicates of the original stroke (in other words, no drawing involved):
The result, when combined with last week’s Spirograph-style embellishment, is this striking logo that—dare I say—really pops.
Deke will be back with another new technique next week!
Suggested courses to watch next:
• Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, Deke uses Adobe Photoshop to create the effect of hand-carved letters in a wooden sign. I don’t mean embossing typed-out text into a wood background, but rather, making hand-drawn letters look like they were manually carved into an old wooden sign many years ago and weathered over time. To create this effect, Deke uses the fairly uncommon Dissolve blend mode. While Dissolve is seldom used, for this particular effect it provides the gritty, worn edges we’re looking for. If you want to watch the video right now, here’s the episode:
If you prefer a step-by-step visual walk-through of this technique, here’s how it’s done:
Starting with an old wooden sign masked against an appropriately desolate background, Deke begins his technique by hand-drawing some white letters on to their own layer using a Wacom tablet.
The next step is to make the letters soft and more or less invisible. Deke starts by setting the fill Opacity to 0% in the Layers panel so that the writing disappears. Next, he brings back the edges of the now invisible letters by applying a white drop shadow. To do this, click the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Within the dialog box, set the color of your drop shadow to white, the Opacity to 100%, and the blend mode to Normal. In order to ensure the original characters don’t cut holes in the drop shadow (which will become the basis for the letters from this point on), Deke unchecks the Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow check box in order to see the shadow all by itself (minus the actual letters that informed it).
In order to get the dithered-edge effect that will simulate carved, weathered wood, Deke applies the seldom-used (and, in truth, seldom-useful) Dissolve blend mode to the drop shadow. Although Dissolve is problematic in most situations, for this technique it works well. Setting a Distance value of 0 and Size value of 10 creates noisy, ratty edges.
The next step is to turn the letters into a layer mask, so that you can ultimately make a selection that includes both the shape of the letters and the effects you’ve applied. Deke starts by creating an adjustment layer beneath the Go Away character layer that’s filled with black. To do this, click the layer with your sign image to make it active, and then click the black-and-white circle icon to bring up the fill/adjustment layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers panel. Choose Solid Color from the pop-up menu, and set the color to black. Next, go to the Channels panel and grab the white letters off the black background by Command-clicking (or Ctrl-clicking on a PC) the RGB channel option to automatically select the white characters, and deselect the black background.
Once Deke has the selection he wants with all its great noise-infused edges, he turns off the original Go Away character layer and black background layer and duplicates the sign image layer to serve as a base for where he’ll create the carved letters. Since, in its original incarnation, the sign layer once served to mask the sign against the background, you’ll see the duplicate you made of the sign layer also has a layer mask that is no longer needed (or wanted). Right-clicking on the layer mask and choosing Delete Layer Mask from the contextual menu gets rid of your layer mask and puts you in a position to add a Go Away–shaped layer mask to the new sign layer. Clicking the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel will create that mask based on the currently loaded selection.
Because the letters are filled with the sign and they are set against the very same sign, they’re invisible ghostly placeholders until Deke applies some layer effects. First, the carving gets burned into the sign by applying an Inner Shadow effect. After clicking the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choosing Inner Shadow, he sets the color to a dark brown (Hue: 30, Saturation: 100, Brightness: 25), sets the blend mode to Linear Burn, sets the Opacity to 50%, the Distance to 15 pixels, and the Size to 25 pixels.
To add some differentiation around the outline of the letters, Deke next adds an Outer Glow layer style. Since the Layer Style dialog box is already open, he can just click Outer Glow from the left-hand list. After setting the color to the same dark brown used for the inner shadow (Hue: 30, Saturation: 100, Brightness: 25), he changes the blend mode to Linear Burn again, sets the Opacity at 55%, and the sets the Size to 2 pixels.
Finally, Deke applies color to the inside of the carving by clicking Color Overlay from the left-hand list within the still-open Layer Style dialog box. Using a color of Hue: 30, Saturation: 75, Brightness: 35; a blend mode of Hard Light; and an Opacity of 40%, he fills the Go Away letter area with a rich dark brown. Clicking OK at this point applies all three layer effects.
In order to give the carved area an appropriate sense of depth, Deke moves the wood grain inside the letters down by unlinking the image from its mask (click on the chain-link icon between the sign image and Go Away layer-mask thumbnails) and nudging the sign image down five pixels. You can do this by clicking on the thumbnail with the sign image to make it active; then, holding down the Command key (or Ctrl key on a PC), press the down arrow button five times.
Finally, to turn the stray pixels around the outlines of the letters into little bits of Photoshop-simulated wood grain, Deke applies a bit of motion blur. Clicking the Go Away layer-mask thumbnail to ensure he’s only applying the blur to the mask, Deke chooses Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, sets the Angle to -3 (to match the direction of the wood grain), and a sets a Distance of 5 pixels.
To compensate for the softness created by the blur, Deke lastly applies a bit of sharpening by selecting Filter > Sharpen > Smart Sharpen, then setting the Amount to 100, the Radius to 1, and the Remove setting to Lens Blur.
And here is the final effect:
You can see this entire technique in detailed action, including on-the-fly tips and insights from Deke, in the video above, or by navigating to video number 160 on the lynda.com Deke’s Techniques series page. Please let me know in the comments if you like this expanded combination of text instruction alongside video, and if you find it helpful.
And, of course, since we don’t want you to really go away, Deke will be back with another technique next week.
This week’s Deke’s Techniques video demonstrates the relatively simple, but oh-so-useful method for filling your Illustrator type with a photographic image. The steps are straightforward, but you’ll need Illustrator CS5 or better in order to use the handy (and crucial to this technique) Draw Inside mode. With Draw Inside mode active, it’s just a matter of selecting the text you’d like to alter and placing your photographic texture of choice inside the type.
If you want a stroke or a drop shadow, you’ll need to use the Layers panel to select your text independent from your image texture, then skillfully navigate the Appearance panel in order to add stroke and drop-shadow effects to the appropriate object inside of Illustrator. (Rookie’s note from a fellow Illustrator rookie: Make sure you choose the Stylize menu item from the top of the Effects menu, not the second half.) The final result is this formerly boring text on the left turned into the editable, tweakable barn-stormin’ effect on the right.
For members of lynda.com, Deke’s also has another member-exclusive video this week called Adding strokes behind photo type that shows you how to create a double stroke around this effect. It sounds simple, but it’s Illustrator, so you’ll be happy Deke is by your side with answers to the oddly complicated nuances you’ll encounter when tackling this technique.
See you back here next week when Deke returns with another quick and useful technique!
This week’s free Deke’s Techniques is the first recorded in Illustrator CS6, but aside from the new dark interface atmosphere, there’s nothing in this technique that can’t be done in earlier versions of Illustrator. Which is to say, placing type on the top and bottom of what appears to be the same circle still requires some finesse, even in this era of Illustrator CS6. In today’s tutorial, Deke will show you exactly how it works.
This technique is ultimately a matter of understanding how to stack two different circles, using the alignment setting and Smart Guides to your advantage, and then adjusting the scale and tracking of the text to finish the effect. The result is type placed on a circular path, with the center of each letter aligned, like you see in this fiercely aligned logo:
For members of lynda.com, Deke’s got an exclusive follow-up movie called Making flared type on a circle that demonstrates how to convert your text to an art brush for those times when you need your letters to bend and flare with the curve of your circle, rather than aligning at the center of each letter. This technique is especially handy when you need to change a long word like tortellini to a word like milk that is much shorter and contains a very wide first letter.
See you back next week when Deke shares another free technique!
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques movie, Deke shows you how to make a text reflection appear in rippled water. You’ll start with this miraculously floating text set on top of a photo of gently moving water:
Next, Deke shows you how to create a base reflection by turning the text layer into a Smart Object, copying it, then using the Free Transform command to stretch the copy out and invert it. Then the real magic of this technique happens when Deke shows you how to create a displacement map from the water’s ripples, and how that map can be applied to the reflected letters. In order to ensure that the effect edges are smooth and believable, and that the letters get aligned correctly with the feet of the original text, you’ll need to pay close attention to the fairly sophisticated way Deke goes about building the displacement map in the free video. The end result is this study in serenity:
For a real study in relaxed reflection, this week’s member-exclusive Deke’s Techniques movie, Reflecting water back into type, shows you how to represent the waves of the reflected letters inside their original source letters. Yes, it’s a reflection of a reflection:
See you back next week with another free technique from Deke!
This week’s free Deke’s Techniques falls into my favorite category of effects—those that create something from nothing. In this case, the ‘something’ is elegant, weighty letters that appear to be made of brushed stainless steel. The ‘nothing’ it takes to create this brushed metal effect starts with a window full of black pixels, and adds a couple of basic Photoshop filters, a few text and shape layers, some layer effects, and a couple of very important blend mode settings.
After transforming his window full of black pixels into a Smart Object, Deke starts by showing you how to create a pattern with noise and blur filters, and how to define your application of those filters as a pattern to be used later in the working document. Next, it’s a matter of applying a series of layer effects including variations on Drop Shadow, Gradient Overlay, Bevel & Emboss, and Pattern Overlay to your text and shapes that you would like to appear as brushed metal. Once you get these effects applied to one layer, you can Alt-drag (or Option-drag on a Mac) your effects to other layers to duplicate them, then tweak to taste.
Inspired by Sunday’s Adobe CS6 release, I decided to try this technique on my own:
Using the Photoshop CS6 public beta for my experiment, during the process I subconsciously stumbled upon one of the quietly awesome new features in CS6—the ability to apply styles to an entire layer group. Because it is the sixth Adobe Creative Suite, I decided to make six hexagonal shapes to serve as bolts in my composition. I wasn’t quite sure where I wanted them to go, so I left them each on separate layers and grouped the layers together. When it came time to apply the brushed metal effect, without thinking I just Option-dragged the layer effects onto the entire group, expecting it to apply to each layer. As you can see here in this view of the Layers panel, it was a success!
As I was doing this, it suddenly dawned on me that this kind of process used to be way more tedious. Adobe refers to updates like this improvement as Just Do Its, or, JDIs—I refer to them as ‘so convenient it always should have worked this way’ updates.
Meanwhile, if a brushed stainless steel effect isn’t to your taste, Deke also has an exclusive movie for members of lynda.com that discusses how to add a a brushed copper effect to your objects or shapes.
See you back next week with another free technique!
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, you’ll see how to create text out of thin air—well—smokey thin air. Using a photograph of smoke and some editable text, Deke shows you how to make wispy, ethereal letters using a standard text layer and Smart Objects.
You’ll start by putting your white, soon-to-be smokey, text in front of a plain black background layer, and merging these two layers to make a Smart Object. Next, you’ll work on distorting the text with a smart version of the Wave filter and managing the Randomize setting (which means clicking it until you get something you like) to make your smoke seem properly transient.
Then it’s a matter of adding appropriate Motion Blur, applying the best blend mode (in this case Color Dodge), and finishing up with some more Gaussian blur. Because Color Dodge is one of those blend modes that responds to Fill Opacity better than standard layer opacity, you’ll also reduce the Fill Opacity. The result is this completely editable, ethereal effect:
If this effect seems familiar, it’s because you’ve probably seen it in action in the thumbnail graphic and introductory movie from Deke’s free Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview course (a living example of Deke using his effects in his own projects).
See you back next week with another free technique!
Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop CS6 Beta Preview
• Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
• Photoshop Blend Mode Magic
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Advanced Blending