Playing around with text effects can be fun - and sometimes a PITA (pain in the a**) - depending on the effect you are going for.

When I first started playing around in PSP I found the inner bevel tool and thought it was god's gift to web page designers, as far as text graphics went. ;o)

Working with all the different effects that can be achieved with your text on graphics is mainly a trial and error type thing though - as I'm sure you've all discovered. You want it to look effective - but also it needs to be legible too. It's no good having the graphic and text there if no one can read it. In one of the earlier tut's I showed you how to make finer fonts appear bolder on the page without having to bold the font itself - eg: duplicating the layer it is on. Sometimes its not enough though.

Choosing whether to use a gif format or jpg to make your fonts clearer is also an option. The main thing is choosing the right effect for a particular font. Below you'll find some examples of different fonts and effects and also some plugin links for you to browse to add to your growing collections - which will make playing with text effects more fun ;o)

The header graphic for this tut used the basic 'Effects' tab - then 3D Effects which you are all probably familiar with now. ie:

  • Working = Inner Bevel,
  • With = Cutout,
  • Different = Drop Shadow,
  • Text = Chisel (though how anyone would think this an attractive look is beyond me?!?!?!) and
  • Effects = glass. (What? You don't have glass??? Oops - I snuck that one in *G*)
For those who don't have the PSP 7 anniversary edition - you may not have received the 'Eye Candy 3' plugin. Ok, click on the name and go download it! Yes this is the first of some great effect plugins you can add to make even more of your PSP. 'Eye Candy 4' (trial version) can also be downloaded - but this version will only give you three extra effects.

Ok - let's start with shadow effects:

This effect was simple to achieve.

  • Open your chosen graphic and convert it from a background to a layer.
  • Duplicate the layer by right clicking on the layer palette and creating a second layer - name these two layers, 'original' and 'copy'.
  • Choose your line tool, and using it as a vector bezier line create a curve across the graphic. (I chose an area lower than were I wanted to place the actual graphic.)
  • Using your text tool, find the arc of the line and click on it, using the font of your choice, make sure 'selection' is checked in the font box instead of 'floating'. Then hit 'OK'.
  • Move the area that is selected, a short way up your graphic, then go to 'Layers | New Raster Layer'. Go to your tool options box and drag this new layer below the 'floating selection' in your layer palette. Right click and defloat the layer to nearest raster layer. You can now delete the vector layer as well as the 'copy' of your graphic.
  • You can now add your drop shadow and adjust the placement of it.

  • Cutout text is a lot harder to play around with - mainly because if not done quite right it can look inner or outer bevelled instead. (Remember cutout effect is what we use to obtain a rounded look to globes.
  • Make your chosen graphic a layer instead of background.
  • Make sure your floating option is selected in your font box.
  • Type out your text - then move it around until it is on your graphic where you want it to be. While the text is still selected - activate your main graphic layer.
  • Go to 'Effects | 3D Effects | Cutout' and apply the following settings:
    • Vertical: 2
    • Horizontal: 2
    • Opacity: 75
    • Blur: 2
  • You can either have the 'Fill interior with color' tab checked or unchecked.

    • Unchecked - the main graphic will still be visible within the cutout
    • Checked (as I used above) will give you a filled background - all you have to do is choose a colour that will matched with the graphic.
  • You may also like to play around with the cutout shadow colour as well, I always use the balck as it gives the best effect.
  • The above graphic shows the small jaggies around the letters when the anti-alias box in your text box isn't checked. This will give you bad jagged edges when uising any type of effect to your lettering.A smoother line in text when the anti - alias has been checked. It will also appear cleaner and clearer in all effects. The anti - alias gives all text a slight feather effect - approx .5 of a pixel.

    I would definately recommend the downloading of the above two plug-ins for you PSP - as the effects you can create with text and graphics with both versions of Eye Candy are almost unlimited. The glass effect as used above is contained in both versions of Eye Candy.

    Graphics Plus Techniques

    Tutorial © colour-by-numbers designs
    November 2002.
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