Posted 09 June 2006 - 09:41 AM
Too many times have I seen unaltered, ugly text.
The Glowing Technique
First open up a project of your choice, I'm gonna be using this:
Now create your text. I've noticed that it works best with white, but use whatever colour you think looks good.
Now duplicate this layer and select the top layer. Then goto filters > blur > gaussian blur, and apply a gaussian blur of around 3-8. I used 6 for this perticular signature. Then set this layer to either Overlay, Soft light or Screen. Whichever looks best on your background.
Easy isn't it?
The Semi-Transparent Technique
As before, open up a project of your choice. I've found that this technique works best with detailed backgrounds with colour. This is what I'll be using:
Now create a text layer using white as your font colour (it works with other colours too, but white is definently best).
Now set that layer to Overlay, and duplicate until it looks good.
Now select one of your text layers, right-click on it and choose "Alpha to Selection". Now create a new layer that you place under the other text layers and name it "black". Then goto Select > Grow, and grow the selection by 1px. Then bucket fill it with black. Now set that layer to Overlay and duplicate it if it's still too bright. Just duplicate/delete text layers until it looks good. This is what I got:
Cut me in two and make me invisible
Yeah, the name sucks, so sue me. This will be a more theoretical part, so I won't post any guiding pictures.
Good text is not just defined by fancy effects and glowing edges, but most of all it's because of the placement. A good idea is that you should never let the text be alone. Let me give you an example:
So what's the difference between these two images? (textwise) The placement of the text is similar, but that's because there's nowhere else to put it on the second sig. But on the first one there's plenty of room to move the text. So why didn't I do that? To be honest, I have no idea. I guess I didn't really think about where I should put it.
Now to get to what's good about the text in the second one. First of all there's two lines of text. A headline (Nevon) and some subtext (lucky bastard). I choose to do the subtext in small letters only, to indicate that this is not the main thing in the text. If you look closely you'll see that the "k" sorta goes up into the "N", and the "b" goes into the "v". This makes it more of a unit, not two separate lines. This is good to try and achieve in most cases, but it's not neccessary. Can you also see that "Nevon" is written in a slightly bigger size? This is also to indicate that this is the main thing. Also, "Nevon" is of slightly higher opacity. Can you guess why? That's right, to indicate that this is the main thing. But here comes a neat trick. Try to accompany your text with a little blob of something, or a silhouette of something. This gives your text something extra, a little spice. Just try not to make it too big. The dohicky should be smaller than your text. Oh, and one more thing. Try to somehow connect it to the text. See how the crescent connects with the "N"? That makes it look like a unit.
Let me start you off with another good text vs. bad text example.
On the top example I'm using a very big, bold and fancy font. Sure, that can be good sometimes. But definently not here. Creating a sig with nice, big, bold and fancy text is VERY hard to pull off. In fact, I can't do it, and I'm writing a guide on how to make your text look better.
So for almost everyone I recommend using simple and small fonts. Such as Tahoma, Georgia, Times New Roman, Karthika and Arial. Arial is my personal favourite. I think all (or at least most) of these fonts belong to the serif-family. That means that they have little tails on the edges of the letters. the text I'm writing with right now belongs to the sans serif-family. It lacks that "tail".
Sans serif fonts look more modern, while serif fonts can both look modern and classic, depending on the style. Most fancy fonts are serif fonts.
On the bottom example I used Times New Roman for the main text, and a pixel font for the subtext. I'm not gonna explain the different strategies I had for this text, since you can read about those in the previous paragraph, but I am gonna tell you about the choice of colour, and that line.
I wanted to make sure that the main text and the subtext was clearly divided, so therefore I changed both the font and the colour. Since I wanted the main text to be the most visible, I chose to colour that. First I took a colour from my render. I chose a colour that fits with the main colour scheme, since I didn't want it to clash (luckily there were no such colours in this render). I then tried to type my text with that colour, but it was almost invisible (it blended TOO well with the background), so I made it a little bit darker. Then I typed my text in a pretty small size, and placed it where I wanted it (in the direction of the render's movement). After that I needed a subtext, so I named the piece "focus", for no perticular reason. I wanted to make sure that people didn't think my name was Focus (people are stupid), so I chose another small, modern font and typed it in black. Then I placed it under my main text. It looked okay, but it needed something extra. So I used a technique as old as time itself. The horizontal line.
The horizontal line
First I chose the same colour as my main text, since I wanted the line to be as long as my main text. So I made a new layer and used the pencil to draw a line that was slightly shorter than my text. Then I went to filters->blur->motion blur and set the direction to whatever is horizontal (0 perhaps?) and then just adjusted the length until it was the right length (the same length as my main text).
Stick to the formation. Just like the romans!
All along I've been talking about how important it is that your text is a unit, not several lines of (ugly) text. Well... I'm not gonna quit just yet. Take a look at these two images for example.
(Note: I tried to find a sig that I made with multiple lines of text, and this was the worst I could find. If someone thinks they've made a sig with multiple lines of shitty text, and would be willing to let me use it in this tutorial, please send me a PM.)
On the top sig I tried my best to keep the text a unit, but because I had two lines of text plus an icon, I think I failed. I've seen worse, but this is definently not good. First of all I wan't to advice you not to have your name and a long subtext. If you want a subtext, keep it short. My max is 2-3 words, but it's all up to you. I guess what I want to say is: don't overdo it. The main reason why the text fails is because of the icon. in other words, I overdid it. I should've either gone with my name and an icon, or just the two lines of text (and somehow made them look as A UNIT!!.
If we study the bottom sig's text, we'll see that it consist of three letters aligned in a diagonal line. Around the two main letters there are two fields that almost blend into the background, and around those fields there's a 1px stroke that have been blended a little bit. All of a sudden we have the text in a square (and a cool looking square it is :h:). It's A UNIT!!.
I'm not quite sure how to phrase everything in this tutorial. Most of it is theoretical, and the knowledge is in my head. I think it has a lot to do with the feel of the text. I see what text is good and what text blows. Now, I'm no master, but I have some skills. This can all be achieved through training, so if you think your text sucks, don't worry, just keep training.
It's as easy as that. I hope this helped.
That's all for today. Class dismissed.
Posted 10 June 2006 - 10:02 PM
My Sigs = My Photos
Check out my work at http://www.flickr.co...photomastergreg.
Posted 25 July 2006 - 12:44 AM
Posted 25 July 2006 - 06:32 PM
Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:49 AM
I understand it but what gradient type did you use, linear?
Posted 15 August 2006 - 05:26 AM
I have two more that you might consider helpful.
One is the mirror technique. Here's an example-
I'm talking about the part that says "Master Chief", not Sandwich. I'm not sure about that part.
Another technique is setting your Text layer to grain merge. Here's some examples-
Feel free to add those to your tut if you want. Once again, thanks :w: