Welcome to EarlK Design!

The EarlK Design blog consists mainly of entries that show how to do things using Adobe Photoshop that I hope you will find helpful and give your creative mind more tools to work with.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS6, and sometimes Adobe Illustrator CS5, Lightroom 5, and Corel Painter X. However, I believe that much of what I show can be done using Photoshop Elements.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick Tips with Earl Number 3

Don't forget about the Blog Hop that starts on November 11, 2010. 

Pick a card. Any card. Wait a minute, wrong place to say this. Here is what I need. Pick a letter. Any letter. Actually, you can pick any letter of any font, or group of letters. Just use the Type Tool. 

Are you a doodler? I'm not usually one, but sometimes I doodle in Photoshop. I play and experiment to see what will happen if I do this or that. Here is something I thought was fun to play around with. It is playing with text.
I want to create some kind of graphic design that can be used as a decorative element. I took my favorite three consecutive letters in the alphabet, which happens to be "ghi," and played with them a little. I started with ghi and gave them an underline and a strikethrough. I did this in the Character Panel. Click on the underline and strikethrough icons at the bottom right of the panel. When you are through using the underline and strikethrough, make sure you click on them to turn them off otherwise they will be there the next time you use the type tool. So, I started with this and ended with this.

I started on a 12 x 12 inch, 300 ppi, RGB, with white background document. I used Arial Regular font with a size of 288 points. This gave me a nice size to start working on.

After you have your text, click on the Create Warped Text button in the Type Options Bar. This brings up the Warp Text panel. In Style it will open as None if you haven't applied a style to the text. Now, remember that ghi is my sample to show you how I did this. You can use any letter, group of letters or even words to do this. But, my objective was to create a graphic element that could be used as a decorative element on a page layout. So, back to my example. Here I have clicked on the Style drop down menu and have selected the style Fish.

With the Style Fish selected, play around with the options available to use. Try different settings. I ended up with Horizontal, Bend = -100%, Horizontal Distortion = -100%, and Vertical Distortion = -100%. Choose the settings that you want for the letter(s) you chose. You could be happy with the result as it is now. But, I am going to do a little more.

I want to keep this design so I will make a duplicate of it (Command/Control-J) on another layer to continue working on that layer. Then I hide the visibility of the original ghi layer. I again clicked on the Warp Text button at the top in the Type Option Bar. I changed the Style to Fisheye. Horizontal and Vertical are grayed out, so you have no choice for them. I set Bend = -100%, Horizontal Distortion = +100%, and Vertical Distortion = -100%. Make your adjustments as you want them for what looks good to you.

I want to see how my two designs look together, so I turn the visibility of the first ghi layer back on. I like the combination; but, I want to do a little more.

I duplicated the ghi layer; I now have three ghi layers. I turned off the visibility of the first two ghi layers, and clicked on the Warp Text button in the Options Bar. I selected Style= Twist, Horizontal and Vertical are grayed out, so you have no choice for them. I set Bend = +100%, Horizontal Distortion = +60%, and Vertical Distortion = -80%. Make your adjustments as you want them for what looks good to you.

I turned on the visibility of the three ghi layers so I could see what they looked like combined together. I also turned off the visibility of the background layer so I could see the transparency of my design. I liked this. I merged my three visible layers into one layer (Shift-Command/Control-E). Before I merge the three layers, each layer is still a Type layer, albeit, a Warped Type layer, but still editable text. You could active one of the layers and change the text and the new text would be warped. However, after you merge the three layers, the new merged layer is a pixel layer and the text is no longer editable. But, that is OK as I was through with the text as text.

For some reason of experimentation, I thought it would be nice to break up the image into smaller pieces so that I might color the design in an interesting way. I added a layer mask by clicking the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel. This put a white, showing everything, mask on the layer. I selected a brush to use, made sure my Foreground color was black (since I was going to use the brush to hide some parts of the design element), made sure I was on the layer mask by clicking on the mask, and then using my brush stamped a few lines across the element inside the mask. The black brush on the white mask hides what is under the black brush. You won't have this brush, it is one I made. But, pick a brush you have and do something similar.

I made a duplicate of the layer and turned the visibility of the original off and worked on the duplicate. I did this so if I goofed up I still had the original to go back to use. The next thing I want to do is to color my element with a Noise Gradient. You can go to the August 2010 archive in this blog to Other Days with Earl Episode 6-Gradient Tool, Part 3-Noise Gradient to find out about Noise Gradients. I clicked on the button at the bottom of the Layers Panel to add a Gradient Fill layer. I made it a linear noise gradient and clicked on Randomize a few times until I got this one that I liked. I clicked OK.

Then I clipped the gradient layer to the design element layer below it.

I wanted to highlight my little pieces of the design, so I clicked on Add a layer style button at the bottom of the Layers Panel and selected Stroke. And gave a thin stroke of black to the outside of the pieces to emphasize them a little more. Then I turned off the visibility of the background layer so that I had transparency behind my element. I then saved it as a .png file.

Then I used my element in a page layout.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are only 26 letters, so how hard can it be. That's a joke that is used frequently in calligraphy. There may be only 26 letters in our alphabet, but there are other alphabets, there are 1,000's of fonts, there are dingbats, whatever you can use with the type tool you can warp. There are 15 different ways to warp the type. And then the ways you can modify your design is unlimited only by your imagination.


That's all for now. 



Stirlingdesigns said...

Wow Earl that is so cool - never knew I could do that! Thanks for your wonderful info!

Dawn said...

Earl...that's so cool :) Thanks for sharing...love your tutorials!

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