Author Topic: Creating interesting text effects with gradients  (Read 1074 times)

GarryP

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Creating interesting text effects with gradients
« on: January 02, 2014, 03:01:47 pm »
You might have seen the Christmas message that I posted here: http://forums.scribus.net/index.php/topic,1210.0.html and you may be interested in how I created it. If so, read on…

Here's a tutorial showing how to create some nice text effects - see the first screenshot - using various Scribus functions such as: Convert to Outlines, Path from Stroke, and Gradient Fills. It's quite long but it doesn't use any difficult tricks, you just need a bit of patience.

(Depending on your OS/browser combination you might need to click the screenshots to see the full size images.)

Colours

First, create the colours which you'll need.

For this tutorial I've used:
* Dark Sea - R 0 G 65 B 131
* Sea - R 0 G 84 B 160
* Sky - R 184 G 225 B 240
* Sun Yellow - R 250 G 239 B 159
* Sun Orange - R 240 G 138 B 46

My colours were selected to give the text a "summer holidays" feel. You can, of course, use anything you like.

The Base Text

1. Create a text frame and put some large text in it. I've used Arial Rounded Bold at 60pt but you can use whatever you want. Just make sure the font looks "right" for the effect you're trying to create.
2. Use the "Text" tab of the "Properties" palette to give the text a thick outline. I've used a 5% outline of colour "Dark Sea". It doesn't matter what colour the fill of the text is as you'll replace it with a gradient later.

You should now have something similar to "Step A" on the second screenshot.

You might want to zoom in - to 200% perhaps - to have better control of what you're doing from now on.

The Background Text

1. Select the text frame and choose menu "Item -> Convert To -> Outlines".
2. Re-select the text and Duplicate it. Move the duplicate off to the side for now.
3. Re-select the original text and right-click choosing "Ungroup".
4. Cancel your selection.

The Background Characters

1. Select the first character. In my case that's "B".
2. Go to the "Lines" tab of the "Properties" palette and set Edges to "Round Join". This isn't essential but it looks nicer in this case.
3. Use the "Colours" tab of the "Properties" palette to give the character a "Vertical Gradient" fill.
4. Set the left-hand stop to be your "Sky" colour and drag it to 50%, then set the right-hand stop to be "Sea" and drag it to 80%. This gives you a nice gradient.
5. Do steps 1 to 4 for the other characters. If you do it this way - character by character - the procedure works even if you change to using a different type of fill.

You should now have something similar to "Step B".

The Foreground Characters

1. Select the duplicated text, drag it near the original text, and right-click choosing "Ungroup".
2. Clear your selection and select the first character.
3. Go to the "Lines" tab of the "Properties" palette and set Edges to "Round Join". Again, this isn't essential but we need to do it here because we did it earlier on the other letters.
4. Choose menu "Item -> Path Tools -> Create Path From Stroke".
5. Use the "Colours" tab of the "Properties" palette to give the character a "Free Radial Gradient" fill.
6. Set the left-hand stop to be "Sun Yellow" and drag it to 40%, then set the right-hand stop to be "Sun Orange".
7. Press the "Move Vector" button and drag the control points, the one corresponding to the "Yellow" colour to just inside the top-left of the letter frame, the other to just inside the bottom-right - wherever looks best.
8. Go to the "Line" tab of the "Properties" palette and set a Line Width of 1pt.
9. Now repeat steps 2 to 8 for all the other duplicated letters.

You should now have something similar to "Step C".

Putting Things Together

1. Drag the first duplicated character over the first original - the granularity of the Scribus drag should allow you to place it very accurately.
2. Nudge the duplicated character slightly to the right and down - use the arrow keys to do this quickly.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each of the other characters.

You should now have something similar to "Step D", and you're done.

Experiment

Once you've got the hang of this why not try experimenting with the gradient fills?

"Alt A", for example, shows what happens if you use different radial gradients and set them to go from near the left of the character to near the right of the character. A subtle but effective change.
And "Alt B" shows what happens if you use different colours.

Take some time to "go mad" with this. Duplicate what you've made - so you can go back to the original if you make a mistake - and keep trying different things. You'll find that all kinds of nice effects can be created fairly easily.

Enjoy.

P.S. If you create some good examples why not post them here for everyone else to see?