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Author Topic: Creating Faux-3D text  (Read 2599 times)

GarryP

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Creating Faux-3D text
« on: April 23, 2014, 04:23:05 pm »
Here are two workflows showing how you can create some faux-3D text.

WARNING: I would not recommend using these techniques for anything that is going to be printed professionally. They're really a bit too crude and the result may not be what you expect. However, for simple projects such as newsletters, school posters or stuff that will only be read on-screen they're probably fine. Basically, use them at your own risk.

Anyway, here's how you can create some 3D text. (Strap yourself in, it's a long one!)

NOTE: There are two workflows. The first is a very basic effect, the second is a more fancy effect. Please feel free to choose whichever you prefer or mix-and-match and play around. (The screenshots are for the fancy version.)

THE BASIC VERSION

This is about as basic as you can get but it's reasonable for simple stuff.

1. Create a text frame and put some text in it. (A "chunky" thick font seems to work best.)
2. Duplicate the text once and move it off to the side for later use.
3. Select the original text and choose "Item -> Multiple Duplicate".
4. Enter 16 as the number of copies, choose the "Shift Created Items By" option, and give a horizontal shift of 0.5pt with a vertical shift of -0.25pt and OK the dialog.
5. Colour the duplicate text from step 2 to something other than the standard black.
6. Right-click the coloured text, choose "Level -> Raise to Top" and move it over the bottom-left of the black text.

And that's it. Simple and effective, but quite boring. So why not try the fancy version?

THE FANCY VERSION

This version is a lot more work than the basic effect but you get more out when you put more in, or so they say. Hold on to your hats!

The Colours

To copy what I've done you'll need to set-up some colours. I've used (all RGB):
* Orange - 252, 75, 42
* Light Red - 194, 27, 18
* Mid Red - 154, 21, 26
* Almost Black - 40, 9, 4

The Text

1. Create a text frame and put some text in it. (A "chunky" thick font seems to work best. I've used Rockwell Extra Bold at 80pt with 140% vertical scaling.)
2. Choose menu "Item -> Convert To -> Outlines".
3. Re-select the text and right-click and choose "Ungroup".
4. Choose menu "Item -> Combine Polygons".
5. Set the line width to 2pt. (You'll see why later.)

You should now have something that looks like Figure 1.

Set-up the "3D"

1. Duplicate the text twice and move the two duplicates off to the side for later use.
2. Select the original vector text and choose "Item -> Path Tools -> Create Path From Stroke". (The text should now be just an outline.)
3. Set the fill type to "Vertical Gradient".
4. Set the left tab stop to "Light Red" and drag it to 45%.
5. Set the right tab stop to "Almost Black".
6. Create a new tab stop at 50% and set it to "Mid Red".
7. Set the outline colour to "None".

You should now have something that looks like Figure 2 A.

Create the "3D effect"

1. Select the outlined text and choose "Item -> Multiple Duplicate".
2. Enter 16 as the number of copies, choose the "Shift Created Items By" option, and give a horizontal shift of 0.5pt with a vertical shift of -0.25pt (that's minus 0.25pt) and OK the dialog.

You should now have something strange that looks like Figure 2 B.

Create the "Face" text

1. Select the first duplicate from the first "Set-up the 3D" step.
2. Give it an outline colour of "Mid Red".
3. Set the fill type to be "Vertical Gradient".
4. Move the left tab stop to 50% and set it to "Orange"
5. Set the right tab stop to "Mid Red".
6. Create a new tab stop at 55% and set it to "Light Red".

You should now have something that looks like Figure 3 A.

Create the "Outline" text

1. Select the other duplicate from the first "Set-up the 3D" item.
2. Choose "Item -> Path Tools -> Create Path From Stroke".
3. Set its outline colour to "Orange" and give it a line width of 0.5pt.
4. Set the fill type to be "Normal" (if it's not already) and set the fill colour to "White".

You should now have something that looks like Figure 3 B.

Finishing Up

1. Select the "Face" text, right-click and choose "Level -> Raise to Top".
2. Drag it over the top of the bottom left of the "3D" text. (You'll probably have to do this by eye but it's not too difficult. You can see if you've got it in the wrong place fairly easily.)
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the "Outline" text.
4. Optionally you can nudge the "Outline" text to the right by a tiny amount - fractions of a point - for a slightly different effect but I haven't done so in my example.

You should have something like that in Figure 4. Phew, you're done. I hope that wasn't too much work.

Feel free to experiment with different colours, gradients, 3D-depth and everything else.

I'm sure you can come up with something better than what I've done. Feel free to post your  superior examples here - with any changes to my instructions that are needed - so others can see them and try them out for themselves.

 

palmate