Lusus

Creating 3D Text Using Gimp

 

 

There are many different styles that can be applied to 3D text, and its appearance can vary widely depending on the font used, as well as any further effects that have been added. However, all such text is created in fundementally the same way, particularly when using Gimp. The old way was to create a drop shadow layer and create copies until the shadow gave the appearance of being solid, which suggested depth to the text. The method demonstrated here however, although similar is much simpler and much quicker.

 

If you want to follow this tutorial using the same font and colours the details are given below. I believe (if I rememebr correctly) the font is automatically installed with Windows, but a download link is given for those who may not have it.

 

Font: Gill Sans Nova Ultra-Bold 

Red: #d46150

Yellow: #eadaa6

Blue: #193248

Creating 3D Text Using Gimp

 

1/ Open Gimp and select the font and shadow colours you're going to use. Also select the font. Here Gill Sans Nova Ultra Bold  was used.


2/ Type the text, and adjust the font size if needed.

 
 
3/ The spacing of the letters can be adjusted by clicking on the arrows highlighted in red, above. A setting of -2 has been used to bring the letters closer together.
 

4/ In the Layers panel a copy of the text layer has been added as well as two empty layers. Hide the top text layer by clicking the eye icon to the left of the layer thumbnail.

 

(The extra text layer isn't strictly necassary. Its more of a habit in case things go wrong with the first layer).

 

 
 
5/ Right click on the visible text layer and from the drop down menu select Merge Down, so it merges with the topmost empty layer.
 

6/ Right click on the merged layer and from the drop dowm menu select Alpha to Selection.


 
 7/ The text in the main window should now have a marching ants outline. Hit Select > Grow.
 
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8/ The above window should appear. Select a size for the selection to grow by. This is so an outline can be added to the text. (This isn't essential for 3D text, but it suits the style of this graphic). In this example the selection will grow by 15 pixels, but you may need to choose a size that fits with your text.

 


9/ The text will look something like the above.



10/ Make sure the outline colour is selected. This should be the same colour the depth of the text will be.


11/ The active layer should be the empty layer below the merged layers.


12/ Select the Paintbrush from the Tools panel.
 

13/ Use the paint brush to paint in the selection in the layer below the merged layers. The Fill tool can be used instead, but it doesn't seem to give a clean outline like the paint brush does.


14/ Now hit Select > None.


15/ With the original merged layer the active layer, right click and from the drop down menu select merge Down, so the text and outline become one layer.


16/ Select Layer > Crop to Content.

Adjusting The Text

We'll now make a few adjustments to the text to help with the 3D look.


17/ Select the Shear tool, highlighted in red, above.


18/ drag the right edge of the text upwards until it looks something like above.


19/ In the Shear window hit Shear when you're ready.


20/ Select the Perspective tool.


21/ There should now be a rectangle with diamond shaped handles at each corner, surrounding the text. Drag one of the top handles so the text slants a little, then drag the other top handle to match the slant of the first. This helps to add to a sense of 3D once the text has some depth.
 

 22/ When you're ready hit Transform in the Perspective window.

Creating Depth 

 We're now ready to create the 3D effect.


23/ With the outlined text the active layer, select Filters > Light and Shadow > Long Shadow.


24/ A window as above will appear in the canvas area. As can be seen here the text already has a 3D appearance, without being tweaked.
 

25/ The angle of the shadow can be adjusted by changing the settings highlighted in red above. Tweaking the area highighted in green will change the depth of the text, and below that is an option to change the colour of the depth.


26/ The original angle setting of 45 seemed to suit this text, but the depth was shortened to 50. Since the colour was selected before opening the Long Shadow window that didn't need to be changed.

When you're happy with the settings hit OK.
 

 
The 3D text effect is now complete. All thats left to do is add a background and some extra elements if needed and to export the finished image. 
 
This is such a quick and easy way to create 3d text in Gimp, and a big improvement on the old method. Any text design made in Gimp, no matter how different it looks from this basic example, will use a very similar method. 
 
Have fun creating and experimenting with 3D texts in Gimp, and join us on Facebook to keep up with all of our  new content..