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Text Effects

How to Create an Anaglyphic Text Effect in Adobe Illustrator

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In the following steps you will learn how to create a simple anaglyphic text effect in Adobe Illustrator. We'll start with a simple piece of text and some basic aligning tips. Next, using the Appearance panel, some simple blending techniques and a bunch of Transform effects you will learn how to create the anaglyphic effect. Finally, using subtle Drop Shadow effects you will add a bit of depth for your text.


1. Create a New Document & Setup a Grid

Hit Command + N to create a New document. Select Pixels from the Units drop-down menu, enter 600 in the width box and 500 in the height box then click on the Advanced button. Select RGB and Screen (72ppi).

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 2

Grab the Type Tool (T), click on your artboard and simply add the "It's time to put on your 3D glasses" piece of text. Make sure that it stays selected, set the color at R=39 G=170 B=225 and open the Character panel (Window > Type > Character). Select the "Harlow Solid Italic" font and set the size at 50pt.

Next, open the Paragraph panel (Window > Type > Paragraph) and simply check the Align Center button. Finally, you need to center this piece of text, so open the Align panel (Window > Align). Set the aligning to artboard (open the fly out menu and go to Show Options if you can't see the Align To section as shown in the following image) then simply click the Horizontal Align Center and Vertical Align Center buttons. In the end your piece of text should be placed as shown in the following image.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 3

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, open the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) and simply add a fill using the Add New Fill button (pointed by the little, blue arrow in the following image). Select this new fill and set its color at R=39 G=170 B=225.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 4

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a second fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set its color at R=34 G=255 B=255 and click on the little arrow icon to see the attributes.

Simply click on that "Opacity" piece of text to open the Transparency fly-out panel. Focus on the Opacity box and set it at 40%. Keep focusing on the Appearance panel, make sure that this second fill is still selected and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Focus on the Move section, drag the Horizontal slider to -5px and click OK.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 5

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a third fill using that same Add New Fill button. Select this new fill, set the color at R=149 G=255 B=255, lower its Opacity to 20% and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Focus on the Move section, drag the Horizontal slider to -10px and click OK.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 6

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a fourth fill. Select it, set the color at R=255 G=40 B=46, lower its Opacity to 40% and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Focus on the Move section, drag the Horizontal slider to 5px and click OK.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 7

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel and add a fifth fill. Select it, set the color at R=255 G=84 B=79, lower its Opacity to 20% and go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Transform. Focus on the Move section, drag the Horizontal slider to 10px and click OK.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 8

Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the bottom fill and go to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top, left window (in the following image), click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the top, right window (in the following image), click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the bottom, left window (in the following image), click OK and go again to Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the properties shown in the bottom, right window (in the following image) and click OK.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Step 9

Finally, you can easily change the overall look of the effect by changing the color used for the bottom fill. Make sure that your piece of text is still selected, focus on the Appearance panel, select the bottom fill and replace the existing color with R=145 G=145 B=145. Also, decreasing the Opacity for the blue and red fills will diminish the anaglyphic effect.

Anaglyphic Text Effect

Put Those 3D Glasses on, You're Done!

Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.

Anaglyphic Text Effect
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