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4.1 Glowing Letter Forms

We will begin with the customary analysis of source materials, which are photos of fire. Then we’ll continue with illustrating text that appears hot and glowing.

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4.1 Glowing Letter Forms

Hello everybody, Kirk Nelson here. Welcome back to Nature-Inspired Text Effects. This is chapter number four, where we create a flaming text effect. We'll start out with Lesson 4.1, with a simple glowing text. This text effect will be slightly different from the previous two and that were going to illustrate completely within Photoshop. We are not going to use any stock images or photography to aid with the final effect. But before we begin, we should at least take a look at some photos, just to study a few characteristics of the fire that we wanna make sure we capture. Looking at this matchstick here, it's clear to see how fire creates a very, almost liquidy and fluid state as it travels upwards from it's source. The coloring goes from a bright, almost white, yellowish, to orange, to a red near the top. In this image, we do see quite a bit of smoke that is grey against this black background. And this photo tends to have some motion blurring in it, as if the shutter speed wasn't quite quick enough to completely capture these tongues of flame. In this one, we don't see any of the smoke, but the shutter speed was quick enough to capture a nice shape of the fire. As it's coming off from this match. Also, notice there's a little pocket right over the match head that we don't see any of the flame, and the hottest part of the flame does appear to be the very brightest in the gradients around that are the sharpest. Notice it travels from white, to yellow, to orange, to dark red very quickly in this spot as oppose to a very gradual gradient going straight up. Let's get started with a blank file. So we go to file, new. Im using a width of 2500 and a height of 1656 and a resolution of 300. Let's set the background content to other. And we'll pick black. This is a text effect, so it makes sense that we should start with some text. Use my text tool, put the word burn in here. I'm using the font of Georgia Regular, which is a standard font that comes installed with Photoshop. Another difference with this text effect compared to the other ones, is we can use a font face that's a little thinner, has a little bit more serif and detailing in it, doesn't need to be as big and bold and blocky as the previous two did. I've got the text rather large in the frame here, and slightly below center, so we've got plenty of space for that fire and smoke to be travelling upwards from our flaming text. I will keep that as it is and make a copy of it. And once again on the copy, I'm going to right-click and change this to a shape. And then, I will change the color of it by double-clicking on the icon to make it completely black, which means we can't see it because we've got a black background. So, let's add just a slight gradient in here, just so that we can see what we're working with. I'm going to use a deep red color for my gradient. And again, I'm set to my radial-gradient foreground to transparent, pull my gradient out, and then I'm actually going to transform it a little bit. Control or Command-T, I want it slightly wider and significantly narrower. Then let's pull down that opacity. And that looks pretty good. We can start to see our letters in here, and let's go up and add a layer style to them. I've opted to start with an inner glow. And I've got that opacity cranked up to 100. The color is a burnt orangish color. That size is put up to 24. The technique is at softer, the source is at the edge. Then I added an outer glow, still the blend mode's at screen. The color of this one is a deeper red color. Again, the technique is softer, spreads at 7% in size, is at 51 pixels. And that gives us this nice glowing effect, with the text here. And I really like the way that effect the looks, but if these letters were actually on fire, and burning, I would not expect their shape to remain quite so perfect and crisp and mechanical. I would expect to see some distortion, in their actual structure. So let's go to Filter > Distort > Wave. It says the shape must be converted to a smart object. I'm fine with that. I've got the number of generators set at five. The wave length is it minimum of 86 and maximum of 133. Amplitude minimum of 5, maximum of 35. The scaling is a horizontal at 8%, vertical at 7%. The type is a sign wave, so we hit OK. We see how that distorted the way the letters actually looked, which is a good thing. Sometimes, i find layer styles to be somewhat limiting as great as they are, and as good as an effect that you can get with them. Sometimes, I'd like to add more than one Outer-Glow to a layer, and you can't really do that. The work around is to add another layer over the original one, that contains the additional layer styles that you wanna work with. And that's what I wanna do here. Ideally, you would just create a new layer and control or command click on the layer beneath it, to create a selection in that shape. The problem here is that, we included the layer styles inside that smart object. That means any time we try to control click on this it's going to, select all the way around that outer glow as part of the selection. And, it's not going to select the inside areas of the text. There's a couple workarounds to that. The one that I wanna do right now is just to select the original text, by control clicking on that first text layer, and using this as an original selection and we'll add that wave distortion to it in just a moment. But first of all, I want to fill this with a gradient. Now I'm going to use a linear gradient, from background to foreground and I'm going from a dark burnt red to a bright yellowish color. There's some orange in the middle there, it just kinda happens naturally. Then I can cancel my selection, Ctrl or Cmd+D. Can you see the other text peaking out from behind this? That's because this text does not have that wave distortion. That's easy enough to fix. It was the last filter we ran, so it's right at the top of the filter menu. Run it again, and it matches up perfectly. Now we can add those other layer styles. Let's start with the inner glow. I've got a nice bright, almost a mustard type of yellow. Set the screen. Opacity's at 100%, the size is set at eight pixels. Add in an outer glow, this blend mode is set to linear dodge and it's a lighter, brighter orange color that spreads at 10% as is the size. Then the interesting one, is the satin style. I'll just turn that on and off, you can see the difference that makes on the text. I've got the blend mode set to color dodge, color is this orangish color again, the opacity is at 91%, and my contour is this half round. Now my size is at 40%, as for the angle and distance, that can actually be adjusted by dragging on the canvas to move that satin effect to an area that you think it looks really good. Mine, I have the angles at 35, and the distance is at 17. And then I'm going to change the blend mode of the secondary style one to overlay. I'm gonna pull down on the fill to about 24% and that creates some very hot colored glowing text ready for us to put some fire into. The completes Lesson 4.1 on adding the glowing text that were ready to ignite. Next lesson, Lesson 4.2, we explore the new render flame filter in Photoshop CC.

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