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3.3 Icy Text

This lesson walks through placing the icy textures onto the text with intentional positioning, and how to blend different textures together.

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3.3 Icy Text

Hello everybody! Welcome back to Nature-Inspired Text Effects. My name is Kirk Nelson. And we are working our way through this third chapter where we create this icy text effect. This is Lesson 3.3, where we begin using some of those icy textures on a line of text. When we last left our project, we had just created this ice background texture. These elements will sit behind the text that we're going to be working with this lesson. Let's start off by grouping all of these background layers together. By holding down the Shift key while clicking on the top and bottom one, then going to Layer> Group Layers, which is Ctrl or Cmd+G as a keyboard shortcut. This is just the background textures. To have an iced text effect, we need to have some text. Grab our Text Tool, and I am using the word FREEZE. Let's scale that up with the transformation handles. You'll want to use a font face that has some nice angular, sharp angles to it. Even though we're going to soften a lot of those out, it's good to start with them because it tends to have a harder, colder type of appearance to it. The font that I have chosen is ArmWrestler Bold. This is a free font, it's available for download, and there's a link to it in the course notes. One of the reasons I chose a font like this is because it's very large and blocky. Whenever you're creating a realistic text effect, you want to make sure the font you choose has enough heft to it to contain the effect but still remain readable. If you choose a font that's too thin, you risk losing that readability, as those thin elements to it don't translate well into what appears to be a physical object. As with the previous project, I'm going to make a copy of this text layer, hide the original, right-click on this, and convert it to a shape. So now it is completely vectorized, and it's no longer a text layer but a vector shape. And as with the garden text, I wanna be able to grab these individual elements and move them around, just creating some non-mechanical offsets. Goes a long way to making this a more believable effect, and therefore more realistic in the final outcome. You've seen me do this before. I'm just using the Direct Selection Tool to grab individual points, like that. Or use the Convert Point Tool to change some of these hard corners into rounded corners. On the long vertical expanses on some of the letters, I would even recommend using the Pen Tool to add in some additional points, just to give some irregularity along those vertical expanses. Because ice doesn't tend to melt or freeze in exact, perfect, straight lines. Here's my result after adjusting these shapes. I softened a lot of the corners. I removed a lot of the straight lines that appeared to be irregular, but still kept some sharp edges to it too. I also made some of the letters overlap each other, because my thought would be maybe they would be frozen together, and therefore kind of attached with this icy substance. The next thing we need to do, is start texturing this. Let's begin by looking at one of the ice textures. And this is actually a fairly easy process. We start with the Quick Selection Tool Increase the size of that just a little bit. I'm doing that by holding down the Alt or the Option key, the right mouse button, and dragging the cursor sideways. That increases the diameter of the selection brush. And this Quick Selection Tool does a pretty decent job of going through and easily selecting the edges of this ice cube. It doesn't need to be a perfect selection because it's just going to be used as a texture over there. And I'll show you why the edges don't really matter all that much. With the selection made, let's go to Edit > Copy, back over to our main project, and Edit > Paste. And it comes in as a really large layer. And this is our first ice texture. So let's scale that down, and start to position it over one of these letters. Apply that transformation, and to contain it to the letter shape, we clip it to this shape layer. That's holding down the Alt or the Option key and clicking right between these two layers here. So that clips it right in there. I think it needs a little more contrast to appear a little better than what it does. So let's run an Image > Adjustments > Levels, and pull these outside handles in even further so we get a little more contrast in there. At this point you can even squash and stretch this, by narrow margins, you don't want to manipulate it way too much. But you want it to fit well within the letter shape that you're working with. Another neat thing to do is if you get a corner that you really like from your texture, because this is clipped in to the shape layer, you can still go select that corner element, and manipulate that to fit the texture. Don't feel like you necessarily have to make the texture fit the letter, although that's the foremost process. But you can make finer adjustments to the letter shapes to further fit the texture. Work it from both ends to get a much better effect. I know that I'm going to want more textures along this E letter shape, and there's multiple options for doing that. One of the easiest and simplest ways is simply making a copy of the texture that's already there. With the Move Tool active, we can hold down the Alt or the Option key, and we can drag a copy of that over to meet the rest of the letter and reposition it. Clearly we're getting some overlap here, and often that becomes distracting, especially when there is repeating elements like this bubble-shape so prominently visible. So on this copied layer, let's add a layer mask and use a regular brush, usually a soft-edged brush at a full opacity, and black paint, and simply paint out that edge, so that these two textures blend together. And notice here, I don't really want this texture going over into the R, so I'm going to paint that out too. And this is just the general process of going through and adding unique ice textures to cover all of these letters. You find a stock that you like, create a selection, copy it over as a new layer, adjust the contrast of it, scale it and position it to where it needed to be, and then make copies as needed. Here's what my text looks like after repeating that process several times and positioning in the unique ice textures used from those stock images that we looked at before. The thing I need to point out is that, notice how each of these textures are still clipped to this original base layer. So, even if we move some of these, they're not clipped to each other. They're all being clipped, and therefore defined as far as visibility by the outlines of this text shape layer here. If we hide that, we hide the whole group of them. If we unclip, even from this very bottom one, which is the same process as clipping it, holding down the Alt or the Option key, it unclips everything and just looks like a bunch of random ice cubes floating there on our background. And then we'd have to go back through and reclip all of these. So let's just use the History panel to dial back to where they were already clipped. The last thing to do would be to create another group. I'm gonna grab that original text layer, all the way up, hold down the Shift key to the very top of the ice textures, and Layer > Group Layers. This is the Ice Text. And with that, things are really progressing well. This doesn't quite look like it's actual iced text yet, but it's getting there. That completes Lesson 3.3, on creating the icy textured text. Next lesson, Lesson 3.4, we use the 3D tools to transform this into letter-shaped blocks of ice.

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