In this Gimp Text tutorial learn how I made my Logo for this website in Gimp 2.8. I show you how to create a text cut-out with a punched-in effect into a wood texture. To achieve this you will learn how to convert your text to a Path. A Path is needed for a smooth cut. Also, to get the text effects of Bevel and Emboss, Inner Shadow, and Drop Shadow, you will learn how to use Layer Effects for high quality results.
Only one plug-in is required, actually a script you put into the scripts folder. This script is called layerfx.scm and you can download this at the gimp-repository here.
If you have trouble with the installation of the script or how to use it, then check this video for step by step installation instructions, with a short tutorial on how to use Layer Effects in Gimp.
In this tutorial, all you need is a background texture image like wood, concrete, or metal as a few examples. There are tons of sites on the internet to download free textures, just Google a search. Here’s what you will learn in this Gimp text effect tutorial:
Text to Path
Color to Alpha Channel
Watch the Video:
Once you have a background in a layer (I used a wood texture), the next thing to do is add text to a layer like I did below:
To make this work you need to get a Path selection around the text. You can do this in two ways:
If the text layer has been converted to a normal layer and you don’t have access to the text sub-menu, then you can follow the commands below:
Click and activate the layer tab that has the text in it. Use the Fuzzy Selection Tool to make a selection around the text.
Then hold Shift and select the inner areas of the letter ‘e’ and ‘o’.
Then you have to go to the Menu > Select > Invert. So now just the text is selected (not the background around the text).
Turn off the text layer.
Now you can make a cut-out here, but the edges will be pixelated and rough.
To make a smooth cut follow these steps to make a Path from the text layer:
-- Menu > Select > To Path
A Path is created (click the Paths tab to see).
-- Menu > Select > None
-- Menu > Select > From Path
Now click and activate the texture layer, then do your cut-out (Delete or Cut from the Menu).
-- Menu > Select > None
You can also use the text-to-path method shown below to create the same Path:
-- Right click text layer (text layer must me editable first…go back to the symbol in the toolbox, and click the text to get back to text editable mode).
-- In the sub menu select ‘text to path’
-- Menu > Select > From Path
Now go to your texture background and Delete from keyboard or Edit / Cut from Menu. You get the same results.
Now for some Layer Effects (just like Photoshop’s Layer Styles). You can use Gimp’s built in effects tools like Bevel and Drop Shadow here, but I have a lot more control with the ‘Layer Effects’ script from the Gimp Plug-in Registry. Download the layerfx.scm and install it in your Gimp’s Scripts folder. Follow the directions from the link or see this video for detailed steps and a demo of ‘Layer Effects’. Remember it works pretty much like Photoshop, and it is free!
Once you get the script in the proper folder, save and shutdown Gimp. Restart and the ‘Layer Effects’ will be under ‘Script-Fu’ on the Menu. If you do not see it, go back to the links I showed you and make sure you have not made a mistake.
Before you can use these effects, you need to set your cut-out texture layer to Color to Alpha. Do this by getting back the Path selection from the Menu: Select > From Path. Be sure to click your texture layer, and from the Menu: Colors > Colors to Alpha then Menu > Select > None. This will give 100% Transparency in the text cut-out.
Now you can use the ‘Layer Effects’ (make sure you put a white background layer below the texture layer).
Now on to the effects (stay on the texture layer). From the Menu: Script-Fu > Layer Effects > Bevel and Emboss. Select Inner Bevel for a punched-in effect.
Go with theses settings in the dialog box below. Note the yellow highlights that I changed. Note Merge with Layer. If you uncheck this box, you get the extra effects layers that you can tweak with Opacity. Normally I keep it unchecked so I can set Opacity up or down, or duplicate the effects layers for a more bold look. If you check this box, it auto sets opacity at 75%, and merges with your texture layer.
Add a Inner Shadow of size 5, color black… then another with a light yellow color. This adds to the punched-in effect.
Add a drop shadow to the image for more depth. You can use the ‘Layer Effects’ or as I did, use Gimp’s built-in one from the Menu: Filters > Light and Shadow > Drop Shadow.
Final Layer stack:
This is the actual size of the image for better clarity. Now you can File > Export it to a .png or .jpg file (Save and Flatten all layers first).
Remember to play around with all the layer effects settings, depending on the size of your text cut-out. If you like this Gimp text effects tutorial, please share with your friends below. That’s it for this tutorial, check out my other ones too!
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