1 Comment

More digital playing

I discovered a pretty neat trick!  Having had a good play with the tools needed to make the digital alphas I knew I couldn’t rest until I was able to make something like that original ones that I liked so much.  Now, a true digital pro would probably knock this sort of thing out in a flash, but it took me ages to work it out.  But along the way I had an idea – I didn’t want to  have to do a new set every time I wanted a different colour or font, so I made myself a master sheet of boxes. I created the boxes in black, laid out in a grid, as many as I thought I would need for a basic set of letters.  I overlaid that with some freebie textures, sort of splotchy old paper de-saturated to B&W, that I downloaded, then Grouped With Previous. I went ahead and applied an Inner Glow to give it the look of inked edges.  That was then all merged into one layer, boxes, filled with texture and the inner glow effect applied.

Then the hard work – I typed out the font in white and laid the letters over the boxes – there has to be a faster way to do this using Guides or Grids or something, but I don’t know what that is.  I hid the boxes layer and Merged Visible alllllll the letters.

That gave me something that looks like this:

It is two layers only, boxes and letters. This is saved as a MASTER which I then duplicate when I want a new colourway.

Please keep in mind that these images are much reduced .jpgs so the quality is not very good, nothing like the actual .pngs.

OK, so now having that master, it is a simple process to create a new set with any colour I want.  I simply open a duplicate of the file and rename it usually the colour I am using. I add a New Layer between the letters and the boxes.  I hide the letters  then fill the in-between layer with colour. I Group with Previous so the colour layer fills the boxes only. I play about with the opacity of that layer, until the correct (for me) amount of the box texture shows thru.  Turn back on the letters and SAVE  as a .PNG while leaving the MASTER safe, with just the original black boxes and letters, and the letters can be changed for any other font if I want, although given the different spacing of fonts that isn’t going to be a fast process.

Again, the quality of THIS image is crap but the .png is fab.  I could have added a drop shadow if I wanted to use them as proper digital elements but as I don’t, there was no need.

I actually feel a real sense of accomplishment at this.  One thing I will def. do is create another master of just the black boxes – that way I can add any font, and any texture, with ease.

Hope the idea helps someone else streamline their process.



Last crop layout and digital playing

I’ll start off with my last crop layout.


Ancient epoxy stickers, more tiny alphas, a rare rub-on (this moment), which I get in kits ALL the time and almost NEVER use, and some letters bought back in the USA oh about 4 or 5 years ago – I only realized the first time I went to use them that they aren’t paper, they have sticky stuff on the back!  DOH!

Now, what is currently obsessing me is the idea of making my own digital letters.  I mentioned last week how much I liked the hybrid elements from a GoGo kit (no idea what one, but I know it was def. a GoGo kit) and found them so useful, I thought Well, I can do that! and set about making it happen.

And it actually wasn’t that hard.  I had to use a combination of PSE6 and my old PS7 (it’s all to do with fonts appearing or not appearing in my PS7 version and what I can do in PS7 that I can’t do in PSE6) to make it all happen but here are a few sample – I can’t really share the first as I am not sure of the TOU on the free font:

That one I like A LOT. No shadows or anything as I would only ever cut it out, like a proper hybrid element.

The other one is more “digi”, and  I made sure I used a free-for-commercial-use font from Font Squirrel – you can’t really see it in the small .jpg here, but the letters are crumpled paper-bag, with a thin brown outline, and a  drop shadow.

I am going to add that one as a download and I would be really grateful if anyone who actually knows anything about digital elements either commented or dropped me a line.

What I think will happen if you click the image above (or at least what happens for ME) is you get a bigger image which you should be able to right-click to download as a .png then you can select and use the individual letters.

I love the idea of making the letters, learned a few new things  while playing, and had a lot of fun.  NOW I have to go shopping. Yuck. I hope someonae will LMK if they are complete crap or if they are at all usable. I enjoy the process even if I don’t ever get around to using them LOL!

Note:  There may have been a problem with the images, which I think is fixed now.