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Copyright © 2001, David Mutch & Visionary Voyager Corp. P/L

This part of the tutorial shows an extremely simple way to make outlined text using a mask. The effect can be multiplied to create several different layers of outline or feathered to create glowing text or objects


1. Create a new image.
I used 200x200 pixels, 72 dpi and a background colour of white.

2. Create a new text object and centre it to the image.
Choose a medium width font. For this example I choose AmerType Md BT at 120 points in the colour 'Powder Blue'. Other useful fonts you could use for this type of effect are: Advance, AvantGarde MD BT, Arial, BankGothic MD BT etc.

Centre the object to the image. (Object > Arrange > Align and Distribute or use the icon).

3. Create a mask from the text object.
If necessary, check that your current mask mode is either normal or additive ( Mask > Mode or select any mask tool and inspect the Property bar).

Make sure the text object is selected (you may need to reselect the Object Picker tool if you changed the tool to a mask tool to check your mask mode).

Create a mask from the object using either Mask > Create From Objects, CTRL+M, or on the Mask/Object Toolbar. If you have the Mask Marquee Visible Toggle turned on you will see the 'marching ants' mask marquee around the text object.


4. Expand the mask by 3 pixels.
From the menu, choose Mask > Shape > Expand. Choose a width of 3 pixels.
In Photo-Paint versions 9 and 10 the Mask Overlay will automatically be displayed in your image so you can visualise the mask feathering accurately. The tiny 'eye' icon near the lower left of this dialogue toggles the live preview mode on and off.

Click OK to expand the mask.


5. Create a new object and move it underneath your text object.
Either use Object > Create > New Object, or the icon on the Object Docker.

Double-click the new object in the Object Docker and rename it 'Outline', then click OK to close the object properties dialogue. In the Objects Docker, drag the Outline object below the FX text object.

The Outline object should now be selected (if not, make sure your have the Object Picker tool selected and then click once on the Outline object in the Objects Docker.


6. Fill the 'Outline' object in the shape constrained by the mask.
Use Edit > Fill to open the Edit Fill and Transparency dialogue. The 'Current Fill' radio button should be selected by default. Select the Uniform Fill type icon if it isn't already chosen then click the Edit button to open the Uniform Fill dialogue. The Models Tab should be current and the RGB model preselected. Type in the values R = 102, G = 51, B = 204. Note the changes in the colour swatches and the position of the tiny rectangular selectors in the gradients. Click OK twice to apply the fill to the masked region of the Outline object.

Remove the mask ( Mask > Remove , or use the icon on the Mask/Object Property bar).



A. Tooled Outline:

After step 6, create a mask from the Outline object, the click the CUT icon on the Tool bar. A faint remnant of the outline shape remains.

B. Soft Glows:

Make the original colour of the text darker.
After Step 4, feather the mask (Mask > Shape > Feather): width = 15 pixels, direction = Outside, edges = linear.
Do steps 5 and 6 except that in step 6 choose a lighter colour.

Note: Try different fills for both the original FX text object and for the glow/outline.

To change the fill type of the original text object, select it, turn Lock Transparency on, then use Edit > Fill and choose Fountain, Bitmap or Texture Fill type and create a new fill. (Turn off Lock Transparency when done!)

To change the Fill type of the outline or glow, keep or recreate the mask from the Outline object, then choose a different fill type in the Edit > Fill dialogue.

Try changing the Merge Mode of the original text object so that it interacts differently with the outline/glow object.

C. Multiple Outlines.

After you have created your first outline, recreate the mask from the original text and expand it even further (say 5-7 pixels), feather it slightly, create another new object and place it below the first outline, then fill it with a different colour or fill type.

D. Apply effects to either the original or outline object (or both).

Select each object separately and then constrain effects upon them using either a mask or the Lock Transparency option.

In PP versions 9 and 10 some of the effects you might like to try first are the Effects > Textures ones and also the Effects > Distort and Effects > Custom > Alchemy.

The example here use the Elephant skin texture on the original object and the Plastic texture on the outline.


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Copyright © 2001, David Mutch & Visionary Voyager Corp. P/L