SAND Text Effect for Corel Photo-Paint
- by David Mutch, August 2002.

Here is a way you can create a 'writing in the sand' effect using Corel Photo-Paint. Although this tutorial has been written mainly for Photo-Paint versions 9 and higher, the effect can still be created easily using Photo-Paint version 8 using the alternate commands shown in relevant steps.


1. Create a new image:
RGB, 100% Black background colour, 500x300 pixels at 300 dpi.


2. Change the Paint colour to R219, G200, B107.
Double-click the Paint swatch on the status bar
then edit the values.
Press OK to set the Paint colour.


Fig 1.  

3. Select the Text Tool and type the word “SAND” to create a new text object.
Use a Thick round font such as Comic Sans (Bold)
and a size of 32.

Align the object to the centre of the image
Object > Arrange > Align and Distribute , or
To Center of Document
(Fig 1)


4. With the text object selected, create a mask from it.
Mask > Create from Objects, or CTRL+M, or .


5. Expand the mask by 4 pixels
(Mask > Shape > Expand, or )
and then feather the mask outside by 4 pixels
(Mask > Shape > Feather, or )
Width = 4,
Direction = Outside,
Edges = Linear).


6. Save the mask as a channel for later use
(Mask > Save > Save As Channel, l)
You can use the default name as this the only mask we need for the effect.


Fig 2.  

7. With the text object still selected,
fill the masked area with the Paint colour
Edit > Fill, or ,
choose the Paint Color radio button,
then press OK.
(Fig 2)

Fig 3.  

8. Add a Wind Effect
Effects > Distort > Wind, )
(Effects > 2D Effects > Wind for version 8 users) at
Strength = 100,
Opacity = 100 and
Angle = 0
(Fig 3)

Fig 4.  

9. Apply a Gaussian Blur
(Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur, )
using a radius of 8
(Fig 4)

Fig 5.  

10. Convert the image to Grayscale mode
(Image > Mode > Grayscale, )
(Image > Convert To.. > Grayscale for v8 users).
The text object should get combined with the background at this step, creating an image with just a background object.

If not, combine all objects with the background (Object > Combine > All Objects with Background or CTRL+SHIFT+Down, or ).

It is important to have just a single background grayscale image or else the next step will not work correctly.
(Fig 5)

Fig 6a.  
Fig 6a.  

11. Apply a Tone Curve
(Image > Adjust > Tone Curve, )
using a Response Curve like that shown in Fig 6a, which will result in an image like that shown in Fig 6B.

If you have trouble creating such a curve you can download a zipped version of it HERE and load it into the Tone Curve dialogue.

NOTE: download the tone curve, unzip it, then place it in your ../Corel/GraphicsX/Custom/Tonecrve folder
(X = your version number, e.g. 9 or 10).
After opening the Tone Curve dialogue,
click the Open icon and locate the sand.crv

(Figs 6a and 6b)

Fig 7.  

12. Apply an Emboss Effect
(Effects > 3D Effects > Emboss, ),
Depth = 5,
Level = 100,
Angle = 45,
Emboss Color = Gray
(Fig 7)


13. Change the mode of the image back to RGB
(Image > Mode > RGB Color 24 Bit, )
(Image > Convert To. > RGB for v8 users)

Fig 8.  

14. The mask around the text should still be present. If load then load it
(Mask > Load > Alpha1).

CUT the selection ()
then PASTE it TWICE ().
You should now have a background and two identical text objects above the background.
(Fig 8)

15. Select the top SAND object in the Objects Docker,
Click the Lock Object Transparency icon in the Object Docker ()
to lock the object's boundary (constrains fills to the object's boundary)


16. Fill the object with the Paint colour
(Edit > Fill , )
change the radio button to Paint Color
then click OK.

Fig 9.  

17. Add Noise to the top SAND Object
(Effects > Noise > Add Noise, ) as follows:
Click the Reset button on the Add Noise dialogue box
then change
Level = 75,
Density = 75,
Noise Type = Gaussian,
Color Mode = Intensity.
(Fig 9)

18. Turn off Lock Object Transparency
(using the Object Docker icon, ).

Fig 10.  

19. Select the Background object and repeat steps 16 and 17, filling the background with the sand colour and adding Noise.
(Fig 10)

20. Select the top SAND object and change the Merge Mode to Hard Light using the drop down list in the Object Docker.
(Fig 11)

Fig 11.


NOTES & Variations:

1. The method described here is quite dependent on the actual colour of the sand used. Changing the colour requires a few slight changes to make the effect appear as that descibed using the darker colour.

For instance, here in Australia most of our beaches have much lighter coloured sand, much more like that in the title graphics and side panel. Here are the changes to several steps that I used to create the sand at the lighter colour:

In Step 2, change the Paint colour to R237, G228, B171.

In Step 20, still change the Merge Mode to Hard light, but also adjust the opacity to 72.

Add a new step, step 21: Select the lower duplicate of the SAND text object and change it's merge mode to Hard Light also. This will now give you the correct effect you see for the lighter coloured sand.

2. Try changing the Noise type and see how it affects the consistency of the sand.

3. Play around with the Tone Curve to get more or fewer lines.

4. The shells used in the side and top panels of this tutorial were created using the Image Sprayer tool and a Shells image list. The list is one of many available on Corel's web site, specifically at: But if you can't find it there yo can get it here.

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