Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tuesday Tutorial: Title Work

What do you do when no alpha is included in the kit you're using, or you don't want to use an alpha? Create your own title work, like I did in this layout.
template by Sanko Design
Be Aware kit by Jeanine
First, I clicked on the Type tool. Here's the option bar that appears  whenever you click on the Type tool, in the bottom, grey section:
As you probably know, you select a font in the first drop down box, and then you can select a size. I usually estimate what size I think I'll want, then end up changing it several times. Did you know you can also resize text after you've typed it by switching to the Move tool and grabbing the corners or sides like you would resize any graphic? Further along on the Type option bar you can select such things as bold and italic, justify the text, and choose color.  The item I want to show you is immediately following the color picker. It looks like a T with an arch under it, and it allows you to manipulate your text extensively. Do you see in my layout that my title is curved around the circle mattes?
So I typed the first part of my title and highlighted it, as you can see.  Then clicked on that T with the curve under it and I got the Warp Text dialogue box. Note, you cannot change the slidebars until you've selected the style at the top.  In the style drop-down box I selected the arch. Then I slowly dragged the bend slider bar until the text curved just how I wanted it around the circle. I did not use the distortion sliders, but I suggest you play with them to see how they further warp text. 

Here is how my text looked at this point.
Now, to make it pretty, I clipped paper to it. Making sure I was on the Princess text layer I dragged a paper from the kit above that layer. Then, making sure the new paper layer is the highlighted layer, I hit Control/Command-G which tells Photoshop Elements to make the paper take the shape of the layer below. A little arrow appears in the layers palette to show that two layers are linked.
(Note: I took my screen shot when I was first making my title art and was doing the whole title at once, with an error in it! It was supposed to say Princess Five and I accidentally typed Three the first time.  That's why it says Three in this screenshot. If it matched the screenshots above, it would say Princess.)

I could have just shadowed my title work at this point and been done, but I decided it needed one more thing. A small stroke, or outline, helps it stand out. The stroke command is located in the Edit menu and here is the dialogue box that pops up.
Quite versatile, you can adjust the width of the outline.  I chose 5 pixels for my title art.  For something like a photo I would choose 20 or 30 pixels. For the color, you can use the color picker and even the eye dropper by clicking in that color box. 

Location refers to where the stripe will be placed. Inside means the program will begin with the edge of the object and count pixels inward, covering up some of the object. Outside means the counting will be from the edge to beyond the object, making it bigger. Center counts in both directions, with the edge of the object being centered inside the stroke.

You can even play with blending and opacity when stroking objects. I decided to keep this title simpler due to running out of time to scrap, but sometimes I like to get really fancy and use multiple layers for an alpha. You can use a selection tool to select all the letters, stroke the selection with a wide stroke, and then clip another paper to that. Give both paper layers shadows, and you've got nicely layered title.

I hope that inspires you to play around with your titles on your scrapbook pages.  Happy scrapping! ~Michele