Make sure to right click and open all title images in a new tab to see them in full-size.
.xcf file download
What You’ll Need:
GIMP, graphics program.
Script-Fu scripts. (Outer glow, stroke, drop shadow)
Let’s get started:
First of all, in your GIMP program create a new image with HD dimensions, 1920x1080.
The bigger the original image the better, you can downscale and tweak but upscaling will generally look terrible.
Now, select a creative and appropriate font and write out your title using the text tool, font isn’t super important, but it helps convey a feel and style, Fire Emblem for example has a very Medieval, empire aesthetic to their font because it fits with the style of the games.
I went with Cinzel Decorative to reflect the angelic and light nature of this mock-project, I chose 200 as my font size for the previously stated reason, it allows a large, crisp text that will work better with our later effects. I recommend starting with a white base as we’re adding colour later and it’s always easier to do things later than to try and do something now and make it harder for ourselves to do things down the line.
NOTE: Before making any visual edits to your text, make sure that you are pleased with the kerning.
Kerning is the space between each letter, you can increase or decrease that space in the following box in the text popup window.
The reason you want to do this before editing is because any edits you make to the text layer will render it as a visual layer and remove the text-tool element, meaning any later changes you want to make in regards to font and kerning will require excessive reworking.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to try out different things with your font, go all capital, all lower case. Camel case is good if you want a compact title of multiple words or like the effect, you can also increase or decrease the size of each individual letter. You can also change the height of a letter so that it shifts on the line, giving you an un-even look to your title.
I don’t recommend mixing fonts.
Now that you’ve got your text and are happy with it as a base, crop your workspace so that you’re not dealing with a lot of deadzone.
NOTE: These screencaps were made before kerning, hence the prior note. From here on the title you will be seeing has had it’s kerning edited.
My first move with any title or text is to add drop shadow, this allows it to stand out and pop against any background and gives it at least a basic amount of readability, which is essential especially if you choose to forgo any strokes and/or borders.
After the drop shadow you need to think forward a little in regards to what you want your final result to be, will it have a dark border? Light edging? I personally prefer the white thin stroke line because of the way it works with the other effects we’ll be doing, so that’s what I’m doing here.
I did it at a 75 position this time, but you can go 0 if you’re worried about having thick text or outside if you want a cleaner inside. I also chose white but if you’re going for a more border look you can choose black.
At the moment, if you started with the same colour as your stroke you won’t notice any difference and that’s fine, this is all prep for the future.
Now, this is going forward a bit again, but with the envisioning the end result if you’re not going to be using textured letters then I’d definitely recommend this shadow gradient effect unless you’re desiring flat text, like the Final Fantasy logo. See Here
Adding a shadow gradient will allow our text to pop just a bit more and will begin to show benefits of adding that stroke layer earlier.
Before adding the gradient to your image, make sure to put it in a new layer. Now that you have that new layer, right click on your font layer and select “alpha to selection”, this will select the image according to transparency, making it so we’ve only selected your letters. Now when you add a gradient to your new layer it’ll only be in place of the letters. Because it’s on a new layer I chose the “FG to Transparent” option which will add only a shadow to the lower layers. If your base colour isn’t white then this will allow you to still add a shadow unlike using the FG to SG option which will require more working.
Don’t worry if it’s not right on your first try, keep going until you get what you’re after.
Be mindful to erase your last step (ctrl+z) before redoing the gradient.
Here is where we’ll be adding colour to our title. At the moment the colour doesn’t matter because we can change that at a later date. Make a new layer and name it “colour” and set the layer mode to “Color”. This will transfer only the colour value to the lower layers. Now fill this layer with any flat, saturated colour.
Now, I’m assuming that most of you don’t want a red title, so let’s open up GIMP’s handy colorize tool.
Make sure you have your colour layer selected and then move the top two sliders around respectively until you get your desired colour. For LIGHT MEDAL I decided to go with a nice yellow.
NOTE: If you’ve followed this tutorial point for point then understand that the colour of your colour layer might not be 100% what you’re after. Because of our gradient and the color mode the colour our title will appear to be is relatively different, so make sure that you’re happy with your text’s result and not the layer’s colour.
TIP/NOTE: If you aren’t wanting textured text and want a solid colour, then repeat the earlier action of selecting to alpha our text layer and filling in a new layer with your colour or desired gradient. You can also try out the different layer modes with the colour layer and see if one of them give you your desired results.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. example 1 | example 2
If you do want textured font then keep following, if you aren’t and are happy with following the last TIP/NOTE, then skip the texture segment.
Adding a texture to your title can reduce it’s blandness and give it feeling and character. Depending on your project’s theme or style can influence your choices here. For LIGHT MEDAL I just went into google and searched for “Light Texture” because I didn’t have anything in mind, however for example if your project was called “Water Crest” then you could use a water texture on your title. example
For LIGHT MEDAL I went with this texture: click here
Here is another chance for you to try different layer modes to get different results. I liked the look of Hard Light as my layer mode.
NOTE: Make sure your layers are in the right order so that no effects are hidden or wasted.
NOTE: If you’re having trouble with things like a layer being coloured when you don’t want it to be, but can’t move it out of your layer order without it disrupting everything, try using the alpha to selection tool on that layer and deleting the selection out of the colour layer.
Now that our layer has been textured, or if you skipped the last step, here is where I added a high light. If you’re happy with your result you can also skip this part but I felt I wanted to combat the shadow a little and felt it fit thematically.
Using the same steps as our previous gradient shadow step, I selected my font using alpha to selection and made a new layer, however instead of the previous gradient settings I went with bilinear so that the highlight would appear in the middle of my text with fadeouts on the bottom and top. I also changed the colour from black to white to match.
For our last and final optional step, we’re going to be adding an outerglow to the title. This like the drop shadow just help gives it readability. When I apply an outerglow it’s generally the same colour as what is in the colour layer.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to experiment with your title. Save often and make sure to erase any errors before redoing effects. Try out things like lens and gradient flares, inner glow or blurs.
To give it a more JRPG feel I added the title in Katakana in smaller font, added a stroke and drop shadow to it.
Our colour layer added a gold touch to it automatically.
If you have any questions, post them below or contact me on the FEU discord, through PM or through email at NICKTofficial@hotmail.com.
Thank you very much for following along and following are some titles and texts made whilst following the basic principles seen in this tutorial: