3D cut-out text

18/02/2009

You can use this web-to-print technique to create a see-through text cut out of a 3D surface.  It simulates a thick peace of metal, wood or any material with a text cut out in the middle of it, making the background image be visible through the holes.

Web-to-print 3D see-through text

Before you start

Web-to-print before you start/

  • Draw the shape that will be the metal plate (Ex. Rectangle)
  • Import the image that you will use as the background and place is as the bottom layer.
  • Input the dummy text, set its horizontal alignment and turn it into a variable web-to-print field called Text.
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In a nutshell, we’ll place the background image inside the dummy text frame as a PowerClip and put it on top of a background shape with a fountain fill simulating a metal surface. For the extrusion 3D effect we’ll use a copy of the same dummy text frame with a custom extrusion applied to it and place that text frame inside the original text frame.

There’s a much simpler way to do this using the Back Minus Front shaping option between the text and the background shape, but, that requires us to convert the text to curves and therefore restricts us from using it as a variable web-to-print field. It will work for a static text but we want it to be a variable web-to-print text frame.

Checkout a simpler variation of this technique that you can use to create a see-through effect from a flat surface.

Background

Select the metal plate shape and open the Object Properties docker by pressing Alt+Enter on your keyboard or by going to (Window/Dockers/Properties).

Web-to-print fountain fill/

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Choose Fountain Fill as the fill type.

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Web-to-print advanced object properties/

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Click the Advanced button to assign a fountain fill (gradient). This will give your background the appearance of a brushed metal sheet. CorelDRAW has many presets to use as a starting point.

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Web-to-print custom fountain fill/

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Choose one you think will work best and change its colors depending on what kind of metal appearance you’re trying to achieve.

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Web-to-print Metal fountain fill/

The result should be similar to this.

Dummy text

We need two copies of the dummy text frame. One will be the PowerClip container and we’ll use the other one for the inner extrusion effect.

Select the original dummy text and click on the No Fill icon from the color palette to make it transparent.

Web-to-print see through text/

Duplicate the background image and place the copy inside the transparent text frame as a PowerClip (Effects/PowerClip/Place Inside Container). The result should be similar to this.

See-through extrusion

To create the inner text extrusion we’ll use the “text in text” trick. Select the dummy text copy and place it inside the original dummy text as a PowerClip. Right click on the PowerClip and go to Edit Content to go inside the container.

Note. You can also do the extrusion outside first and then place it inside the PowerClip.

Web-to-print default extrusion/

If we just add an extrusion to the text as is, the middle parts of the letters will not be transparent and we don’t want that. If we try to use the No Fill option with it after applying the extrusion, it will make both the text and the extrusion transparent and we don’t want that either.

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The trick is to apply the extrusion to a transparent text with an outline!

Select the dummy text, click on the No Fill icon from the color palette to make it transparent and assign some thin Outline to it.

Web-to-print outlined text/

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The result should be similar to this.

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Select the outlined dummy text and activate CorelDRAW Extrusion tool from the toolbox menu on the left.

Web-to-print extrude tool/

Click on the text frame and drag to assign the desired extrusion.

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You can use these settings as a reference.

Web-to-print extrusion settings

Web-to-print outline extrusion/

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The result should be similar to this.

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Web-to-print extrusion color shading/

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Click on the Use Color Shading icon in the top extrusion settings bar.

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Web-to-print outlined extrusion/

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The result should be similar to this.

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You can now remove the outline since we don’t need it anymore. Go to the Object Properties docker (Alt+Enter) and change it’s value to None.

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3D see-through text/

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Leave the PowerClip (Right click/Finish Editing This Level). Your see-through text template should now look like this.

All done!

Our web-to-print software can handle this effect easily! Upload the template into your catalog and test it.

Web-to-print 3D see thru text

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Try this web-to-print template.

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Download the FREE CorelDRAW template file.

Useful links

See also: