Dream design

26/07/2009

Lets push the design boundaries to their limits. This is a complex 3D typography design that does require some effort but will certainly pay off in the end.

Dream design by Alex Beltechi/

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Lets turn this awesome “Dream” design by Alex Beltechi explained at gomediazine.com into a dynamic imaging template!

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In a nutshell, since the tutorial shows us how to create the design in Photoshop, what we need to do is simulate the text effect in CorelDRAW so that it can be a variable web-to-print field. The static parts of the design can still be made with Photoshop, which is a lot friendlier for the requirements of this particular design.

Before you start

Follow the original tutorial to make everything but the text. You’ll need two images from it, one for the background and another (transparent one) with the trees, leaves and the texture. We’ll sandwich the text frames between those images in CorelDRAW.

Note. You can also make the trees inside CorelDRAW by creating your own custom artistic brush.

Web-to-print before you start

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  • Import the background image in CorelDRAW placing it as the bottom layer;
  • Input each character of the word as a separate artistic text frame and turn them into linked web-to-print text fields.

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Seamless Swirls pattern sample/

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Download the Seamless Swirls pattern used on the text.

Although we can apply it as a Custom two-color CorelDRAW pattern, to achieve best quality, we recommend using it as a PowerClip’d curve inside a character.

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Storybook font sample/

Download the Storybook font used in this design.

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The colors that we’re going to use in the template are:

  • Light Green (#94aa52) or R:148; G:170; B:82;
  • Dark Green (#434b34) or R;67: G:75; B:52;
  • Pastel Green (#b8bf65) or R;184: G:191; B:101;
  • Yellow (#ebe77f) or R:235; G:231; B:127;

Note. Add these colors to your palette to save time when applying them.

3D text

To achieve a text effect similar to the original, which has 3D, extrusion, bevel, pattern, perspective, etc. we’ll need to layer a few copies of each character on top of each other. Lets start from the top layer and work our way down.

Perspective (Base)

Start off by adding a simple Perspective effect to the character. Select the text frame and go to Effects/Add Perspective.

CorelDRAW add perspective/

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Drag the corner nodes to the desired position.

Note. You can temporarily import the original image of the design and use it as reference while doing this.

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This is the base of the first character. All of the other layers, that will have special effects applied, are copies of this frame since they all share the same perspective effect.

Note. Keep this text frame hollow (No fill) and just add an outline. You should do this if you want to see the progress of your work on all the other layers since they are going underneath it.

Bevel

Next we’re going to make the Bevel layer of the character. Copy the base text frame and assign the custom Yellow color to it.

CorelDRAW Bevel settings/

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Go to Window/Dockers/Bevel to open CorelDRAW’s  Bevel docker and use these settings as reference.

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CorelDRAW Bevel/

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The result should be similar to this.

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Pattern

Now let’s make the Pattern layer of the character, this layer goes between the Base and Bevel layers. Import the pattern curve in the document and apply the custom Pastel Green color to it..

Web-to-print pattern/

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Copy the base text frame of the character, apply the custom Yellow color to it and PowerClip the pattern curve inside it (Effects/PowerClip/Place Inside Container…).

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Web-to-print pattern overlay/

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Select the text frame, activate CorelDRAW’s Transparency tool and assign a Uniform “Subtract” transparency to it. Do the same to the curve you PowerClip’d inside it so that they are both blending with the Bevel layer under them.

Extrusion

Although CorelDRAW offers us an option of creating an extrusion with its Interactive Extrude tool designed for the purpose, we’re going to simulate the extrusion using CorelDRAW’s Interactive Blending tool to achieve better quality and avoid the unwanted pixelation, notorious for the Extrude tool.

CorelDRAW Blending extrusion/

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We’re going to achieve this contoured edge extrusion by layering 3 separate blending groups, each shown in a different color here for best preview.

Learn how to use Blending as an alternative to Extrusions.

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Web-to-print extruded text/

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The result should be similar to this.

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Outlines

As a final step in simulating this 3D text, we’re going to add a few “outline” layers to help define and accent specific parts of the design.

Web-to-print top outline/

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The top text frame, which we used as the base layer, should have a 0,3 pt outline with the custom Light Green color assigned to it and no fill color.

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Web-to-print second outline/

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Add a copy of the same outline text frame under it and change the outline properties to 0,6 pt wide with the custom Dark Green color.

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Web-to-print extrusion outline/

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The last outline layer is a 0,85 pt wide, custom Dark Green color text frame placed between the top two blending groups.

Object manager

Web-to-print text frame tree/

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This is the tree of layers for the first character that you should end up with.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

The process and layering is the same for all other characters. Repeat it for all of them separately since they all have different perspective and extrusion angles.

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The result should be similar to this.

Web-to-print 3D text

Final step

All that’s left now is to import the foreground image made in Photoshop and place it as the top layer. The final object tree of the template should have all the text frames sandwiched between the background image on bottom and the transparent foreground image on top.

All done!

Our web-to-print software can handle this effect easily! Upload the template into your catalog and test it or view the Flash widget in full-page size to see the minor details of the design.


Download the FREE CorelDRAW template file.

Design limitations

The downside of this design technique is that the user is limited to a certain number of characters since the template has a so many one letter text frames.

See also: