Showing posts with label Textures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Textures. Show all posts

How To Create A Neon Sign Using Inkscape

neon sign
This is a simple tutorial which will hopefully be a good introduction to anyone new to Inkscape, although it does assume some familiarity with the more common Inkscape tools. Although a neon sign can be made in other software such as Gimp, one of the advantages of using Inkscape is that you do not have to decide the final size of the image until you have completed what you are doing, as we will see.

Creating The Neon Sign

1/ Open Inkscape and resize it to fit your screen. Press '5' so that the page area fits the Inkscape window.

2/ Select the text tool to the left of the window (F8) and type the text for your neon sign.

How To Create A Neon Sign Using Inkscape

3/ From the Command Bar select the Font tool ( Shift >Ctrl >T) to choose the font for your sign and the font size. From the window that opens (see image above) select the font and font size you want to use.

The font selected for this tutorial is called Neon 80s that I downloaded from Fontspace, a website with a good selection of free fonts.

After you have decided on your font and font size click  Apply.

4/ Choose the colour for your font from the palette at the bottom of the Inkscape window. Then hit Ctrl>D to make a copy of the text object.

5/ The copy of the text object will be above the original, and we are going to use this copy to create the highlights of the neon sign. We do this by first changing the colour to white, then selecting Ctrl>Shift>( which will inset the text.

To get the highlight looking just right you may need to hit Ctrl>Shift>( a few times. Be careful however not do this too many times because the result will become unpredictable and you will need to restart this step.
How To Create A Neon Sign Using Inkscape
6/ Once you are happy with the highlight bring up the Stroke and Fill panel by hitting Shift>Ctrl>F. Now using the slider add a little blur to make the highlight more realistic, (see image above).

7/ The text of a neon sign appears to glow, so we will create this effect by adding another copy of the original text object and then, instead of using the Inset tool (Ctrl>Shift>( ), we will use the outset tool.

8/ To make a copy of the original text object make sure it is selected and then hit Ctrl>D. You may need to zoom in to make sure you have the right object selected.
How To Create A Neon Sign Using Inkscape
9/ Send the copy to the back of the other objects by hitting the Page Down key a few times. Now use the outset tool to expand the object by hitting Ctrl>Shift>) a few times, until you are happy with the appearance of the object, (see image above).

10/ Hit Shift>Ctrl>F  to bring up the Fill and Stroke panel again, and use the blur slider to make the object seem like the glow of the text layer. In the example here a blur of around 5 was used.

11/ All the neon sign needs now is a background, so select the box tool from the Toolbox to the left of the Inkscape window (or hit F4), and drag your cursor over the neon text until you have a size that suits you.

Give it a black fill, then send it to the back of the objects by hitting the Page Down key a few times. The neon sign is now complete, and we just need to export it as a bitmap.

Exporting the Neon Sign

How To Create A Neon Sign Using Inkscape

To export the neon sign,  select File>Export (or Shift>Ctrl>E) and in the window that opens you will see you can choose the size of the image to be exported, see image above). Once you have chosen the size for your image hit the Export button.

neon sign in Second Life

If your sign is to be used in Second Life, all you need to do now  is upload the image and add it to a prim. The above image shows the sign created here placed in my gallery close to the cinema, which I hope shows how effective Inkscape can be in creating neon signs, particularly when used in Second Life.
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Creating Textures With PatternCooler

Creating Textures With PatternCooler

The free online Patterncooler software created by Harvey Rayner is a remarkable tool for creating seamless patterns to use as backgrounds on blogs, web and graphic design projects, wallpapers, and of course textures for Second Life.

Getting Started

Because Patterncooler offers so many variations, it can be difficult to know where to get started, so after clicking the centre of the screen to open the Patterncooler interface, the best option seems to be to select a texture thumbnail at random and experiment.

Once you see how this works, you can also click on the 'Show color variations as thumbs' tab, which will allow you to edit the colours of the texture in the main window.

The Pattern Spread App

Creating Textures With PatternCooler

Patterncooler allows another way to work with textures other than the method above. Next to the Patterncooler logo is a white inverted arrow. Hover your cursor over this and from the drop down menu select Pattern Spread App. You will then be presented with a number of galleries of textures. Once you have selected a texture to work with, a window similar to the image above will open.

Under the Pattern Spread App, each texture is constructed of a number of layers of patterns. Each layer can be edited and new ones can be added and existing ones removed, by using the '+' or 'X' buttons next to each pattern. It is also possible to edit the size of each pattern on the texture as well as its colour values.

Registering With Patterncooler

Another option offered to users of Patterncooler is to register with the site, which will enable you to save projects and come back to them later as well as adding them to the gallery. You will also be able to view what textures you have downloaded, which all helps to make this app much more user friendly.

One of the remarkable aspects of Patterncooler is that it is free to use and that you can use the patterns you download pretty much as you like. However, depending on what the pattern will be used for, there is an option to pay for each download which allows for a better quality images. Also there is a donate button which I think is worth using considering everything Patterncooler offers its users.

This is a basic run through of what Patterncooler can do, so its worth taking a look and seeing just how useful a tool it is for creating online patterns for blogs and websites, and possibly textures to use in Second Life.

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