[Tips & Tricks] Use Text as Masks… (a rather long post indee

Any other suggestions you may have
Jean-Jacques Boutaud
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Postby Jean-Jacques Boutaud » August 1st, 2006, 8:28 am

Hi all,
I post this… post here because it works with all BeLight applications.

So, how using Text (TextBoxes) to make some Masks and ending with something like this

Image

or this

Image

with all BeLight applications and with a little help of IT ;^)?
(The drop shadow is here seeing you that white areas are transparent not… white).

Firstly, you need a Mask:
- launch a BeLight application, create a TextBox and type some text using a Bold/Black font (I used Feast of Flesh font from Blambot)

Here's my Mask (the text color is white not transparent)

Image

Then
- select your textbox and copy it (Command-C)
- launch IT and use File>New From Clipboard to get your text in a new document
(unfortunately, there's a bug in IT as your new document seems blank until you select a filter (not the crop tool), so to display your text, click on Color Control filter for ex. )
- save it as jpeg (not tiff or png)
- then use Invert Color filter to get black text on white background
- save it as jpeg (with another filename of course)

So, now you have two masks:
- one with black background and white text
- another one with white background and black text

Launch a BeLight application, create a new document, add an image, then from the Image Inspector use the Browse… button to get one of your masks.

Using the one with white text/black background, you get an effect like the first screenshot at the top of this post.
And using the one with black text/white background, you get an opposite effect (see the second screenshot at top of this (long ;^) post).

More tips:
- as your text/mask is opened in IT, you may apply some filters to it (Blur/Glass Distorsion or Vortex…)
See the top of the E and X (for a subtle Vortex filter effect)

Image

- try to give meaning names to your masks using the words white or black for ex.
- when applying masks to images, don't forget that the overall surface is the one from the image not from the mask.
If the mask is smaller or larger than the masked image, it's resized and sometimes distorded.
So, for the best result:
- choose your image first
- then make your mask according of the size/proportions of the image.

And of course, for an even more easier and better result, you would use a "real" vector drawing application.

Hope this help.
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