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[mRyan Designs] Mike Ryan's Gallery!

Mike Ryan

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Hey Mike, been a while since I have last posted a criticism in your gallery.

I like the direction you are going with 3D-lettering, and the shadowing. Making glass is a bit challenging, but try using BoltBait's transparency plugin to make the letter slightly transparent, use line tools to make a reflection, and keep the outline sharp to define the edge. Those are the wonderful tips from Helen (queen of gloss) and Ash (expert on glass).

Transparency is my most used plugin :lol:

Honestly though, your post makes me want to make a straight glass lettering in 3D, instead of my opaqued and colored glass.

@LFC: I am going to work on my shadowing some more in my next itteration. Thanks for the help!


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I don't know how well you can see it, probably should have removed the guidelines before saving a work capture, but I am working on the shadow following all of your suggestions. Any thoughts? And no, that background is not permanent, it is my "looks like open space background" that I usually use for things like this ;)



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Nice, Mike Ryan, it looks great, and some advice for the shadow: follow yellowman's example, but keep in mind that as the distance from the object that is causing the shadow gets larger the shadow becomes more blurred.


History repeats itself, because nobody was paying attention the first time.

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Blame the quote on Crazy Man Dan ;)

So, for those who PM'd me I am writing the tutorial for the blue initials on the page before this one. Unfortunetly, I didn't realize how long it would be...

Hidden Content:
Plugins Required:

- BoltBait's Transparency Plugin (Found in Adjustments -> Transparency)

- Pyrochild's Outline Object Plugin (Found in Effects -> Object -> Outline Object)

- Pyrochild's ScriptLab Plugin (Found in Effects -> Advanced -> ScriptLab)

- Align Object Plugin (Found in Effects -> Object -> Align Object)

Prerequisite Reading

- Jake2K's 3D Text Method Tutorial(s)

Suggestion: Open up Notepad

Using Notepad, jot down as many notes as you can, such as font styling and HEX codes of the colors you choose. This information will most likely be used again later in this tutorial and will insure consistency.

Step One: Setting up the Canvas

Begin by creating a new canvas. I do recommend a box like canvas, because it can be cropped later on after the effects have been applied. Create a new layer and title this layer 'Center Grid'. Draw a very thin, solid black line from top canvas to bottom canvas. Use the Align Object plugin to center this line perfectly. Then create a second layer titled 'Source Grid'. Draw a horizontal line, straight and thin as well. Make this line intersect where you want the source of your lighting to be. 'Center Grid' and 'Source Grid' should always be the topmost layers through out this tutorial.

Step Two: Rendering the Text

Create a new layer and title this layer 'Text Mask

'. Using the text tool, render the first initial. Position this so that the right edge of the letter meets the 'Center Grid' and that the 'Source Grid' does intersect the initial. Then, create another layer and title it 'Text Mask

'. Using the text tool again, render the second initial. Position this so that the left edge of the letter is perfectly even with the right edge of 'Text Mask

'. Make sure that you choose a font that will allow the right edge of 'Text Mask

' to meet the left edge of 'Text Mask

' in perfect uniform without overlap or increase in height. As well, the colors of the two initials can differentiate.

Step Three: Rotation of the Text

Begin this step by opening ScriptLab. In ScriptLab, we are going to create a new script


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The 3D MR is getting there, however, I don't understand some of the guide lines you are using.

There are much simpler lines you are missing and that's why some small bits and pieces are off.

If you wanna know more, let me know and I will try after my flight home.

And yes, do try and make a clear glass version. That's the way to get better. Good Luck!


All creations Ash + Paint.NET [ Googlepage | deviantArt | Club PDN | PDN Fan ]

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The guidelines are there, in those positions, because I had found one of the best repeatable ways to create that type of shadow. Using Rotozoomer you can apply the same rotation that you did to the R on a newly rendered M to cast an outward shadow. Then, using Bulge, stretch the M to meet the R part of the shadow. It is extremely complex, and unfortunately did warrant that many guidelines at the time.

Edit: As for the glass, it is getting there but is extremely difficult. I am having to create a lot more alpha masks then usual, because the selection tool doesn't work at these types of transparency.


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  • 2 weeks later...

New signature and avatar set. They both started as a pretty slick wallpaper.

As for those glass letters ASH challenged me over, I just wanted to say that progress is being made. I found out how to actually get the glass effect, but now it is all about keeping it 'glassy' when using my 3D method. Will post results later.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

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