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GIMP tutorial - writing text animation

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March 5th, 2010, 07:26 AM
jillylicious's Avatar mom always liked you best
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 10,900
Okay, I'm leaving you with one more tutorial for GIMP this week! This is not very difficult but you do need to feel okay with working with LOTS of layers and you need to know how to create and configure a grid.

Here is an example of what you'll make. I didn't do ANYTHING with this text, since this is just a tutorial, but you can always do outlined text, bevel & emboss, use glitter, patterns, whatever. Just make sure you make all the enhancements you want to your line of text first, since you will have so many layers later on.

1. Okay, first, create a new image. I sized mine at 400px by 200px. Make sure your background is transparent and that your DPI is 500x500 (greater DPI allows for a smoother animation.)

2. Create your text layer. This is a good time to do whatever you want to your text (drop shadow, pattern overlay, whatever.) Once all your enhancements are done merge them down into the text layer. Make sure your text layer is separate from your transparent background.

3. Using the Duplicate feature, duplicate your text layer until you have a total of 40 layers. You might not need them all, but we can delete layers later. A good way to know exactly how many you are working with is by checking the title of your image window. (I tried to show it with the orange arrow here.)

4. Click the eye next to all your text layers except for the very first one. In your layers dialog this means there will be an eye next to only your transparent background and the first text layer.

5. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WORKING ON THE FIRST TEXT LAYER! This is really important! When you are blinding layers, GIMP still thinks you're working on the most recently created layer, so make sure that you click on the layer you want to change - this will apply for the rest of this tut.

6. Now we need to create our grid. Click Image -> Configure Grid and make sure you change the grid size to 20px by 20px. Click OK.

Then click View -> Show Grid.

7. Okay, now go to the Toolbox and pick up the Eraser tool. I changed the size of mine to 20px, but you can use whatever size you want. Now we're going to start changing our text layers to set them up for the animation.

8. Looking at the grid laid over your text, erase everything on the very first text layer except for the tip of the first letter.

9. Now, click the eye next to the second text layer. It will pop up with the entire text again. Make sure you click on the second text layer before you try to erase!! Move down one square from the tip of the first letter, and erase everything else in the layer.

To put it another way, the first text layer is going to show one square of text. The second layer is going to show two squares of text.

10. Click the eye next to the third text layer. Make sure you click this layer, then pick up the eraser. Move down two squares from the tip of the first letter, and erase everything else.

Carry on through the rest of your layers, allowing one more square's worth of text to show on each new layer. If you can't tell exactly where you deleted already, use the eye feature to go back and check on the previous layer.

Watch your number of layers - you want to end up with three layers showing the entire text at the top of all the layers in the dialog. If you need to create more layers to let this happen, make sure you do it before you run out of layers. Use the duplicate feature if necessary.

11. When you are all done, you should have each layer showing one square's worth more of the text. Your last three layers - at the top of the dialog - should be three layers showing the whole text.

12. Save as a regular blinkie. I slowed my animation rate to 125, but it's up to you how quickly you want the word written.

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March 5th, 2010, 09:55 AM
kerian's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Africa
Posts: 33,716
wow, thanks Jilly, i always wondered how it was done. and its so simple as well!

Thank you *Kiliki* for my beautiful siggy

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March 23rd, 2010, 10:46 AM
jillylicious's Avatar mom always liked you best
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 10,900
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