At least a couple times a week, someone asks me how to fill text with a photo or other image. Of course you already know that you can fill text by choosing Edit, Fill, clicking on the Image tab, and filling with a File that you've selected. In that case the text will be filled with the selected image, but you have little control over what part of the image shows in the text, and 3D text will have a shiny look that distorts the image.
However, this tutorial shows you a quick way to fill text with a photo, in a way that allows you to manipulate the photo within the text so that it is displayed to advantage and without distortion. For the text fill, I'm using this this photo of a purple water lily I took with my digital camera. You can use it, or use one of your own photos.
Open up the photo you're going to use for the fill. If you don't want to use the entire photo for the fill, make a selection of the portion that you want to use. Just be sure that your selection is at least as wide and tall as your text, to avoid a tiling seam line. I wanted to use the center of the flower, including some of the yellow, so I made the selection shown below. Hit Ctrl+C to copy the selection into the Clipboard.
Open a New image, about 500 pixels wide by 150 pixels high. You'll be cropping it later, so just make a new image big enough to hold your text. In this new image, type the desired text in 2D Mode. The color of the text doesn't matter. Pick a reasonably broad font and a large enough font size so that the photo will show well on the text. I'm using Berlin Sans FB Demi, Size=70. Type the text that you wish to fill.
To fill the text with the photo, choose Edit, Paste, Into Selection. The pasted photo will be attached to a crosshair cursor (arrow).
Don't click the mouse! Instead, drag the photo around within the selection area to position it as desired. When you're satisfied with the fill, click to fix it in place. Hit Ctrl+C to copy the photo filled text into the Clipboard.
To add the 3D look to the photo filled text, choose Effect, Creative, Type. When the Type Effect dialog box opens, choose the Emboss option. Edit the Level to 50, and for Bevel Type select Plateau.
Click OK and you'll be presented with two options. Select "Apply Current Frame Effect to Image." Your text will almost disappear. It will look like a 3D white embossed image.
Hit Ctrl+V to paste the Clipboard contents back into the image. Use the Standard Selection or Pick tool to drag the photo filled text on top of the embossed text. Offset the photo text so that the embossed text behind it extends a few pixels to the left and below the photo text. This technique will add a 3D look to the text that it would not otherwise have.
Right click and Merge All. Remember that the key to success with this technique of filling text with a photo relies on using a good selection from the photo, and moving the pasted photo around in the selection until you get an attractive arrangement. Here are some other photo-filled text images I've made.
This tutorial uploaded 9/14/01
Do not duplicate, translate, copy, archive, appropriate or redistribute this document.