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Thursday, August 14, 2014

How to orbit text around an object in Photoshop ~ tutorial

The sample used for this tutorial is actually a rejected draft. *Read why it was rejected at the end of the tutorial. You can read the blurb and see the final cover created for Poems of Universal Love, by Anne Korhonen, scheduled for release in 2015, in this blog post: 'Poems of Universal Love' ~ cover art and design

After spending hours trying to find an online tutorial on how to visually imply text orbiting around an object in Adobe Photoshop (CS5.5), and only seeing posts and tuts for other programs, like Illustrator or After Effects (neither of which I feel even remotely proficient in), I sat down and just figured it out, myself.

Because I saw so many other people also trying to find the same information on forums and 'answer' sites, I thought, maybe I could share how I did it, at least well enough that it can guide someone else how to figure it out the best approach for themselves, and also so I wouldn't forget how I did it, lol.
  1. Create a shape on its own layer. I started with a heart-shaped Earth. This project was commissioned for a poetry book cover, and the author wanted a heart-shaped Earth as the main focus, but any shape will do.
  2. Decide what font you wish to use and type the desired letters onto a new layer on top of the shape.
  3. Use the 'create warped text' tool, and choose the arch style. I started with -50 and tweaked from there. This will be the 'front' of the orbiting text. 
  4.  Next, duplicate the text layer. Flip it horizontally under the edit/transform tab. Then under 'create warped text' tool, set the arch to positive rather than negative. Then drag the layer behind the shape you are working with. 
  5. You will notice the alignment is screwy at this point, but from here, you just sorta play with the scale, angle, and placement of each text layer until it looks right for your shape. For me, the 'back' text is above and slightly smaller than the front text and slightly angled to the right, to give the illusion of rotation. I made all of the tweaking adjustments with the transform tool and the move tool adjusting width, height and angle in tiny increments, so I can't really give exact amounts. Just eyeball it and play around. Every shape and font will have different needs.

* Even though the author found the orbiting text a cool concept, note how the reversed 'rsal', at the top of the heart, resembles the year '1627'.  For this reason, not all text will work as orbiting text. One possible solution would be to lessen the degree of warp, so odd areas are hidden. In most cases, however, the likelihood of a particular set of letters resembling a number is rare, purely coincidental in this instance.

Hope someone finds this helpful. Leave me a comment if you do. :D

Onto wrapping up the next book :D

Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven


This post edited by Grammarly*
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.

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