Fancy Fractal Text Effects

How to spice up the plain text inside of JWildfire

You can create text within your Fractal flame using the text_wf variation inside of JWildfire, but sometimes you want to do more with it. How do you change the font? How do you give it a drop shadow ? Rather than post edit in another package. See how you can do this with JWildfire settings.

  1. The basic options

    When you add a text_wf variation and click the drop down button to see the options, this is what you'll see. The cog icon allows you to enter your text to be shown. You can also alter the height and width of the text, and it's vertical and horizontal position.

    text tutorial 1 basic options

  2. Changing the Font Face

    Not immediately obvious, is the way to change the font face / font type. To do this you will need to click the arrow on the right of where it says “text” to get a drop down menu. From that drop down menu choose font_name , once you've selected that. Click the Cog icon which will bring up a list of font names.

    text tutorial 2 Choose Font

  3. Selecting font face to use.

    After the cog icon is clicked you'll get a box appear with a long list of fonts to choose from. You'll also see a small preview as you click on each font. Click Ok when you are happy with the font you want.

    text tutorial 3 Choose Font from list

  4. Adding curves or other variations

    In the sample flame below, you'll see I've added two final variations. One is swirl just to make it bend around, and the last final is a linear variation. I've added that linear so you can move it around to move your text around the screen more easily. You'd select the linear on the transform list and use the triangle button on JWF then you can drag it around. Sample flame can be found here

    text tutorial 4 basic flame layout

  5. It will look like this.

    The sample flame once put into JWildfire will look like this. Obviously play with different variations other than swirl to get interesting text effects. Mobius is another good one, but experiment away!

    text tutorial 5 sample output

  6. Adding drop shadows to your text

    Before proceeding, I'd recommend practicing the steps above until you're happy with how to add text, change it's position, and some basic curves or other effects. There's a few stages involved with drop shadow creation. The technique is a simple one to understand. We duplicate our flame onto another layer, then we alter its vertical position and change the second layer colour. Doing this gives a convincing shadow effect that can be altered to suit. So first off let's duplicate our layer. Make sure you have the simple flame text loaded, or some text of your own first. Then we're going to click the layers tab.

    text tutorial 6 add drop shadow part 1 layers

  7. Duplicating the layer

    So, once we're in the layers section, we want to duplicate our original layer. Click the duplicate button to do this.

    text tutorial 7 add drop shadow part 2 layer duplicate

  8. Select duplicate layer

    Nothing will look any different as yet, because both layers have the text in the same colour. Make sure your duplicate layer is selected by clicking on it in the layers area.

    text tutorial 8 add drop shadow part 3 layer select

  9. Changing the vertical offset

    So, to get the effect of a shadow, we're going to adjust the vertical position of our second layer. So we need to go to the text_wf variation and change the offset_y value. I'd recommend a small value of -0.003 to begin with. Experiment though.

    text tutorial 9 add drop shadow part 4 shadow offset

  10. Change the colour

    Even though the offset has been changed of the text on the 2nd layer, still doesn't look any different. Here's where the magic happens. You need to switch to the color tab of the text_wf variation and choose a different (darker usually) colour.

    text tutorial 10 add drop shadow part 5 Colour value

  11. Shadow effect achieved !

    Now look at your text, how fancy does that look? A lot of it is experimenting with colours and offset_y values, but if all has gone well, you should now have some 3D looking text. Just bear in mind that if you alter values for your text, you will have to alter them in your shadow layer as well, so I find it's best to leave shadow effects until you've done all your text work first. That way you can just duplicate layer and alter y_offset and colour etc.

    text tutorial 11 add drop shadow part 6 Example output

  12. Even more text effects!

    Thanks to Jesus Sosa's excellent dc (direct colour) variations, we can add some really smart effects to our text as well. These are slow to render but, when finished can give amazing designs on your text face. So, load the flame in from step 4 as an example and select the first final (in this case swirl).

    text tutorial 12 Fancy Effects Choose final

  13. Adding a dc_circuits variation

    Where it says Var 2 underneath the swirl, click the drop down to get the list of variations. Scroll through and choose dc_circuits. Please note not all dc variations work this way, again experiment with different ones.

    text tutorial 13 Fancy Effects Choose dc variation

  14. DC settings

    The way to tell if the dc will work well, is look in the settings for the variation if it has “color only” as an option then it should work well. So, using our dc_circuits example, we change the settings to “color only” =1 this will always be the case, and should check that first. Think of “Seed” as a random preset option, change that value to anything between 1 and 100,000 (that's a lot of presets!) . The other one to note is Gradient. Basically if it is set to 1 the colours will match those you've chosen for your flame. If it's set to 0 it uses it's own colour gradient. Other values, just play, play play.

    text tutorial 13 Fancy Effects Choose dc variation

  15. Example output

    Not so easy to see on this screenshot, but some fancy circuit type effects now appear on your text and look great. You can lose yourself just by changing the preset value without altering the others, but always remember to set “ColorOnly” to 1. Also remember these take a long time to render, so master your patience!

    text tutorial 15 Fancy Effects Sample Output

  16. Another dc variation used

    I've tried dc_voronoise here, less options but again setting “coloronly” to 1 and am getting nice shiny effect on the text.

    text tutorial 16 Fancy Effects Different dc

  17. Shiny text !

    Et Voila shiny text with dc_voronoise. Again, when flicking through the dc_ variations list, look for those with “ColorOnly” then play with those. You now know how to make text with different typefaces, shadows, and fancy effects. Hope it brings a new level of fun to your JWildfire. Just one last thing to note. If you use dc variations and you duplicate the layer for a shadow. Remove the dc variation on your 2nd shadow layer. Don't need it, and it will double the already slow render.

    text tutorial 17 Fancy Effects Different dc sample output

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