Create Amazing 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

    This is what you'll see if you add a text wf variation and then click the drop down button to see the options. The cog icon allows you to enter the text that will be displayed. You can also change the text's height and width, as well as its vertical and horizontal position.

    text tutorial 1 basic options

  2. Changing the Font Face

    The method for changing the font face / font type is not immediately obvious. To do this, click the arrow to the right of where it says “text” to bring up a drop down menu. Once you've chosen font name from the drop down menu, click OK. Click the Cog icon to display a list of font names.

    text tutorial 2 Choose Font

  3. Selecting font face to use.

    When you click the cog icon, a box will appear with a long list of fonts to choose from. When you click on a font, you'll see a small preview. When you're satisfied with the font you've chosen, click OK.

    text tutorial 3 Choose Font from list

  4. Adding curves or other variations

    I've added two final variations to the sample flame below. The first is a swirl to make it bend around, and the last is a linear variation. I've added that linear so you can move it around to more simply move your text around the screen. Select the linear transform from the list and use the triangle button on JWF. You can then move the text around. Sample flame can be found here

    text tutorial 4 basic flame layout

  5. It will look like this.

    When the sample flame is loaded into JWildfire, it will look like this. To get interesting text effects, experiment with variations other than swirl. Mobius is another good one, but experiment as much as you want!

    text tutorial 5 sample output

  6. Adding drop shadows to your text

    I'd recommend practising the steps above until you're comfortable with how to add text, change its position, and apply some basic curves or other effects. Drop shadow creation involves several stages. The technique is straightforward to grasp. We duplicate our flame onto another layer, then change its vertical position and the colour of the second layer. This creates a convincing shadow effect that can be customised. So, first and foremost, duplicate our layer. Make sure you have the simple flame text or some of your own text loaded first. Then we'll select the layers tab.

    text tutorial 6 add drop shadow part 1 layers

  7. Duplicating the layer

    So, once in the layers section, we'd want to duplicate our original layer. To do this, click the duplicate button.

    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

    To create the effect of a shadow, we'll change the vertical position of our second layer. So we need to change the offset y value in the text wf variation. To begin, I'd recommend a small value of -0.003. Experiment, however.

    text tutorial 9 add drop shadow part 4 shadow offset

  10. Change the colour

    Even though the offset of the text on the second layer has been changed, it still does not appear to be any different. This is where the magic takes place. You must navigate to the colour tab of the text wf variation and select a different (usually darker) colour.

    text tutorial 10 add drop shadow part 5 Colour value

  11. Shadow effect achieved !

    Look at your text now, how fancy does it look? A lot of it is experimenting with colours and offset y values, but if everything went well, you should now have some 3D text. Just keep in mind that if you change the values for your text, you'll have to change them in your shadow layer as well, so I recommend leaving shadow effects until you've finished all of your text work. That way, you can simply duplicate the layer and change the y offset, colour, and so on.

    text tutorial 11 add drop shadow part 6 Example output

  12. Even more text effects!

    We can also add some really cool effects to our text thanks to Jesus Sosa's excellent dc (direct colour) variations. These are slow to render but can produce amazing designs on your text face when finished. As an example, load the flame from step 4 and select the first final (in this case swirl).

    text tutorial 12 Fancy Effects Choose final

  13. Adding a dc_circuits variation

    Click the drop down where it says Var 2 underneath the swirl to see the list of variations. Scroll down and select dc circuits. Please keep in mind that not all dc variations work this way; experiment with different ones.

    text tutorial 13 Fancy Effects Choose dc variation

  14. DC settings

    Look in the settings for the variation to see if the dc will work well. If “colour only” is an option, it should work fine. So, in our dc circuits example, we change the settings to “colour only” =1 this is always the case and should be checked first. Consider “Seed” to be a random preset option, with a value ranging from 1 to 100,000 (that's a lot of presets!). Gradient is another to keep in mind. Basically, if it's set to 1, the colours will be the same as the ones you've chosen for your flame. When set to 0, it employs its own colour gradient. Other than that, just play, play, play.

    text tutorial 13 Fancy Effects Choose dc variation

  15. Example output

    Although it is difficult to see in this screenshot, some fancy circuit type effects now appear on your text and look fantastic. You can get lost just by changing the preset value without affecting the others, but remember to always set “ColorOnly” to 1. Also, keep in mind that these take a long time to render, so discipline 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 !

    And there you have it: shiny text with dc voronoise. Again, when scrolling through the dc_ variations list, look for those that say “ColorOnly” and experiment with them. You now understand how to create text with various typefaces, shadows, and fancy effects. I hope it adds a new dimension of fun to your JWildfire. Just one more thing to mention. When using dc variations and duplicating the layer for a shadow. Remove the dc variation from the second shadow layer. It's unnecessary, and it will double the already slow render time.

    text tutorial 17 Fancy Effects Different dc sample output

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