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Gidde
09-25-2009, 06:08 PM
Hi all ... been trying to just use my home computer for mapping, which means open-source or at least cheap (as opposed to $700 for photoshop). Most of the time I love gimp anyway, but my gawd it is a bear to curve text. Does anyone know of something I could use to just bend some text for importing into gimp?

In the meantime, I'm using my work laptop (which has PS on it) to do the labels for my current WIPs, but it would be really nice to find something I like that I can put on my home pc.


Thanks!

Ascension
09-25-2009, 06:21 PM
Uh, PS already has tools to do that so just use them. Click on the Type tool, it should be in the box with all of your other tools like eraser, pencil, etc. and it looks like a T. Now click on the document window and type your text and click the check mark at the top of the screen. Now if you look to the left of the check mark you will see a T with a curved line under it...those are the basic text warp tools.

The fancier way to make curved text is text on a path. Use the pen tool and make whatever path you like and as curvy as you like (even a circle). Now click on the type tool. When you click on the document window to start typing your text, click on the path and your text will follow the path.

Gamerprinter
09-25-2009, 07:15 PM
As far as know all vector apps do text on a curve easily, which means Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, Xara Xtreme, Serif DrawPlus and probably Inkscape (though I don't use Inkscape, so I don't know if it can for sure, but probably though), the last one being free like GIMP. Every vector app I've ever owned, and I owned three of five of those listed above do that no problem.

The basic version of Xara Xtreme is only $49 (I use the Pro version though which is $249) does this and anything else you need very easily. Not that I'm especially recommending it over the others, but if you're familiar with any of my maps, all of them were created or otherwise composited in Xara Xtreme.

Go download Inkscape for Free and try it for text on a curve, it probably best fits your budget! :P

GP

RobA
09-25-2009, 08:43 PM
Inkscape does text on a path very well. And is open source.

-Rob A>

Gidde
09-25-2009, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys! I'm using the PS on my work pc now, I just wanted to get something affordable for the home pc so I don't have to set up two computers is all.

I think I'm going to have to download Xara's trial, that feature list is nice.

Notsonoble
09-25-2009, 09:08 PM
Yeah, the text along path in gimp is kinda meh... because you can't edit the path on the fly... I'll through in a second vote for inkscape...

Gidde
09-26-2009, 12:21 PM
Wow, Xara has one heck of a learning curve! I'll keep tinkering with it and see if I fall in love, and in the meantime it looks like I really missed a lot of Inkscape's potential for this. I'll zoom around the web and see if I can't find a how-to.

Thanks again guys :)

RobA
09-26-2009, 01:35 PM
Just get the development nightly build of inkscape, rather than the .46 stable, as there are many, many more features available (and I have not had a crash, so dev is still pretty stable.)

-Rob A>

Gidde
10-05-2009, 02:09 PM
I've come to the conclusion that Inkscape is resisting me with a will of its own >.<

My tablet refuses to function in Inkscape. A little google-fu came across two known issues, one that is GTK+ based (which can't be it, because GIMP works like a dream and the issue was happening in both programs), and the other saying that Inkscape can't handle two pointing devices at the same time. I unplugged my spare mouse, and the tablet worked great ... for about 2 minutes. Now it's back to consistently not functioning, even after reboots/program restarts.

If it matters, I'm using a Wacom Bamboo. I've tried turning the pressure sensitivity off in Inkscape (with my spare mouse before I unplugged it), and making sure both the tablet pen and the tablet eraser pointing devices were set to screen (which they already had been).

I'm usually a better geek than this, but Inkscape just seems to keep foiling me. Any ideas?

Ascension
10-05-2009, 04:20 PM
It depends on how you're wanting to bend it. PS can do most of that by itself but there is one type, that I know of, that it can not do...text that is curved at the bottom but straight across the top for something like logos or letterheads in the old Victorian style.

Tiana
10-05-2009, 05:21 PM
I've come to the conclusion that Inkscape is resisting me with a will of its own >.<

My tablet refuses to function in Inkscape. A little google-fu came across two known issues, one that is GTK+ based (which can't be it, because GIMP works like a dream and the issue was happening in both programs), and the other saying that Inkscape can't handle two pointing devices at the same time. I unplugged my spare mouse, and the tablet worked great ... for about 2 minutes. Now it's back to consistently not functioning, even after reboots/program restarts.

If it matters, I'm using a Wacom Bamboo. I've tried turning the pressure sensitivity off in Inkscape (with my spare mouse before I unplugged it), and making sure both the tablet pen and the tablet eraser pointing devices were set to screen (which they already had been).

I'm usually a better geek than this, but Inkscape just seems to keep foiling me. Any ideas?

I can't use Inkscape due to the tablet-fu issue. My problem happens to be this:

A tablet will not function properly in Inkscape if it is set to mouse mode. Set it to tablet mode and it'll work perfectly.

I don't know if that's your problem. It's mine and why I unfortunately can't use Inkscape. I found, however, another free vector program that's fun to use. It's called Expression 3 / Creature House. (http://calamitiesofnature.com/extras/podreview.php)

I have no idea whether it bends text or not because I've only ever used it to do lineart, but it's another free vector program! That lets you paint and uses pressure sensitivity. Really, it's a weird program.



It depends on how you're wanting to bend it. PS can do most of that by itself but there is one type, that I know of, that it can not do...text that is curved at the bottom but straight across the top for something like logos or letterheads in the old Victorian style.
If what I'm imagining from your description is correct, it's found in warp text, and should be arch lower or shell lower. If what you're describing is one line of text straight and one line of text arched, just do two seperate text layers and arch the lower one.

I can't quite imagine an old Victorian arched letterhead style, though, so I might be imagining wrong--in which case, pics?

Ascension
10-05-2009, 06:27 PM
Here's an example of what I'm talking about. I know that there is professional sign-making software that can do this (I don't remember the name of it but I ran across it once on the Letterhead Fonts website once). At any rate, this is the one type of thing that you can't do easily. You can turn your type into a path and then move the nodes around but that is tedious.

Gidde
10-05-2009, 07:12 PM
@Ascension: Yeah, PS's bending works, I just only have PS on my work PC, which makes it difficult to use for personal projects.

@Tiana: I'll try the other program you mentioned ... I only use the tablet in tablet mode, so I don't think it's the mouse mode issue.

Thanks a lot for trying to help me solve this, everyone ... it's really frustrating to have a roadblock when it comes to labels.

Immolate
10-05-2009, 09:05 PM
ahem

17433

Ascension
10-05-2009, 09:41 PM
Looks pretty darn close, but still not straight across the top or bottom edge. Looks like CS4 does it better than my CS, though.

Immolate
10-05-2009, 09:44 PM
Yup not perfect, but you can probably compensate in some way. The function is "arc upper" and "arc lower".

Immolate
10-05-2009, 09:53 PM
faked it with a transform/warp

17434

Aylorian
10-06-2009, 01:49 PM
Rob's "Using GIMP to Create an Artistic Regional Map" tutorial (in his signature above) has quite a very detailed examples of bending text towards the end of the tutorial.

Gidde
10-06-2009, 02:20 PM
Thanks Aylorian, I'll check it out. Gimp was the first thing I tried though, and it bugged out on me (for some reason the path created by using Text Along Path wanted to attach itself by one point to the corner of the map). I fiddled with it for 15 minutes or so then went looking for another option.

RobA
10-06-2009, 04:16 PM
That is bending text along a path, though, not deforming text within an envelope.

I use Inkscape with the bezier envelope extension for that ;)

-Rob A>

Immolate
10-06-2009, 05:10 PM
That is bending text along a path, though, not deforming text within an envelope.

I use Inkscape with the bezier envelope extension for that ;)

-Rob A>

Isn't that the goat thingie that Harry Potter gave Ron Weasely to save him from poison? And it does text too? I've gotta get me one of those!

RobA
10-06-2009, 10:08 PM
Isn't that the goat thingie that Harry Potter gave Ron Weasely to save him from poison? And it does text too? I've gotta get me one of those!

In all seriousness, the extension it is available here: http://screencasters.heathenx.org//wp-content/uploads/bezier_envelope.tar.gz

-Rob A>

Juggernaut1981
10-07-2009, 01:15 AM
Thanks Aylorian, I'll check it out. Gimp was the first thing I tried though, and it bugged out on me (for some reason the path created by using Text Along Path wanted to attach itself by one point to the corner of the map). I fiddled with it for 15 minutes or so then went looking for another option.

Gidde, that is actually staggeringly simple problem to solve. Your text is too long for your path. If there are "path nodes" that cannot fit in relation to the length of the path, GIMP defaults to sticking it in the corner. Try to push the path out a little longer or reduce the font size (or put in a negative character spacing)...