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Tutorial: Create sweet candy text!

Written by · Created on Nov 25, 2010, last updated almost 12 years ago CC BY-NC License


The goal of this tutorial is to create realistic letters in a candy-style way. Everyone knows these sweets / candypop with their typical stripes. Maybe useful just now in the christmastime or for a children party. So, let`s go!

Tutorial details

  1. 1 candy.svg

    Use a round and smooth font like this. The example in this tutorial was an rendered SVG made with Inkscape. You can rightclick the attachment to this step, svae and import it into GIMP.

    Lets go!

    Create a white background layer and an other one for your text. Write your text or import a simple graphic.

  2. 2

    Copy the textlayer and remove the Alpha Channel (To do that rightclick the layer in the layers dialogue and choose “Remove Alpha Channel”.

    Background color should be set to white. We will make use of this layer later on when coming to the Bump-Map and Distorts.

  3. 3

    Now use the gaussian blur (Filter / Blur / Gaussian Blur). Radius: 30

    It could be more or less. Important is, that you get a nice round 3d look for the text.
    Make this layer invisible then by clicking the eye icon in the layers dialogue.

  4. 4

    Colorize the Textlayer to gray (Colors / Colorize).
    Saturation 0, Lightness 70

  5. 5

    Now use the Bump-Map (Filter / Map / Bumpmap). Souce is the blured layer
    Azimuth 250, Elevation 45, Depth 50, Rest 0

  6. 6

    Now the text have the wished 3d look, however with some ugly artifacts seen inside. We want to get rid of them now

  7. 7

    Lock the Alpha Channel (the icon for this is found right beside the opacity ruler in the layers dialogue) and use the gaussian blur again.
    Radius: 5.0 should be enough

  8. 8

    Here you can see the difference.
    (keep in mind that you could use these errors and artifacts as a style element too, if you like it.)

  9. 9

    Now we create the reflections.
    Unlock the Alpha Channel and copy the text layer three times.

  10. 10

    Apply the Treshold for each layer by using Colors / Threshold

    For Copy #3: 200 / 255
    Copy #2: 100 / 130
    Copy #1: 0 / 80

  11. 11

    - Color / Color to Alpha.

    In hexcode enter: 000000 which is pure black.

  12. 12

    The contour is too hard and the form to exact. Use the gaussian blur.

    Copy #3 and #1: 15.0
    Copy #2: 8.0

  13. 13

    Now use the curves (Colors / curves) to sharpen the edges, but don’t do it too much. Use channel: Alpha

    Curves like shown in these images:

  14. 14

    Change the Opacity:
    Copy #3: 70
    Copy #2: 60
    Copy #1: 30
    Now these are really nice reflections.

  15. 15

    Lets get to the stripes now.

    Make the reflection layers invisible and create a new layer under the reflections layer. Simply use the blend tool with the gradient „Four bars“ from the drop down menu. Dont forget to set it to Repeat!

  16. 16

    Edit the layer where the gradient is: Color / Curves to get nice stripes.
    The channel is set to: Value

  17. 17

    The stripes should look like the right image:

  18. 18

    Colorize the stripes now as shown here:

  19. 19

    The stripes should be warped onto the text.

    Souce is the blured layer.
    Step size: 10
    Interations: 3
    On Edges: Warp

  20. 20

    Then activate the textlayer and rightclick in the layer dialogue on „ Alpha to Selection“.
    Invert the selection with the key Ctrl+I (or just use Selection / Invert) and swich to the Stripelayer. Delete the selected part.

  21. 21

    Change the layermode to „Grain merge“

  22. 22

    Put the stripes together with the textlayer: In the layers dialogue: rightklick > Merge Down and if you like, you can give it more saturation using Colors / Hue&Saturation.

  23. 23

    Make the reflections visible again.
    You can add a drop shadow for the textlayer by choosing:

    Filters>Light and Shadow>Drop Shadow

  24. 24

    Make the white background visible and the sweet Candy Text is finished!
    Delicious, isn’t it?

  25. 25

    Here is a small collage with where I put together some other candy stuff you can make using this technique ;) Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!


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over 3 years ago

Dziękuję za udostępnione samouczki. Są bardzo przydatne do nauki w gimp-ie 2.10.x.

Sunnemo1 member for about 6 years Sunnemo1 1 comment
about 4 years ago

Thank you for sharing these tutorials, I can't wait to get started.

about 6 years ago

wow, that was more of a exercise in "best guessing". with tutorials like that i sometimes end up further behind. set the pen down and slowly step away from the tutorial desk....

almost 7 years ago

I have absolutely no idea what layer you're talking about at point 11. I am assuming each layer?

CT_GIMPER_101 member for almost 10 years CT_GIMPER_101 1 comment rated this topic with 4/5
almost 10 years ago

Like It Cool

tonysteele_ebw member for almost 11 years tonysteele_ebw 4 comments
over 10 years ago

Nice technique for the reflections.

over 11 years ago

The instructions are highly unclear. Would you mind elaborating them? I would appreciate it.

over 11 years ago

Too complicated for me sorry !

devvv member for over 17 years devvv 1475 comments
over 11 years ago

Where are you stuck?

over 11 years ago

The instructions stop making sense at various points because you don't make it clear which layer you are talking about. Could do better.

almost 12 years ago

Finally got it to work. GIMP was not giving me the option of selecting the "blurred text" layer for the warp map. So I created a new file with ONLY THE 2 LAYERS NEEDED FOR THE WARP. That sure worked out just fine!
Then I was able to copy the warped stripes layer back into my working file with all the other layers and proceed.
Just a tip for anyone else out there having the same problem! KEEP TRYING, IT LOOKS COOL IN THE END!
Thanks for the tute! I learned a LOT doing this one! =0)

almost 12 years ago

I'm having a hard time at the same point as the other commenter- when I try to apply the "warp" map, it won't let me select the blurred text layer as the source layer. My only options are the bg layer and the stipes layer. HELP! I'm so close and yet so far.... >=0(

about 12 years ago

If everything isn't working you used the wrong font (tekst)

about 12 years ago

The pictures with the explanation aren't correct.
if you "remove from alpha selection" it becomes white in the picture its transparent ???
CAn you explain it better.

about 12 years ago

WTF am I doing wrong? I can't get the stripes to wrap around the text??

over 12 years ago

hei, could you please please tell me what is the name of the font that you used to create candy.svg? Thanx

over 13 years ago

Great tutorial, very useful! I'd love to share it ...

I've looked everywhere for a 'SHARE' button to email. I use AddThis service - has a build your button site. (BTW: I'm not affiliated.)

Mister Monkey
over 13 years ago

Wicked stuff!

DontRemove member for over 13 years DontRemove 1 comment rated this topic with 4/5
over 13 years ago

Very nice result.

over 13 years ago

Very cool. I like it. :-)
Thank you for sharing.

over 13 years ago

yes! thats what I need right now. thank you