Adding Dimension to Text & Alphas

Hello again!  I’m back to share yet another installment of The Magic of Beginnings kit and a cool alpha tutorial with you today.  I love the look of brushed alphas or fonts on my pages, but sometimes I want something with a little more depth and dimension.  There are several ways to build up flat text and elements, and I will be sharing one of my favorite methods with you today . . .



Brushed alphas, word art text, fonts or other flat elements are amazing – but sometimes you need something with a little dimension to balance out a design.  As I was creating my page for this post, I found it too difficult not to add lots of dimensional goodness from The Magic of Beginnings kit, and I decided that I needed to add some dimension to my word art title.


Dimensional Wordart LO


(BTW, if you like the elements on my page, be sure to check back on Monday for the two kit downloads.)


Here is a comparison of the original word art (which you can download on Monday) with the dimensional version in my layout:




Achieving this look is super-easy too (and can be done in most digital art programs).  Here are the steps I took to add dimension to my text.


Step 1 – Separate the Focal Words from the Typed Text

In my layout, I wanted the focal words – Today and Next – to have a different look and color than the typed text.  To do that I used the polygonal lasso tool to “cut out” the focal words and put them on their own layers.  Activate the word art layer and then select the polygonal lasso tool (or any selection tool of your choice) and draw a box around the word “TODAY.”  Once you connect the starting point with the ending point you should see marching ants surrounding the word.  Now, right click in the middle of the focal word and choose “Layer via Cut” in the pop-up menu.  This will separate the word TODAY onto its own layer.  (NOTE:  If the Layer via Cut option is faded out, you need to rasterize your layer.  You can do this by activating the layer and right clicking on it in the layers palette and then choosing “rasterize layer” from the pop-up menu).  Follow the same steps for the word “Next.”  At this point you should have 3 word art layers – TODAY, Next and the typed text.




Step 2 – Add Color to the Text


Now that the focal words are on their own layers, you can change the colors.   The best method for changing color is to add a solid color adjustment layer.  Do this by activating the Adjustment menu (half filled circle) at the bottom of the layers palette in PSCC and choosing “Solid Color.”  At this point, a color picker box will pop up.  The color will automatically be set to the foreground color, but you can change it to your color of choice.  I chose the mustard color from The Magic of Beginnings Collection.  The color adjustment will flood the entire page, so you need to clip it to the text layer (Ctrl>Alt>G in PSCC).  Repeat this step for each focal word and the text layer, with your color(s) of choice.






Step 3:  Add Dimension to the Text with a Bevel


Now that your text layers are all colored, it is time to add dimension to the word art.  Activate a focal word layer and apply a Bevel Style by clicking on the fx button at the bottom of the layers palette (in PSCC) and choosing “Bevel Emboss.”  In the pop-up menu, choose the following settings:




If you aren’t happy with the effect of these settings, play around with the different bevel options in the top drop down menu, or with the depth and size settings until you find an effect that works with your text.


You can also use this technique to give brush alphas, like the one from Studio Wendy in today’s downloads, an encaustic or melted wax effect.  To achieve this effect, just follow the steps as outlined above, but with the following alterations:




Step 1:  Because brush alphas are often semi-transparent, you need to make multiple copies of each layer and then merge them together to make the letter or work more opaque.  In the example above, I made four (4) copies of each letter and merged all five layers together (the original + the four copies).


Step 2:  The Alphas are already colored to coordinate with The Magic of Beginnings kit.  However, you can recolor them to coordinate with other kits by following Step 2 above.


Step 3: Same as above, but with the following settings:


dimensional-alpha-samplesChisel Hard Settings:  Depth (100); Direction UP; Size (60); Soften (0)

Chisel Soft Settings:  Depth (100); Direction UP; Size (2); Soften (0)

Smooth Settings:  Depth (90); Direction UP; Size (2); Soften (0)


I hope you have fun with this technique!


One last thing before we move to the downloads this week – my page design.  I took Jana’s suggestion (in THIS POST) and made Wendy’s template my own.  You will notice that the overall design of the page follows her left template below, but I made it my own by substituting various elements in place of the photo spots.




Until next time ~


The Magic of Beginnings Giveaway


On to the next installment of the Scrapaneers December Giveaway – The Magic of Beginnings.


A big THANK YOU to all the amazing designers who contributed to this Mega Collection. The Magic of Beginnings is perfect for your holiday and December sequential projects, but it is about so much more than that. Think about plans and goals for the new year, starting a new stage of life, new relationships or simply the start of exciting new adventures. This collection is so big we could not fit it all into one preview, so here is glimpse at the collection in two parts (we couldn’t fit everything in the preview so know there’s MORE!):


Magic of Beginnings Collection


Magic of Beginnings Collection


Magic of Beginnings download links are no longer available.

Don’t forget to check back on Monday, December 19 for the next set of downloads, and a cool blend modes technique by Lisa.








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  • RB December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank You SO Much For The Info & Just LOve The Alpha.Happy christmas & New Year To Evert body Involved Your FAB!:)xXx

  • Christa File December 16, 2016   Reply →

    terrific tutorial and great page you have created !! Love it!

  • R December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you 🙂

  • Pam K December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the tutorial — I love how the text stands out & make the word art pop! Thanks also to Wendy for today’s lovely gifts!

  • Connie A. December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the tutorial and the alphas!! And a special thank you for including the droplets version with the template; the template is one I will be using often and including the alphas with what I learned from the tutorial.

  • Lana December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you.

  • Laurie December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for all the beautiful gifts. And especially thank you for making them available all month. I just today found your site and I’m so excited. I can’t wait to try some of your lessons and I love being able to go back and download from the beginning of the month. You are awesome!

  • Peggy S December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you very much for all these goodies! Lovin’ them.

  • Priscilla December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Thanks so much! Great tutorial.

  • Mary December 16, 2016   Reply →

    I just found your site and it is amazing!!! The Magic Of Beginnings is absolutely stunning!!! Thank you so much for sharing!!!! Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!

  • Molly December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Love these! Thank you so much!

  • sherry pennington December 16, 2016   Reply →

    Having such fun with the tutorials and goodies !! Thank you 🙂

  • Jewel pease December 17, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the information and goodies!

  • kay December 17, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much for everything. very much appreciated. Merry Christmas.

  • Blackthorne December 17, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you !

  • BevG December 17, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you so much for the freebies! Love the kits.

    p.s. Alpha set 1 is downloading extremely slow. Not sure why as set 2 came down normally, as did the templates. Estimated time is over an hour, while set 2 took just a minute, if that.

  • Sandy_in_MD December 17, 2016   Reply →

    Great tutorial, and thanks so much for the alpha & templates!

  • Lynn December 17, 2016   Reply →

    This is wonderful, thank you!

  • KimR. December 18, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the tutorial and wonderful alpha and templates!

  • Grambie/Shirl December 22, 2016   Reply →

    The variety of the tutorials offer a wonderful opportunity to try out something new or in a different way. Thanks for everything. So glad to see the new templates designed to use them in PSE-15. This collection is beyond awesome. Hugs.

  • Johanna December 23, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you very much for the wonderful tutorial and goodies!!

  • Lis December 27, 2016   Reply →

    Thank you for the template and the alpha!

  • Shirley Kimbrough January 8, 2017   Reply →

    Lovely designs with the brushed alpha, the two multi-mask templates, and that fantastic tutorial. My sincere thanks. Hugs, 🙂

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