Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Intertwining String

PS...I don't know why the font is funky in this first paragraph...)

I thought I would talk a little bit about intertwining string. I used to sit and see these wonderful layouts where someone had intertwined their title or something else and wonder how to do it. I've never been one to ask. I tend to forget or just be too lazy, so every so often I would try, and with disastrous results...until one day I had a light bulb moment. I don't know if you've wondered how to do this too. Or maybe you have a better easier way, but this is how I do it, and I hope it will work for you too! (I don't know how to do screen shots, so I just added a bunch of pictures...I hope that helps it be clear)

So, I was looking through Sarah's kits trying to figure out what I wanted to intertwine. I settled on this string thought I'd make a word art from the alpha in Spunky Monkey. You want to pick an interesting string, one with curves and the like. It makes the finished product so much cooler.
1 by you.
Next, you'll want to lay your string on top of your elements (or in this case alphas) so you have an idea of how it will be intertwining.
2 by you.
Now, you want to make a duplicate layer of your string. Make sure you lock them together so that if you need to move the string while you're working on it, they will both move together. Put one of the strings on top of all of your elements and put the other underneath all of your elements. Make sure that only your top layer is selected. Slowly start deleting from the top one. You don't have to be too incredibly careful because if you over delete a little, you have the bottom layer showing through.

In this picture, I've started my deletion. You can see I went over and under letters, but haven't finished the *u* yet.
3 by you.
4 by you.
Next, you want to zoom in and be sure you didn't leave any stragglers on top of your letters. So make your bottom layer invisible and/or add a temporary stroke (you can do that in layer styles, just add a drop shadow, make your drop shadow invisible and instead do a stroke) to your upper layer and you'll be able to see what exactly you deleted and to make sure you've created a quality project. When you like it, get rid of the layer style and click to make the bottom layer viewable again.
5 by you.
Next you want to add realistic shadows. I'm still working on my shadows, but here's what I do when I'm using this technique. First add a shadow to the elements that are getting intertwined (in this case, the letters). Then shadow your bottom layer as you normally would. I like to change my opacity by half. My opacity is typically at 60, so when using this technique I would use 30 for my opacity. Then shadow your top element, also at half the opacity. Sometimes, when you delete the top layer, it will leave you some funky shadows.
6 by you.
I don't know if you can see it well, but I tried to highlight some funky shadows that got left behind because of my shadow angle and deleting some of the string. Now you just have to play with it and use the angle of shadows against itself so that the funky shadow doesn't appear. This part will just take trial and error. There was one section where I couldn't fix the funky shadow and so I just changed that bit of layering with the string.7 by you.
Voila! A beautiful intertwined work of art, that really doesn't take that much time once you get the hang of it. How do you intertwine elements?

And, since I went to the trouble of making this wordart, I thought I'd give it away. It comes preshadowed at -43 degree angle.

download here