36 Replies Latest reply: May 28, 2012 4:17 PM by Mathias17 RSS

    Focused text look

    Maya_K Community Member

      Hello,

      I am trying to create this look in Illustrator but I am not sure where to begin or if Illustrator is even the right software to use to achieve this. I would appreciate any help on this matter.

      Thank you.

      get-facts.jpg

        • 1. Re: Focused text look
          Kurt Gold Community Member

          Which version of Illustrator are you using?

           

          What have you tried so far in order to get your desired result?

          • 2. Re: Focused text look
            Maya_K Community Member

            I have Illustrator cs5. I rotated the text and added a radial blur and set the opacity to 90%. Then I created another line of text which I wanted to be focused and left the opacity at 100% and rotated it. It looks similar to the picture however, I am unable to achieve the light effect in the middle and also the "get the facts." line seems to be flat unlike in the picture. The light I am guessing is probably achieved by using the gradient tool but I am not sure how to apply it.

            • 3. Re: Focused text look
              [scott] Community Member

              There's a couple things going on in the image you posted.

               

              #1) the blurry text and page are a photo.

              #2) The "Get the Facts" text is merely set, rotated and distorted a bit so it lies between two (Exisiting) paragraphs in the text. (The rotation angle is off by a bit, the curve is not consisted withthe rest of the text, and the color is foreign to the overall image.)

               

              In short, the image is a composite not one image created from the ground up.

               

              Is there a reason you need this in vector format?

               

              It would be a great deal easier and faster to simply go find a stock photo of a blurry page and place whatever text you want over it the same way the creator of the image above did it.

              • 4. Re: Focused text look
                Maya_K Community Member

                I wanted to be able to adjust the size of the image in the future just in case I needed to without it getting pixelated. However, what you suggested sounds perfect for now. Thank you!

                • 5. Re: Focused text look
                  Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                  Phhotoshop CS 6 has such a filter do exactly this it maight be possible to do this in Photoshop with live text I have not tried it and of course photoshop has the lighting effect filter as well for this purpose.

                  • 6. Re: Focused text look
                    JETalmage Community Member

                    I wanted to be able to adjust the size of the image in the future just in case I needed to without it getting pixelated.

                    That's a common misconception among many not yet familiar with vector programs. Something's merely having been done in Illustrator doesn't ensure it entirely consists of resolution-independent vector objects. Blur and shadows and similar Effects are, in fact, raster-based effects. They generate raster images.

                     

                    Yes, one could do graduated blur like this in Illustrator, and thereafter it could be scaled and Illustrator would automatically re-rasterize the raster elements accordingly (up to a point). But it's not really beginner stuff, so explaining to you how to do it would be rather tedious. And actually doing it anyway is rather more tedious than just using feathered selections in Photoshop and applying blur, lighting effects, etc.

                     

                    So unless you have some other compelling reason, it's probably not worth the bother. Just build it in a raster imaging program (Photoshop, etc.) at the maximum resolution you anticipate needing, and make downsampled copies of it if/when you need them.

                     

                    Both raster and vector programs exist for good reason. The effect you want to mimic is like a photographic effect, and is more natural to raster imaging. Don't kick against the thorns. There's a practical side to everything, including graphics.

                     

                    JET

                    • 7. Re: Focused text look
                      emil emil Community Member

                      I agree with the advice so far but out of curiosity I tried making it in Illustrator and it doesn't seem that much more involved than making it in Photoshop, or it is not at least for me I used a gradient as opacity mask on a two differently blurred copies of the text which remain editable. It took me several minutes to do it - it gives more control over the gradual blurring than just using feathered selection in Photoshop but the same control can be achieved in Photoshop if layer style vector gradient is used for a mask but then the effort is the same in both programs.

                      By doing this experiment I couldn't find a way to apply different opacity mask on two different fills for the editable text in the Appearance panel so I couldn't keep it all in one object and two copies of editable text have to be managed on top of each other. And the other thing I learnt is that the envelope distort doesn't affect the opacity mask which stay stationary which means that any deformations has to be completed prior to masking and the gradients has to be applied after that aligned with the deformation.

                       

                      blur-text-in-Illustrator.jpg

                      • 8. Re: Focused text look
                        Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                        I haven't worked with this tool in Photoshop before and it might tale som pratcie to get it quite right but it is definitely easier in photoshop

                         

                        BlurredType.jpg

                        • 9. Re: Focused text look
                          Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                          This is my second try

                           

                          BlrredType2.jpg

                          • 10. Re: Focused text look
                            Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                            BlrredType2.jpg

                             

                            I guess once you get use to it takes no time at all. This is not as bad a filter as i though it was.

                            • 11. Re: Focused text look
                              emil emil Community Member

                              Wade, I'm glad to know that the new blur tool in Photoshop is great. At my place we still haven't switched to CS6 so I can't check but I hear good things about the new blur.

                              I can make it pretty much the same with the old blur tool on a low res version of the file to make the blur more intensive and then interpolate back to the hi res. This gives very good control but requires some painting skills. Anyway the point of my message with doing it in Illustrator is that it is possible to get similar effect relatively easy and can be used if it must be done in Illustrator for reasons like keeping the text editable.

                              • 12. Re: Focused text look
                                Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                It can easily be done in Illustrator but it takes a long time.Screen Shot 2012-05-25 at 2.54.14 PM.png

                                • 13. Re: Focused text look
                                  Mathias17 Community Member

                                  Based on my experience, this is a job for Photoshop. Like JET points out - Illy is using raster effects and creating resolution-dependant pixels anyway.

                                   

                                  PS is better suited.

                                  • 14. Re: Focused text look
                                    Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                    I agree it is a job for PS but as was also pointed out the raster effects are onlyacttually applied when on aout put if you rezie the art the raster effect while reconfigured for that size.

                                     

                                    Of course if you place the ai file or a pdf or eps made from that file in another application and then resize it ther then it is have the impact from raster effects.

                                    • 15. Re: Focused text look
                                      Mathias17 Community Member

                                      Right.

                                       

                                       

                                      I think JET nailed it when he said,

                                      Just build it in a raster imaging program (Photoshop, etc.) at the maximum resolution you anticipate needing, and make downsampled copies of it if/when you need them.

                                      • 16. Re: Focused text look
                                        Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                        I thought I suggested this as well! At least that is what it looks like to me in the above Post #5!

                                         

                                        But perhaps my eyesight and memory are failing me!

                                        • 17. Re: Focused text look
                                          JETalmage Community Member

                                          For details on how you can build a graduated blur in Illustrator involving live text, see my posts (7,8,9) in this 2009 (the year after I did, indeed, get monovision) thread:

                                           

                                          Gradual Blur in Illustrator

                                           

                                           

                                          You see that this is a rather convoluted construct.

                                           

                                          To simulate a depth-of-field blur in Photoshop (most any version), don't futz around with the cheezy directional blur special effects filters (radial blur, motion blur, etc). Simply create an alpha channel, fill it with a linear grad, load the alpha channel as a selection, and apply Gaussian blur. Takes about two minutes; so for "editable text" it still takes less time to do it in Photoshop, even if you have to retype the text and paste it in again.

                                           

                                          JET

                                          • 18. Re: Focused text look
                                            Wade_Zimmerman Community Member

                                            It can't compare to the blur features in Photoshop CS 6

                                            • 19. Re: Focused text look
                                              Maya_K Community Member

                                              Thank you for the advice

                                              • 20. Re: Focused text look
                                                emil emil Community Member

                                                Jet, you could have posted that link in the first place to spare me from writing my message. I thought I was helping you in trying to help the OP by giving some hint how it could be done in case for what ever reason it has to be done in Illustrator. From the replies, It seems to me that you and Wade wrongly interpreted my message as if I'm suggesting it is better and faster to do it in Illustrator. No, it is not. As I said, out of curiosity I tried it and find that it is not that much involved as it sounded to me in  your your first reply. In my experience the difference that takes to do it in Photoshop and Illustrator is not significant. That's all I was trying to say.

                                                 

                                                Cheers.

                                                • 21. Re: Focused text look
                                                  emil emil Community Member

                                                  Oh, and actually another reason for posting my message was this

                                                  emil emil wrote:

                                                  ...

                                                  By doing this experiment I couldn't find a way to apply different opacity mask on two different fills for the editable text in the Appearance panel so I couldn't keep it all in one object and two copies of editable text have to be managed on top of each other. And the other thing I learnt is that the envelope distort doesn't affect the opacity mask which stay stationary which means that any deformations has to be completed prior to masking and the gradients has to be applied after that aligned with the deformation.

                                                  ...

                                                  By mentioning this, I could have received input form others about solutions and workarounds if available for these things which if possible could be useful in general when using Illustrator.

                                                  • 22. Re: Focused text look
                                                    Mathias17 Community Member

                                                    JET, nice utilization of the available tools but that'll never suffice for a true tilt shift focus effect (something not new in the world of photography as you know. Photogs have been doing it for a long time now.).

                                                     

                                                    Where there's intermediate grey in your gradient mask it's more like a soft focus - there being both blurry edges and sharp edges both partially visible.

                                                     

                                                    With Photoshop's Lens Blur (no, radial and motion blur are not the way to go) or one of the 3 new blurs just added to CS6, the results you can get in PS are really really good. Very lifelike.

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    In short - this is a job for PS.

                                                    I used to wonder is PS and Illy would eventually become merged into one software, but they continue to grow apart from eachother and are increasingly better companions to eachother so I highly doubt it. I would like Illy to have the Layer Styles as PS, and PS to have the same behaviors for it's vectors tools as Illy, though.

                                                     

                                                    http://apple.copydesk.org/uploads/2011/04/1104TiltShiftExample01.jpg

                                                    • 23. Re: Focused text look
                                                      emil emil Community Member

                                                      Mathias17 wrote:

                                                      ...

                                                      In short - this is a job for PS.

                                                      ...

                                                      "a job for PS CS6"

                                                       

                                                      In the previous versions yes, but a paint brush must be used which requires painting skills achieving realistic shading. Otherwise with the other global and automatic blurs in previous Photoshop versions it won't be that much nicer than the Illustrator trick.

                                                      • 24. Re: Focused text look
                                                        Mathias17 Community Member

                                                        No, you're forgetting about Lens Blur. Been in PS for several versions now.

                                                         

                                                        Feed it a typical gradient and you've got a perfrect gradual tilt shift blur. Bokeh and lens blade control even.

                                                        • 25. Re: Focused text look
                                                          emil emil Community Member

                                                          Got it, and I stand corrected, I checked it again more carefully and I agree,  it is realty a few seconds job and it gives a perfect blur. I haven't used it before but i tried it quickly when I was replying initially here but I missed to do a proper selection or masking and didn't realize that it is working.

                                                          Thanks,

                                                          • 26. Re: Focused text look
                                                            emil emil Community Member

                                                            Actually, it worked perfectly when I tried feathered selection, but when I tried vector gradient using layer style I still can't figure out how to mask the blur with it. And this is what I tried initially before replying to this thread. 

                                                             

                                                            So, with the text example here, using the gradient tool will be harder to control exactly where the blur starts and ends. For this reason feathered selection gives more control.

                                                            • 27. Re: Focused text look
                                                              Mathias17 Community Member

                                                              Lens Blur. It's pretty user-friendly.

                                                               

                                                              tiltblur.jpg

                                                               

                                                               

                                                               

                                                              But for proof of gradual blurring, this is all we really need to see.

                                                              A simple black bar, blurred with Lens Blur:

                                                               

                                                              blurredbar.jpg

                                                              • 28. Re: Focused text look
                                                                Mathias17 Community Member

                                                                It's important to note two things here:

                                                                 

                                                                1) A simple Tilt Shift like this should no longer be done with Lens Blur, now users should be relying on the far more superior and dynamic "Tilt-Shift", just added to CS6. I love it!

                                                                 

                                                                2) Lens Blur's place isn't totally deprecated because it remains the only tool that can accurately turn a custom drawn gradient map into a blurring filter for your image. Yes, the new "Iris Blur" allows you to place multiple focal points and therefore allow you to blur a customized portion fo your image but that requires configuring multiple focal point control thingies and it's so processor-intensive that getting it set up just right is a nightmare when using multiple points; takes forever/lots of waiting for it to update the preview. Lens Blur makes this type of blurring so easy.

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                 

                                                                Here's an example of Lens Blur, used to subtley blur the edges of this image, where the inner walls are supposed to be closer to the viewer:

                                                                 

                                                                http://i.imgur.com/g4whN.jpg?1

                                                                 

                                                                Gradient map fed to Lens Blur:

                                                                 

                                                                mask.jpg

                                                                • 29. Re: Focused text look
                                                                  emil emil Community Member

                                                                  Mathias17 wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  ...

                                                                   

                                                                  tiltblur.jpg

                                                                   

                                                                  ...

                                                                  Thanks for all the info about the new blur in CS6, but the thing I was mostly concerned with using the lens blur and for that matter any blur in the text example particularly is creating a precise selection for the blur effect. If you look at the OPs original reference, unlike your example, the blur is aligned almost perfectly with the horizontal lines of the text and the blur amount is also perfectly controlled to fall exactly the same on the lines above and below the focused line. This is hard to achieve with making a mask with the gradient tool. A selection or mask created with feathered selection gives more predicted control and when I tried it I got it right away almost the same as the original reference but I may have been lucky with selecting the perfect feather value with the first try. It is not a big deal and with trial and error it will be done eventually, but my point for most of my input in this thread was that vector gradient like the one in the Photoshop's layer styles and the native Illustrator gradients can give a perfect control if it was  possible to create the masking selection with them but unfortunately it doesn't work with the lens blur (or I can't find a way)

                                                                  • 30. Re: Focused text look
                                                                    Mathias17 Community Member

                                                                    True, I didn't match the angle of the text with the gradient I use in my Lens Blur example, it's just a simple cosmetic change though, equally as simple as using a straight, vertical gradient like I did. I'd revise my example but there's not really any point, imo.

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    . . . but my point for most of my input in this thread was that vector gradient like the one in the Photoshop's layer styles and the native Illustrator gradients can gives a perfect control it it was  possible to create the masking selection with them.

                                                                     

                                                                    I think it's getting lost on most here that cross-blending two instances of a layer, one with no blur and one with blurred, is a poor substitute for what Lens Blur does - gradual blurring, just like what a camera does with a shallow depth of field. Filter > Distort > Displace works the same way (uses a greyscale map to commit it's effect).

                                                                     

                                                                    Compare:

                                                                    compare.png

                                                                    (This cross-blurred example was done by drawing a black bar, duplicating it, blurring the copy, applying a Layer Mask to it, then applying that same Layer Mask to the non-blurred version and inverting the Layer Mask. The results are less than desirable. Before Lens Blur, this was the way to go. And if one was really serious about it, he'd use more than two strategically masked duplicates, instead of just one like shown above.)

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    Simple principle. So what if it takes manual fidgeting? Simulating a nice effects always does. There isn't a one-button filter for eveything, as you know.

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                     

                                                                    But again, all of this is moot, now that CS6 has it's new blur tools, which is the new go-to for tilt-shift blurring. Lens Blur is now only useful for custom-drawn "blur maps", like the gradient-wash lookin' black and white image I posted above.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Focused text look
                                                                      emil emil Community Member

                                                                      No, not two layers, I was thinking about making a precise selection with a mask created with a gradient and using the mask as a source in the lens blur effect. I think one workaround is to create a new white layer, apply a gradient effect to it, and in the channels panel, ctrl + click the RGB channel to load the selection then use it for the lens effect on the other layer. If fine tuning is needed then undo and fine tune the gradient effect. This will make it easer to control the masking than using the gradient tool for things like the text example here. I haven't checked the CD6 yet but I guess the same could be valid for the new blur feature.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Focused text look
                                                                        Mathias17 Community Member

                                                                        Oh I see. Do you not try these things before posting? Lens Blur ignores your current slection. Plus, even if it did work, it would yeild the same result as my black bar test above.

                                                                         

                                                                        But no worries, CS6 saves the day.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Focused text look
                                                                          emil emil Community Member

                                                                          I don't understand. How does it work without defining the focus area with a selection? How did you make the focus on the lower part of the bar if you didn't have any selection or mask for this?

                                                                          • 34. Re: Focused text look
                                                                            Mathias17 Community Member

                                                                            Emil, hehe. I think the issue here is nomenclature - I did use a Layer Mask in order to tell Lens Blur what to blur. Per the strict Photoshop sense of the word "selections" play no part.

                                                                             

                                                                            So, we're on the same page.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Focused text look
                                                                              emil emil Community Member

                                                                              I see what you mean. The lens blur is using the current selection or layer's mask depending on the choice in the lens blur's source menu.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Focused text look
                                                                                Mathias17 Community Member

                                                                                Correct.