Effect --> Channel --> Minimax
Effect --> Matte --> Matte Choker
+an assortment of blurs
And you will need a few duplicates of the layer....
Hi Myl, thanks for the response.
Minimax will make every pixel black or white won't it? I need a gradient. I can use matte choker or minimax to reduce the thickness of the text but both make thin parts of the text disappear while thicker parts remain. They are reducing by pixels rather than proportionally, if that makes sense.
Could you give me any more pointers?
Here is an F that I used Bevel on. It's kind of what I want except I need the 'peak' of the char to be white ramping off to grey as it gets close to the edge.
Am I describing it properly?
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You could make use of text contours and stroke layer styles? I think you are not considering these options and generally are looking for too simple a solution. as I said already, this may take a couple of layers and quite a bit of fiddling. Of course it may not work with a typeface that has huge variations in figure weight, but that's a limitation you can't do anything about. Even in a 3D program that's the point where artists spend a lot of time correcting the ridges manually because the mathematically exact midpoint doesn't look aesthetically pleasing.... It's just the way it is.
Thanks Myl, I'll keep fiddling with it and see what I can do
So... Just if anyone's interested... After a bit of fiddling I got what I was after, an animation with the light passing along the text picking out the dents in distressed metal. Here is a still:
I had to draw the letter's peaks, but using layer style bevel it was quite quick and easy.
That looks quite good.