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Vector shadows, outlines, and highlights on curved or distorted text


Old Member
Does anyone have any suggestions for using shadows, outlines, and highlights on curved or distorted text? I've been doing some intricate work that requires exact detail and have really noticed how these elements are distorting disproportionately. I've tried every combination that I can think of and none seem to succesfully be able to handle the task. Using Omega, I've tried grouping the elements then curving, combining and grouping then curving, combining and grouping the individual letters then curving, but no luck. What am I missing...anyone?

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
Some of the problem may have to do with applying your outlining and shadowing before you distort, slant, stretch or condense. Try doing all that before you apply your effects that need to look uniform in order to look right.


Old Member
That is very true Fred. It isn't a problem to apply an outline after the text effectsfor example, but any shadows or shades need to be applied prior to curving text, otherwise the shadow comes out at an angle and doesn't follow the curvature of the text. It's particularly bad when trying to fit text to a path, the shadows and letters really have a tendency to go askew. Also I have been trying to use a font with vector highlights built in, and it isn't practical to add those after the effects, but they just will not maintain alignment through the curving. Now I'm having these problems in Omega but I haven't tried to do this in Illustrator or any other program, perhaps they would handle it better?

Dave Drane

New Member
Is this anyting like you are doing?? I can do this in 30 seconds in VMP.


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Bobby H

Arial Sucks.
Depending on the nature of the effect and the end result needed, you'll sometimes have little choice but to draw out some of these kinds of items by hand and vectorize them.

Computers are only going to get things like highlight effects, chisels, outlines and drop shadows done using geometrically logical rules. Often those rules don't look great visually (especially any attempts at chisel effects; computers just don't know how to do that right at all). Odd optical problems can occur.

In the end you have to balance how much the job is worth and whether having that effect render perfectly is worth the trouble. Sometimes you keep the effect, but in less than perfect condition. A lot of the time you just get rid of it and simplify.


Old Member
Yes Dave, that is similar to what I was talking about. When viewed in an outline form or with differing colors, the mismatched effects are more evident. I will post some pics here later today, if I can figure that out quickly enough, since I've never done that!

I was hoping that wouldn't be the answer Bobby...but in the back of my mind....