MAKE YOUR FONTS VISIBLE ON IMAGES.

You have a great piece of writing and a great photo to put it on. You put the words on the image and what happens? You can’t seem to find that happy color of font to show all of your words because a normal photo has a great number of colors in it. Even if your photo is the sky, you have shades of blue ranging from so pale a blue it looks white down to the dark blues to almost dusk. The answer? Overlay images.

A Note: All overlay images were found in the public domain. The actual photo of the building is mine.

Make Your Fonts Visible

One thing to know, this post is not that long, it’s mostly taken up with image examples.

How do you make it work and still see your image? You know you could put a block of color in the sky and put your text in. But that ruins what you’re going for.

Enter picmonkey.com.

I use picmonkey quite often in tandom with pixlr.com, a free photoshop like product online.

Below is a photo from the top of a parking deck on the campus of UGA. You can see the stadium lights to Sanford Stadium over the buildings in the distance. As you can see, my name doesn’t show very well across the building but very well in the sky.

UGA by Ronovan Hester

Below you see the menu inside of picmonkey.com after you have loaded your image. The thing to know first is to create the overlay image/shape you want to use and then type your text. You can then manipulate all you like and the text will be to the forefront. Of course you can always do it the other way around as sort of a see through a veil or curtain affect.

A-Points to the Overlay Icon in the shape of a butterfly. The overlay does exactly as it sounds, it overlays something on top of the image already showing. You can even pull in your own image to overlay on top of the image you first loaded.

B- For the purpose of what I want to do with this image and text I’ll chose the Geometric options.

UGA Picmonkey Overlay Demo

C-I am choosing the rectangular Geometric option because it actually can be manipulated to any height or width. The square, for example, will obviously adjust to remain a square.

UGA Picmonkey Geometric Demo

D-You are able to make the image height taller or shorter by placing your cursor on the point along the edge and dragging the edge down.

E-You are able to increase or decrease the width by doing the same as the above but along the side edges.

F-By placing your cursor over the small circle over the top of the box and then clicking and holding down your mouse you are then able to rotate or tilt the box however you like. Something to keep in mind is making the text and box lines parallel.

UGA Picmonkey Geometric Manipulaiton Demo

G-Here you see the Editing Box for the Geometric Overlay rectangle I used.

H-There are two boxes, one for the outline of the rectangle, and then below it is the inside of the box, the part we’re concerned with today. The box will start out as black, but you can click on the box signified by “H” here and choose a color. You may first want to use the part signified by the “I” first.

I-To make the box fade to transparent you increase the Fade. I left the color as black here and you can see the letters are still more visible as a whole than before.

J-You are able to do some different Overlay manipulation other than simple fading of a selected color by choosing the Blend Modes option. Simply select the different options within and see what they do. Some are very surprising.

UGA Picmonkey Demo

Below you see the final result with the box having been changed to the dark green of the trees in the background to the right of the building. I chose this color by clicking on the black box image, signified by the letter “H” above and choosing the eyedropper. I then clicked on the tree. I could have also let my cursor go over all the colors inside of that letter “H” box and the Faded Geometric rectangle would have changed colors as the cursor passed over each color.

UGA Faded Ronovan Hester Green Demo

And last we have the copyright in the sky with a red background of a box with the same blue lettering as above. Skies are difficult to have attractive lettering in and this will help you accomplish that. Something to consider with what I did here. I moved the box and text up and then tilted everything back to horizontal. Easy? Maybe for some, but what I did, to make certain the text and the box were in line with each other was drag them both to the bottom and line them up with the bottom edge of the screen. Then I moved them to the top.

UGA Ronovan Hester Sky Demo

You may pull in your own images as overlays by choosing the Your Own at the top of the Overlay options. Following are two examples. One is the UGA G, the image was found in the public domain. The photo is mine. It is followed by the same image with a curtain, found in the public domain, overlay over it.

UGA Image Ronovan Hester G

UGA G and Curtain Ronovan Hester

You may have a lot of fun with this feature. I did have to make the G and the Curtain fit the building image. To do that all I had did was take the corner of the image and drag it to increase the size. Try it, you’ll see how easy it is. The other Overlay image options do the same thing as the Geometric and Your Own.

When you save the image, remember to rename it to something other than the original name of the image. That way you keep your original image in its original form.

You are also able to use these techniques when creating book covers.

Enjoy!



Ronovan Hester is an author, with the debut novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com with the hope if inspiring others to overcome and continue on. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

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From nothing to a Blog Post. It happens.

I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea what I am going to write. I opened up this page with the thought of just letting words happen. The idea of writing about How I DIDN’T Watch Football on New Year’s Day came to mind. Then I thought, why? I asked myself that as I leaned back against the headboard of my bed, leg stretched out crossed at the ankles and my laptop, well, on my lap top. Not that I’ve ever heard of a lap bottom. Why would I write about no football?

I thought about writing a poem, but it felt forced. So that was a no.

I thought about a writing or blogging tip, no.

I thought about promoting a book I like a lot by a friend of many of us, no. But that being said seriously go and purchase The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge by PS Bartlett. It really is excellent and no, I do not say that as a friend. My honesty comes before friendship, otherwise my recommendations mean nothing. And she has other books in the series she is working on so there are more to come.

I did create a logo for the Lit World Interviews site. I am sharing that because I enjoyed doing it and I do think it looks pretty good.

lit world interviews logo

Okay so there, picmonkey.com. I was a fan of fotoflexer.com for a while. I still like some of their features. But picmonkey has become my current go to. I create all my own images of late, if at all possible. That way I don’t have to worry about credits and the like. My images, my credit, or no credit really.

I originally was against picmonkey because of the way you had to navigate, but as I mentioned in a previous article it was just a matter of getting accustomed to things. And it was very easy to grow accustomed.

There are some limitations in some font choices I would like but the ones they have are very cool and varied and you can load your own fonts. The borders are nice and the effects and textures are excellent. If you are creative you can do a lot with them.

From creating a banner, a simple blog insert or even a book cover picmonkey.com is a great place to get the hang of. And it is really simple once you just start clicking and playing around with it. I use it every day.

Oh, and when you save it, make sure to put dashes between words like this – and ronovan-writes-blogging-tipsnot like this _ because _ is ignored in searches so words run together. While this – is seen as a space.

And that’s how I created a post for today. I wrote until something of interest to me came up and I thought would be of use to you. Normally I get rid of the not possibly interesting parts but decided to leave them in today just to show you how random I am.

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#Blog #Tips fotoflexer and picmonkey when image is everything.

Blog or not you probably will have a time you need to edit photos or images, be it for getting rid of a pimple or simply to put a ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Birthday, Ronovan’ on a pretty picture to email because it’s cheaper than buying one. And it is cheaper than even mailing it if you are adding in the gas money, and tax and any impulse buying you do, even just that soft drink you just NEED or you will DIE. Why do I hear a 10 year old crying for baseball cards? Hmm.

Here are some tips.tipping_hat.jpg

I want to talk about two tools today; fotoflexer and picmonkey.

Both of tools are free to use online with just a bit of difference. I won’t be getting detailed today. I already went into some detail about fotoflexer in another recent article titled ‘How to use fotoflexer to add text and more to your images‘. I will get deeper into not only it but picmonkey as the days go by. Today is a just ‘tell you about them and and what I see as the differences and similarities’ day. Because really the way to learn how to use something like this is to go and play with it. I kid you not. Once you learn where things are, then you might go and see some advanced tutorials, which there are. I used a few on fotoflexer that are really cool. Cool’s not professional to use? Are you serious? Bummer, dude.

 

Let’s just be straight up here. Try both and see which one you like. Yeah, I know, that sort of tells you not to read the rest of this, right? Not really. But at the end of things that’s what you should do no matter whose article you read, because preference is just an opinion. Each of us will like one over the other.

Pros and Cons

In the world of Pros and Cons there is really only one Con to fotoflexer  and one for picmonkey I’ve found so far, but I am still looking in both.

The Fotoflexer Con

It appears you have to allow pop up ads on the site.  One pop up will occur and then you are free to go. If you have adblocker and pretty much anything like it you can just allow ads by site. This hasn’t been an annoyance for me so far as it has just been the one ad that pops up, I leave it in the background on another page were it pops, and I’m left alone the rest of the time. And they aren’t offensive ads that I have seen to date.

Con Rating with 5 being Migraine?-1.5 I know it’s free to use and they have to get the money in some way, so I go with, at least it’s not a distraction while working on an image.

 

Picmonkey Con

It is possible I am in error but I haven’t found the animated feature yet. By animated I mean you can make added images or text to your images blink or twinkle. It’s not a must but it is fun at times.

Con Rating with 5 being Migraine?-Maybe. I only give it a 1 because maybe I want the animation and I haven’t seen it yet. But no tool is perfect, no free tool anyway.

 

Neither of the Cons for either is a killer for me, a knock out not going to use either punch. Both have features I like that the other doesn’t.

Fotoflexer Pros

It has the animated Text and added images feature. Just a bit of a cool thing. But what I really like is the tool feature bar itself as it is located at the top and is very clean looking, while picmonkey is just a little more difficult for me to go through at the moment, but with usage either with do just fine.

Picmonkey Pros

Picmonkey has some nice fonts and is more of a classic design for images. It has more in the way borders/frames.

 

I think you could combine the two at times and come up with some fantastic creations. If you like playing around with things, then go for it. If not, stick with one and learn it well.

 

My pick? I am not a overly image needy person as far as what I need to use, so I go with the layout and toolbar of fotoflexer. It is just more appealing to me and I can have fun with the animation pieces.

Classic pick? Go with Picmonkey. Yes you can get classic with fotoflexer. I just wanted to say that before anyone jumps in. In fact I used it for a recent Haiku where I blurred the edges of old paper and the like to get the right look. But if you don’t care about the bling, then picmonkey might be your thing, especially if you don’t want the pop ad.

I’ll do a more detailed article on picmonkey as soon as I explore it more. And I will also post some results from each site to show you want can be done.

 

Two sites, are much the same inside, just different ways to work the features. It’s all a matter of taste.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

 

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