Paint Shop Pro - I used v7.04. You can download a trial copy of v8 from Jasc.
If you want to make a logo, or a signature tag, you'll need a tube of your choice, or you can reproduce the image I made. Download my dolphin tube here. The tube is in psp format and is compatible for all versions of PSP from 5 through 8. For a dolphin of a different color, select from my animal tubes Page 7.
There are probably a gazillion tutorials on curved text or text on a curve. Most of them are so detailed and so difficult that I found them to be extremely intimidating and I could never remember the process.
I've tried to simplify it, and give you what I hope is an easy step-by-step approach. If you repeat this tutorial a few times, I'm sure you'll never forget how to place text on a curve again. In fact, I suggest you print it for future reference.
Step #1: Open a new 400 x 400 transparent image, 16 mil colors, foreground set to black, background set to null.
Step #2: Select the preshape tool, ellipse, antialias and vector both checked, line width 1, line style #1 solid. Draw a medium sized circle in the center of your image, leaving room for the text. Save it.
Step #3: Make the foreground null, then for the background select the color, pattern, or gradient you want for the text, then select the text tool using these settings and the font and size you prefer:
To begin typing your text, grab the text tool, place it on the left edge of your circle just above the node. When on the line, you'll see a curve under the A like this:
After you've typed your text, save again. Your image should look similar to this:
Step #4: Open your layer palette. At the left of the vector layer you just created, there's a plus sign, + - click on it to open. Click on the glasses on the ellipse layer to hide it.
Step #5: Finish the text the way you wish. I used Selections/Select All, then Selections/Float to highlight the text. I used Effects/3D Effects/Inner Bevel/Round and applied a drop shadow, Effects/3D Effect/Drop Shadow, using 1 for both Vertical and Horizontal, Opacity 74, Blur 4.9, color black. Save.
Step #1: Place the tube scaled down to fit [mine was scaled down to 45%]. I then applied the same drop shadow as for the text. Use the eye dropper to duplicate a color in the tube for the background color, and make the foreground null. Save your image again. Create a new layer under the dolphin, grab the preshape tool, antialias and vector both checked, and select the ink spot. Draw out to the size you want. Move around to place it, change the shape to what you like, then convert to a raster layer. Add the same drop shadow. Save.
Step #2: Highlight the background layer, and flood fill with white or a pattern. Mine is filled with my Web site tile. Save.
Export as a JPG with compression set to between 5 and 20. My image is compressed at 12.
If you want your image smaller to use for a signature tag, small logo, etc., crop it first, then resize it. Sharpen it. I use the Unsharp Mask. For my image, I set the Radius to 2.42, Strength 25, Clipping 5. I exported it as a JPG with compression at 12.
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