How to create a comic book text effect

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This article is part of the HOWTOs series.
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Comic-book-text-effect.png

Here's a quick tutorial showing how you can create a simple but effective comic book text effect using only the tools in Scribus.

For the purposes of this tutorial I've used the "SF Comic Script Bold" font that is available here: http://www.dafont.com/sf-comic-script.font (It's free for personal use but check the licensing for your own purposes.)

The Text

  • Draw a large coloured - blue looks nice - rectangle across the page. (This is only so you can see the effect, you can delete it later if you want.)
  • Create a text frame inside the rectangle and enter your text. (A short word looks best.)
  • Make the text large. (I've used 80pt.)
  • Choose menu "Item -> Convert to -> Outlines".
  • Re-select the text, right-click and choose "Ungroup".
  • Choose menu "Item -> Combine Polygons".
  • Re-select the text and choose menu "Item -> Duplicate", then "Item -> Duplicate" again so you've got three copies of the text.

The Outline

  • With the last copy selected go to "Properties / Colours" and change both the Outline and Fill colours to White.
  • Go to "Properties / Line" and change the line width to 3pt.
  • Choose menu "Item -> Duplicate".
  • With this new duplicate selected Shift-select the other white text and choose menu "Windows -> Align and Distribute".
  • Press the "Center on vertical axis" button, then the "Center on horizontal axis" button.
  • De-select all, then re-select the top white text.
  • Using the cursor keys nudge the text three times to the right and down, i.e. press right-arrow three times then down arrow three times.

The Shadow

  • Select the upper black text, right-click, and choose "Level -> Raise to Top".
  • Drag the black text over the white text until it's just above and to the left of the lower-right-hand white text.

The Foreground

  • Select the lower black text, right-click, and choose "Level -> Raise to Top".
  • In "Properties / Colours" set the Line colour to be black.
  • Still in "Properties / Colours" set the Fill to be a Vertical Gradient.
  • Set the left-hand gradient tab to a Red colour.
  • Set the right-hand gradient tab to a yellow colour.
  • Drag the gradient-filled text over the white text until it's just above and to the left of the black text.

And you're done.

You can try playing around with different line widths, offsets and gradient colours to get slightly different effects.