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Chalk Text Effect In Illustrator CS6

The Chalkboard style is very popular and I wanted to create an animated chalkboard style logo in Apple Motion. The first step was to create the text for the logo image in Illustrator and give it a chalkboard effect with an Illustrator brush.

I wanted to start with the logo text in my own handwriting. So I created the chalkboard background image in PhotoshopR and copy/pasted it into IllustratorR. Next, I used the Pen tool to “write” my business name on a new layer. I was only using my mouse, so I needed to adjust the paths a little. Because I created the path for each letter with the Pen tool, I could use the Direct Selection tool to adjust each anchor point on the path.

Once I had the text the way I wanted, I was ready to set the Stroke color to #ffffff. However, because the Brush Definition or style would effect the weight of the stroke, I first applied the Dry Ink 1 brush style to each letter. At that point, I could set the Stroke weight for each letter individually. The two capital letters were set to 2 pixels and the rest of the letters were set to 1 pixel.

At that point, I selected all the text and copied to the clipboard. Going back to Photoshop, I used the Paste as Pixels option to add the text to the Photoshop file that I would import into Motion. Here are the steps for how to do this.

  1. Copy and paste the background image from Photoshop into Illustrator and lock that layer.

  2. With the Pen tool, draw the letters of the business name in the scale to fit nicely inside the background image.

    Some of the letters can be draw in one stroke. However other letters, such as the “p”, “i”, “D” and “n”, may take a combination of strokes.You can also use the Line and Ellipse tools for letters such as “o” and “i”.

    Because the Dry Ink 1 brush style will behave differently for each letter path, apply the style to each letter individually.

  3. Select all the paths that make of one letter and select the Dry Ink 1 style from the Brushes panel. If the brush style “reshapes” the letter, use the Direct Selection tool to nudge any anchor points back into shape.

  4. Save this file in the Illustrator .ai format. You might want to use it as a starting point for another project.

  5. Select all the letters and click Edit - Copy.

  6. Go back to your chalkboard background image in Photoshop and click Edit - Paste. In the Paste pop-up dialog box, select Paste As Pixels.

  7. Save this as a Photoshop .psd image for importing into AppleR MotionR.

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