A few months ago I heard about Tagxedo, a free internet-based program that fits words into shapes while emphasizing the most important or used words. I did not have time to try it around the holidays, but with this post I wanted to show you a few of the cool results you can get from this site. Currently the program is in beta testing and is free – eventually there will be a charge to get full use. Check out their article entitled “101 Ways to Use Tagxedo” to get lots of great project ideas.
The above image includes one of the provided shapes (Rose) and used very basic settings. Tagxedo allows you to upload your own shape, font, and text. I used the font, Fantaisie Artistique (a retro font I really like – click the link for a free download from daFont.com). Click on the arrow to the right of the word Font which opens up the Font menu, and at the bottom click on the Add Fonts button to select a font from your computer. To create your own color schemes, click to the right of the word Theme to open the Theme Menu, and at the bottom click on Add Theme button to insert color numbers from Photoshop’s color picker – this image used f06eaa and ffffff (pink and white). Finally I created a list of flower and summer words in Notepad and copied them into Load – Enter Text field. Note you must use CTRL+V to paste into this field. This is where any text can be copied in and several other options are presented.
The above image used the program shape called Cup (I think it looks like a watering can) with their color scheme called Rainbow Bright. Texture No. 17 from Photoradar (one of 100 free textures to download), a stock photo of flying birds, and my picture of Pensacola Beach from last July were added as background treatment in Photoshop. An OnOne PhotoFrame was added as a final touch.
In this last example a Robert Frost poem called “On a Tree Fallen Across the Road” was used to show how the main words in the poem are chosen – in this case only horizontal lines were applied. A provided Font called Pea Mee-Mee and the color scheme 51610.8 was selected. With the Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop, a tree shape from an Adobe free download called 150 more shapes was created. Next the white from the background was removed withused the free Adobe Pixel Bender filter and my favorite filter for it, the free Kill White filter (it works better with Pixel Bender than just as a Photoshop plug-in) to delete the white areas – can get some very interesting effects using Kill White so I recommend downloading it. (Note – often an error warning comes up when applying Pixel Bender – just say OK.) The image was saved as a png so it could be added in with the Shape Menu of Tagxedo. Once finished with the image in Tagxedo, it was brought back into Photoshop and placed over the original shape layer created for Tagxedo. The same saved Tagxedo image was added back in as one of the background layers, some other textures and brush layers were added along with a vignette and an OnOne Photo Frame (here is a link for a smaller free version to use).
There are so many things you can do with this program and I plan on spending some more time just creating different effects. Once again, trying out new things is so much fun – and this program is definitely one you should try!…..Digital Lady Syd