Microsoft Monday

Last week we talked about some of the basic things that you can do with Paint.NET, one of my favorite options for photo editing. This week we’re going to experiment with something more “advanced.” We’re going to create a Web 2.0 logo and while it uses all basic features in the application, there are several steps involved which is why I’m calling it “advanced.” My instructions are written assuming that the person following them has at least some experience with Paint.NET and they know what I’m referring to when I mention things such as layers. I’ve also spent some time making a screencast so that the steps are easy to follow. So with that, we’ll go ahead and get started.

  1. Select the gradient tool and draw a gradient that looks something like what’s pictured below. You’ll start the gradient about 1/5 of the way down the page and move your mouse up.  Your primary color should be black, and your secondary color should be white.
  2. Create a new layer (layers>add new layer) and rename it “original text” by double clicking on the layer in the layers window.
  3. Select the text tool and choose the color, font, and size you’d like your text to be.
  4. Write your text – all caps tends to work well.  Align the text so that it looks like the image below.
  5. Duplicate the layer that you just created with the text by clicking Layers>Duplicate Layer. Rename it “Text 2.”
  6. Use the “Ellipse Select” tool to draw an oval which runs about halfway through your text.  The image below shows what it would look like as you’re drawing it. Once you’ve drawn it, hit the delete key. You won’t notice any changes quite yet.
  7. Next, go back and double click on the “original text” layer in the layers window and bring the opacity down to around 150, or whatever you think looks best.
  8. It should then look something like this:
  9. Duplicate the “original text layer” once again and name the new layer “reflection.” Then click Layers>Flip Vertical. You’ll notice the text flip upside down.
  10. Use the ‘move tool” to align the flipped text right under the original text.  It should now look like this:
  11. Using the arrow in the layers window, move the reflection layer down right above the background, or 2nd to last from the bottom. This makes a big difference.
  12. Select the gradient tool.  Make sure that your primary color is black, and your secondary color is transparent.  To make the secondary color transparent, use the “Transparency-Alpha” option in the bottom right of the “colors” box.
  13. Start the gradient at the bottom of your reflected text and draw up until part of the letters are cut-off, and your logo looks “Web 2.0ish”
  14. Use the crop feature to cut-off everything but your logo.
  15. Your final product should look something like this:

For using the free Paint.NET, I’d say it’s not such a bad lookin’ Web 2.0 logo! How’d yours turn out?

Some credit goes to this YouTube video which gave me the idea for this post.