In this GIMP project, you are going to use a couple of wood texture images as well as a few GIMP techniques to create a fairly realistic-looking 3D text image.
Begin by opening GIMP and creating a new document with a size of 1200 x 600 pixels. Make it transparent (under Advanced Options, choose Fill with: Transparency).
Open up the Wood Texture image and resize it to a width to 1200 pixels, set X and Y resolutions each to 72 pixels/inch, Image - Scale Image… .
Copy the Wood Texture image into the original document. First select all of the Wood Texture image (Select - All) and copy it (Edit - Copy). Switch to the new image you are creating and paste the Wood Texture image, (Edit - Paste), it will appear in the Layers pallet as a Floating Selection. Make it a layer (Layer - To New Layer). Save the current image.
Now, add some text with the Text Tool. The font I used is Impact Condensed, 244 px, but most any bold font will do.
The wood is going to be used as the face of the text, Make the text layer active in the Layers pallet. Create a selection from the text (Layer - Transparency - Alpha to Selection). A “marching ants” outline of the text should appear. Invert the selection to the area outside the text (Select - Invert). Make the wood layer active and clear the selection (Edit - Clear). Hide the text layer.
Now to give the text depth. Create a new layer, Black text. Invert the selection again, be sure the colors are the default, and fill the selection with the foreground color, black (Edit - Fill with FG Color). Deselect. You should now have one text layer that has the wood texture and one that is black.
Move the black text layer under the wood text layer. The next step is to reshape the black text layer. Using the transform tool (Tools - Transform Tool - Scale), move all of the side anchor points inward to get something like this.
Then when you click the Scale button, this is what you should have.
To create the depth of the 3D effect, zoom into the text and, using the Free Select Tool, make a selection that connects each corner of the wooden text with the corresponding corner of the black text. Paint all these selections with black (on the black text layer).
Give the text a more natural edge that goes with the grooves of the wood. Make the wood text layer active, then goFilters - Map - Displace… . Set the horizontal and vertical displacements each to 2 and click OK.
Open the Wooden Plank image. You are going to do some color adjusting to this image to make it darker for the text sides. From the Colors menu, choose Curves..., adjust the curve to something like this.
The color is really bright, so change that by choosing Hue-Saturation... from the Colors menu and change the Hue to 30, Lightness to -60, and Saturation to -30. This should give you a dark brown color.
Scale the width of the Wooden Plank image to 1200 pixels. Using the copy-paste procedure you used earlier, bring the Wooden Plank image into the text image as a new layer. This wood layer goes between the wood text layer and the black text layer. To remove the excess wood texture, make the black text layer active, go Layer - Transparency - Alpha to Selection, then invert the selection. Be sure to select the Wooden Plank image layer, thenEdit - Clear. This should leave just the wood texture where the black text was.
!!! Note: You will need the GIMP Layer Effects Plugin installed to complete the next step. Get it here.
The next step is to add a bevel to the text. Make the wood text layer active and go ScriptFu - Layer Effects - Bevel and Emboss… . Set the Depth to 65, the Size to 2 pixels, and the Angle to 55. To get a little warmer edge to the bevel change the Highlight Color to #FFCC33 and the Shadow Color to #663300 rather than using the black and white default colors.
Now add an inner shadow to the wood text face layer. Go ScriptFu - Layer Effects again and this time chooseInner Shadow. Use the default settings. This will make the bevel stand out more and make the text look more like each letter is wooden.
Now you can add a shadow. You should drag the black text layer to the top of the layers stack to make it visible. With the Select by Color Tool, make a selection of the black text. Enlarge the selection by about 4 pixels (Select - Grow…).
Create a new layer, Shadow, and fill it with black (Edit - Fill with FG Color). Deselect. Go Filters - Blur - Gaussian…, Radius of 30 pixels.
Hide the black text layer (you can delete it if you like). Drag the Shadow layer under all the wood layers and over the background layer. With the Move Tool, drag the Shadow layer in the image down and slightly to the right. Reduce the Opacity to about 50%
You can use these techniques to create 3D text using pretty much any sort of textures you’d like with only minor modifications.
This project was adapted from a Photoshop tutorial by Tyler from DenisDesigns.