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  1. #1

    Default HOW TO: Write anything with custom fonts & color, in detail and little thermo effect

    Hey all, I'm eating breakfast here and thought I'd write up a little something on how to get good looking writing in your level by creating stickers with any custom font you can find / create.







    My method has a few different steps that you make, I would break it down to these:

    1) Finding / creating the font - you want a font that is made as an object. The object can be the whole alphabet or single letter objects - this doesn't matter as long as each letter is made from it's own piece(s) of material. It doesn't matter what material it is made of.



    2) Preparing the font for your use - Once you have the font object at your disposal, you want to enter an empty level. This level will be used to record the font and save it in your popit. Place the alphabet object in your level. If you got it as a prize, you might not be able to modify or cut pieces from it, but that's not a problem. This is because you can always change the material properties of the object, so go on and pick the material changer tool. Choose NEON as your new material, and change the whole alphabet into a nice shining neon sign. Now your alphabet looks the way it should when you record the font.

    3) Alphabet orientation and level settings - What you now want to do is determine whether you should record the font sideways or in the normal orientation. This is because the snapshot tool isn't a square but instead has a widescreen orientation. You want to record in the orientation that leaves as little excess area for each letter - if the letters are narrow but tall, you should turn them 90 degrees before recording. After determining the orientation, set the darkness of the level to 100%. You should now only see the shining white alphabet, ripe for recording.

    4) Recording to popit - It's time to bring up the snapshot tool from popit and get a recordin'. You want to take a snapshot of each letter (STARTING FROM Z!!), one by one, leaving only as little excess black surrounding the letter as possible. If you have trouble getting a snapshot of a letter because another letter gets into the picture, don't worry. You can tweak that extra letter's properties and set it's brightness to 0% so it'll disappear temporarily. The reason you want to go from Z to A is that the letters will then get sorted nicely from A to Z in the popit once you have put them in their own category. You might wonder about the fact that the neon materials are quite glowy when at 100% brighness, but this doesn't matter. When you take the snapshot, the letters won't glow, they'll be nice and sharp.



    5) Organizing popit - once you have the alphabet recorded, I suggest you go to your sticker menu in the popit and put all the newly created letter stickers into a specific category for ease of use later on.

    6) Setting up a writing pad - You could be satisfied once you've reached this point, since you have the whole alphabet as sharp and crisp stickers, but I wouldn't be. Using a sticker for each letter is not only really cumbersome but extremely thermo inefficient. What you want to do now is to create what I call a "writing pad level". Once more, go to an empty level (or use the one you created the fonts in) and put on the big grid view. Pick up a square hologram as your material, flatten it and increase the size to 3x3 big grids. put in 26 (if you have a normal alphabet and no numerals) of these 3x3 thin holograms into the level. I use a 6x5 grid with holograms separated by one big square each. I've found it's pretty easy to use this layout. Once you have the holograms set up. slap in a black square sticker covering each hologram completely so that the holograms disappear. After you've done this, you can switch to medium grid view so that your popit will snap stickers nicely into the center of these newly created hologram letter bases. Place each letter starting from A to Z into the center of the holograms. You don't have to worry about the size of these letter stickers, you can adjust the size later. Just be sure to have all letters pointing at the same direction, since you'll be writing with these holograms. After you're done, switch the darkness to 100% if you haven't already done so.



    7) Writing the first word - You're ready to write now. Let's say you want to write "hello world" and put it in your level. Let's begin by writing "hello": select H from your holograms, press L3 to copy it, and move your copy of H away from the writing pad. Do the same thing for E, twice for L and once for O. Now you want to arrange the letters close to each other so that they form the right word. Now you also want to change the size of each hologram so that the letters are of same size (unless you want wacky writing that has different sizes for different letters). You can also zoom in and make sure that the letters are on the same height for clean good looking writing. Once this is done, take out the snapshot tool and record your "hello". I suggest always leaving all extra black area that might be unavoidable into the bottom of the sticker. If all your stickers are made this way, you can write anything anyhwere without having to worry about covering your existing writing with a new sticker's black area. If you want, you can also replace the old alphabet letters with your new resized ones. That way you don't have to resize the letters each time you write a new word.

    Writing a sentence - Now you have written and recorded "hello" in your popit. Do the same thing for "world". Still though, two stickers is less efficient than one sticker that says "hello world". We might want to save the single words however for later use, if we later on want to write "hello dear, how is your world?" for instance. There are two ways of forming the "hello world" sticker, either by putting in new holograms and slapping the stickers "hello" and "world" on them and moving these stickers next to each other and taking a new snapshot, or just by moving the original hologram sets close to each other. I use the first method because that way you can more easily align the two words however you want. If you use the original sets you have to always group select the single letter holograms and this can be tricky, especially if you've had to resize them a lot to get each letter into the right size.

    9) Tweaking color & background - You can tweak the color of your words by changing the hologram color. You can change the background by messing around with fog colors or putting in materials behind your writing and taking a snapshot. This way you don't have to always have a black background with white letters on it. Be creative!

    10) Final optimization - You have now written your first sentence with my writing method, congratulations! Using custom stickers takes up quite a bit of the thermometer however, so you want to optimize as much as you want. If you have an object that has a lot of writing on it, do the following: place a black sticker (or/plus whatever color you want the background in) wrapping around your object. Now place your text stickers in there too, so that it looks the way you would want it to look like in the game. Now, switch the material into a hologram, so that you should only see the stickers on it. Take as big as snapshot as you want - the bigger the snapshot area, the poorer the quality of your sticker will be. So here you have to choose between a high text quality and thermo use. Play around with this system until you have reached the combination of quality and effectiveness that you want.



    That's all I have to say. A nice ten step guide to writing with any font in LBP2 and getting custom writing in your level that looks just like it was done by MM with their own stickers. I'll put in a couple of pictures of my writing results once I get back to my PS3, I hope this guide will help someone make their levels once more slightly better looking.

    Last edited by Linque; 02-23-2011 at 01:56 PM.


  2. #2
    Doodler extraordianaire Skalio-'s Avatar
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    nice one, i forgot that stickering holo black makes it invisible

  3. #3

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    Very nice guide. I usually make my designs just using coloured neon or holograms, though the benefit from getting rid of the glow may help.
    Playing LBP Vita. Making a 'FF Tactics - esque' game.

  4. #4

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    This will help a lot! I was using hologram or neon shapes. This technique is much better for the thermo!

    LBP2 Levels
    /-/ Mm Pick! >>>Valley Folds<<< Mm Pick! /-/
    /-/ Spyro the Dragon - Castle Heights /-/

    LBPVita Levels
    /-/ Space Blade /-/
    /-/ A Vita Christmas Countdown (Project) /-/

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