With a little experimentation, you can use Plugin Galaxy's Fusion filters to
create outstanding metallic and liquid effects on text, image borders or frames.

  • Choose a heavy font with nice broad letters. If the letters are too close together, increase the space between them with your software's text kerning feature. (You might find you have to move the letters apart manually if your software doesn't support kerning.)
  • Create some text. I invariably create text on a separate layer - as always, layers give you greater flexibility.
  • Tip: if you're working with a text (or any other) selection, it's always a good idea to save the selection to an Alpha channel in case you need it again later. This feature will be Selection>Save, or something similar, in your program. Sometimes it's necessary to improve your results by contracting the selection and trimming away a pixel or two after applying the filter.
  • The secret for getting a successful result with the Fusion filters lies in the bevelling. If your software doesn't have a decent bevel function, you can download Extensis Photo Bevel free from PC World. The bevel stage of the text in the header graphic is shown in the example below - Photo Bevel's standard Inner Double preset. Another beveller that creates a very good result is Eye Candy Bevel Boss. Whatever you use, you're looking to create the right balance of light and shadow, which is what the Plugin Galaxy Fusion>Metal filter works with best. Try different bevel settings for yourself, and you will notice that the more features and irregularities the bevel has, the heavier and less realistic the metallic banding of "light" will be. If there is too little bevelling, you will get flat, plain colors. For the most realistic result, aim for a middle-of-the-road, fairly soft but quite obvious bevel. It WILL take some experimenting to get the result you want - the font, the size of the text, the bevel etc. all play a critical role. (You can also use the Plugin Galaxy play feature to find some funky effects.)

  • After bevelling, use one of Plugin Galaxy's Special FX presets such as Pure Gold, Rose Gold or Silver presets or one of my Hoods presets as a starting point. Tweak both the bevel and the filter results to suit yourself. Remember to save any results you like as new presets as you go along,  not only the Plugin Preset, but also the bevel preset in your bevel filter. It can be almost impossible to get back a successful effect if you keep fiddling without saving.
  • The example below was done using the preset # Hoods - Coffee Toffee on some text handwritten casually and quickly with the paintbrush then bevelled using Eye Candy Bevel Boss  - shows you DON'T always need a font for a nice result!

This simple candlestick is from a Hoods Oddish 1 dingbat font character - my fonts are included in the Freebies download file. After bevelling, the #Hoods - Good As Gold preset was used for the metallic finish. The candle was hand drawn as a selection in Photoshop. The flame started from a selection from a Plugin Galaxy flame.
  • Tip: If you use a dingbat font, mine or anyone else's, you can generally get much better results by cutting the rasterized character into meaningful sections. Apply effects to each individual section, then reassemble the whole afterward - this is what I did for the candlestick, very quickly - it could have been much better! If you apply bevels, especially, to a whole dingbat character you will probably end up with unattractive, poorly defined areas.