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In this tutorial, we will create a text portrait effect in Affinity Photo. This effect is also called a calligram, and it gives the illusion that the image is made from text.
Go to the following links to download the image for the tutorial:
First, go to File > Open, and select the downloaded image.
Second, go to the Layers Panel, and click the Lock icon on the Background layer to unlock the image.
Next, grab the Selection Brush Tool. In the Context Toolbar, set the Mode to Add and check the Snap to Edges box. Then, take the brush and select the woman.
Once you’ve selected the woman, go to the Context Toolbar and hit Refine.
Now, go to the Layers Panel and click the Add Pixel Layer to add a new pixel layer. Place this layer beneath the woman layer.
After that, select the new layer. Next, go to the Edit menu. Then, select Fill with Secondary Color to fill the pixel layer with black.
Go to the Layers Panel and click the Adjustments icon. Then, select Black and White adjustment.
With the black and white adjustment layer selected, press CTRL + E. Or right click on the layer and select Merge Down. This will merge the woman and the black and white adjustment into one layer.
Now, go to the Tools Panel and select the Artistic Text Tool.
Go to the Swatches Panel and set the fill color to white.
After that, go to the Font Family and choose the font you want to use. Once you’ve chosen your font, type your text.
With the text still selected, press CTRL + J to duplicate it. Or right click and select Duplicate. Then, take the Move Tool. Hold Shift and drag the duplicated layer down.
Once you’ve dragged the duplicated layer down, press CTRL + J three times. You should have a total of 5 text layers.
Select the text layers. Then, press CTRL + G to group the layers together. Or right click on the selected layers and click Group.
Place the group at the top of the woman’s head. Then, press CTRL + J to make a duplicate of the group and drag it below the original group.
Now, press CTRL + J to make more duplicates of the group until you reach the bottom of the woman. Then, make more duplicates until you cover the woman.
Next, select all the text groups. Then, press CTRL + G to make one large group of the text. Or right click on the selection and click Group.
In the Layers Panel, drag the text group below the woman layer.
Press and hold CTRL and select the woman in the Layers Panel. This will activate the selection of the woman.
Now, select the text group in the Layers Panel. Then, click the Mask Layer icon to add a mask to the text group.
Press CTRL + D to deselect the selection. Or go to the Select menu and click Deselect.
After that, select the woman layer. Then, go to the Blend Mode in the Layers Panel. I set the blend mode to Darker Color.
In the Layers Panel, you can also lower the Opacity of the text.
Then, as an added effect, select the text group in the Layers Panel. Select one of the text layers and press CTRL + J to make a duplicate of it.
After that, drag the duplicate outside of the text group and above the woman layer.
Next, place the text at the top of the portrait to make it a title. Then, change the font and resize your text.
Congratulations! You’ve created a text portrait effect in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this tutorial on creating a letter portrait text effect.