GIMP, POV-Ray, and Cool Text
October 14, 2011
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Three weeks ago I wrote about my search for flaming text and described a few services I found. I’ve used the one I liked best, FlamingText, quite a lot since then, first for The Orchard, and now for about every other page I redesigned in Astoria Games. FlamingText, I noticed now, is basically just an online GIMP, though with some extra scripts and things.
I had never paid much attention to the GIMP. I had it on my computer once, years ago, but did not have very much use for it then. Now I downloaded and installed it again, and found that creating logos is indeed nearly as easy as on FlamingText. Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. GIMP expects, but does not come with all those cool fonts you get on FlamingText. You have to find and install them yourself. On the other hand you can use any font you like. While creating a logo is just as easy as on the website, there are less configuration options. FlamingText limits the number of characters, so if you want to create a menu imagemap, it will have to be on the GIMP on your computer.
Creating logos is the GIMP’s killer function. FlamingText isn’t the only website that uses it, Bryan Livingston’s CoolText.com is an even older one, going back to 1998, the year the gimp.org website went online. It’s gone through numerous redesigns, I really like the first one best. Besides creating logos, you can download an enormous number of free fonts here. Picking a font for your logo is easier here as well, since the categories are more meaningful. Speaking of gimp.org: The GIMP has scripts for all the headers and other graphic text the original website used.
Tetsuo Ikegawa has a similar logo service based on POV-Ray. The configuration options can be a bit confusing, so I recommend starting with the oldest generator (dating back to 1996), which is the simplest one as well. But beware, anyone can see the images you create for a while.