Pixelmator Tip #55 – How To Create A Text Fade Effect Using Gradient Masks

Ninja Share:

Gradient masks can be used to do all sorts of neat graphic design work. We showed you how to create a great color fade effect using gradient masks in Pixelmator Tip #53.

In this tutorial, we show you how to create an awesome text fade effect using gradient masks.

Text fades are being used to create some kick ass posters – here are some images we put together using the technique we teach you in this tutorial.

San Francisco – Pixelmator Gradient Mask


Hong Kong – Pixelmator Gradient Mask

The final image:

Here is what you will be able to create by the end of this tutorial.

So let’s get started.

Step 1:

Create a new canvas – we chose 1280x800px.

Step 2:

Find an image that you like. For this tutorial, ideally choose a landscape with some layers of depth, so that you can find a good place to embed your faded text.

We found this fantastic landscape on Unsplash by QingBao-Meng.

Using the Magic Wand, we chose to split the landscape into two parts – the foreground and the background. Firstly use the magic wand to select the background – use small selections and take your time. Hold Shift and continue to add more to the selection you have already made.

Next right-click and select the option Copy and Paste as Layer.

Ensure this layer is at the top and call it background.

While the selection is still active, ensure you select the original layer in the layers panel, then right-click on the selection, and select Invert Selection. Now repeat the process of Copy and Paste as Layer. Call this layer the foreground, and ensure it is place below the background layer.

Step 3:

Now using the Text tool, add in your text. Ensure the text layer is placed above the original image layer, and below the background and foreground layers. Play around with position on the image and angles until you are happy.

Right-click on the Text layer and select Add Mask.

Select the Mask, and using the gradient tool, use a simple gradient (white colour on one end and black colour on the other end). Select the top the text and drag the gradient to the bottom of the tool.

Play around with the placement o the gradient to ensure that the fade looks more natural and can blend into the background seamlessly. This give the effect of the text rising out of the landscape.

Step 4:

Finally, we’ll just do some quick enhancement to make the image and text blend better.

Select the foreground layer, then change the Blending mode to Screen and set the Opacity to 50%.

Similarly, select the background layer, and set the Blending mode to Soft Light, and set the Opacity to 50%. 

Once we are happy with all the settings and blending modes, we can export the final image.

We hoped you like this tutorial. Keep an eye out for further tips and tutorials on fun things you can do with gradient masks in Pixelmator.

Tell us what you think!