This process is often referred to as photo to text, portrait to font, and/or photo to ASCII. I have seen similar effects created in Photoshop, but I haven’t seen a tutorial demonstrating the process in Corel Paintshop Pro.
I have tried replicating the procedures used in various “photo to text” Photoshop tutorials, but I have always been unsuccessful mainly due to the lack of word wrap in Corel Paintshop Pro.
However, I have a workaround that will allow us to create a similar effect using a free text to photo converter found online. The process that I used below is nowhere near the quality found on some Photoshop photo to text renders. The truth is, until we get a text tool tool that supports word wrap it would be difficult to clone the procedure.
I do have a few ideas that I could possibly use to expand upon this tutorial on a later date. I will have to test them some before implementing. But, I am thinking that I could potentially pull off results somewhat similar to those found in Photoshop tutorials by using a HTML or Word program that supports word wrap. This would allow me to use custom text too, and then import into Paintshop Pro using a screen capture. Most of the photo to text converters that I have tried online just randomly generate characters.
I think there are a few plugins and standalone software, such as, Textazier Pro that generate images using custom text that you provide. I haven’t tried any of the plugins or software yet because I really prefer creating and replicating effects using just the Paintshop Pro toolset.
Anyway, here is a method that you can use to quickly create a custom text portrait brush from any image. Definitely not perfect, but fun to do nonetheless.
Open the photo that you want to convert to text. I used a photo of my wife’s beautiful cousin Hannah.
Select the Freehand Selection tool and set the selection type to point to point. Next, draw a selection around the person so that we can remove the background. Note: The selections do not have to be exact, especially around the hair.
Once your selection is complete go to Selections > Invert to invert the selection. Next press ‘Delete’ on your keyboard to remove the inverted selection. Finally, press Ctrl + D to deselect.
Now go to Adjust > Hue and Saturation > Hue/Saturation/Lightness. Lower the saturation to -100 and the Lightness to around -10.
Save the image as a jpg. File > Save As (or press F12 on your keyboard).
Next, minimize Paintshop pro and open up your web browser. Go to www.photo2text.com and upload your photo and then hit submit. Wait a few seconds for your image to convert to text.
Once the image is converted hit the ‘Print Screen’ key on your keyboard. Note: If you can’t see the whole image in your browser, then try pressing ‘F11’ to go to full screen mode and then press ‘Print Screen’ again.
Now, pull Paintshop Pro back up and go to Edit > Paste as New Image. This will paste a screen capture of your entire desktop. Use the Rectangle Selection tool to select the portion of the screen captured photo2text image.
Next, go to Edit > Cut, then Edit > Paste as a New Image and you will be left with your text image.
Now we are ready to export to a custom brush to use in future projects. Go to File > Export > Custom Brush. Name the brush and click ‘Ok’
Let’s test out our new text portrait brush. Create a New 1200 x 800 image with a white background to test your new brush. File > New.
Now go to Brushes and select your new brush tip. Note: The brushes will be in alphabetical order.
Apply any color, gradient, or pattern from the material properties to give your text image brush a little life.
Test your new brush different colors and gradients.