Making alphas basically requires that you know how to use actions in Photoshop. I’ll go over a few tips first, and then if there are specific requests for a kind of alpha, I’ll make another tutorial.
Disclaimer: I’m not convinced that I make alphas in the most efficient way. I’m always experimenting, so if you have a better idea let me know!
To start, I make all my alphas as individual files (not as a sheet of many letters). I do it this way so that I can make large letters, and also because I find individual files easier to work with as a finished product.
I have a basic folder, that has a .PSD file for each letter (upper and lower case) and numbers and symbols. When I decide on a font, I make an action that will change the font to the one I want and then save the file as .PNG. I then keep this font template in a folder so that I can use it over and over. (see below)
Now I have a bunch of font templates that I can run actions with whatever effect I’d like. I’ve purchased several styles and actions (Mommyish has some good ones) to get good plastic and metal looks.
I’ve made lots of alphas, but they aren’t on the site yet (we need to implement kits), but if you look through my gallery, you can see alphas on some pages and if you’d like to enquire about making a specific one, I can oblige. Or if you see an alpha elsewhere, I can show you how I would do it.
Making .PNG Files of a Font
1. Open a file from the letters folder. For this tutorial to work, all the .PSD files must be saved with the letter layer selected. They should come this way when you download them, but if you run into a problem with the action, it’s probably because the wrong layer was initially selected.
2. In the Action palette click “Create New Action.” Give the action a name and hit record. From this point on, everything you do will be recorded.
3. To change the font simply open the character palette and select the font you want. Since the letter layer is already selected it will change the font. Also you may need to adjust the size of the font.
4. Now while holding shift I click on the background layer. Both layers are selected. Using the move tool (V) I’m going to align the letter to the middle.
5. Now my letter is in the middle and I’m going to save as .PNG (File -> Save as). Don’t adjust the name of the file, or else you will have problems later. The action will automatically save to whatever file choose. So you’ll need to adjust the action accordingly in the future if you want to save somewhere else.
6. Stop the action. You are ready to do all the letters now.
7. First, delete the .PNG file you just made if it’s in the same folder where the action will run.
8. Go to File -> Automate -> Batch.
9. A window will open. Make sure your action is selected (top part). Find the folder you want to run the action on (middle). We don’t need to do anything to the destination because we put the saving in the action.
10. Click OK and watch your action run.