This dripping blood text tutorial for Paint.NET could be a useful technique for all sorts of Halloween related projects, but it can also be adapted to add the effect of dripping painted text for occasions when you want the effect of simple graffiti.
This tutorial is suitable for new Paint.NET users and there are a few simple steps to follow to achieve your own dripping blood text effect.
1. Open a New Document
Go to File > New and open a new blank document, setting the size depending on how you intend to use your finished text.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I downloaded Deja Vu, a free font offered with an open source license.
2. Add Some Text
Unlike GIMP or Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET does not add text to its own layer, so first we need to add a blank layer for the text.
Go to Layers > Add New Layer and then select the Text tool from the Tools palette. Now click on the blank page and type in your text. You can change the font using the Font drop down menu in the options bar above the page and you can use the drop down next to that to change the font size. If the Colors palette isn't open, go to Window > Colors to make it visible and then click on the red swatch to set the color of the text to red. When the text is as you want it, you can change to the Move Selected Pixels tool and reposition the text if necessary.
3. Add Runs of Blood
The next step is to add the runs of blood that are dripping from the text using the Brush tool.
Click on the Brush tool in the Tools palette and set a suitable size using the Brush width drop down in the options bar above the page. You want a width that isn't too thick or too thin and it's best to try a few widths, going to Edit > Undo to remove any that aren't the ideal width. When you're happy with the width, paint in random runs of blood from the bottom of the text.
4. Add Two Circles
Adding the blood drops is a bit involved using Paint.NET, but this is the only way I could find to make the asymmetrical shape of a blood drop.
Firstly add a new layer and then click the Brush tool and set the Brush width to a large size and click once on the new layer to produce a solid red circle. Now go to Layers > Duplicate Layer so that you have two identical layers.
Note: Don't worry if the red circles overlap the text, as they are on different layers and won't affect the text.
5. Edit One Circle
We're now going to split one of the circles in half.
Change to the Rectangle Select tool and now click and draw a rectangular selection over the bottom half of the circles - click on the thumbnail to see what I mean. With the Layer 3 still selected in the Layers palette, go to Edit > Erase Selection to form an arc.
6. Stretch the Arc
Now we stretch the arc to replicate the tail of a blood drop.
Select the Magic Wand tool from the Tools palette and click on the arc that was produced in the last step to select it. Next switch to the Move Selected Pixels tool and you'll see that eight grab handle appear around the arc shape. Click on the top middle one and drag it upwards a little until you're happy with the shape of your blood drop. Finally in this step, go to Layers > Merge Layer Down to form a single layer with a blood drop on it and go to Edit > Deselect.
7. Resize the Blood Drop
Now the blood drop can be resized so that we can use it on dripping blood text.
Go to Layers > Rotate / Zoom and use the Zoom slider to shrink the drop until it is the correct size for the runs of blood that you added to the text earlier. If the drop rotates or does any other odd things, click on the Reset buttons in the Roll / Rotate and Pan sections of the dialog.
8. Position the Blood Drops
We can now position multiple copies of the blood drop at the bottom of the runs of blood.
Change to the Move Selected Pixels tool and drag the blood drop into position at the bottom of one of the runs of blood. With that positioned, go to Layers > Duplicate Layer and drag that blood drop into position on another run. Continue until all of the runs of blood have blood drops on the end of them.