I do believe i have figured out how to make a character pop out from the text - more tests to follow.
In this one i selected the text layer - alpha to select all the text - Edit/Clear - copy the image layer - select the text layer - paste into.
This pastes the color of the image into the cleared text.
Now just select the image layer - duplicate it - alpha to select it - fill with black
Filters/blur/Gausian blur at 16 - set opacity at 100%
Place the black layer behind the image layer - select the image layer again - alpha to select - select the layer you just filled with black and blurred - select/shrink by 3 pixels - select/invert/edit/clear - or delete both work.
Now you have a shadow edge around your image - set the opacity on the image real low just so you still see a small bit of detail.You want most of the detail to be in your text colors, and the shadowed edge.
Now set the shadowed edge layer to an opacity you like.