Neon Lights Effect

This tutorial shows you how to make a neon light effect text.

Try to incorporate your own name into the design.

 


 

Getting Started:

Open a new PhotoShop project and choose 900 pixels by 250 pixels and a resolution of 300 pixels/inch. You may have to modify the canvas size to accommodate your text.

 

Save the file into your PhotoShop project folder.


  If not already displayed, go to the Window menu and select Show Tools and Show Layers.

 

Change the background colour to Black by selecting the Set Background Color button..

Press the Ctrl + Backspace (Windows) or Ctrl + Delete (Mac) keys to change the background from transparent to the current background colour.

Choose a font that will lend itself to the neon lights effect.


 

I used Harlow Solid Italic.

Type your caption. Use  Command + T (Mac)  or  Ctrl + T (Windows) to bring up the Free Transform Tool to resize the text as large as possible.


 

Highlight the text Layer Palette and select your text layer. Hold down the Ctrl key and Right-click the text layer to select the entire text. You should see the "marching ants" around the entire text. If this method doesn't work use the lasso tool then go to Select --> Inverse.

 



 

Select the Eye Button in the text layer to make the text layer invisible.

Create a new layer.

Go to Edit --> Stroke.


  Set the following:
  • Width: 5 px.
  • Color: Any "neon" looking colour
  • Location: Outside


 

Now deselect the image. Go to Select --> Deselect.


 

Right-click on the text Layer Palette to bring up the Blending Options.

Choose Outer Glow.


 

Set the options to:

  • Blend Mode: Normal

  • Opacity: 75%

  • Color: (Same as Stroke Color above)

  • Technique: Softer

  • Spread: 0 %

  • Size: 10 px

  • Range: 100%


 

This is what you should see with the original (white) layer turned off.


 

Highlight the original text Layer again and click the Ctrl key to select the entire text. You should see the "marching ants" around the entire text.

Go to Select --> Modify --> Expand. Expand by 4 and click OK.


  Create a new layer. Go to Edit --> Stroke and use the settings shown to the left.

  In the Filter menu go to Blur --> Gaussian Blur. Choose a radius of 1 px then click OK.

 

This what you should see with all layers except the original turned on.

Combine the two visible layers. Go to Layer --> Merge Visible.


  Neon lights are usually shaped from small diameter tubes.  Usually, the words are not continuous but have breaks where one tube ends and another starts.  To give this appearance, use a soft eraser about 3 to 5 px in diameter.

Check out some actual signs at: https://www.hantoneonsign.com/ to get an idea on where to make the joins in your "sign".


  Highlight the original text Layer again and click the Ctrl key to select the entire text. Go to Select --> Modify --> Expand. Expand by 4 and click OK.

Create a new layer and go to Edit --> Stroke. Choose a width of 4 px. This time choose a colour that is brighter than you original neon colour. We are attempting to make a "glow" around the outside of the neon.


 

Turn off all but the current and background layers. Go to Filter --> Blur --> Gaussian Blur and try a radius of 3 px.


 

This what you should see with all layers except the original turned on.


The finished product!

Click here to take the project one step further - Flashing Signs.


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