Photoshop Effects: Neon effect tutorial

From the grittiest dystopian sci-fi settings and Japanese high streets, to the local fish and chip shop; you can find neon just about everywhere. Here's a quick tutorial for how to recreate the effect of it in photoshop. If you're new to photoshop this is a great way to get started on the software!

1. The first step is to get the line-art of what you're looking to give the effect to (this will be our "Main Light" layer). It can be anything but for the sake of this, I'll be using some text that I've rasterized. Make sure the line-art is in the colour that you want it to glow in later, and

that you're working on a black background.

2. Make a duplicate of your line-art and, using the "lock transparent pixels" toggle, colour the duplicate white (this will be our "Highlight" layer).

3. On your "Main Light" layer, add a stroke of the same colour by going to Edit>stroke.

4. After that, make another duplicate of your "Main Light" and drag it below your "Main Light" layer and then apply a fairly heavy Gaussian blur effect by going to

Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur (this will be our glow).

5. Finally, take the Highlight layer, right click and "create clipping mask" onto your "Main Light" layer, then apply another (much weaker) Gaussian blur; just enough to fray the edges of your highlight.

All you have left to do now is play around with the opacity of either your glow or highlight layers to make them brighter or duller to suit your preference. If something isn't bright enough for your liking, you can always make a duplicate of that layer to boost those values. Either way you should have pretty good looking neon effect for your projects now! If you liked this post, why not check out our recent blog "Photography and Editing with Cat" to learn more cool editing tricks!


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