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Neon Sign Lettering


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I've been working this process for a few weeks now, and i think I have been getting some pretty decent results, so I figure a tutorial is in order. This can be used for more than just text, it works well with other things, however it is easiest with text. It also works with minimal additional plugins. 


Required plugins-


Gaussian Blur (built in)


AA's Assistant (Part of DPY's plugin pack)


Align Object (Optional)


Everything else should be default in the Adjustments menu.


1. Start with an adequately sized blank canvas, and fill it in black.



2. On a new layer, add text in any font, ensuring you use a decent size and nothing too complicated.



3. Lower the opacity on your text layer. I haven't found any particular opacity to set it to, it depends on your font and colors used.



4. Using the line tool, trace out the lettering however suits the idea you have. Try to avoid making sharp corners and closed loops (forgive the closed loop on the D here).



5. Duplicate the line tool layer three times, leaving one layer as is. For the other two, make one white, and one black using the brightness/contrast adjustment.




6. Duplicate the white layer again, and toggle off visibility. On the layer that's still visible, run AA's assistant as shown a few times until you can just see the edges of the black layer poking through.




7. Merger the white layer you just modified onto the black layer, and set your blend mode to multiply.




8. Repeat AA's assistant a few times on the other white layer.




9. Run AA's assistant as shown once on the white layer to sharpen up the edges.




10. Go back to your line tool layer, and duplicate it. On one of the layer, run Gaussian blur. Settings are dependent on the size of the image.




11. Duplicate the gaussian blue layer a few times to thicken the color, then merge those layers together.





12. Duplicate the Gaussian blue layer again, and run the blur at a higher setting. Again, duplicate the layer a couple times to make it more visible.




13. Adjust the opacity and blend modes of your two Gaussian Blur layers until the original lettering is just visible. You can also play with the Hue/Saturation to make the colors pop a little.




14. Adjust the layer setting of the very top white layer until it's bright, but not perfectly white. Blend mode and opacity depends on color.



15. Flatten the image and you're done.



Just be aware that because of all the blend modes and how colors work, you can't simply just change the hue/saturation of the final image and hope it turns out ok. You'll have to adjust the colors of each colored layer individually, but the results look good.







You can also use Midora's Animated PNG Filetype Plugin to add some life to your Neon Sign, just play with opacity setting on various layers and animate it all together:





Edited by Chowie
Me no spell good
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