Neon Sign on a Textured Surface
Category: Adobe Photoshop Tutorials
Category: Adobe Photoshop Tutorials
We will Design a Neon Sign on a Textured Surface in Adobe Photoshop. The neon color is easily changed. We will use a brick wall for the surface.
Install the Neuropol Font.
Open Adobe Photoshop and Create a new Image:
Size: 600 x 450px
Background Color: Black
This is larger than necessary to allow you to choose what part of the texture to put the sign over. Also it's nice to have a little elbow room when working.
Select the Text Tool, , change the text properties to:
Click on Stage and type any text you want to be neon. You can also apply the effect to shapes, a Martini glass comes to mind.
Open the Layer Blending Options:
Right click the text layer and select "Blending Options" or
Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options...
Apply the following settings:
Outer Glow: The neon glow
Inner Glow: Rounds the light tubes and improves glow
Click OK and here is what we have so far:
Now we have a neon sign but its just floating in space. Let's give it something to hang on and I couldn't think of a more appropriate place than a brick wall.
Select the "Background Layer" and then Place the provided brick wall texture above it.
File > Place... Locate the texture.
Obviously we need to change the lighting on this brick wall.
Start by reducing the brick layer opacity to 70%, then Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool, , and make a selection around your text.
Then select Select > Feather... and set it to 20. This will help gradually fade light into dark.
Inverse the selection
Select > Inverse
In the Layers Panel, select the "Brick Wall" Layer and create a new layer above it.
Layer > New > Layer...
Select the Paint Bucket Tool, , set the foreground color to Black and fill in the selection.
Reduce the Black Layer Opacity to 30%.
It doesn't seem like it did much, but after we create two adjustment layers you'll see the difference.
Create a new Brightness / Contrast Adjustment Layer.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness / Contrast
Create a new Hue / Saturation Adjustment Layer. If you picked a different neon color, simply slide the Hue until you find the hue that matches.
Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue / Saturation
Here is our image so far:
Not bad. In the final step, I provide a few recommendations for finishing touches.
For most, the current image will be good enough but there a few ways we can improve it.
1. Fade the blue lighting to normal lighting
For a more realistic scene, we should allow the normal brick color to show through as we get further away from the sign.
Select the Hue/Saturation Layer and the Erase Tool, set the opacity of the eraser to 10-20% and start erasing where you want to reduce the blue light.
2. Neon tubing is connected letter to letter.
It may not jump out at you but neon signs are one or two continuous light tubes. We should connect our letters with darker tubing.
Create new layer under the Text Layer and above the Brick and Adjustment layers. Then with a black paint brush with a size similar to the lettering paint connectors from one letter to another. Below I have selected where I painted my connectors.
3. Surfaces parallel to light sources reflect more light.
In this case the bricks provide a great texture to practice highlighting techniques. Highlights will help to make the sign more believable and the bricks more 3D.
Create a new Layer between the Adjustment Layers and the Text Layers. With the paint brush, select a small size 1-2px, opacity of around 20% and a bright hue of your color. Then Zoom in on the image and paint along the edges of the bricks. For example: paint the top edges of bricks that are below your sign. Paint the left edges of bricks that are on the right side of your sign. Just keep in mind where the light source is.
4. Pull the sign off the wall
This could have been applied back in step two. Neon tubing is structured in a way that the glowing tubes are not flat against the surface. So let's add a drop shadow to the blending options of your glowing text.
There, that's better. The details can push the desired effects.
You should now be able to create any neon sign you can think of. If you start exploring shapes, you might consider looking up neon signs to capture the line styles used. If you're into Flash, my next tutorial will show you how to make the neon sign flicker. In the meantime, check out some of my other tutorials to learn more or for fun take a look through my experiments.
I am a professional freelance web developer & graphic designer. These tutorials are a small sample of what I'm capable of. Check out my client portfolio and feel free to contact me. Whether it's a full blown database driven web application or simply a flashy banner design, hire a professional.
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