In this neon text photoshop tutorial you’ll learn how to give text a neon glow, and create cinematic lighting that compliments the effect. By the way, if you are interested in creating text effects with photoshop, here are older articles that you might be interested in: fire text effect and 3D flower text effect.
There’s nothing too complicated here, but you are expected to have a good grasp of the basics in Photoshop in order to use this tutorial.
Step 1: The Background
For the background we will use a brick wall texture from cgtextures.com. It can be downloaded here: http://www.cgtextures.com/texview.php?id=13026&PHPSESSID=0ij6isb488cf2ddnepq3aro6t5
Once downloaded, open the photo in Photoshop and add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
Take the Saturation down to -80.
Next add a Gradient adjustment layer.
Use a black to transparent Radial gradient with the Scale at 150%.
Set the gradient layer’s blending mode to Soft Light, and then duplicate the layer to strengthen the gradient.
Step 2: Adding the Text
The neon text we’ll use for this tutorial needs to be rounded so that it fits the neon style. The font we will use for this tutorial is called Comfortaa, and can be downloaded for free here: http://www.dafont.com/comfortaa.font
Once you’ve downloaded the font and added it to your computer’s font book, make a text box with your chosen text.
Make the text nice and big, and use the colour #4157ff.
When you’re done, use the Transform Tool to rotate the text about 20 degrees.
Step 3: The 3-Dimensional Neon Text Effect
Before we add the glow we will first add some Layer Styles to the text. To do this, first bring up the Layer Styles dialog box by double clicking on the text layer.
Begin by ticking the Drop Shadow box, and use the same settings as I have above. The colour of the shadow is #00044c.
Next click on Outer Glow and use the same settings as I have above.
And now add an Inner Glow, using the same settings shown above.
Next tick the Bevel and Emboss box, and use the same settings shown above.
And finally, click on Satin and use the same blue as earlier #4157ff along with the rest of the settings shown above.
Now that the text has a 3D look, the next step is to give it a glow.
Step 4: Adding the Neon Glow Effect
First duplicate the text layer twice. Rasterise both duplicates by right-clicking and choosing ‘Rasterize Type’.
Call the top layer ‘Motion’, and the bottom layer ‘Gaussian’.
For both of the layers, bring up their Layer styles boxes and un-tick all the boxes. Click on Color Overlay, and set the colour to white.
Set both layer’s Opacity to 60%.
Now for the Motion layer go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, and set the distance to maximum with the Angle at 0.
This creates a horizontal white blur across the text.
And then, with the Gaussian blur layer selected, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur, and set the Radius to 15 pixels.
This adds a subtle white glow around the text.
Duplicate the Gaussian layer and move it below the text layer, adding an extra glow behind the text.
You can now group all the layers you’ve just created together in a folder called ‘text’.
Step 5: The Sparks
Create a new layer above all the others, and call it ‘sparks’.
In this layer, use a small soft white brush to draw some marks of varying sizes as shown above.
Now go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, and set the Angle to -45 at 20 pixels.
Double-click on the ‘sparks’ layer to bring up its Layer Styles box, and tick the Outer Glow box, and use the settings shown above.
Step 6: The Lens Flare
To create a lens flare, first add a new layer and call it ‘lens flare’, then fill it with black.
Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare, position the flare in the lower right of the image and set the Brightness to 120%.
Set the layers blending mode to Screen.
To change the colour of the lens flare, add a Solid Color Adjustment layer above the lens flare layer using the colour #4157ff.
Right-click on the Solid Color layer and choose ‘Create Clipping Mask’, then change the layer’s blending mode to Hue.
Step 7: Creating Anamorphic Lens Flares
First, using the Ellipse Tool with the colour #4157ff, draw a circle.
Next go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, and when you’re asked if you want to rasterize the layer click OK.
Set the Angle to 0, and the Distance to maximum.
Duplicate the layer several times to strengthen the visibility of the flare, and then merge the layers together.
Use the Transform Tool to scale down the flare vertically, and position it so that right side starts at the centre of the first lens flare.
Set the layer’s blending mode to Screen.
Duplicate the layer and move it across to the other side of the first lens flare.
Then duplicate it again and position the new flare somewhere in the upper half of the text.
Step 8: The Final Touches on Finishing this Neon Text Photoshop Tutorial
Add a new layer called ‘highlights’.
Take a small white soft brush, and draw some dots over random parts of the letters to create added flares.
Next add a Gradient adjustment layer using a blue #4157ff to transparent Radial gradient with the Scale set to 150, with the Reverse box ticked.
Set the layer’s blending mode to Soft Light at 50% Opacity.
Add another Gradient layer using a black to transparent Radial gradient with the Scale set to 150.
Set the layer’s blending mode to Soft Light.
And finally, to add a border to your image, use the rectangular marquee tool to draw a rectangle across the centre of the image, then invert it, and fill the selection with black.
The Final Outcome
Hope you find this photoshop tutorial on how to create neon text with cinematic effect useful. Do drop us any comments if you have trouble with any steps in this tutorial.