How to Create Neon Light Images in Photoshop


The most mesmerizing and attention-grabbing signs are probably found in neon-lit cities like glitzy Las Vegas. With Photoshop Elements, you can create the same colorful, neon-like effects using filters and a variety of blending modes.

  • Open a bicycle image. Note that the background and the bicycle are on separate layers. Because bright neon colors look better against a dark background, the background color in this example has been set to black.
  • Select Layer 1 from the Layers palette. Select [Layer]-[Duplicate Layer] from the menu bar. In the Duplicate Layer dialog box, type in Neon in the As text box. Click OK to add a copy named Neon.
  • Hold down the [Ctrl] key and click the Neon layer in the Layers palette to load it as a selection border in the image.

  • Change the foreground color to white. Select [Edit]-[Fill] from the menu bar. In the Fill dialog box, set Use to Foreground Color. Click OK to color the bicycle white. Press [Ctrl] + [D] to deselect the bicycle.
  • Select [Filter]-[Blur]-[Gaussian Blur] from the menu bar. In the [Gaussian Blur] dialog box, set Radius to 10 pixels. Click OK. The image will look very bright and luminous.
  • Drag the Neon layer below Layer 1. The bicycle now glows around the edges.
  • Click and drag the Neon layer onto the Create A New Layer icon to make a cc new Neon Copy is added above the Neon layer. This increases the intensity of the glow.
  • Select [Filter]-[Motion Blur] from the menu bar. In the Motion Blur dialog box, set Angle to 30 and Distance to 260 pixels. Click OK. This will make the image look more dynamic.
  • Click the Create A New Layer icon in the Layers palette to add a new layer. Click on the name of the new layer and type in Gradient.
  • Select the Gradient Tool from the toolbox. In the options bar, set Gradient to Spectrum and Type to Radial.
  • Hold down the Shift key and drag across the image from left to right. This creates concentric bands of colors on the Gradient layer.
  • Holding down the Shift key enables you to apply the gradient vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
  • In the Layers palette, change the Blending Mode of the Gradient layer to Color. This will apply the gradient to the white and gray regions of the image and not the black areas.
  • Select Layer 1 from the Layers palette. Change the Blending Mode to Linear Dodge. This will brighten both the bicycle and the gradient color.

Filed Under: Computers & Technology

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About the Author: Justin Belden is a freelance web & graphic designer with over 15 years' experience. He is also an Avid member of the Design/Development community and a Serial Blogger who loves to help people by sharing interesting and informative tips and trick related to computer and technology.

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