Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Glowing, Multi-colored NEON Sign!

August 30, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create the look
of a multi-colored neon sign. This is an update of neon tutorials I’ve done
quite a while ago on earlier versions of Photoshop. Before we begin, I want to let you know that
I’ll be moving a bit faster for more advanced users. I provided this brick wall background for
you can download. Its link is located below in my video’s description
or project files. Open your Horizontal Type Tool and pick a font. I’m using “Freestyle Script”. If you’d like to use it, I provided its link, as well. I’ll make its size 200 points, Sharp and Center Alignment. Click the box and pick white, so we can clearly
see our text over the background. Type out your text. To adjust the space between 2 characters,
click between those characters and press and hold Alt or Option + the left or right arrow
key on your keyboard. To reposition your text, open your Move Tool and move it. If you want to angle it, press Ctrl or Cmd
+ T to open your Transform Tool. Go to a corner and when you see a curved,
double-arrow, rotate to an angle you like. Then, press Enter or Return. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click your text layer to
make a selection of your text. Go to Select and Save Selection. Name it “text” and click OK or press Enter or Return. Next, we’ll rasterize out text, so we can modify it. Go to Layer, Rasterize and Type. Go to Select, Modify and Contract. Contract it 4 pixels. Then, press the Delete key on your keyboard. To deselect it, press Ctrl or Cmd + D. To
apply another element to your sign that you want as another color, you can either type
out text or open a black and white graphic. Clip art works particularly well. If the subject is black on a white background,
invert your image by pressing Ctrl or Cmd We want to cut out your subject from its background
and place it into our neon document. First, open your Channels panel. If you don’t see it, go to Window and Channels. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click the top channel to
make a selection of its shape. Open back your Layers panel and drag it onto
the tab of your neon document. Without releasing your mouse or pen, drag
it down onto your text and release. Open your Transform Tool to resize, position
and angle it. If you’re using text instead of artwork, rasterize
the text as you did earlier. Then, Ctrl-click or Cmd-click the top layer to make
a selection of its shape. Go to Select and Save Selection. I’ll name it, “Art”, but you can name it whatever you like. Go to Select, Modify and Contract. Contract it 4 pixels. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard and deselect it. Open your Channels panel and Ctrl-click or Cmd-click the text channel to make a selection of its shape. Open back your Layers panel and go to Select,
Modify and Expand. Expand it 20 pixels. Press the Delete key on your keyboard to delete
the areas of your art that are inside the selection. Then, deselect it. At this point, we now have our basic shapes
for the neon tubes. I’ll name the top layer, “Art” and the text layer, “Text”. Hide the top layer and double-click the text
layer to open its Layer Style window. Click “Color Overlay”. Click the color box and pick a color for your
text that’s not too light, nor dark. Whatever color you do pick, write down its
hexadecimal code. We’ll be referring back to it a bit later. Click “Outer Glow”. Click the color box .Slide the picked color
straight across until it’s a little in from the right edge. Then, click OK. The Blend Mode is Normal, the Opacity is 75%,
the Spread is 0% and the Size is 10 pixels. Click “Drop Shadow”. The color is black, the Blend Mode is Multiply
and the Opacity is 100%. The Angle is 120 degrees, the Distance is
5 pixels and the Size is 7 pixels. Then, click OK. Make a copy of your text by pressing Ctrl
or Cmd + J. Hide the Drop Shadow of the copy and double-click “Outer Glow”. Click the color box and in the hexadecimal
field, type in the code that you wrote down earlier. Change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge, make
the Opacity: 100% and the Size: 100 pixels. To save space in the Layers panel, let’s collapse the text effects. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click either of the text
layers to make a selection of its shape. Go to Select, Modify and Contract. Contract it 1 pixel. We’ll fill the selection with white and since
white is still your foreground color, press Alt or Option + Delete. Then, deselect it. To blend the highlight, change the Blend Mode
to “Overlay”. Name the highlight layer, “Text Highlight”. To save more space, we’ll place all of our
text layers into a folder. To do this, Shift-click the bottom text layer
to make all the text layers active and press Ctrl or Cmd + G. Name the folder, “Text”. Make the “Art” layer visible and active. Make a copy of it and open your “Text” folder. Go to the “fx” symbol next to the “Text copy” and press and hold Alt or Option as you drag the “fx” symbol onto the “Art copy” layer. Now the “Art” copy” has the “Text copy’s” effects. Scroll down a bit to the “Text” layer and this time, go to the “fx” symbol next to the “Text” layer and press and hold “Alt” or “Option” as you drag the “fx” symbol onto the “Art” layer. Now, the “Art” layer has the “Text” layers effects. Collapse the effects and close the “Text” folder. Make a new layer. I’ll name it, “Art Highlight”. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click either of the “Art” layers to make a selection of its shape. Go to Select, Modify and Contract. Contract it 1 pixel, fill the selection with white and deselect it. To blend it, change the Blend Mode to “Overlay”. We’ll place all the “Art” layers into a folder using the same steps that you did earlier. I’ll name the folder, “Art”. Next, we’ll change the color of the Art. If you want to change the color of the text, the method will still be the same. Click the Adjustment layer icon and click “Hue / Saturation”. We want to restrict the adjustment layer to effect only the contents of the “Art” folder. To do this, we need to clip it to the “Art” folder. You can either click the “clipping mask” icon or press Ctrl +Alt + G on Windows or Cmd +Option + G on a Mac. Drag the Hue slider to the left and right until you reach a particular color you like. We’ll create a new “Art” folder with the Adjustment layer inside it. Make the Background layer active and make a new layer above it. Name it “Outer Glow” Open your Channels panel and Ctrl-click or Cmd-click the “Text” channel to make a selection of its shape. To add the selection of the “Art” to the existing selection, Press Ctrl or Cmd +Shift as you click the “Art” channel. Open back your Layers panel. Go to Select, and if you’re using version CC 2015.5, click Select and Mask. If you’re using an earlier version, click Refine Edge. Feather it 100 pixels and output it to a Selection. Then, click OK. If you see this message, just click OK. Fill the selection with white and deselect
it. Change the Blend Mode to Overlay. Make a new layer and name it “Medium Glow”. Open the “Text” folder and Ctrl-click or Cmd-click
either the “Text copy” layer or “Text” layer to make a selection its shape. Close the folder and open the “Art” folder. Press Ctrl or Cmd + Shift on either the “Art
copy” layer or “Art” layer to add its selection. Then, close the “Art” folder. Go to Select and “Save Selection”. Name it “Neon Tubes”. Go to Select and “Select and Mask” or “Refine
Edge” in earlier versions. Feather it 50 pixels and shift the edge 50%. Then, click OK. Change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Click the foreground color and pick a brighter
version of the color that you picked for your art. Open your Brush Tool and Brush Picker. We’ll take care of the size in amoment. Make the Hardness: 0% and the Opacity and Flow: 100%. Then, press Enter or Return. To make your brush bigger or smaller, press
the right or left bracket key on your keyboard and brush over your art. Click this icon or press “x” on your keyboard to invert your colors. Click the foreground color and this time,
pick a brighter version of the color that you picked for your text and brush over your text. If your text color is bleeding too much onto
your art, you can restore back some of the color of your art. Invert your colors and reduce the opacity
approximately 50%. Brush over the area of your art to restore its color. Make a new layer and name it, “Inner Glow”. Open your Channels panel and Ctrl-click or
Cmd-click the Neon Tubes channel to make a selection of its shape. Open back your Layers panel and go to Select
and Select and Mask or Refine Edge. This time, feather it 20 pixels. Then, click OK. Click the Layer mask icon to make a layer
mask of the selection next to “Inner Glow”. Make the Medium Glow Layer active and make a copy of it. Drag the layer mask next to the Medium Glow copy. Then, make the Inner Glow layer active and
delete it or drag it to the Trash. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply WolvoJay January 5, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Wow .. what an amazing an easy to follow tutorial. I'm far from what could be considered a more advanced user too but was easily able to follow this to make a great looking profile picture, half the time by just listening without watching (apart from where I didn't know where certain icons were). Thank you for making this so easy to follow!

  • Reply Sadamitsu Nakatani January 8, 2018 at 4:21 am

    So much work for medium glow. I usually make it easier: copy the layer and use "Gaussian blur" filter for the lower one

  • Reply Nicole Cruz January 8, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Idk why I lost it in the text highlight part Alt + delete won't do anything 🙁

  • Reply Xavier Sargent January 26, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Thank You for the assistance.

  • Reply Blytheboy1997reviews January 27, 2018 at 1:06 am

    I really need some help, when I modify expand by 20 pixels my text disappears….

  • Reply trumpeter811 January 27, 2018 at 6:19 am

    OMG we finally know what he looks like! He looks like such a nice guy!

  • Reply ro vidal January 31, 2018 at 4:42 am

    excelente! me ayudo demaciado, me habia olvidado de algunas cosas y me ayudaste de manera extraordinaria. GRACIAS!

  • Reply Mr. Léon February 3, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Marty, I also would like to know the process of getting it to flicker. Would you make a short video tutorial of this? I'm unsure of which image to use for the "off-sign" effect. I like how this doesn't fade, it goes completely off. Thank you!

  • Reply diego gonzalez February 9, 2018 at 3:02 am

    I love your voice and tutorials uwu

  • Reply B0X February 15, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Thank you! Very Helpful

  • Reply Travis Greene February 25, 2018 at 1:01 am

    You f'ing rule, Marty! Haven't gone neon in 10 years. Thanks for the refresher course, bud!

  • Reply Christopher Natchatram February 25, 2018 at 11:52 am

    how did you download ths

  • Reply Amihai Ovadia February 28, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    im in love with this channel! so clean so fresh so teaching!!! good job!!

  • Reply Sao May Nguyen Ngoc March 15, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    i can't highlight my text

  • Reply bloo jkl45 March 17, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    I wish all tutorials were like this one <3 thank you

  • Reply Thetom5000 March 19, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    when i contract the texts its too small

  • Reply Emirhan Erdil March 19, 2018 at 11:21 pm


  • Reply 개나리 March 29, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    thank you

  • Reply 藍元劭 March 31, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    sooooooo helpful

  • Reply Oscar Juy March 31, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    is that your real voice?

  • Reply naufla z April 10, 2018 at 6:56 am


  • Reply wita rizal April 12, 2018 at 1:56 am

    Why there is no text and art layer on my channels panel?

  • Reply Sarah Hamer April 21, 2018 at 4:39 pm


  • Reply ZXG April 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    i dont gett as much space inside of the letters so everything looks fucked

  • Reply grumphicat April 29, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    thank you!
    and i love your voice xD

  • Reply phuong ha nguyen May 7, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Thanks so much! This video is the best I've watch about tutorial

  • Reply indah debora May 10, 2018 at 3:06 am

    Thanks for this tutorial very good job

  • Reply sandra cormelia sandra June 1, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Como devo baixar alguns efeitos e imagem no seu canal

  • Reply Minoo Shiroyama June 4, 2018 at 6:14 am

    I love you Marty… I really do… Thanks for the amazing videos.. I can never thank you enough…
    P.S I don't know if I spelled your name correctly … 😛

  • Reply Demigod June 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Вот бы еще русские субтитры хотя бы были((( Тутор просто великолепный!!!

  • Reply Mid Lane Annie June 20, 2018 at 5:43 am

    Marty is my fave guy

  • Reply oliuzzaman shanto June 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    very very nice…

  • Reply Marcos Rafael July 10, 2018 at 12:51 am

    thanks you =D

  • Reply Shiroku Yonemuri July 13, 2018 at 2:41 am

    Thanks so much for your help. TTTATTT

  • Reply Zors July 13, 2018 at 3:09 am

    Thank you so much for this great tutorial!

  • Reply Abassi Hinda July 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    it's very nice i like it
    and i thank you for your tutos
    really i respect you

  • Reply huseyin sahin July 16, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    sen mükemmelsin ya

  • Reply Atef Elsherbiny July 20, 2018 at 8:09 am

    how you can do the end video, please?

  • Reply cesare pisoni August 2, 2018 at 4:54 am

    Amazing tutorial!

  • Reply Alice Woodhead August 2, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Help! When I contract the text and delete the selection it shows black, not the background! I literally have done one yesterday and it worked fine. Please let me know how to fix this! Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Hollow Jack August 4, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Mr Marty, finally I see that you're not just a tutorial voice 😀 Thanks for everything, sir 😀

  • Reply Miko Lim August 7, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    At 4:56 Why after i press ctrl+D it remain unchange

  • Reply Su Myat Noe August 25, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    U explain so clearly…
    I'm a beginner …I just bought a wacom yesterday and I don't know how to use photoshop….And i'm so lucky that i found you…I'll start learn everything from u…Thank you so much.. 😉

  • Reply Xasta TheGamer August 26, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I loved your explanation, you did it far far far better than my photoshop teacher. Thank You

  • Reply Çılgın Ressam August 29, 2018 at 9:28 am

    very awesome mannn

  • Reply SidGamer777 August 31, 2018 at 11:33 am

    he remembered me that wow meme man….

  • Reply Russian Johnny September 1, 2018 at 10:26 pm


  • Reply Visión Futurista Mexicana September 9, 2018 at 5:06 am

    Guauuuuu!!!!… Excelente… envío mi resultado MUY PRONTO

  • Reply Joaquin Alva September 9, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    I cannot find the grey channel… can anyone help?

  • Reply Mr D September 14, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    This is jst 💘💘

  • Reply Mode 33 September 20, 2018 at 6:41 am

    thank you

  • Reply RealMeatyBalls September 21, 2018 at 2:28 am

    @11.16 open the channel panel, the text and art layers aren't there for me. Edit turns out I don’t like to follow instructions

  • Reply YungDaggerD September 22, 2018 at 3:04 pm


  • Reply Patrick McKinstry September 26, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    I dont have a channel panel.

  • Reply 요구르트그랜드 September 28, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Thank you 😻❤️

  • Reply Firebrand October 10, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Awesome, easy to follow tutorial. Thanks, Marty!

  • Reply MD Enamul Hoque October 13, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Wonderful tutorial

  • Reply DMR Media October 18, 2018 at 12:08 pm


  • Reply BlackAvai October 19, 2018 at 7:41 pm


  • Reply Rodger Melete October 22, 2018 at 9:09 am


  • Reply YoGYoG LMGN October 26, 2018 at 8:27 am

    Nice video
    It's so detail 👍

  • Reply Sandra Gonzalez October 29, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    you help me a lot!! heaps thanks!!!

  • Reply Zed Park November 2, 2018 at 5:22 pm


  • Reply Tariq Hasan Anjan November 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Hey marty how long have u been doing photoshop? U seem like a veteran, I've been watching ur videos for a long long time 🙂

  • Reply Dab November 5, 2018 at 1:19 pm


  • Reply Drugeducation November 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Hi marty. Thanks for all the videos you provided. Could you upload a psd file for this video? I cannot get it to work for ages even if i do it step vy step. Thanks

  • Reply #### November 11, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Thank you! I even have not knew about selection modifying. Really good tutorial.

  • Reply ZumbeeYTB November 12, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Gotta love when Photoshop randomly crashes while trying to do this

  • Reply Lu Montero November 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    This is why internet is good for humanity if its used wisely. Thank you so much!!

  • Reply CSN November 28, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    NOTE: This method im going to show you on how to make the glow wont be as realistic but it will be a hell of alot easier. Ok so make a new layer below the text layer and select a brush tool. Make the color of the brush lighter than the color of your text and then proceed to lightly brush over the text. Then go to 'Opacity' and lower the opacity as much as you need it and set it to 'Overlay'. And thats it!

  • Reply Hyperion November 28, 2018 at 10:49 pm


  • Reply Doug Bairead November 29, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Fanny bones..?

  • Reply overclockeador November 29, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Amazing tutorial, I subscribed!

  • Reply Ferdi December 11, 2018 at 2:17 am

    Is it possible with CC 2017?

  • Reply Trung Nhân Lê December 17, 2018 at 4:10 am

    I thank you for this video. Very detailed instructions, very professional

  • Reply Nicole J January 19, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    thank YOU! now that's how you make a tutorial <3

  • Reply Nicole J January 19, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    but like how did you make it flicker like that at the end tho?

  • Reply SHARE HOLIC CHANNEL January 26, 2019 at 3:42 am

    awoseme bro and proud to you

  • Reply Danijel Ljubas January 29, 2019 at 9:20 am

    Great tutorial. Just what I needed for my project.
    How do you make it flicker at the end? And can it be done to just a few selected letters?

  • Reply Jason Smith February 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Marty, you are the man. Everyone else doing this should just quit.

  • Reply 제 제 February 15, 2019 at 9:52 am

    천천히 해주니까 좋네요  ㅠㅠ 구독하고갑니당 -)

  • Reply Red & Brown Podcast February 17, 2019 at 7:05 am

    This is the best photoshop instructional video I have ever seen. Yet somehow photoshop still manages to be an absolute cunt.

  • Reply Lizabeth February 22, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    I thought it said fanny bones 😂 I was so confused 🤣🤣

  • Reply Mister Fran March 14, 2019 at 4:35 pm

    лай если ты Русский и не понимаешь что он говорит, но понял что делать в фотошопе по видео)))

  • Reply Digital Yarbs March 19, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    I used this video to create a neon sign for my site….Thanks! The video was very informative.

  • Reply Kalie Fletcher March 21, 2019 at 2:27 am

    thanks so much

  • Reply LouisianaGatorGirl March 25, 2019 at 9:09 am

    How do you make it animated like the neon sign at the beginning of the video?

  • Reply Muhammed Gençoğlu March 30, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    False Font

  • Reply Max8 Payne9 April 6, 2019 at 5:48 am

    Sir , thank you for your tutorials

  • Reply Mikederrusse April 17, 2019 at 8:04 pm

    can you make a downloade link tamplate

  • Reply HELLDORADO April 20, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    Gracias Marty! una pregunta, ya he terminado todo el proceso y lo he guardado en psd, existe la posibilidad de conservar todo el proceso pero cambiandole lo que he escrito en él, por ejemplo en vez de que diga luz de neon cambiarlo al luces de neon y siga conservando los efectos? gacias, me encantan sus videos!

  • Reply Submarine Films April 25, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    PLEASE HELP! I can't find the Delete key on my keyboard

  • Reply sabbracadabra April 27, 2019 at 12:23 am

    My photoshop is CS5 so most of these commands don't work 🙁

  • Reply Martin Edwards June 9, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    very good

  • Reply CuThe Fort June 29, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    The best tutorial!!!!!

  • Reply Gaming Zone July 1, 2019 at 2:03 am

    this looks awesome.. will use it to practice.

  • Reply don't look July 16, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    love you….please make more & more videos of like this….love you

  • Reply Princess Magnetic Rose July 24, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    I can't do this part 7:23

  • Reply Luke Glover August 2, 2019 at 11:10 am

    David Lynch???

  • Reply James Quirke August 11, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    When I expand by 20px then press delete, as you instruct around the 4:30 mark, it just deletes my full text.

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