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Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop

In this movie, I'll show you how to take the neon effect that we've created inside of Illustrator and up the credibility of that effect inside Photoshop. Now, if you're not all that familiar with Photoshop, we'll be taking advantage of a couple of advanced features--namely Smart Objects, and the Blur Gallery. If you like to learn more about either feature, check out my full course, Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced, which features one chapter a piece on Smart Objects and the Blur Gallery. However, our applications of these features is going to be pretty straightforward.

Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop

In this movie, I'll show you how to take the neon effect that we've created inside of Illustrator and up the credibility of that effect inside Photoshop. Now, if you're not all that familiar with Photoshop, we'll be taking advantage of a couple of advanced features--namely Smart Objects, and the Blur Gallery. If you like to learn more about either feature, check out my full course, Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced, which features one chapter a piece on Smart Objects and the Blur Gallery. However, our applications of these features is going to be pretty straightforward.

So even if you're not that familiar with Photoshop, you'll be able to follow along. So the first thing I'm going to do is go up to the File menu, and choose Browse in Bridge or press Ctrl+Alt+O or Command+Option+O on the Mac, in order to switch over to Adobe Bridge. I have the program trained on the contents of the 24_logos folder, in which you'll find a file called Blended neon.ai. Go ahead and right-click on that file, choose Open With, and then choose Adobe Photoshop CS6 in order to open it in Photoshop instead of Illustrator.

Now, that will cause Photoshop to rasterize the file. That is, convert all the vectors into pixels, which is just fine. If you want to see a bigger preview by the way of the file you're about to open, then you can change the thumbnail size from Small to Fit Page, and you'll end up seeing our artwork so far. You should be able to leave the Image Size set to its defaults, but you might want to just double check the settings. The Width and Height values should be 3000 and 1800 pixels a piece; the Resolution should be 300 pixels per inch; the mode, that is the Color mode, is Adobe RGB; and the Bit Depth is 8 bit.

Assuming that's all true, then go ahead and click OK in order to rasterize that artwork. And a few moments later, you'll see your illustration open inside Photoshop. Now, you're not going to be able to gain access to any of the path outlines, you'll just see the single flat layer one right there. Go ahead and double-click on the layer name and call it neon sign for now. Next what we need to do, because I want to assign a filter to this layer, you want to go up to the Layers panel flyout menu right there, and then choose Convert to Smart Object.

And that will go ahead and turn the thing into a smart object, so you can apply editable nondestructive filters in much the same way that you apply dynamic effects inside of Illustrator. All right! I'll go ahead and zoom on in a little bit here. And then I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose that same command that we've been using inside of Illustrator, Gaussian Blur. And in fact, this is where Gaussian Blur really lives. A few years back, it got rewritten to serve the purposes of Illustrator. Anyway, go ahead and choose the command. I want you to set the Radius value to this whopping 24 pixels, which looks ridiculous, but in the second, it will make sense.

Then, go ahead and click OK. Now, you'll see this Smart Filter item right here listed below it is Gaussian Blur. Notice these little slider icons to the right, I want you to double-click on that icon in order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box, and then change the mode from Normal to Lighten, in order to produce this soft glow effect. Next, click OK. All right! Now, we need to heighten the impact of the effect using the Blur Gallery. So we want to create a copy of this layer. And the easiest way to do this, and this is going to sound crazy if you haven't used Photoshop before.

But, the easiest way to create a copy is to press Ctrl+J or Command+J on a Mac, but J being for Jump. Then, make sure that your Rectangle Marquee tool is selected here inside the toolbox. If not, go ahead and tap the M key. And then right-click inside the image window and choose Rasterize Smart Object in order to convert that smart object back to pixels. And the reason we have to do this is because the filter gallery is most likely, for you, not compatible with smart objects.

For a few of you who subscribe to the creative cloud, it is, but for the vast majority of us, it's not. And so, with this pixel based layer selected, go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Field Blur. And that will completely change the appearance of Photoshop, it's as if you switch to a different program or something. But, we're actually just inside of a huge window. What you want to do is change this Blur value right here to 30 pixels if you want to achieve the same effect I'm getting. And most likely, down here in the bottom- right corner, you'll see the words Blur Effects, but you won't see any options.

Go ahead and double-click on that Blur Effects Tab in order to expand the options, and then change the Light Bokeh value to 35% like so, and we want to adjust the Light Range as well. So, see this first value, that's 191 by default. Change it to 225, and then leave the second value set to 255. And what that's doing is it's adding a Light Bokeh to our artwork, so that we have these super hot highlights that are being added to the blur which is perfect. All right! Now, go ahead and click OK in order to apply that setting.

The Blur Gallery ends up throwing out my zoom a little bit. So, I'll just press Ctrl+0 or Command+ 0 on the Mac, in order to center things. And then finally, you want to double-click on an empty portion of this top layer, somewhere to the right of the words neon sign, in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. And this is just a little bit of black magic here, you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and see that little black triangle underneath the Underlying Layer slider bar--it's got a little crevice down the center of it, that's because you can take it apart when you have the Alt or Option key down.

So, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the right-half of that black slider triangle until that value that's changing right above my cursor switches to 130. So you should see 0/130, and then 255 is fine. Now, click OK in order to accept that modification. Now, I'll go ahead, and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode, and I'll zoom on in as well. And that is the final version of our neon sign created from nothing more than a handful of hand-drawn letters.

You couldn't find a more classic type effect begun inside Adobe Illustrator, and completed here inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14956 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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