Seasonal Savings: 20% off selected memberships for a limited time. Give now

Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Oakland Theater: Creating neon

From: Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

Video: Oakland Theater: Creating neon

So last week we looked at the Oakland Now, I've got that going right through there.

Oakland Theater: Creating neon

So last week we looked at the Oakland theater and we saw how we created the wall. What we're going to do this week is look at the neons. We're getting a little close here and we start to see how all these neons, these intricate neons, are all just working all through here. There's dirt on them, there's glows, transparency. All kinds of effects happening here. So that's what we're going to do today. So let's go in here, and I got a cropped-in area here, where you can see I have a path. I have a path for that zigzag neon that's going to be going through there.

So now, there's our background, there. Now, this is made up of many layers, but, everything's been flattened just for the purposes of just seeing the neon itself. So I gotta get in a little closer here, and I'm going to take my paintbrush, and I'm going to set it up to a nice hard-edge, round brush and make it a little bigger. Let's say we make it about a little smaller. Let's go down. And bring it down to about, oh, about the size of the existing brushes right there. That's about what I want there, the existing neons.

So now, I'm going to go into my brush engine to make sure that my spacing is down to 1%. So it's going to be solid, no little bumps along the top, the spacing between the, the different circles. I want it to be pretty solid, so I bring it down to 1%. Okay, that's good. Everything else can stay off. Now, I've got that going right through there. That's going to be the size. Maybe we'll make it just a little bigger than the other ones. So we'll just go in there, and just make that a little bit bigger. So this is going to be a fat piece of neon going through there. Just so we can really see the effect of how this works.

And it can't be bigger than that hole, so let's just go right there. That's good. So now, in a new layer. We're going to call this the zig-zag tubes. And, I'm going to choose a different color now, I want it to be a kind of a soft yellowish kind of a tube. So we'll go in here and we'll get this kind of yellow right there. And I'm going to go ahead and with the brush, in the layer, I will take that path and stroke it. And, there's a big fat yellow tube. Which I'm now going to do a few things to.

First of all, I'm going to give a little highlights. So, in that layer, I'm going to go into my Bevel and Emboss, and I'm going to give a nIce little Bevel and Emboss like this, make it really strong. Soften it up so it gets really nice and round around the top there. And we'll have the light coming from it's a little see the shadows we'll move that light source over like this a little bit. So we start getting some nice shadows where they belong right, there on the edges and highlights a stronger right there on that side. Okay.

You can make those a little bit bigger. Right there. Now, this bottom one here, it's a little strong, so we'll just bring that down just a tad, like that. Okay. Now, on the opacities here, I'm going to, I want those highlights and stuff to remain strong, but I want the tube itself to become transparent. So I'm going to deal with the Fill Opacity, not the Opacity, which will bring everything down. I want to deal with just the Fill Opacity. See? So that's going to make the tube transparent, allowing those highlights to remain right where they belong.

Right there like that. So now, tube is rounded, it's glass. Right? So, that stuff behind it should be distorted a little bit. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn the tubes into a selection by Cmd+Clicking on the preview icon there and then I'm going to work on the background itself. The background. So let me just go in here and let's hide those marks again, so we can see what's going to happen next. I'm going to come in close. Now, you could make a duplicated background and trap it in there, make sure you don't mess anything up, but what I'm going to do right now is I'm simply going to take my Smudge tool.

And with my Smudge tool I'm just going to kind of move that red in there, a little bit, and move this one, just give it a little touch this way, just so that it starts to get a little more of a rounded kind of a look, so it's not totally straight, it's being kind of distorted by the roundness of the glass. See, right through there like that. This guy could even be like that, and we'll just kind of move this guy around. So I'm just kind of distorting it and it's only happening inside the tube because that's the area that's selected for my background there.

So I'm going to go in there and just kind of push these around. Just to start giving it that little, kind of a roundness to it. See, so I got a little distortion happening to my background, right in there like that. Now I could take my tube and just bring down that, that fill opacity a little more. So we see those things even more. There we go, now we're getting a little better there. Now, I'm going to create a new layer on top. And this layer, I'm going to clip with the tubes. And what's going to happen here is, like, for instance, right here, we've got this strong highlight. So what I want to do is, throw a couple of highlights here and there.

So I've got a nice soft edge brush now. Make it nice and soft. And make it a little bigger. And we'll just kind of throw a little highlight right down in here. This right into this little area of our little bulb, right in there. Okay, so we just drew a little, made a little higher, lighter color in there, like that. Okay? And we might want to throw a little, light right along this ledge here. So it's just very slightly getting lighter, right in there like that. If we, unclip that. We can see how bright those things are, but they're brought down in opacity because of the fill opacity of the layer that they're being painted into.

So there we've got just a little bit of lighting just to make it look right. So now, we're going to start adding little paint here. Now, they usually paint right there on that tube. So I'm going to create another layer right there. And, we're going to get a gray, gray and black. And with our paintbrush set to a spatter brush, like this one right here. We'll go in there and say, let's give it some spacing. Go into shape dynamics, and we got size jitter going. Little minimum set there. Angles at 100%. Let's bring that roundness back.

There we go, and we'll say, color dynamics. Go between the foreground and background. And we might want to to bring our spacing in just a little. There we go, a little tighter. And then those color dynamics apply to each tip and then right here, what I'm going to do is I'm going to start to paint right in there like that. And you see what's happening? It's just going to be right inside of our tube. Now, why is it right inside of our tube? Because remember, we still have the area selected. See. If we go in here and see those selection edges. There they are. If they weren't selected? Well, I could just paint.

And now, it's going all over the place, you see, like that. So what I could do at that point would be turn the tubes into a selection. Go into that little paint area. Let's call it paint. And give it a mask. Which it again will trap it inside of that area, right there. And there you see we have this nice little tube. If the tube was on, then there'd be other things going on there. There'd be glows, and stuff. But we want to just create these tubes That aren't lit, now the little connector here, that's a simple little thing. Let's go in there and create that.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to create little elliptical selection, right here like that and then another one right inside. That's the hole, okay? So I can go and let's take this one and just put it right there, that's good shape we'll take them both and kind of rotate 'em a little bit, to follow the angle of what our image is. So now, in a layer right on top, I'm going to call this one the hole. And this middle one right there, we're going to go ahead and fill with that black. There it is. And I'm going to soften it up a little bit so we'll just give it a little bit of a, a Gaussian Blur, but not all the way around.

Watch what's going to happen. I'm going to give it a little, a little soft, soften it up a little bit, just a little softening. That's good, and then I'm going to soften it even more. So I'm going to take my lasso and I'm going to give it a feather. Give it a feather of about 20. Now, that is set to pixels, a little. I'm working at 72 DPI so 20's quite a bit. Now I'm just going to select this area right here, this area right here and then give it that feather again and a little more, just to soften that side a little bit more. There we go. There you're getting that sense that it's rounded on this glass area here, so I'm going to now create the glass area.

In the layer behind the tube, hold down my Cmd key, New Layer creates it behind. And we'll call this the Little Disk. And we'll fill it with ice blue color, let's say it's going to be a kind of a bluish disk like that. Take that path and fill it. There it is. So now, we want to make this look like it is made of glass. So, we're going to go in there and give it a little layer style. Let's move it out. A layer style of Bevel and Emboss. Light's coming from that direction as we have before, increase the size a bit Like that and let's give it a little, a little more size.

There we go. Push up that, so we get some really strong effects and there we have that. And I'll tell you what we're going to do. Let's click OK. It's not quite giving us the same roundness because it's, we have it at an angle. So, what I'm going to do at this point is I'm going to take that Bevel and Emboss and take em out of there. So, I come up here to Layer > Layer style > Create Layers. So there. Now they're separate layers. so I can take the two of 'em and kind of move them over. See, I'm moving 'em over with my Move Tool.

I'm just clicking away, right there like that. Moving them over. I'm going to take this guy right there and I'm just going to blur him. I'm going to blur him some more. So he gets even softer. See? Like that. Same thing with the white. Well the white we can leave like that. That's good. So now I'm going to go back to my disc again which now has a later style and I'm going to give it a drop shadow and we'll give it a little more distance. And we'll have it coming, let's turn off global light and say it's coming from right up above like that. And soften it up a little bit, a little more distance and a little softer.

And maybe bring down the opacity just a little bit. And one last thing is to make this really look like glass, like it's reflecting all the stuff around it, I'm going to give it a satin. And I'm going to choose a dark blue, a really nice dark blue like this. And I'll choose a more complex contour like this one, and then play around with the distance and the size until I get some nice kinds of patterns going on in there, which are going to give me the effect that I want, right through there. Increase that size, perhaps. And there we can see that we now have this, let's go a little bigger, and there we see that we now have all these nice little reflections that, if we go in there and Rasterize that.

Let's just go in there and say Layer > Layer Style > Create Layers again. There's our little guy. We can go in there and just do a couple little smears just to kind of soften those up. See, so we're going to go in there and just kind of pull these and pull this around. And just twist them around so they start to become a little more random than what we had before. And there you see that now we have this little glass connector. And now for that final touch, the hole. The hole needs a little more dimension. Gave it a little softness on that side so we know that this side has to be soft as well.

So we're going to do that with a layer style. Double click on it to bring up the layer styles and give it a Bevel and Emboss. That is we're going to keep it a little low, bring it down to about that size and bring it up a little higher and we're going to put it on a outer bevel. And now, since the light's coming from that direction, what we'll do, we will change direction of this particular style, without affecting the others. So we turn off the global light, and we change the light to come from this direction. And now we see that we have this nice soft shadow and highlight going all the way around. When we're getting close, we'll see that these are the little connectors right up in there, and there's the glass tubes with different colors of yellows and whites and clears.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

77 video lessons · 32541 viewers

Bert Monroy

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 14m 21s
    1. Making a New Year's 2015 card NEW
      14m 21s
  2. 11h 20m
    1. Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop
      6m 39s
    2. Filling an empty glass with liquid
      2m 51s
    3. Using an alpha channel to create a 3D object
      6m 53s
    4. Creating a 3D coin
      7m 13s
    5. Creating a custom brush
      7m 28s
    6. Using displacement maps to create shadows
      7m 27s
    7. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
      6m 37s
    8. Creating a dog tag
      7m 52s
    9. Recreating magazine clippings
      7m 31s
    10. Creating realistic scales for a dragon tattoo
      6m 27s
    11. Creating spikes for a dragon tattoo
      10m 35s
    12. Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo
      10m 55s
    13. Creating a flower tattoo
      7m 9s
    14. Using a Fibonacci spiral to create a tattoo
      4m 19s
    15. Body shaping with Puppet Warp
      4m 1s
    16. Type effects in Photoshop: Pillow
      6m 46s
    17. Type effects in Photoshop: Clouds
      6m 2s
    18. Animating a 3D starfield
      7m 6s
    19. Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop
      13m 1s
    20. Creating a custom brush to draw hair
      7m 57s
    21. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: First steps
      12m 5s
    22. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding details
      10m 49s
    23. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding a third dimension
      10m 10s
    24. Oakland Theater: Creating stone walls
      14m 11s
    25. Oakland Theater: Creating neon
      12m 4s
    26. Oakland Theater: Creating lightbulbs
      15m 33s
    27. Changing photo contents with Auto-Align Layers
      6m 36s
    28. Creating a metal grill
      9m 35s
    29. Red truck: Creating a headlight
      7m 17s
    30. Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim
      7m 37s
    31. Red truck: Creating realistic metal perforations
      7m 5s
    32. Red truck: Creating wear on metal
      6m 18s
    33. Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room
      7m 52s
    34. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
      13m 57s
    35. Magazine cover: Creating a wood floor
      13m 29s
    36. Damen Station: Adding multiple train cars
      5m 26s
    37. Damen Station: Creating bolts
      5m 56s
    38. Damen Station: Creating realistic rust
      6m 56s
    39. Oyster Bar: Creating puddles
      6m 15s
    40. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
      5m 3s
    41. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
      10m 53s
    42. Oyster Bar: Creating a canvas texture
      7m 53s
    43. Creating realistic reflections and shadows
      11m 0s
    44. Creating water droplets on a surface
      7m 42s
    45. Wrapping a pattern around a 3D wine goblet
      7m 47s
    46. Creating net fabric for a veil
      15m 39s
    47. Animating a spotlight against a brick wall
      7m 1s
    48. Damen Station: Using Blend in Illustrator to create intricate details
      4m 34s
    49. Theater curtain: Making a braid and tassels
      9m 53s
    50. Theater curtain: Creating the curtain
      11m 40s
    51. Theater curtain: Animating a rising curtain
      7m 23s
    52. Creating a chalkboard
      12m 48s
    53. Creating a manila envelope
      12m 50s
    54. Turning a regular donut into a jelly donut
      9m 41s
    55. Making a book: Perspective
      9m 53s
    56. Making a book: Adding pages
      9m 27s
    57. Using paths and layer styles to create logo text
      9m 36s
    58. Increasing precipitation: How to make a rainy-day photo look rainier
      9m 34s
    59. Retouching techniques: Improving a picnic scene
      9m 28s
    60. Retouching techniques: Moving an object in a scene
      9m 29s
    61. Retouching techniques: Improving a real estate photo
      8m 53s
    62. Adding a billboard to a photo
      7m 52s
    63. Making a desk nameplate
      12m 6s
    64. Illustrating a campfire from scratch
      9m 35s
    65. Creating realistic stains on bathroom tile
      9m 9s
    66. Creating a distressed windowsill from scratch
      15m 42s
    67. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Building the star field
      9m 23s
    68. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Adding color and effects
      10m 19s
    69. Creating a campfire scene: Adding the campfire
      12m 34s
    70. Creating a campfire scene: Adding trees and lighting
      8m 3s
    71. Creating a superhero type treatment
      7m 6s
    72. Three Dimensional type with extruded neon: Making the letter forms
      12m 29s
    73. 3D type with extruded neon: Adding the neon
      11m 48s
    74. Creating a Thanksgiving card
      9m 4s
    75. Mapping video onto a 3D object in Photoshop
      5m 50s
    76. Creating a wintery scene
      7m 36s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.