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Making a hand-drawn neon effect

From: Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D Type Effects

Video: Making a hand-drawn neon effect

In this exercise, I will show you how to take that hand drawn 3D type effect, and convert it into the neon effect you see here. We'll be starting inside this file called Lightning comp.psd. It's found inside the 02_drawn folder, and it features that original outline version of the 3D type set against the clouds background. But if you turn off the clouds layer here inside the Layers panel, you'll see that there's a lightning image, also from the Fotolia Image Library, lying in wait at the bottom of the stack. Now for starters, make sure that the hand drawn layer is selected here inside the Layers panel.

Making a hand-drawn neon effect

In this exercise, I will show you how to take that hand drawn 3D type effect, and convert it into the neon effect you see here. We'll be starting inside this file called Lightning comp.psd. It's found inside the 02_drawn folder, and it features that original outline version of the 3D type set against the clouds background. But if you turn off the clouds layer here inside the Layers panel, you'll see that there's a lightning image, also from the Fotolia Image Library, lying in wait at the bottom of the stack. Now for starters, make sure that the hand drawn layer is selected here inside the Layers panel.

Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Artistic, and choose Neon Glow. I will go ahead and center the type here inside my image preview, and I've already entered the settings that I am looking for. That is to say, I've increased Glow Size to 7, and I've taken the Glow Brightness up to 20. By default, the color is blue, which is a good match to our lightning. So go ahead and click OK in order to apply this effect. Now, it already looks pretty darn good, but here is the problem. I will go ahead and zoom in on my text a little bit here. Notice that we have a continuous neon effect stroking all of the outlines inside of the letters, except right along the top.

Again, we have some problems along the top outside letters, and it's most noticeable up here at the top of the H. We're just losing the neon effect entirely. So here's the way to solve that problem. I will go ahead and zoom back out, and I will double-click on the thumbnail for the Smart Object here inside the Layers panel. If you get the alert message, just click OK. Now, if you're working along with me inside the Smart Object, go ahead and click on the high contrast layer, which is the top layer in this two layer stack, and then click on little page icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to create a new unnamed layer.

Then go up to Layer menu, choose New, and choose Background From layer to send it to the bottom of the stack. Assuming that your foreground color is black, press Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete, in order to fill that background with black, like so. Then go up to the File menu and choose the Save command, or you can press Control+S, or Command+S on the Mac. Now if I switch back to my composition in progress, I will see a uniform amount of neon glow around each and every one of these strokes. The big problem, of course, is that the black outside the letters is covering up the lightning background.

So I need to make a change at this point. Now the first thing you need to do is to turn off the Inner Glow, because it's no longer serving a purpose. Be sure to click the eyeball in front of the words Inner Glow, not the eyeball in front of Effects. We want that eye still turned on. Now what we need to do is create a mask around the letters, and we can do that by lifting the selection outline that's associated with that 3D object inside of the Smart Object, which is why I left it open. So I'll go ahead and switch back to that Smart Object, which in my case is called hand drawn11.psb; it maybe called something slightly different for you.

Then you should be able to lift the selection outline just by Control+Clicking, or Command+Clicking, on that 3D object. But in my case, I get this wonky result. This maybe the correct selection outline, but for some darn reason it's out of register, and this happens sometimes with 3D objects. You try to lift the transparency mask as a selection outline, and something goes wrong. If that ever happens to you, here's the surefire solution. Go ahead and press Control+D, or Command+D on a Mac, to deselect the image. Then I want you to press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and drag that hand drawn layer all the way to the top of the stack.

You should see a horizontal black bar there at the top of the Layers panel, and your cursor should look like a double-arrow; a black arrow and a white arrow showing you that you're going to clone that layer. Now you can release the Alt or Option key, right-click in an empty portion of that layer, and choose the final command from the shortcut menu: Rasterize 3D. That will go ahead and rasterize that artwork. Now press and hold the Control key, or the Command key on the Mac, and click that layer thumbnail, and you get an absolutely accurate selection outline. Now we need to take the selection outline, and turn it into a layer mask in a totally different image.

Here's how you do that. Go up to the Select menu; choose the Save Selection command. Here, inside the Save Selection dialog box, change the Document setting to Lightning comp, which is the image that we are working on, and change the Channel setting from New, to hand drawn Mask. Then click OK; that's all you do. If you want to make sure everything worked, then switch back to that Lightning comp.psd image, and you will see that the active layer now has a layer mask assigned to it. All right. Now let's switch back to the Smart Object, and close it. And here's the thing: because we made a temporary modification that we don't need, we don't actually want to save these changes.

So click the No button here on the PC, or the Don't save button on the Mac, and that will return you to the composition in progress. So the result is an accurately masked neon effect. But in masking the letters, we've also managed to mask away the neon outside of the letters. We've also masked into the perimeter outlines a little too tightly. I will show you how to resolve both those issues in the next exercise.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D Type Effects
Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One: 3D Type Effects

75 video lessons · 11382 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      2m 25s
  2. 47m 32s
    1. Making thriller/chiller type
      4m 14s
    2. Creating a slanted incline
      2m 54s
    3. Smearing colors across letters
      5m 21s
    4. Casting and catching light
      4m 9s
    5. Masking away shadow errors
      4m 35s
    6. Creating drop-and-splatter effects
      6m 16s
    7. Color-correcting 3D in Camera Raw
      4m 11s
    8. Placing Camera Raw and raster art
      5m 56s
    9. Mastering register and knockout
      7m 8s
    10. Combining layer mask and density
      2m 48s
  3. 41m 44s
    1. Making hand-drawn type in 3D
      3m 44s
    2. Tracing letters with filters
      3m 55s
    3. Restoring missing outlines
      3m 46s
    4. Tracing a photographic background
      4m 32s
    5. Separating letters from the extruded sides
      4m 28s
    6. Turning a cartoon into "glory type"
      3m 25s
    7. Making a hand-drawn neon effect
      5m 1s
    8. Changing glow, mask, and color
      3m 35s
    9. Modifying your hand-drawn 3D text
      6m 6s
    10. Updating static layers and masks
      3m 12s
  4. 54m 24s
    1. Making cable-length I-beam extrusions
      5m 37s
    2. Similarly extruding other type layers
      3m 29s
    3. Rotating, positioning, and scaling words
      6m 33s
    4. Removing one texture and creating another
      6m 47s
    5. Dressing up the cable-length I-beams
      4m 8s
    6. Precisely masking your 3D letters
      4m 32s
    7. Brightening the faces of your letters
      5m 47s
    8. Masking the extruded sides
      5m 56s
    9. Painting in a 3D smoke effect
      6m 55s
    10. Knocking out the excess smoke
      4m 40s
  5. 1h 5m
    1. Establishing a worthy grunge background
      3m 53s
    2. Assigning a bevel with a custom contour
      3m 53s
    3. Matching 3D type to a photographic scene
      6m 22s
    4. Lifting masks from plain 3D letters
      4m 48s
    5. Assigning a rusting grunge-metal material
      5m 26s
    6. Creating matching faux-gold bevels
      5m 36s
    7. Tracing the faces of your letters
      4m 19s
    8. Painting in the back-alley slime trails
      8m 7s
    9. Simulating heavy-duty 3D wires
      4m 50s
    10. Adding a crack to any letter
      7m 1s
    11. Lighting a background to match your type
      5m 23s
    12. Post-processing type in Camera Raw
      6m 15s
  6. 35m 24s
    1. Making a 3D pillow inflation
      3m 59s
    2. "Fluffing up" the letters
      3m 55s
    3. Masking and lighting the 3D type
      4m 1s
    4. Casting colorful ground-plane shadows
      4m 46s
    5. Assigning materials and bump maps
      4m 9s
    6. Removing seams from a bump map
      7m 1s
    7. Simulating worn fabric with Soft Noise
      4m 7s
    8. Resolving last-minute lighting issues
      3m 26s
  7. 55m 41s
    1. Making blocky comic-book-style type
      3m 53s
    2. Scaling depth-map bumps
      3m 19s
    3. Using the built-in shadow catcher
      2m 31s
    4. Opening an ACR image from Photoshop
      5m 19s
    5. Tracing and shading the blocks
      4m 42s
    6. Masking block letters with the Magic Wand
      5m 51s
    7. Adding graphic effects to the background
      4m 11s
    8. Masking the base of the letterforms
      7m 12s
    9. Tracing halos around the letter backs
      5m 57s
    10. Creating a circuit board pattern
      5m 7s
    11. Making a complex pattern glow
      4m 49s
    12. Adding bright 2D shadow type
      2m 50s
  8. 47m 38s
    1. Prepping ACR and Illustrator objects
      3m 55s
    2. Reconciling multiple vector constraints
      5m 19s
    3. Fixing the type onto the tree
      2m 42s
    4. Creating a sunken extrusion
      5m 39s
    5. Combining blending modes and diffuse texture
      3m 59s
    6. Bending 3D text as a Smart Object
      4m 25s
    7. Enhancing carved type with Smart Filters
      3m 6s
    8. Masking away the forward extrusions
      3m 54s
    9. Duplicating the carving up the tree
      6m 45s
    10. Masking the many bits of exposed wood
      4m 21s
    11. Dyeing the inside of the hearts red
      3m 33s
  9. 40s
    1. See ya
      40s

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