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rp
creating a neon sign
by
on Jun 24, 2005 at 5:37:23 pm

hello-
i need to create a blinking neon bar sing for some footage. i am assuming the first step is to create the neon sign in photoshop and worry about making it blink or move when i drag it into AE.
any suggestion on how to create neon signage?
thanks
rp


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eamon
Re: creating a neon sign
on Jun 25, 2005 at 6:23:53 am

1. Create the shape of the neon sign first. Either by using an existant font or freehand draw it.
2. Double click the layer in the layer window. Be sure to double click to the right of the name someplace. This brings up the Style settings for that particular layer.
3. Adjust the layer's fill opacity to 0%
4. Add a Bevel to the sign by clicking the checkbox. You want to make the shape look almost tubelike. By default your sign should look bubblish. Tweak the settings until it looks like a neon sign that is OFF.
5. Duplicate the layer (You can either click the layer and drag it onto the create new layer button in the layer window. Or you can just go to Layer -> Duplicate Layer..
6. You should remove all of the layer style settings at this point. Right click the layer style icon on the layer in the layer window (it looks like an F) and then go to Clear Layer Style.
7. Double click the layer again to bring up the Layer Style window.
8. Add a Color Overlay to the layer. Select the color you want the sign to be. I suggest using a bright primary color.
9. Add a Drop Shadow to the layer. By default it sets the layer settings to multiply. Switch this to either Normal or Color Dodge.

You should now have your on/off neon sign images. Save the file as a PSD and then import the file into After Effects as a composition. Open comp, set opacity keyframes for flicker effect then copy past flicker keyframes every couple seconds to taste.

That should get you up and running.

ESP Team


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rp
Re: creating a neon sign
by
on Jun 25, 2005 at 2:07:08 pm

thank you for the great reply- i'll get started on it today.
thanks again
rp


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eamon
Re: creating a neon sign
on Jun 25, 2005 at 9:18:15 pm

no problem good luck :-)

ESP Team


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rp
Re: creating a neon sign
by
on Jun 26, 2005 at 2:09:27 pm

hello again,
gave your excellent instructions a try- but i am unable to achieve what i'm going for. of the several tutroials i have now dug up online- yours attacks the very problem i am dealing with- but i still am unable to nail this thing.
when looking at photos of actual neon signs- the first thing- is that the colored light source (the tube) is always much lighter than the glow cast. every tutorial i've read fails to attack that- which is the very thing your eye reads as "real".
i've found some great "neon" font- that will lend itself to the text problem- but again- it's making the font appear tubular-3d.
using your tutorial i was able to get a more "raised" appearance- but i failed after that.
here's a link for actual signage-
http://gocalifornia.about.com/bl_abqnphoto_mont.htm
great stuff on this sight-
but you can see what i mean- the bright tube- against the cut out background with a glow.
anyway- if you have anymore advice- i'd greatly appreciate it.
thanks again
rp


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rp
Re: creating a neon sign
by
on Jun 26, 2005 at 4:21:17 pm

hello-
triumphant. went at this thing as if i were actually physically constructing it- and i have a fairly believeavle first effort! when i take this into the actual video footage i'll have to force the perspective with the coupld shots- and i'll flicker the opacity/brightness very slightly to help the ilusion- but i think i have it.
thanks again- your reply was extremely helpful and really focused in on what i was sensing but hadn't put my finger on yet!
rp


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