How to Create a Neon Effect in Adobe Photoshop
BEFORE YOU START
Use these sample images if you’d like, or practice with your own.
STEP 1: DRAW A SHAPE
Using the Pen tool, Larson clicked three points to draw a triangle around the hand. You can draw any shape on your image and, with the new Shape layer selected, click on the Add Layer Style icon from the Layers panel and choose Outer Glow.
STEP 2: CREATE THE GLOW
Experiment with different colors and settings for the Outer Glow. Larson settled on a vivid magenta. Then she set an Inner Glow, changed the Blend Mode to Multiply, and applied the same magenta color.
STEP 3: CONVERT AND MASK
Larson right-clicked on the Shape layer and chose Convert To Smart Object. Then she added a mask to the Shape layer.
STEP 4: HIDE AND REVEAL
Larson wanted to hide the triangle just behind the wrist. To hide parts of your neon shape, set the Brush tool to black, select the mask (the white icon on the layer), and brush to remove those sections. To reverse the effect, simply change the brush color to white and paint on the mask to reveal detail again.
From computer screens to movie marquees, neon design is everywhere—now it’s time for you to design your own and shine bright.
Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.