Neon Text

Neon Text preview

In this Gimp tutorial we’ll create some neon effects in the form of neon lines and neon text, we will actually create two different types of neon text in this tutorial.

FINAL IMAGE PREVIEW

This is what we will be creating:

Neon Text


Step 1

When making neon text the font is very important, you want a round, and somewhat bold font. The font I used is a Ray Larabie font called Spongy. It can be found either on 1001fonts.com or on MyFonts.com. (on MyFonts.com you can’t just download it, you actually have to purchase the TTF version for 0.00 dollars.)

Step 2

Create a new image with a black background, size 600×375.

Set your FG color to white, then select the Text tool, set the size to 200 and write “Gimp” in the middle of the image.

write Gimp in the middle of the image

Step 3

Click on Path from Text. (if the button is grayed out, you have to doubleclick on the text layer in the layer dialog first).

Click on Path from text

After you’ve done that you don’t need the text layer any more so just delete it.

Step 4

Doubleclick on the path in the Paths Dialog so it becomes active, then click on Selection from Path. This will give us a selection of the text.

Get selection from path

Step 5

Create a new layer and name it “outer glow”.
We need to make the selection larger, so grow it by 5. (Select->Grow).

Grow selection

Now set your FG color to 5bff00. (bright green).
Use the Bucket Fill tool to fill the selection.

selection filled with green

Get rid of the selection. Select->None.
Next, Gaussian blur the layer by 25. (Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur).
Gaussian blur by 25

Lower the opacity of that layer to 75.

blurred outer glow layer with opacity 75

Step 6

Create a new layer and name it “tube”.
Repeat step 4 to get a selection of the text. (basically just doubleclick on the path, then click on Selection from Path.)

Fill that selection with white (ffffff).

Selection filled with white

Get rid of the selection. Select->None.
Now Gaussian blur it by 2. (Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur)

After that, reduce the opacity of the layer to 75.

tube layer blurred and opacity reduced to 75

Step 7

Create a new layer and name it “inner glow”.
Repeat step 4 to get a selection of the text.

Fill the selection with that bright green we used earlier. (5bff00).

selection filled with green

Shrink the selection by 3. (Select->Shrink)

Shrink selection

Next, feather the selection by 5. (Select->Feather).

Feather selection

Now hit the “delete” button on your keyboard.
Our image should look like this now:

Selction with middle part deleted

Now get rid of the selection. Select->None.
Then give the layer an ordinary blur. (Filters->Blur->Blur).
It should look like this now:

Inner glow layer blurred

Step 8

Now we’re going to create that line underneath the text. Create a new layer and name it “line selection”.
We’re going to create a path consisting of two components, or in other words, a path that is not one continuous line, but two separated lines.

So select the Path tool, and create a path somewhat like in the image below:

first component of path

To create the other component on the path we hold in Shift, and click just to the right of the “p” in “Gimp”, this will create the starting point of the new component:

starting point for second component of path

Now let go of Shift and create the rest of the path normally:

second component of path

Click on Stroke Path.
Set the line width to 10px, and cap style should be set to rounded.

Stroke path with rounded cap style

We should have this now:

Stroked path

Step 9

Choose the Fuzzy Select tool (looks like a magic wand), hold in Shift and click once on each of the two line components, this will create a selection of our line:

Selection of path

Because of some strange way Gimp handles anti aliasing, we have to do a strange workaround to avoid getting jagged edges on our line:

First, go to Select->To Path. This will transform or selection into a path.
Next, get rid of the current selection, Select->None.

Then doubleclick on the path called “Selection” in the Paths Dialog so it becomes active, then click on Selection from Path.

Get the selection from path

Now we have a selection that is properly anti aliased, in other words a selection that will give us smooth edges:

anti aliased selection

Step 10

Delete the layer called “line selection”.

Now that we have a selection to work with, we’re going to do the same as we did when we made the text. So create a new layer and name it “line outer glow”.

Grow the selection by 5. Select->Grow.
Then fill the selection with that green color.

Grow by 5, then fill with green

Now get rid of the selection, Select->None.
Next, Gaussian blur it by 25. (Filters->Blur->Gaussian Blur), and lower the opacity of the layer to 75.

Gaussian blurred layer with reduced opacity

Step 11

Create a new layer and name it “line tube”.

Get the selection from the path by doubleclicking on the path called “Selection” in the Paths Dialog, then click on Selection from Path.

Fill the selection with white, then get rid of the selection. (Select->None.)

Next, Gaussian blur it by 2, and also reduce the opacity of the layer to 75.

Selection filled with white, blurred, and reduced opacity

Step 12

Create a new layer and name it “line inner glow”.

Get the selection from our path. (Doubleclick on the path called “Selection” in the Paths Dialog, then click on Selection from Path.)

Fill the selection with green.
Shrink the selection by 3. (Select->Shrink)
Then feather the selection by 5. (Select->Feather)
Hit the “delete” button on your keyboard.

It should look like this now:

Fill with green, shrink, feather, and delete

Get rid of the selection. (Select->None).
Then give the layer an ordinary blur. (Filters->Blur->Blur).

Our first type of neon is finally finished:

Neon Gimp type 1

Step 13

So how do we make the other type of neon?
Easy, just make the layers called “tube” and “line tube” invisible by clicking on the eye next to them in the Layer Dialog.

Layer Dialog with two invisible layers

The result is this:

Neon Gimp type 2

That’s it, the end of the tutorial, for the final image I placed both types of neon text next to each other:

Neon Glow Effects

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Comments

  1. My Outcome of the GIMP Neon Text Tutorial

    August 21st, 2010

    […] have just followed the GIMP Neon Text Tutorial at mygimptutorial.com. This tutorial teaches how to create a neon like glowing text using GIMP. […]

  2. Muhammad Anas

    August 21st, 2010

    It is one of those few GIMP tutorials that when followed, I was able to create exactly what was promised by the author.
    Thank You very much for such a detailed and well-explained tut. It is really a nice effect.
    I have posted what I was able to create after following this tutorial here:
    http://anas.cz.cc/2010/08/21/my-outcome-of-the-gimp-neon-text-tutorial/
    if you can have a look at it and point out any mistake that I may have made than I shall be very thankful to you!!!!!!

  3. Krissy

    November 8th, 2010

    Thank you for taking the time to make this for beginners like me. It was easy to follow, and I had success in creating the neon effect. PERFECT!

  4. Ravi

    December 24th, 2010

    Thanks a lot for the neon tutorial

  5. Gimpowiec

    January 10th, 2011

    Step by step and good result – very nice tutorial!

  6. Everything starts somewhere… | gimpowiec

    January 10th, 2011

    […] one can be easily done with help of this tutorial : Neon Text . This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← […]

  7. humayun

    September 10th, 2011

    I found it & ppleased am going to try at the earliest.
    Thanks a lot.

  8. Craig

    June 7th, 2012

    I’ve been through quite a few tutorials at this point. The two of yours I’ve done have been the most thorough I’ve seen. Very nice, thank you. By the way, I found using black for the tube layers gives a similar effect as to your second example. I imagine you could use any color and come up some with neat stuff.

  9. mike trainor

    March 22nd, 2013

    Great tutorial. And, it works! As I am new to GIMP, it took a while to get the ideas behind the steps.

    But, I do not get one thing — what does the “delete” do in Step 7, after the
    shrinking and feathering operations are done on the selection? What does it delete?

    Thanks for a fine tutorial and accompanying pictures. Love the detail.

  10. mike trainor

    April 8th, 2013

    I think I have got it. What I did not know was that a bucket fill of a selection colours the chosen pixels, but those pixels stay that way if the selection is altered. So, the delete in Step 7 does not delete the area filled for the inner glow, but only the shrunken area, leaving a “border” inside the original text. It also exposes the lower, ‘tube’ layer and so we have a white area surrounded by the green of the last bucket fill.

    The easiest way to see this is to select a rectangular or elliptical area, bucket fill it, shrink it and then delete it. There should now be a border with the bucket fill colour.

  11. aurelia

    May 31st, 2013

    thanks for the awesome straightforward tutorial! it actually looks real! 🙂

  12. Gimp 16 Logo Tutorial Roundup | Samples

    January 16th, 2014

    […] http://mygimptutorial.com/neon-text […]

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