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In this Adobe Illustrator CS3 tutorial, learn how to apply a neon glow effect to text or other objects.
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How to Create a Neon Glow in Illustrator CS3
One effect that I really like to apply in Adobe Illustrator is to apply a neon glow to an object.
To do this I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to create my object and this works best on any close path objects. I want to go ahead and draw a star and I’m going to keep the fill on white and I’m going to change the stroke to black and I’m going to go ahead and draw my star and I want to move it.
So what I want to do now is I want to create a series of strokes so I can have that neon glow. So to do this I need to go ahead and go to window and then to appearance and you could see that I have my fill layer and then I have my first stroke layer. I want to actually create four more stroke layers so I have five in all stroke layers. So I’m going to go ahead and select that stroke layer so it’s highlighted and then click this duplicate button four times. So I’m going to make this a little bit there, I have four strokes now. So the last stroke, the one on the bottom, I want to go ahead and I want to make this a deep red color. This is going to be my first stroke color. So I’m going to go ahead and with this selected, I’m going to go out in my stroke, I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to make a red color.
And I’m also going to change the size. I’m going to make this 20%. So I’m going to make it a fix stroke. Go ahead and click on the next stroke layer and it goes ahead and it applies it and I’m going to change this to a dark orange color. And I’m going to change this stroke to 20% as well. Actually I’m going to change this to—let’s change it to 16%. We’re going to decrease them little by little.
The next layer, I’m going to go ahead and I’m going to choose a lighter orange color and I’m going to change this to 13%. The next one I’m going to choose even—actually I’m going to go ahead and choose yellow color and I’m going to change this to 10%. Notice I’m going down on each time. And then my last stroke layer I’m going to actually set this to white and I’m going to do a stroke of just 6%. Okay, now you can see we have a neon looking layer here.
So what we’re going to do next is we’re going to apply a blur to those layers. So go ahead and click on that bottom red layer, go up to effects, go to blur and then go to your Gaussian blur. And go ahead and change the radius so it’s 1.5 pixels. Click on OK and it’s going to go ahead and apply it.
Now go ahead and click on each layer, we’re going to click on the next layer and go to effect and you could go ahead in this first option, you can repeat it. We’re going to do our blur again and we’re going to keep going.
Last one, so I’m going to go ahead and click to unselected and I have a nice neon glow now and you could of course experiment and use whatever colors or shapes you might want to with this.