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How to Create a Neon Text Effect in Procreate
  • By Design Bundles
  • 03 Jul 2021
  • 13 Mins
  • Procreate Tutorials

How to Create a Neon Text Effect in Procreate

In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn how to create a Neon Effect in Procreate.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to create a neon text effect in Procreate. This is a fun way to make your text stand out for your creative projects. We will be adding the effect to a background to create a retro style design.

We will be using a monoline script font by Nasristudio and a Brick wall background from this Brick wall mock-up. We have already imported our font into Procreate. If you need more information, check out our guide on how to import and use fonts in Procreate.

There are two ways of achieving the neon glow effect. You can use the Gaussian Blur on duplicate layers or apply the Bloom effect directly to your layer. We will explore both.

Create the background for Neon Text Effect

We will begin by creating our background for the Neon Text Effect.

Step 1: Add the background to new document

First, create a new Canvas using the size and resolution that you prefer. If you are planning to share it on Instagram use a 4:5 ratio or 1080 x 1350 px @72 dpi. If you want to print the design, make the resolution 300 dpi.

Custom canvas in Procreate

Make sure that the background color is black. If you want you can use that as the background layer.

Background color in Procreate

Import your brick wall background by going to Actions > Add > Insert a File. If you need to locate your file tap on Browse.

Import background image in Procreate

Step 2: Add a vignette to the background

Select the brick wall layer, go to the Adjustments panel, which is the magic wand icon on the top left corner. Open up the Hue, Saturation, Brightness panel.

Hue, saturation, brightness in Procreate

Use the following values: Hue 50%, Saturation 15%, Brightness 50%

Hue, saturation, brightness values in Procreate

Create a new layer, fill it with black by dragging the color from the top right corner onto the screen.

Select a large and soft brush on the Eraser panel. Now slowly erase some color in the center of the canvas to reveal the brick wall and create a vignette.

Eraser brush in Procreate

Click on the small N on its thumbnail and lower the Opacity to about 90%.

Lower layer opacity in Procreate

Your image should look similar to the one below.

Vignette in Procreate

Step 3: Add your text

Use the font you chose and type your text. We want to edit the text by filling it with white and adjusting size etc as needed. You can also write your text with a Monoline brush if you prefer.

Once you are happy with your text, tap on the layer thumbnail and click Rasterize to flatten it.

Rasterize layer in Procreate

Now we will show you how to add the neon text effect in two ways. The colors used for both processes need to be bright and saturated. You can import a color palette. You can also use an image as a reference then sample the colors from it. Alternatively, use the color wheel to create them.

Create a Neon Text Effect using Gaussian Blur

In this example, we are using duplicate layers and the Gaussian blur effect to achieve the neon glow.

Step 1: Create the text duplicates

Duplicate your text layer 4 times. Name the layers starting from the bottom, Shadows, Light Glow, Dark Glow, and the top one White.

Duplicate layer in Procreate

Step 2: Color your text layers

Add Alpha Lock to your text layers by swiping on the right with two fingers. You can also just tap on the thumbnail image and select Alpha Lock. This means any actions applied to that layer will only affect that layer. It will make adding color to text much easier.

Alpha lock in Procreate

Once the layers are in Alpha Lock, select the color you want to use for the text. Click on the thumbnail and select fill layer.

Fill layer in Procreate

Once again drag the black color from the top right and use for the Shadows layer.

Fill alpha locked layer in Procreate

Fill the Light Glow layer with your chosen color. Remember, this will be the main neon color for the effect.

Add neon color in Procreate

Then, use a brighter shade of the same color for the Dark Glow layer.

Add lighter neon color in Procreate

Step 3: Create the neon glow using Gaussian blur

To apply the Gaussian Blur, you need to turn off the Alpha Lock.

Select the Light Glow layer, go to the Adjustment panel (magic wand icon) and choose Gaussian Blur.

Gaussian blur in Procreate

Move the slider to about 10%. You need to create a diffused glow.

Gaussian blur values in Procreate

Select the Dark Glow layer and this time use a lower Gaussian Blur value (around 3 or 4%).This time you should have a darker, more defined glow.

Gaussian blur values in Procreate

Once you are happy, merge both layers by pinching their thumbnails.

Merge layers in Procreate

Create a duplicate of the result a couple of times to magnify the neon glow.

Duplicate layers in Procreate

Now, select the White text layer, click on the small N on its thumbnail and change the Blend mode to Soft Light.

Soft light in Procreate

If you need to resize or rotate the text, first select all of your text layers.

Select multiple layers in Procreate

Using the Selection tool at the top, resize and/or rotate the text.

Rotate selection in Procreate

Step 4: Add shadows and light

For the shadows, select the Shadows layer, then move the text down and to the right a bit.

Move selection in Procreate

Next, apply a Gaussian Blur of about 3 or 4%.

Gaussian blur values in Procreate

For the lights, create a new layer, above the Shadows layer. Rename this layer Lights. Then use a soft brush with the darker neon shade and go around the text to create a larger glow. We used the Soft Brush from the Airbrushing category.

Soft airbrush in Procreate

Click on the small N on its thumbnail and lower the Opacity to about 20%.

Reduce opacity in Procreate

Your text should look similar to the image below.

Neon text effect in Procreate

Create a Neon Text Effect using Bloom

For the second example, we are using the Bloom effect to achieve the neon glow.

Step 1: Add your text

Just as before, use the font you chose and add your text. Alternatively, use a monoline brush and write it out yourself. Then give the text a nice bright color.

With your text layer selected, go to the Adjustment panel, choose Bloom and pick Layer Filters.

Bloom effect in Procreate

In the Bloom panel, modify the settings to what you require. We used the following settings: Bloom 53%, Transition 54, Size 28%, and Burn 57%.

Bloom effect settings in Procreate

You will need to adjust the Bloom effect settings depending on your text and the color you are using. Lighter colors will need fewer adjustments while darker ones will need more tweaking.

Once you are done, tap on the Adjustment icon to commit the effect.

You can add Shadows and/or Lights layers (like those in the first example) to this example, if needed, to create more depth.

Neon text effect in Procreate

If you liked this tutorial, make sure to check out some of our other Procreate tutorials like how to use and import stamps, and duplicate in Procreate.

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