How To Create Glowing Neon Text with GIMP

How To Create Glowing Neon Text with GIMP 1024 602 Nick Saporito

In today’s tutorial I’ll be demonstrating how to create glowing neon text using GIMP. The following is a brief outline of the steps taken. For complete step-by-step instructions with voice narration please refer to the video tutorial at the top of the post.

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Creating Neon Text

First we’re going to create some white text on a black background. The font I used for this tutorial is Orbitron, but you can use whatever font you’d like.

Step 1

Next we’re going to give the text a white outline using the Stroke Selection function.

Step 2

Now we’re going to apply a black layer mask and use a soft brush to selectively make certain areas of the outline brighter than others.

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Step 3

Once that’s done we will create 2 additional copies of this layer (so 3 of them in total.) We will leave the top copy as it is, but we will take the middle copy and give it a Gaussian blur of 2.5 and set the opacity of the layer to 80%. Then we will do the same with the bottom copy, only the blur will be 5 and the opacity 60%.

Step 4

Now create a new layer on top of everything and paint some blotches over the brighter areas of the outline.

Step 5

Set the layer mode to soft light. This will make the brighter areas of the text glow a bit more.

Step 6

Now create a new layer on top of everything and randomly paint blue and pink blotches over the text, then blur the layer so that the colors all mesh together fluidly.

Step 7

Now set the layer mode to HSL color. This will make the text take on the colors of the pink and blue blur.

Step 8

The final step is to use color curves to make the background a little more gray and adjust the blue channel to add a slight touch of blue.

Finished neon text

And with that we are done! We have successfully created a glowing neon text effect with GIMP.

If you have any questions or run into any problems simply leave a comment below. As always, thanks for watching!

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Nick Saporito

Designer, content creator, and the founder of — an educational media platform for learning about graphic design.

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