How To Add Neon Text In After Effects


Hey everyone, this is Owen with Motion Array and in this tutorial I’ll be showing you how to create neon text. Alright let’s get started.

How To Add Neon Text In Adobe After Effects

This text has been transcribed from the video for optimal reading

Link To Font:

Project Files Can Be Downloaded HERE

I’ll begin by making a new composition that’s 1920x1080 29.97. Inside the new composition create a new text layer and type the word “Neon” and make the color a light blue. I’m using a free font called Beon (LINK ABOVE) that is perfect for this look. With the text layer selected go to Layer > Pre-compose and name the new composition “Text Comp”. Duplicate the text comp and name the duplicate "Glow 1”. With Glow 1 selected go to Effect > Blur > Fast Box Blur. In the Fast Box Blur settings change the Blur Radius to 3. Change the blending mode of the Glow 1 layer from Normal to Add. This is the first of several glow layers so before duplicating again, parent Glow 1 to the Text Comp. Now duplicate Glow 1 to create a new glow layer (should be called Glow 2). In Glow 2’s Fast Box Blur settings change the Blur Radius to 15. Duplicate the Text Comp layer and rename the duplicate "Stroked Text". With the Stroked Text layer selected go to Layer > Layer Styles > Stroke. Set the size of the stroke to 20 and use the same color as the text for the color. With the Stroked Text layer still selected go to Layer > Pre-compose. Call the new composition “Wide Glow” and check the box for “Move all attributes into the new composition”. On the Wide Glow layer change the blending mode to Lighten and the opacity to 75%. With the Wide Glow layer still selected go to Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. In the Gaussian Blur settings change the Blurriness to 750. Parent the Wide Glow layer to the original Text Comp. Drag the Wide Glow layer below the Text Comp. That wraps up all the glows!

The next step is getting the glass tubing around the letters. Duplicate the Text Comp and name the duplicate “Caustics”. With the Caustics layer selected go to Effect > Simulation > Caustics. In the Caustics settings change the Bottom layer to None. In the Water settings change the Water Surface to the original Text Comp layer, Wave Height to .200, Water Depth to .200, Refractive Index to 1.300, and Surface Opacity to 0. In the Lighting settings change the Light Intensity to 0. Now parent the Caustics layer back to the original Text Comp and drag it below the Text Comp layer but above the Wide Glow. 

To add an animated flicker on we’ll keyframe the opacity of the glow layers. Select all 3 glow layers and pull up their opacity with T on the keyboard. On the Glow 1 layer option + click the stop watch for opacity and use the pick whip to select the Glow 2 opacity. This will create an expression that makes Glow 1’s opacity identical to Glow 2’s. That way we only need to keyframe one of the layers. On the Wide Glow layer do the same thing but add “*.75” to the end of the expression so that the Wide Glow is always 75% of the other glows. At frame 10 set a keyframe on Glow 2’s opacity for 0%. At frame 15 set the opacity to 100%, frame 20 set to 30%, frame 25 set to 100%, frame 30 set to 75%, frame 35 set to 100%. Highlight all the keyframes and apply and Easy Ease. 

The last step is optional but very useful! We’ll be adding a color control so that you can easily change the color of the light. Go to Layer > New > Null Object and call the new null “Color Control”. With the null still selected go to Effect > Expression Controls > Color Control. Now lock the Effect Controls panel so that it stays displayed when we move into other compositions (this way we can pick whip the value). Go into the Wide Glow composition and option + click the stopwatch for the stroke color. Use the pick whip and drag it up to the Color Control value. Now go into the Text Comp composition. Twirl down the text layer. Using the Animate menu go to Fill Color > RGB. Now option + click the stop watch for fill color and use the pick whip to connect it to Color Control value. Go back out to the main composition and you can now change the color of the neon lights with the Color Control layer. 

Now all that’s left is to add a background of your choice and you’re good to go! One more thing I’d like to mention is that this effect can be to anything really, it doesn’t have to be text. All you have to do is drop in the design into the “Text Comp”. Check out this example I made with just a circle and a star with a trim paths on it. 

Well, that concludes this tutorial. I hope you found it helpful, if you did, please give us a thumbs up and if you’d like to see more tutorials please go ahead and subscribe because we’re making new ones all the time.  I hope you guys found it helpful.  If you did, we’ve got lots of other Premiere Pro tutorialsAfter Effects tutorials and filmmaking tutorials!

Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.

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