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Aged Neon

Another small detail that I needed to consider was the fact that these neon tubes were old. Years of glowing to attract customers have had their affect on the brightness of the neon tubes. Their glow is not consistent. There are sections of the tubes where the glows dim as the gases flow through.

The tubes were paths that were stroked with the Paintbrush Tool using a hard-edged tip and a color that was a soft, warm white (Figure 4.8). The brightness of the white created the effect of light being emitted from the tubes. Creating the glow of the lit neon tubes was a matter of applying a few layer styles. Inner Glow gave them the orange haze along the edges. I chose an orange color that was darker than the color of the tubes. It was necessary to change the Blend Mode to Multiply so that the color could be seen (Figure 4.9).

Figure 4.8

Figure 4.8 The tips were paths that were stroked with a warm white.

Figure 4.9

Figure 4.9 The tips were given an edge with the Inner Glow layer style.

Bevel and Emboss gave the tubes their three-dimensional shape by adding a soft shadow along the bottom as well as an additional glow along the tops of the tubes (Figure 4.10).

Figure 4.10

Figure 4.10 The tips were given their roundness with the Bevel and Emboss layer style.

To produce the effect of the fading light, in a separate layer, the paths that were used to create the tubes were stroked once more with a soft-edged brush using a bright white color (Figure 4.11).

Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11 The tips were stroked in a new layer using a soft, white brush.

This stroke was erased in certain areas to make it appear as if the light was brighter in some spots and less bright in others (Figure 4.12). The end result was a neon that had uneven brightness, as shown in Figure 4.13.

Figure 4.12

Figure 4.12 The soft lines were erased in certain areas to simulate bright spots in the tubes.

Figure 4.13

Figure 4.13 The final tubes with the uneven light flowing through.

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