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In this tutorial, we will create a neon glow effect in Affinity Photo.
Before you start this tutorial, download the image of the forest used for this tutorial.
First, go to File > Open and select the image you downloaded.
In the Layers Panel, click on the Adjustments icon and select Curves. Take the point on the right side and drag it slightly down to dim the highlights in the image.
Next, grab the Pen Tool from the Tools Panel. Draw an arch (or whatever shape you want) starting from the ground of the forest. In the Swatches panel, make sure the fill color (the white color) is turned off.
With the Pen tool still active, go to the Context toolbar and set the Width of the stroke to 3 pt.
Then, go to the Swatches panel. Select the Stroke and set the color to white. In the Layers panel, label this layer Main Glow.
In the Layers panel, select the Main Glow layer. Press CTRL + J to make a duplicate of it (or right click on the layer and select Duplicate). Then, name the duplicate Inner Glow.
Select the Main Glow layer. Then, select the fx (layers effect) icon in the Layers panel. Click on Outer Glow. Make sure the Blend Mode is on Screen. Then, select the Color and give it the following color #ED17F0 in the RGB Hex Sliders.
Now, go up top to the Filters menu. Then, go to Blur > Gaussian Blur (make sure you select the Main Glow layer before doing this). Set the Radius to 5 px and hit Apply.
In the Layers panel, select the Main Glow layer again. Press CTRL + J to make another duplicate. Then, label it Outer Glow.
Select the Outer Glow layer. Go to the Filters menu. Then, select Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 25 px. Hit Apply.
Next, go to the Layers panel. Select Add Pixel Layer to add a new layer.
With the new pixel layer selected, grab the Paint Brush tool.
Go to the Brushes panel and select the 256 px Round Light Brush from the Basic brushes.
Then, with the pixel layer selected, place a brush mark on both ends of the arch.
After that, grab the Perspective tool from the Tools panel. Select the top left point and drag it down and slightly to the right.
Next, go to the Filters menu select Blur > Gaussian Blur. Then, set the Radius to 25 px. This will diffuse some of the glow that we created for these dots.
In the Layers panel, go to the Adjustments icon and select the Gradient Map adjustment.
When the adjustment appears, select the green color stop. Next, click the Delete beside Reverse. Then, select the blue color stop. Go to Color and RGB Hex Sliders. Set this color to our pink glow color #ED17F0. Now, select the red color stop. Go to Color and set it to the following color #330333.
In the Layers panel, drag the Gradient Map adjustment above the original image.
With the Gradient Map still selected, set the Blend Mode of this layer to Screen. Then, lower the Opacity to 40%.
Now, go to the Layers panel and select Add Pixel Layer. Then, grab the Paint Brush tool from the Tools panel.
With the Paint Brush tool activated, go to the Context toolbar and lower the Opacity of the brush to 30%. Next, increase the Flow to 100%.
Now, make sure you have the pixel layer selected. Then, paint around the bottom of the arch area.
With the painted pixel layer selected, go to the Filters menu. Select Blur > Gaussian Blur. Then, increase the Radius to 100 px.
Select the pixel layer. Next, go to the Filters menu and click Lighting. Set the lighting to the properties you see in the video.
Finally, go to the Layers panel and lower the Opacity of this pixel layer to 70%.
If you wanted to change the color of the glows in your neon glow effect, go the Layers panel. Select all the glow layers. Then, press CTRL + G to group the selected layers (or right click on the selection and select Group).
Next, click the Adjustments icon and select the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminosity) adjustments.
Then, slide the Hue Shift slider towards your desired color. This will also change the overall image since it’s at the top of all the layers.
Congratulations, you’ve created a neon glow effect in Affinity Photo! For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this tutorial on how to create a rain effect.