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I want to achieve this sort of an effect on my own. As you can see, there's sort of a non uniform glow (in terms of color) to the text. Simply using the gradient option in the Outer Glow blending option makes the gradient appear from outside the letters to further beyond them. I'm looking for it to appear horizontally as the text continues. I'm using Photoshop CS5. Any tips?

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3 Answers

To keep some level of editability, you could do one of the following.


First one requires black background and white text:

  1. Use about 50% grey color as the outer glow for the text ( #7f7f7f ). enter image description here enter image description here
  2. Make a new layer and use Soft round brush ( Round brush with 0 hardness ) to draw lines of different colors going across the text ( It doesn't really matter if you put the color stripes in two or more layers, you just need to do list item #3 to all color layers individually ). enter image description here
  3. Change blending mode of the color layer(s) to Overlay enter image description here

When you do it like this, you can i.e. rewrite the text and the colored outer glow will follow ( You might need to use Free transform or just move tool to reposition the colors though. )

This method does not do well if you don't wish to have black background color:

enter image description here



Second one requires only white text. Black background is optional:

  1. Use about 50% grey color as the outer glow for the text ( #7f7f7f ). enter image description here enter image description here
  2. Make the text layer into a smart object ( by right clicking the text and selecting it from the list ). enter image description here
  3. Make a new layer and use Soft round brush ( Round brush with 0 hardness ) to draw lines of different colors going across the text. ( It doesn't really matter if you put the color stripes in two or more layers, you just need to do list item #5 to all color layers individually ). enter image description here
  4. Alt/Option-Click between the color layer and the smart object to create a clipping mask ( Because I have two color layers, I need to repeat this once again between the two color layers ) ( Another way would be to Right click the color layers and choose Create clipping mask ). enter image description here ( This is when you'll really see why the text is changed into a smart object ( as you can see, the glow is colored as well.). )
  5. Change blending mode of the color layer(s) to Overlay. enter image description here

When you do it like this, you can also rewrite the text by for example right clicking the smart object and selecting Edit contentor just double clicking its thumbnail.

This way you need to do a bit more, but the power of this method lies in the fact that you can also change the background color as the following image will show.

enter image description here

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Nice one, Joonas! +1 for a great example of how to use Smart Objects and a detailed visual explanation. Your second example is what answers the question most directly (text not affected, only the glow). –  Alan Gilbertson Sep 22 '12 at 21:09
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There's a few simple ways to do this while maintaining scalability and edibility.

Method one: Shape feather

enter image description here

  • The top layer is just white text.
  • The middle layer is text that's been converted to a shape layer gradient, which also has shape feathering.

This means you can edit the gradient and feathering at any point and it's completely scalable. If you'd like to edit the text, you'll need to dupe and convert it to a shape again. You can convert text layers to shape layers by right clicking on them in the layers panel and choosing Convert to Shape.

Method two: Group layer effects (CS6+ only)

enter image description here

  • The top layer is white text.
  • The group has a gradient overlay on it, to colour the halo.
  • The next layer is just white text, with an outer glow (and/or stroke, drop shadow etc) to suit. I've included a bit of spread, which is possible with this method.

Even easier and more editable. There's a few other methods you could use, but I think these two are the neatest possible for CS5 and CS6.

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  1. Set the text and choose Layer > Layer Style > Outer Glow to apply an outer glow (any color). Just determine the size and blur of the glow.
  2. Once the layer style is set, choose Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer.
  3. This will create a new layer for the outer glow you created.
  4. Command/Ctrl-click that outer glow layer's thumbnail in the Layer's Panel to load the layer transparency as a selection.
  5. Click the Add Mask button at the bottom of the Layers Panel.
  6. Now choose Layer > Layer Style > Gradient Overlay and add the gradient you want.

glow color

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