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I am trying to use Illustrator (CS3) to recreate the Tron neon-glow visual style in graphics I plan to use on a website. This page is an excellent example of what I'm trying to do: http://www.disney.co.uk/tron/html/legacy/synopsis.html

enter image description here

I'm having major problems. I have lines/paths that I'm trying to recreate the glow with, but nothing I do seems to work exactly as I want it. I tried "Outer Glow" and "Gausian Blur," but I cannot recreate the same rich, brilliant blue glow you see in Tron and their website above...everything winds up looking very dull, no matter how I try to adjust/lighten the color. What am I missing? Any help would be appreciated...thanks!

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It would be good if you could show us where you are, how far in the process you are. –  Benteh Mar 21 '14 at 15:57
"What am I missing?" Can you provide a sample crop so we can see what's missing. {possible duplicate of boblet's comment above} –  horatio Mar 21 '14 at 15:57
Could you post your attempt as well? Also I see you tagged Illustrator. Did you attempt in Illustrator or Photoshop? –  Ryan Mar 21 '14 at 15:57
Are you working with an RGB or CMYK document? –  Scott Mar 21 '14 at 15:57
vectorboom.com/load/text_effect/… –  Ilan Mar 21 '14 at 15:59

1 Answer 1

A visual effect, whether in Ai or Ps, isn't always attainable by applying effects to a single layer, far less a single object. The richness of the feature sets we have available in these programs can lead you down a blind alley, trying to achieve everything you want by piling on effects to a single object when, just as in painting, what you need to do is use multiple layers that build to the final effect. This neon appearance is a good example.

It's also worth noting that most transparency effects work better (or work at all, in many cases) in RGB mode. Some, like the glare of a bright background light, even require 32-bit. So the color mode you're working in is important.

The TRON effect uses a bright copy sitting on top of one with a blurred glow effect, but rather than try to explain this, let me refer you to the master, Bert Monroy. He has a tutorial on creating realistic neon lighting that contains all the techniques you need.

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Hello @alan-gilbertson: the webpage you pointed to is in existence...but the video no longer seems to be; it does not load. Is there another location where this tutorial may be? Thanks! –  Superion Mar 24 '14 at 1:02
That's a shame. I've left a note for them. Meanwhile I've added it to my unlisted YouTube channel: [youtube.com/watch?v=ZZAbOua8KXc] –  Alan Gilbertson Mar 24 '14 at 4:45
Looks like the video is back - thanks Alan! –  Rob Craig Mar 24 '14 at 21:03
Hmph...neither of those links work for me (revision3.com/pixelperfect/tubes; youtu.be/ZZAbOua8KXc]). Looks like I'm stuck! –  Superion Mar 25 '14 at 6:32
I replaced the link with the full youtube.com version (rather than youtu.be). It's working. I've no idea why the other gets a 404. –  Alan Gilbertson Mar 25 '14 at 19:14

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