Photo to Neon Drawing with AKVIS Neon: How It Works

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Tutorial: AKVIS Neon

How To Use The Program


AKVIS Neon lets you transform a photo into a neon drawing using glow lines effects. The software is available as a standalone program and as a plugin filter for Photoshop and other editors.

To add a neon effect to your image, follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Open an image.

    - If you work with the standalone edition:

    The dialog box Select File to Open appears if you double-click on the empty workspace of the program or if you click on . Use the hot-keys: Ctrl+O on Windows, +O on Mac. You can also drag the required image into the workspace of the program.
    The standalone program supports JPEG, RAW, PNG, BMP, and TIFF file formats.

    - If you work with the plugin:

    Open an image in your photo editor by calling the command File -> Open.

    Call the plugin from the menu of the editor:

    in AliveColors - Effects -> AKVIS -> Neon;
    in Adobe Photoshop - Filter -> AKVIS -> Neon;
    in Corel PaintShop Pro - Effects –> Plugins -> AKVIS –> Neon;
    in Corel Photo-Paint - Effects -> AKVIS -> Neon.

    The first time the program is opened it will be in Express mode, with a simplified interface and a minimal set of sliders, which help to quickly obtain a satisfactory result.

    AKVIS Neon window (Express)
    AKVIS Neon window (Express)

    Experienced users who are familiar with the capabilities of AKVIS Neon can switch to Advanced mode. Switch to this mode by clicking the Advanced button: the interface's appearance will change, granting access to the full functionality of the program.

    Note: All parameters work in Express mode as well; some are hidden and the program uses values of a chosen preset.

    AKVIS Neon window (Advanced)
    AKVIS Neon window (Advanced)
  • Step 2. In the standalone version, before applying the neon effect, you can cut off unwanted areas of the picture and improve its composition with the Crop tool .
    If you use the plugin, you can do this in your image editor.

    Crop Image in Neon
    Crop Tool
  • Step 3. Adjust the effect settings in the Image tab. You can choose one of the presets or set the parameters to your liking.

    The result will be immediately shown in the quick preview window which is visible in the Before tab if the button in the Toolbar is pressed.

    Neon Drawing Effect in Preview Window
    Preview Window
  • Step 4. Press the button to process the entire image. To interrupt the process, you can click on the Cancel button right to the progress bar.
  • Step 5. To make your neon drawing even more impressive, you can use the Decoration options: adjust the canvas, apply a frame, and add text to your image.

    Hint: The order of the application of Canvas/Frame/Text depends on the position of the tabs. Drag the tabs to change the order.

    Neon Drawing on Canvas with Inscription
    Neon Image + Canvas + Text
  • Step 6. If you like your new settings, you can save them as a Preset and use them later. Type a name for the preset into the Presets field and press Save. When a new preset is created, it will be available in all tabs and will contain their settings.
  • Step 7. You can put the finishing touches to your image with the post-processing tools: Smudge , History Brush , Lighten , and Darken , available under the Home Deluxe and Business licenses, in the After tab.

      Attention! Use these tools at the final step. If you run the processing again, the changes made with the tools will be lost!

  • Step 8. Share your image by clicking on . It opens the list of the services where you can publish the image: Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Google+.

    In the standalone version, you can also print your picture with .

  • Step 9. Save the processed image.

    - If you work with the standalone edition:

    Click on to open the Save As dialog box. You can use the hot-keys: Ctrl+S on Windows, +S on Mac. Enter a name for the file, choose the format (TIFF, BMP, JPEG or PNG) and indicate the target folder.

    - If you work with the plugin:

    Press the button to apply the result and close the plugin window. The AKVIS Neon plugin will close and the picture will appear in the workspace of the photo editor.

    Call the Save As dialog box using the command File -> Save As, enter a name for the file, choose the format and indicate the target folder.

    Neon Effect on Photo
    Neon Effect on Photo
How It Works How It Works
   — Workspace — Workspace
   — Using the Program — Using the Program
   — Effect Parameters — Effect Parameters
   — Tools — Tools
   — Canvas — Canvas
   — Frame — Frame
   — Text — Text
   — Presets — Presets
   — Preferences — Preferences
   — Batch Processing — Batch Processing
Examples Examples
   — Magical Deer — Magical Deer
   — Illusion: Psychedelic Portrait — Illusion: Psychedelic Portrait
   — Christmas & New Year Card — Christmas & New Year Card
   — Neon Comic Book Style Poster — Neon Comic Book Style Poster
   — Neon Gallery — Neon Gallery


Neon v. 3.0 - Free 10-day Trial    Download


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