(Scroll down for the free font i used for this tutorial.)
Install the font by clicking on the .ttf file.
This will open a window with two buttons at the top.
Print and Install. Click on install. This will install the font in your font dir.
Open Photoshop from Adobe, paintshop from Corel or the free program Gimp 2.
As i am a Photoshop user i will use this program for this tutorial.
Open up your favorite picture editor program.
make a new canvas with width 2000 and height 1400.
This should be more than enough for this project.
Make sure that Background Contents is set to black.
Click on Ok.
Now we need to set up some guides.
This will help to center the neon text.
Go to View/New guide...
In the window New guide check Horizontal
And fill in position 700 px
Click on Ok
Do the same for Vertical Position 1000 px
Click on the left side on the T button and start typing your text.
Use for every word its own color and layer.
now save it as neon_text_diffuse.jpg
Now that the text is done we need to make a opacity picture.
Select all the text layers and make the text white and save it as neon_text_opacity.jpg
Open Daz Studio or Poser. (I asume that you are familier with Daz Studio or Poser, so i will not explane in detail the setup)
create a new plane primitive 1 meter
Rotate it on the X axis 90%
Scale it on the X axis 200%
And bring it up on the Y axis.
Go to surfaces and in diffuse load neon_text_diffuse.jpg and give it 100%
Go to Opacity and load neon_text_opacity.jpg and give it 100%
Create a second plane primitive 5 meter
Rotate it on the X axis 90%
Give it a nice stonewall diffuse and bumpmap texture.
Create a camera.
Now open up Reality and chose the first plane.
As you can see, Reality did all the settings for you.
In modifiers tab give it a bumpmap, you can use the neon_text_opacity.jpg as bumpmap. (You can click on the gear menu and select "Use Existing...")
Give it a displacement map
Select Light Emission and choose neon_text_opacity.jpg (You can click on the gear menu and select "Use Existing...")
With subdivision of one (1)
(if you do not give it a displacement, it will only emit light to the front (maybe the guys responsible for Luxrender have to take a look at this))
Now it is time to render.
Set Kernel to linear in Luxrender and play around with the settings.
If al go wel you should end up with something like this.
This is a simple way to use Neon signs at a distance.
Here a example from excessive use of neon in the distance.
And still keeping the mood (film noir) in the movie
copyright 2007 The Blade Runner Partnership
For close up Neon i advice to use a 3D program like Max3D, Lightwave or Blender.
All these programs can make 3D objects from text and let you choose your own font. Export them as .OBJ file and import them
Here is the Neon font used
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