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The Neon Effect

Highlighting text with a bright neon effect is a great way to grab attention. The effect consists solely of different color outlines that have been blended together. The following steps show how to create this effect.

To create the neon effect:

1.
Create some artistic text and change it to a favorite font in a large point size (Figure 12.47). Zoom as necessary to see the text clearly (200–400 percent, for example).

Figure 12.47. We'll use 72-point Harlow Solid Italic as the font.


2.
Change the text fill color to red by left-clicking Red in the color palette.

3.
Convert the text to curves (Figure 12.48) by pressing or choosing Arrange > Convert To Curves.

Figure 12.48. After conversion, the artistic text has dozens of nodes that follow the curves.


4.
Select the Outline Pen Dialog from the Outline Tool flyout menu or press .

5.
As shown in Figure 12.49, set the following options:

  • Set the Width to 0.056 inches.

  • Change the Color to Red.

  • In the Corners section, select the rounded corner.

  • In the Line caps section, select the rounded cap.

  • Check the Scale with image check box.

    Figure 12.49. Set these outline properties for the copy of the text object.


6.
Click OK to dismiss the dialog box (Figure 12.50).

Figure 12.50. This is what the original text looks like after changing its outline properties.


7.
With the text object selected, press or choose Edit > Copy.

A copy of the text object is transferred to the Clipboard.

8.
Press or choose Edit > Paste.

A copy of the text object is pasted directly on top of the original.

9.
On the color palette, left-click the color well with the X in it to remove the fill color from the copy.

10.
Open the Outline Pen dialog box and set the following options:

  • Set Color to White.

  • Set Width to 0.014 inches.

11.
Click OK to close the dialog box (Figure 12.51).

Figure 12.51. This is what the copy looks like after changing its outline properties. The original text shows through from beneath.


12.
Select the Interactive Blend Tool from the Interactive Tool flyout.

13.
Position the pointer over the center of the text objects. Click and drag about one inch to the right, and then release the mouse button.

The outlines of the text objects blend together, creating the neon effect (Figure 12.52).

Figure 12.52. This is what the final version of the text object looks like.



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