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AKVIS Neon: Photoshop Plug-in Review

Explore AKVIS Neon, a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop that applies glowing lines effect on pictures.



AKVIS Neon is an Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in that converts your pictures into glowing lines. Once you apply an effect, you can adjust parameters to achieve variations: from blurry and hazy glow to clear and sharp contour lines. Additionally, you can add text, apply canvas textures, and crop pictures as required. AKVIS Neon also provides batch processing options that save time if you are working with multiple pictures.

AKVIS Neon is from AKVIS, a company based in Russia that specializes in graphic programs. Apart from Neon, AKVIS also creates other Photoshop plug-ins like Pastel, OilPoint, AirBrush, Sketch, ArtWork, Refocus, Retoucher, Chameleon, MultiBrush, Enhancer, Decorator, Coloriage, etc.

You can download a free 10 days trial version of Neon from the AKVIS site.

My contact at AKVIS for this review was Kat Kharina, thank you Kat.


How To Use

Once Neon is installed, follow these steps -- or just read along to do a quick walkthrough of Neon.

  1. Launch an image editor such as Adobe Photoshop (where you installed the Neon plug-in) and open any picture.
  2. Choose Filter | AKVIS | Neon, as shown in Figure 1.

    Neon plug-in within the Filter menu
    Figure 1: Neon plug-in within the Filter menu
  3. This opens the image within the AKVIS Neon interface, as you can see in Figure 2.

    AKVIS Neon interface
    Figure 2: AKVIS Neon interface

    The AKVIS Neon interface is explained below -- each area corresponds to an area marked in Figure 2 above:

    1. Buttons: This section provides options to undo/redo, share, import/export presets, start processing the image, and to apply the results to the image. There are also buttons to launch the information dialog, help files, open the AKVIS Neon web page, and the Preferences dialog box.

    2. Tools: Here you can access the following selection tools:

      • Preview Window tool enables you to show/hide the preview window. This is the same preview that you can see within the After window (see point C). Only in this case you see the After Preview in a square frame outlined with a dotted line (marching ants). The size of this frame is 500x500 pixels and can be changed within the Preferences dialog box.

      • Hand to pan the picture within the preview section, especially if it’s zoomed.

      • Zoom is used to zoom in the picture. You can also press the Alt key along with the same option to zoom out.

      There are some post-processing tools also which appear within the After tab, as shown later on this page in Figure 5 (only for the Deluxe/Business version):

      • Smudge is for mixing colors in the picture and removing irregularities.

      • History Brush enables you fade the neon effect and restore the image to its original state.

    3. Preview has two tabs -- Before and After, to show the previews of both the original and changed images.

    4. On the top right, you'll find the Navigator. This also lets you chose the area of the image to be shown in the Preview pane.

    5. Settings Panel has three tabs of settings: Image, Text, and Canvas:

      Within the Image tab you can adjust the settings for neon effect (refer to Figure 2, above).

      The Text tab (see Figure 3, below) enables you to personalize your output by adding a signature, creating a postcard, or inserting a logo/watermark to your image.

      Text tab within the Settings Panel
      Figure 3: Text tab within the Settings Panel

      In the Canvas tab (see Figure 4, below) you can adjust the settings for the canvas, to which the resulting image is applied.

      Canvas tab within the Settings Panel
      Figure 4: Canvas tab within the Settings Panel

    6. The Presets area enables you to save the current settings as a preset to use them in the future. There are 35 ready-to-use presets.
  4. Play with the parameters, or choose from any of the available presets. When you get the results you want, apply the changes to the preview by clicking the Run button that you can see below.

    Run Button
  5. This applies the effect and creates a preview of the changed image in the After tab, as shown in Figure 5.

    Preview the changes
    Figure 5: Preview the changes
  6. Once you’re happy with the preview, apply the result to the image by clicking the Apply button, shown below to return to the image editor.

     Apply Button
Here are some Before and After samples created using AKVIS Neon:

Before    After

Before    After

Before    After



Photoshop Versions: Photoshop 6 and higher
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Price: USD $39 and above
Trial Version: Available


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