How to make monochrome green monitor screen text glow?

How do I make the text on a monochrome green computer CRT monitor glow like it did in the olden days?

I added some glow effects but I don't know what settings to use and I'm probably not even using the right shade of green.

It's to make a custom animated boot screen because I've always wanted one.



  • Take a look at this tutorial. Half of it is grading for a classic monitor look.

    If in Express you won't have TV damage or Scan Lines without the correct add-on packs, but, you'll have Grid. Make a grid where both control points are off-screen but set up in a way where you have black horizontal lines. Set the Grid's blend to Multiply. 

  • Thanks.I actually did watch that tutorial already and I'd love to be able to emulate the glow but I can't.

    I'm not sure that the grid is a useful look in my case though. I think ECG machines might have grids to measure the time and voltage like an oscilloscope but I don't think they're present on normal monochrome screens.

    I have the scan lines and two glow effects added but these can't make the text look the same as that nice neon path.

  • For an old green CRT scan lines and glow should do it. Try sticking the scan lines directly on the text layer, and the glow after it. Your "outer" glow probably only needs to be about 10-20 px and your "inner" glow probably only about 5-10 px. 

    I was suggesting the Grid filter as a way to roll your own scan lines if you didn't have the correct add-ons. 

    Now if you watch old movies/TV shows where they show green monitors, there's not much glow bleed. Also the resolution of an 80's monitor was probably 640x480. 

  • edited September 2017

    Thanks! I was using massive glow radii in a misguided attempt to increase the glow but bringing them down to your suggestions achieved the effect I was trying to achieve. <3

    I'm already using the perspective warp effect but I don't think it can do what I want which sounds like a pretty important thing for a perspective tool. Is it possible to change the perspective so that the left of the text is stretched slightly taller than the right of the text? The monitor is at an angle so the left is closer to the viewer and should appear slightly bigger.

    Edit: it seems like  Quad Warp is what I want but it's not an intuitive tool and I can't find a how-to for it. I'd like to be able to drag the image to the shape I want but instead it seems like I'm expected to calculate the change I need based on what the change would be if the layer was a full screen and then manually input those numbers.

  • Perspective warp could probably do it. Quad Warp is easier. 

    Quad Warp basically sets a position for each corner then adjusts to fit. You can directly manipulate the positions or parent corners to Point Layers in the filter. It's not too hard, and you'll get it. 

  • edited September 2017

    I see if I zoom out that there are control points to move around on the outside corners of the frame. Wouldn't it make more sense if they were positioned at the corners of the layer? I need to be zoomed out to manipulate the corners and I need to be zoomed in to see what effect I'm having. I think this is only intuitive if the layer you're adjusting is a full frame in size (i.e. 1920x1080).

  • edited September 2017

    I move the bottom left corner directly down and the text moves towards the right? What the heck is that about? I expected the right of the text to stay exactly where it is and the bottom left of the text to move down. This tool is kind of unusable :(

    Edit: I managed to achieve what I wanted anyway. It's not helpful that I have to reposition the text layer after each attempt to keep on the screen. I need to keep it on the screen to guide subsequent adjustments.

  • Move the text layer into a 640x480 comp shot along with its lines and glows. 

    Using that as the Source layer will force the text into the correct position and make it a simple matter of putting points at the monitor corners. 

  • Oh thanks, Triem!

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