Heat up your images using the Glass Filter in Photoshop

    Heat up your images using the Glass Filter in Photoshop

    You may be surprised at how easy it is to create a realistic look of something that is on fire in Photoshop. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make this exciting effect in just a few easy-to-follow steps.

    Our original shot

    If you want to add more drama and excitement to your images, adding flames can be a good way of achieving this, especially for sports and action shots. Photoshop makes creating this effect easy.

    Flames to be added to our shot

    We begin with our start images of a BMX rider and some flames. The next step is to seamlessly blend the two together, then duplicate and distort the flame image on different layers to build up the effect on the BMX rider. Then we’ll move on to adding smoke using a similar technique.

    Finally, we’ll complete the image by adding a heat haze using the Glass filter – an often overlooked filter that’s perfect for our project here. You’ll learn how to apply the filter to a Smart Object layer so that you can paint the haze onto the image wherever it is needed.

    01 Add Some Flames

    To add the flames image, choose File>Place and select your flame image, then click Place. The flames are added as a Smart Object layer. Use the sizing handles to scale the flames to a smaller size and rotate and drag into position over the rider. Press Enter or click Commit Transform to finish.

    02 Blend The Flames

    Click on the fire layer and, from the Blend Mode drop-down list, select Lighten to blend it. Right-click this layer and choose Duplicate Layer and click OK. Grab the Move tool, drag the flames into position and resize to suit. If desired, hold the Cmd/Ctrl key and drag on a corner of the selection to shear the shape.

    03 Mask The Layer

    Continue to duplicate the layer containing the flames, resize and move them into position until you have built up plenty of fire. To paint out flames if they are in the wrong place, target the layer, click the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel and paint on the mask with black to remove the flames.

    04 Add The Smoke

    To add smoke, choose File>Place, select you smoke image, and click Place. Rotate, size and drag the smoke into position and press Enter. Set the layer’s Blend Mode to Lighten. Click Add Layer Mask and paint on the mask with black to remove any unwanted smoke. Repeat using ‘smoke1.jpg’, ‘smoke2.jpg’ and ‘smoke3.jpg’ to build up the effect.

    05 Add Glass Filter Effect

    Go to the Background layer and select Filter>Convert for Smart Filters. With this layer selected, choose Filter>Filter Gallery and from the Distort group of filters, choose Glass. Set Distortion to 13, Smoothness to 4, Texture to Frosted and Scaling to 57%. Click OK.

    06 Paint On The Haze

    Target the Layer Mask for the Smart Filter layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert it. Set light grey as your foreground colour, select a soft brush and paint the Glass filter effect over the image to suggest heat being emitted by the flames. Finish with a Curves Adjustment Layer to boost the overall image contrast.

    This entry was posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 4:59 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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    | Tutorials | 07/02/2013 16:59pm
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