Tutorial: Fire Effect on Images

When you want to create a fire effect on a colored image, your have found yourself the right tutorial! Here I will show you how you can apply my smoke and layer styles combination to a colored image. I will use Affinity Photo for this tutorial, but the same process can be done in photoshop.

We will use the following image from Pixabay for this tutorial. Thanks to SuperFerFilm for providing such cute images for free.
https://pixabay.com/photos/portrait-beautiful-model-young-3501987/

She is already hot, but that doesn’t mean we can’t set her on fire! 🙂

Step 1: Paint Smoke

Create a new layer and paint some smoke so it will wrap around the person or object you want to set on fire:

Not sure if she is actually smoking, but who cares.

Step 2: Add Fire Style

Now create a black layer below the smoke layer, and add the fire style as described here. You can as well download the styles from here.

Oh no! the cute face vanished!

Step 3: Group and Screen Mode

Now we will use a little trick that can be useful wherever you need to use multiple blending modes for the same layer.

  1. Create a new group.
  2. Move the fire and black layer into the group.
  3. Change the blending mode of the group to “Screen”.
Yay she’s back!

Step 4: Opacity and Masking

To make the whole thing more realistic and merge with the photo do the following:

  1. Change the opacity of the group to 80% or any other value so it looks good on the image you are using.
  2. Add a layer mask and use a soft brush with an opacity of around 20-30% to hide some of the smoke that doesn’t blend in that well.
  3. You can as well remove some of the smoke on your fire layer and add other layers to fit your image better. I did that on the left side of the face, because the smoke I used there was not fitting so well.
Such an adorable woman with 1000 degrees fahrenheit that will make you melt.

Step 5: Adjustments

Now to match the colors of the image with the fire, I use “Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Color Balance” to create a new layer right above the original image, and tweak the colors a bit to get a glow that matches the fire. In this case the image already was a really good base for the effect, other images might benefit much more from this adjustment.

She almost looks the same, but it’s a crucial detail.

Also I use “Layer >> New Adjustment Layer >> Brightness/Contrast” to give a bit more life to the whole image:

So shiny!

Step 6: Add Details

If you want you can decorate your fire effect like explained here. I used my dust brushes to add some sparks to this design:

Super hot and sparkling!

The Final Result

Here is my final result. If you like this tutorial, feel free to support me by sharing it with your friends. You can use the share buttons below this post.

Now thats a burning lady for you. 🙂

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Ed Switzer says: