Create your own brushes in Photoshop: Fireball

Handmade fire effects are an interesting way to add visual energy and emotions to your digital pictures. In this tutorial, I will show you how to safely create, capture in a frame, and use a Fireball brush in Photoshop.

This technique was used to create the Fireball Brush Set, which is available in my profile on the Envato Market website.

1. Source Materials

Materials for making fire effects are surprisingly simple. Besides the fact that these materials are inexpensive, they are also easy to get. There is nothing that would raise your eyebrows when buying in your hardware store – just ordinary household items.

Step 1

Standard materials for creating fire effects:

  • Dry cream
  • A piece of transparent plastic flexible tube
  • Heavy paper or cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Duct tape
  • A candle or some other source of continuous open flame that can be easily adjusted
  • A source of ignition, such as a cigarette lighter or matches.

Step 2

Cut a quarter of a piece of cardboard, and then fold the cut piece of paper not too tightly into a funnel shape. Then, using adhesive tape, fasten the walls of the funnel, and also fix the transparent tube on the end of the funnel.

2. Recreating Fire Effects


This is real fire. It can ignite or ignite objects that may be flammable. Please, be careful! Perform this procedure in a well ventilated area of ​​fire-resistant materials or, even better, outside. The fire extinguisher should always be close, if the situation gets out of control!

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  1. Assistant supervisor, who will monitor the security and in case of a problem can come to the rescue
  2. Fireball Maker
  3. Fire extinguisher
  4. First aid kit
  5. Wet towels / blankets.
  6. The flooring should be fire resistant (asphalt / concrete)
  7. Mobile phone to call for help.
  8. Common sense

The person who will help create the fireballs must be equipped! Before you start creating and using your device, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary clothes. It is necessary for personal safety! If you lack one of the following, DO NOT start using the device. Safety first!


  1. Fireproof gloves
  2. Eye protection glasses
  3. Kevlar face mask to protect the nose, mouth, chin
  4. Special jacket with a hood that will be fastened directly to the chin
  5. Kevlar pants

Step 1

Place the candle on a non-flammable surface against a dark background. A small sheet of metal on a wooden chair fits just fine. Light a candle, let the candle burn so that there is a dense flame.

Step 2

Put some dry cream in the funnel (about 2-3 teaspoons will be enough), and then gently move the funnel to the flame, pointing at it. Blow from the other end of the tube so that the cream will fly into the flame. A cloud of powder will ignite and recreate a fireball!

3. Capture in Frame

Now that we can feel like magicians who can throw a fireball, let’s discuss how to capture the pyrotechnic effect on the camera.

Step 1

Make sure that the room where you create the fire effect is poorly lit. Fireballs should be the main source of light. Try to keep the background dark and clean; because you may have to remove cream splashes from the background. In my opinion, to get good pictures, you need to install the camera on a tripod, and focus the lens on the flame of a candle.

Step 2

You will need an assistant, because One person must shoot the fire effect on the camera, and the second one blow the fire balls.

As for the camera settings, it is very important to shoot in continuous mode in order to capture as many frames of the fireball as possible. Further, the shutter speed plays a huge role in capturing a sharp and clear shot of a fireball. If the shutter speed is too slow, images will appear blurred. Therefore, use high shutter speeds as much as possible, while adjusting the aperture and ISO to correct any problems regarding lighting. In this survey, I used the following settings:

  • Lens aperture (F-stop): f / 4.5
  • Shutter speed: 1/2500 sec
  • ISO: 800

4. Create Brushes

Once you are satisfied with the pictures of the fireballs, then transform them into a digital resource, such as Photoshop brushes. Thus, they can be easily used in digital works.

Step 1

Open one of the photos with a fireball in Photoshop, and then go Image – Correction – Levels (Image> Adjustments> Levels). We need to make sure that the background is as dark as possible, so drag the topmost left slider to the right until the background is completely black.

Step 2

Add a new layer, for this we go Layer – New – Layer (Layer> New> Layer (Shift + Ctrl + N)) and then select the tool Brush (Brush Tool (B)), set a soft round brush, brush color is black. Now brush over random particles of cream that distract attention or any unnecessary fragments in the background that are visible.

Step 3

Add adjustment layer Black and white (Black White). If the fireball has too rich internal contrast, and gray tones are too highlighted, then in the settings panel Properties (Properties) of this adjustment layer, adjust the sliders Yellow (Yellow) and Red (Red) tones, until you soften gray transitions.

Step 4

Photoshop program reads brushes like black positive, so our fireball should be a dark effect on a white background. Those. this is the opposite of what we have at the moment, so add a correction layer Invert (Inverse). Then create a merged layer on top of all other layers. To do this, hold down the ‘Alt’ key and go Layer – Merge Visible (Layer> Merge Visible).

Step 5

To create a brush, go Editing – Define a brush (Edit> Define Brush Preset). Give the name of the brush, then press the ‘OK’ button. This way you add the created brush to your brush library.

We have completed the lesson!

Congratulations on creating your own brush Fireball in Photoshop. Now with the help of brushes fire effects, create stunning paintings with light effects.

Posted by: Kirk Nelson

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