Add a fire on a photo in Photoshop

The lesson is inspired by the best-selling book “The Girl Who Played with Fire” – a detective novel written by Swedish writer Stig Larsson. Today we will recreate the effect of fire, but with a male figure. You do not need to use an image with a human image, it can be a symbol or anything that depicts a sense of style and mysticism! I wish you a pleasant time with this lesson.

Note: The author used the paid images, in the archive below you will find alternative images for the lesson.

Final result

Step 1

First, open the original image with the model.

Next, we need a fire. Choose a few images with the texture of fire on a black background – better a few options. Change the blending mode for all fire textures to Lightening (Screen) to remove the black background.

How and where you will place the fire on your image – it will be 100% dependent on you. I propose to start creating effects on the edges of the image of the model or object. I picked up a fire texture with small flames. With the help of the transformation, I set the angle of the texture under the inside of the arm.

Next, I added a layer mask to the fire texture, and then hid parts of the fire, but not on the inside of the arm.

I repeated the previous step, adding the same fire texture several times, the only thing some textures I reflected horizontally (flip it horizontally) for a change, and also I used separate fragments of fire.

Next, we will “fill” with fire. Pick up fire textures with large flames to fill large areas of the image. Also, change the blending mode for layers with fire textures to Lightening (screen). I used one fire texture twice. Try using several small fire textures instead of one large texture.

Using a layer mask, I hid the extra areas of fire that blocked the model’s hand. This is a very important point, because we must not lose the shape of the hand among the fire created.

In the screenshot below, you can see an example of adding fire. The same, select the appropriate fire texture, change the blending mode for this layer with the fire texture to Lightening (screen), give the appropriate angle of inclination, and then, using a mask, hide the extra areas of texture at your discretion.

Repeat the action with the addition of fire, until you are satisfied with the effect of fire. Also, I added small fragments of fire on the model’s eyes. My result in the screenshot below:

Once you have completed, group all the layers of fire into one group. Name the new group “Fire”.

Step 2

Usually, most of the lessons are completed at this stage – but in reality, we are only in the middle of our way! Now, let’s give our fire a more solid look, so it will look more realistic. At the moment, the fire looks too transparent.

1. Create a new layer below the “Fire” layer. Name this layer “Backdrop for fire”.
2. Using a small round brush, the brush color is a dark red-orange color of medium tones (# 8b2c0d), paint over the image of fire.

Focus on areas where the fire looks too transparent. Using a soft eraser, hide any hard edges. In the screenshot below, you can see areas of paint with and without a fire effect:

1. Create a new layer on top of the “Fire Background” layer. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).
2. Using a large soft brush, the color of the brush is orange, paint over any areas of your object where there is fire.

Now:

1. Create another new layer on top of the previous layer. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).
2. Using a large soft brush, the color of the brush is orange-red (# dd4e05), paint over the areas where there is fire, including the surface of your object.

Translator’s Note: try to brush and not drive.

Do not forget the areas where the light comes from the fire. In my case, I added an orange glow to the left side of the man’s head. Reduce the opacity for this layer to 70%.

Next, once again create a new layer on top of the previous layer. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light). Reduce the opacity of this layer to about 70%. Paint over the brush, but this time, the brush color is light orange red (# ff894f).

Next, let’s apply the function Impose if (Blend If):

1. Double click on the layer to make the window appear. Layer styles (Layer Style). We go to the bottom of the window, in the section Impose if (Blend If).
2. Go to settings Subject layer (Underlying Layer) and hold (Alt) + shift the slider.

How much you slide the slider will depend on your preferences; experiment, pick the best look. I shifted the slider, as in the screenshot below:

Group together the 4 layers we created. Name the new group “Fill with Fire”.

Step 3

Let’s add some light highlights. You can draw them either with a tablet or with a tool. Pen (pen tool), as I do now.

1. Select tool Brush (brush tool). Install Rigidity (Hardness) brush 0%, Opacity (opacity) brushes 100% brush size, approximately. 2-5 px. The diameter of the brush will depend on the size of your original image. In my work, I used a brush diameter of 2px.
2. Next, select the tool Pen (Pen Tool). Create single contour lines along the various edges of your object. You can temporarily turn off the visibility of layers with the “Fire” and “Fill Fire” groups to make it convenient for you to work.

Here are my contour lines:

When you are satisfied with the number of light highlights created (I also added light highlights to the man’s face):

1. Create a new layer on top of the layer with the “Fire” group. Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen). Make sure that the foreground color is set to the color shade you want your light highlights to be – I chose a light yellow-orange color.
2. Make sure. to tool Pen (Pen Tool) was active, then right click on the working document and in the window that appears, select the option Run stroke(Stroke Path). In the settings window, do not forget to put a tick in the box Simulate pen pressure (Simulate Pen Pressure). Click OK.

1. Duplicate the highlight layer. Change the blending mode for duplicate layer to Overlap (Overlay).
2. Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Add a couple of pixels for the blur radius – enough to give your light glare a gentle glow effect.

1. Group both layers with highlights. Name the new group “Highlights”.
2. Do not forget to include the visibility of layers with the groups “Fire” and “Fill with fire”.

Step 4

Next, we will add a glow to the fire.

1. Create a new layer on top of the “Glare” group.
2. Select a large soft round brush, the color of the brush is a red tint of medium tones (# d00f00). Paint over the model or your object.

Next, apply the function again. Impose if (Blend If). I set the slider as shown in the screenshot below:

Change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen).

Creates another new layer, repeat the previous step, only this time, the brush color is orange (# dd4900). Next, apply the function again. Impose if (Blend If). I set the slider as shown in the screenshot below:

Once again create a new layer on top of the previous layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening (Screen), and then paint over the entire area of ​​the image where there is fire with a brush.

I painted over the entire right side of the image. For this, I used a very large soft brush, the color of the brush is dark red (# 9e0000). Make sure the effect is very soft; apply a blur if necessary.

Reduce the layer opacity to about 27%.

Group the three layers created, name the new group “Glow.

Step 5

1. Next, we will increase the intensity of the fire by adding a dark shade to the opposite side of the image. Since Our fire is red, then we will add a blue tint.

2. Create a new layer, change the blending mode for this layer to Chromaticity (Color).
3. Using a large soft brush, the color of the brush is blue (# 0e28df), paint over the opposite side of the fire. In my case, the entire left side of the image.
4. Reduce the layer opacity to about 27%.

Step 6

To add and align color, let’s add some adjustment layers.

1. First add a correction layer. Color Balance (Color Balance). Set colors Blue (Cyan) +15, Purple (Magenta) -20, and Yellow (Yellow) -9.

Next, add an adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). Set the curve of the red channel, as shown in the screenshot below. Do not forget to switch to the red channel.

1. Next, go to the layer mask of the adjustment layer. Curves (curves) and using a soft black brush, hide the effect of curves in areas where there is no fire.

2. Finally, create a second adjustment layer. Curves (Curves). Click in the center of the RGB curve. Pull the curve down by the anchor point to darken the image. (Prim.translator: most importantly, do not overdo it)

3. Next, go to the layer mask of this adjustment layer. Curves (curves) and with the help of a big soft black brush, hide the effect of the curves around the fire.

And we have completed the lesson! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and apply this fire effect in your projects!

Final result

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