Note : This article is actually 4+ years old – but it may be of some value, so I have left it for your learning pleasure. I’ve broken this tutorial down in two parts as it is rather lengthy. This is part I. (Here is Man of Fire Part Two) This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to create a fire effect on a jpeg file of a person. Think of it as creating something along the lines of ‘The Human Torch’ in Photoshop. You can follow along using your own similar file, or you can use the same one I did.
Man Of Fire Before and After Comparison
Your outcome may vary a bit. I walked through the process fully expecting it to take me many tries, but I managed to get the image to look the way I wanted on the second try, and didn’t copy down my exact settings. However, as I wrote this tutorial, I copied all of my settings – and it comes out roughly the same depending on a few Photoshop variables.
Open up the image I attached for you in Photoshop. It should be a .jpg file – 400 pixels wide, and 239 pixels in height. If you get lost during this tutorial, the steps can easily be distinguished from explanations and extra comments as they will always be posted in list format (with a bullet).
The first step is to invert your image so that you have it on a black working background. To do this you can select Image > Adjustments > Invert, or simply press Ctrl+I if you have a default photoshop setup. It should now look like this :
Now make a duplicate layer by either selecting Layer > Duplicate Layer, or pressing Ctrl+J in Photoshop for Windows. To make this lesson easier, just be sure to name it Layer 1 if using the first method. Make sure you have this layer (layer 1) selected for the next step in this tutorial.
Now that we have a second working layer (Layer 1), we are going to rotate it, and apply some starting effects to get our basic starting point for the fire effect. Rotate Layer 1 of your image by selecting Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 CW. Your working area should look similar to this :
Now we want to apply a wind effect to our image (layer 1) to get a harsh baseline for our future flames. To do this, simply select Filter > Stylize > Wind. Be sure to check ‘From the left’ since we rotated our image CW. Otherwise you’ll get downard flames. You can apply more Wind if you want higher flames at the cost of resolution of the man, by pressing Ctrl+F to repeat it. I just left mine with one application. This is where we are so far :
Now rotate your layer back by selecting Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 CCW. Your layer should be on top of the original image and look like this :
Now we have the basic structure for our fire application. Now we’ll add some color and smooth out some of the edging to make it look realistic. Next we adjust the hue and saturation for our photoshop image by selecting Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or by pressing Ctrl+U in Photoshop for Windows. Insert the settings of +175 Hue and +85 saturation.
Final Step of Part 1
Apply a guassian blur of 1.5 pixels to your image by selecting Filter > Blur > Guassian Blur. Our image layer (Layer 1) should now look similar to the one below.
Now, if you’re ready, you can move on to the conclusion of this tutorial, Man of Fire Part Two.