People On Fire

Dino Angelov writes about all things design and is the owner of a Free PSDs search engine.

Use a few very simple techniques to create powerful effects of people set on fire! Achieve an illustration-like effect or a realistic flame, up to you!

What we’re going to try and do here is basically photo manipulate images so that people look like they’re on fire.

What I suggest doing first though, is grabbing the needed resources as we can’t follow through this tutorial without them.
These are 2 magnificent resources created by Stephanie over at Obsidian Dawn. Please load them up in Photoshop by extracting the files and then just dragging and dropping them over Photoshop (while running).

(We have permission from Stephanie to use them in this tutorial. For other uses, please see Stephanie’s terms of use for these resources found at the links above. Also, this tutorial has been inspired by her awesome realistic fire tutorial found here:

The image I’ve used as a sample for this tutorial can be downloaded for FREE from stock.xchng right here: (Registration required, free).

I cropped the image like below, and the final image size was 1712x1100 (altough the one below has been resized to be used as a sample). You can use any size you want basically, but I found the following to suit me best.

Now, let’s create a new layer (this should be “Layer 1”. You can name them if you want, but the whole process is fairly simple so I’ll be using the default names Photoshop assigns). We’re going to be using the color #ff8400 as our foreground color for the brushes.

On Layer 1, use the 318px “flames8” brush. Go in the “Brushes” Window, click “Brush Top Shape” and check the box that says “Flip X”. Try to position it similar to this:

Next, create a new layer (this should be “Layer 2”). Grab the 400px “flames16” brush and use it similar to the shot below.

Create a new layer, use brush 445px “flames9” and do something like this:

Open the layer properties on Layer 1 and use Pattern Overlay. Pick the pattern “flames20”. Close.

Open layer properties on Layer 2 and use Pattern Overlay. Choose pattern “flames15”. Close.

Open layer properties on Layer 3 and use Pattern Overlay again. Pattern name: “flames1”. Close. If you don’t like the effect below, feel free to change the patterns used (or brushes for that matter).

This is what we should have so far, but we’re not done yet. There’s still some cool stuff to do.

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