Playing with Fire

By Mark

I’m not much of a pyromaniac by nature, but there is something very cool about watching the way flames ripple and change.  For a very long time, people have found that creating realistic looking fire in Photoshop was very, very hard.   In one of the new features introduced during the October update, Adobe introduced a new “Flame” Filter along with some others.  You can find it under the Filter>Render>Flame Menu.

In order to use it, you need to create a path or a shape using the Pen or Shape tools.  Once you have one, select the filter and it will bring up this very detailed menu panel.  

As you can see, it gives you a lot of choices.  Starting with the Flame type, you can really adjust the style, length, direction and the violence of your fire.  You can also use custom colors for some eerie looking effects.

I started out with the simple path as shown in the flame panel.  Then I created some 3D text and wasn’t happy with the results. 

I wanted the flames to follow the outline a little more closely, so I created another layer and played with the path I had built, by adding some more control points and then re-ran the filter with more violent settings. 

Just to keep playing with it I created a new image and used the Shape tool to create a wavy arrow. 

I set the flames to run parallel with the shape.  

I kept the same shape and on a new layer, filled in the arrow and applied some layer styles to it giving it an embossed look.  I then duplicated the flame layers and ran a motion blur filter on it. I added some background elements as you can see from the layers view.   

As we keep saying, the best way to learn these features is to just start trying them out.  You never know what you will come up with.  Here by the way is my final result.  Not very useful, but lots of fun.