Ridiculously Realistic Scorching Fire Effect!

This tutorial is free for all to view!  If you want access to the source files click here.

Here is a tutorial built in Adobe Photoshop CS3 that you can use to give your text a scorching reality.  This can also be applied to other shapes.  We thought it might be a cool idea to even apply this effect to a picture of a sprinter, we might do this in a tutorial down the road but for now we’ll stick to text.  Also, we were recently contact by the guys at 10steps.sg and they have a tutorial that is very similar to this.  Check it out here.  Great minds think alike.

We will be using mixing flaming fire images with filters and other Photoshop layer blending methods to come up with something slick!

Preview of Final Image:

Picture 18

Create a document with a 300dpi with dimensions of 17 x 11 with a black background. Using the Type tool (T), select the font “Billboard” and type whatever you want to type for your fire text.  We wanted to make sure that we knew how our type would look finished so we just typed and arranged the entire thing.  As you can see below.  After this, flatten the text layers by clicking them both in the layers palette (we have the “king” on one layer and “tutz” on another) and pushing Command + E. This will flatten them. This is what this step looks like:

King Tutz Photoshop Tutorials Flame Text

Now we’ll use the marquee tool (M) to cut up the flattened text layer so we can apply different flame effects to each letter of the text.  Simply select the marquee tool (M), drag a box around the letter “K”, right click, and select layer via cut.  Do this for each of the letter so they are now all on their own layers.

We’ll start making the “K” look like it’s on fire.  Right-click on the flattened K type layer in the layers palette and choose Blending Options. Check on Drop Shadow and key in the following settings:

Picture 4

Check on Color Overlay and key in the following settings.

Picture 5

Check on Satin and key in the following settings.

Picture 6

Check on Inner Glow and type in the following settings… choose a yellow that best suites you… here we used #e3bd29

Picture 7

We’re now going to rasterize/flatten the type layers but before we do so we’re going to right click on the flattened “k” layer in the layers palette and select Copy Layer Style. Then we’re going to right click on each of the other letter layers and select Paste Layer Style. This will allow us to transfer all of the settings to each letter.  After this is done make a copy of each layer and hide it (this way we have a backup).  After each backup has been made, flatten each individual type layer.

Using the Eraser tool with varying sizes and opacity fade off the top portion of each letter.

Picture 8

Go to Filter > Liquify. Select the Forward Warp Tool and key in the following settings. Using the Forward Warp tool, create some waves on the border of the type.

Picture 10

Now we’re going to add the awesome flames on the next page!

Preston Lewis
Preston Lewis
I'm a digital illustrator, screen printer, man behind the madness of Newfire Creations and lover of all things entrepreneurial! I have an undergraduate degree in international business and finance and an incessant drive to learn and create. :)
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Showing 91 comments
  • Kiliankoe

    From the title of the tutorial I was expecting a lot less. This looks absolutely sweet though!

    Awesome job!

  • Chris

    so the text layers dont stay as text when i flatten the layer… its like it just merges with the background layer, so when i start putting the blending options in there its only doing it as a square where i cut out the letters with marque

  • Zach

    this is a great post but it seems many of your images have gone missing. thanks a lot though looks great.

  • Photoshop Desk

    Nice Tutorial

  • Preston Lewis

    Thanks for the input Zach, is there a way you could take a screenshot of what you are seeing? All images seem to be showing up on our end. Anyone else having problems?

  • Jeff

    Yes, I had LOTS of problems. It took a half dozen or more reloads to get all the images loaded properly. When the images wouldn’t load, what I would get is a question mark in place of the image. I am using Safari v4.04. I also got the same result using Firefox v3.5.5 too.

  • Preston Lewis

    Hmmm, not sure why this would be. I just activated WP Super Cache which might be causing some problems…. I’ll deactivate it. Can you let me know if it helps?

  • Zach

    ya just had to keep reloading over and over. Seems okay now but it was really flaky earlier.

  • Preston Lewis

    Yea, we disabled the WP SuperCache. That plugin was supposed to help the sites loading times but It seems to serve up shaky images at times so thanks for the input!

  • Preston Lewis

    Not sure what you mean. Could you elaborate a bit and we’ll see if we can steer you in the right direction :)

  • Preston Lewis

    Thanks :) subscribe to the rss feed. We hope to keep pumping all sorts of sweet stuff out. We want this site to be a huge resource to your creative development.

  • Matt

    I am having the same problem as Chris. what am I doing wrong?

  • Preston Lewis

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for stopping by :) Could you add a little more detail to the problem you’re experiencing? We’ll try and nip this in the butt before too many people pull all of their hair out. Also, you should subscribe to our rss feed so you can stay up to date with all the tutorials. It’s the little orange box in the top right. :) Hope to hear back from you.

  • Your Name

    same problem as described by this user

    so the text layers dont stay as text when i flatten the layer… its like it just merges with the background layer, so when i start putting the blending options in there its only doing it as a square where i cut out the letters with marque

    please help

  • Anass

    Hii people,
    i’ve done all the steps on the page 1, but when i jumped to the instructions on the page 2, i didn’t understand how to apply the image of the flame….
    plzzz i need more details about how to add the flame effect…
    plzzz help! & thanks in advance :)

  • Preston Lewis

    I’ve added some revisions to the text of the tutorial. Let us know of any other questions you have. :)

  • Conception sites internet

    So realistic and so simple to do. Very nice tutorial.

  • Hawk Designs

    Great & simple tutorial, thank you very much!

  • Future Webs

    Great Effect and so simple, Thanks

  • Shamima Sultana

    Nice Tutorial

  • avn.rocky

    Hey!! Thanks Friend… Nice Tut :) – Avn

  • jeet mitra

    very good thanks

  • Amsterdam Man

    Amazing tutorial, most of the things are explained extremely well. With some tutorials across the web you might as well just download some flame picture and cut the text in it but not this one! Great work!

  • Nick

    I’m having the same problem as a few other people. After I have the text effect set on all of the letters (which I had trouble with, eventually changed some of the settings in Blending Options) I cannot simply flatten one letter at a time. I cannot rasterize, and when I “Flatten Image”, all the layers are condensed into one layer, thus halting me from going any farther in the tutorial. Any help would be appreciated.

  • RamirezZZ

    I’ve got a problem…. I dont know how to do this step:

    Using the Eraser tool with varying sizes and opacity fade off the top portion of each letter.

    How can I set varying sizes and opacity fade??

    Please mail me or leave me a message at my ICQ [245-368-002]
    Thanks a lot.

  • RamirezZZ

    Ah, my mail is “petr.knee@centrum.cz”. :)

  • Preston Lewis

    Hey everyone, I’ve been working on a video tutorial so stay tuned. Subscribe to the RSS feed to stay in the loop. :) Keep commenting and participating and the content will continue to get better and better. Tell a friend!

  • Duane

    This is THE BEST text/fire tutorial out there. Not only is the effect superb, it’s very easy to do and easy to follow.

    Even as a 10 year advanced PS user, about half of the tutorials out there that gave decent results did NOT give the results they were supposed to, usually due to important bits of information missing.

    This tutorial delivers the goods! Thank you!

  • Micke

    When I have cut up all the letters and starting to blend them, I only get a square… not the “K” itself… anyone knows what I am doing wrong?

    nice tut :D

  • Awesome tutorial, thanks guys – my graphic turned out great!

  • Mihai

    Hi guys ! I have tryed to make this picture but i can`t do it. If is somebody who want to make me a picture like this with this text : MIHAI – like is KING and ALIN – like TUTZ . Please help me. Contact me at mihaibr_alin@yahoo.com if somebody offer to make me this.

    Thank you and have a nice day !

  • clippingimages

    nice tut………

  • Bilo

    Help please, I am up to the second picture on page2.
    When I drag the selected fire image over to my text it stays gray (Even though I’ve selected green as instructed)

    Any help please? Been good until then =x

  • Clippingimages

    Nice typographical work dude…thanks for sharing…

  • Al Kamal Md. Razib

    Nice Effects ! Thanks for step by step process.

  • Çocuk Oyunları

    This tutorial is really useful. I can also use this to produce different photo. Thanks for sharing it.

  • failed photoshop noob

    thanks for this tutorial. very very cool. I have a couple of questions.
    I seem to have the same problem with putting a box around a letter
    and the effects covering it up completely. The effects come out ok
    but the letter is the shape of the box. Also for the part where you
    move the flame effect from the flame image to the letters image
    has got me baffled. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks
    again for this in depth tutorial.

  • ilham

    wow, its very clear tutorial. thanks

  • Oyunlar

    So realistic and so simple to do. Very nice tutorial.

  • Hanna

    Wow, really nice tutorial :-) thanks for that.

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