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Ridiculously Realistic Scorching Fire Effect!

Are you a pyro? Even if you’re not, this flame effect photoshop tutorial is awesome! We take you step-by-step as you learn how to color dodge, take flame images using channels and much more. This tutorial is sure to take your Photoshop skills to the next level! Enjoy and comment!


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 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:

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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:

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Check on Color Overlay and key in the following settings.

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Check on Satin and key in the following settings.

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

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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.

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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.

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


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