In this tutorial you will learn advanced tips to create different shapes made from fire and how to use filters, adjustment layers and masks to create this stunning effect.
Preview of Final Results
Download the PSD
Wings of Fire Photoshop Tutorial
The first step is to open the girl’s image and crop it. We need more space for the fire wings and this is not enough.
Now that we have the needed space our initial image is a bit small so cut out the middle part of the floor and place it in both lower corners.Create a mask and, with a brush, remove the edges so it will blend in.
With dodge and burn add some highlights and shadow on the model.
Cut out the model (use the pen tool ) and delete the background.
Next we will add the new background. Since it is to small for our large surface we need to enlarge it, so CTRL+J to duplicate the layer. Add a mask and erase the edges.
Go to Filters-Blur-Gaussian Blur (radius 5 px ) to give the background more depth.
Now it looks a bit to symmetrical but this can be resolved easily with the clone stamp brush.
The background is dark and our model is too light so to blend her in we need to make her darker. Go to Adjustment Layers – Curves and use the presets like in the image below. Use the Curves on a clipping mask.
In this step we need to paint some hair. This is very easy on a graphic table but it can be done with a mouse also. First select (eye dropper) a color from her hair and add some extra strings of hair. Just a few are enough. Look at the image below to see how it should look.
Take your wings stock and arrange them to your liking. After that hit Ctrl+I to invert the colors to create a dark basis for the flames.
Take your flame stock and use the settings below in the Blend If panel form the Layer Style on the flame layer. Hold down the ALT key to split the black handle – this will create a smooth transition.
Add more flame stock and make sure you clip them to the wing (clipping mask). This will give you a basis to add your flames to.
Take some other flame stock and arrange it like in the image below. Again in the Layer Style – Blend If panel move the black handle so it gets rid of all the dark elements in the image below. Remember to hold down ALT while dragging to split the handle and create a smooth transition. Then erase on the mask the parts you don’t want showing and choose the Screen blending mode. You can experiment with other blending modes since you got rid of all the dark elements in the stock image from the Layer Style
Just underneath the layer with the flame set on screen blending mode, you can paint with a low opacity black color to create more dimension and lessen the transparency.
Just add more flames around the wing.
When you have something you like, and most of the dark wing is hidden, flatten all the flame layers (or group them) and duplicate it. Use Transform and Flip Horizontal on the copy layer and arrange it. This will look too symmetrical, but it’s a good shortcut and we will fix the symmetry in a second by adding more flames.
For a better contrast i used a normal black/white Gradient Map –Adjustment Layer just above the background folder containing my wall and sky stock.
Don’t forget to add flames over the model layer so it wont look static and fake. I used some small flames over her hand but under the painted hair layer and over her back. I used layers on screen blending mode. Add flames one on top of the other to create a more accentuated fire.
Create a new layer and paint with an orange color over the model’s skin to create the bright light coming from the fire. Then set this layer to Overlay blending mode.
Add some fire debris using the brush i created for you (download). Just choose an orange color and paint around the flames. If you create too many particles, just create a layer mask and brush some away.
Add more contrast using a curves adjustments layer.
In this step we’ll add some adjustment layers so our composition will blend in well. First go to Adjustment Layers –Color Balance twice. Make the presets like you see in the images below.
Adjustment Layers –Levels.
Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. (opacity at 40 %).
Create a new layer and select the brush tool. Add some black shadows in the corners. If it’s to dark , decrese the layer’s opacity.
Go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur and and make the presets like in the image below. We’ll use this on the edges.
Next go to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. (see the presets below).
This is optional. Add a texture to her face so it will look more dark.