Learn how to create this photo manipulation of a flying man similar to Iron Man. This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to apply cinematic lighting effects and manipulate fire to create this composite.
Preview of Final Results
How to Create a Flaming Manipulation Photoshop Tutorial
Step 1 – Select your image
Load the image you want to manipulate (File > Open).
Step 2 – Accentuate the shadows
Select the Burn Tool and use the following settings.
- Range: Midtones
- Exposure: 15%
Burn the areas in the image that have shadows – such as the areas under the eyebrows, the chin, the nose, and the back of the neck. Adjust the brush size to fit the size of the shadow you are burning.
Step 3 – Accentuate the highlights
Select the Dodge tool and dodge the areas exposed to light – such as the forehead and the cheeks. The more detailed your burning and dodging, the better the image will look.
Step 4 – Create a path
Select the pen tool and select “Paths.”
Zoom in to your subject so that you may create an outline with more detail.
Once you have completed the path around your subject, select it (Right click + Select ‘Make Selection). Copy the image (Ctrl+C).
Step 5 – Create a new layer
Create a new layer and paste the image onto the new layer (Ctrl+V). Duplicate the image, just in case. Discard your original image.
Step 6 – Open your background image
Load the image for your background. Select the image and drag it into the same window as your subject.
Step 7 – Open your effects image
Load the image for the effects. In this tutorial, we will use flames. Drag the flames into the same window as your subject.
Step 8 – Match the colours
To match the colour of the background to your subject, adjust the Hue and Saturation (Image > Adjustments > Hue and Saturation) to the following settings.
- Hue: 0
- Saturation: -20
- Lightness: 0
Step 9 – Warping the image
Warp (Edit > Free Transform > Warp) the shape so that the flames look like they are coming from the subject’s hands.
Step 10 – Touch up the flames
Select the layer with the flames and make sure it is placed above the layer with the subject.
Use the Eraser Tool to erase the areas surrounding the flames. This way, only the flames will show and it also reveals the subject’s arms as you erase.
Step 11 – Add a Mask Layer
Click “Add Layer Mask” at the bottom of the Layers Palette. Select the brush tool and set the foreground colour to black.
Make sure you select the mask layer to work on.
Step 12 – Revealing the arms
Again, making sure the flame layers are above the subject layer, select the flame masks.
Use the Eraser tool to erase some of the flames away to expose the arms. See the image below for an idea.
Step 13 – Adding light glow from the flames
Create a new layer on top of your subject layer. Set the foreground colour to lemon yellow or any colour that matches the flames.
Make sure the new layer is selected and select the Brush Tool. Use the Brush Tool to paint around the fire and parts of the body where the glow from the fire will rest.
Erase where necessary and change your layer settings to the following.
- Mode: Color
- Opacity: 55%
Step 14 – Adding warm glow from the flames
Create another new layer between the subject and the background and name it “Warm Filter.” Fill it with an orange colour.
Change your layer settings to the following.
- Mode: Color
- Opacity: 36%
Your image should look something like this.
Step 15 – Adding glow to the background
Create another new layer and name it “BG Glow.” Select the Brush Tool and use these settings.
- Brush size: 1350
- Opacity: 25%
Make sure the layer named “BG Glow” is selected and paint on a misty glow in the area behind the subject.
Step 16 – Adding a cool glow to the subject
Create a new layer directly above your subject. Title it “Cool Filter” and fill it blue. Set the layer to the following settings.
- Mode: Soft Light
- Opacity: 34%
Step 17 – Adding dim
Create a new layer and title it “Orbs.” Select the Brush Tool and use the following settings.
- Size: between 97-200
- Opacity: approximately 50%
Paint over and below the subject’s legs. This will create a bit of “fog,” so don’t over do it.
Step 18 – Changing the sky colour
Create a new layer and name it “Blue Gradient.” Select the Brush Tool and set the foreground colour to light blue. Use the following settings for your brush.
- Size: 1250
- Opacity: 53%
- Blend Mode: Soft Light
Here are the images of how they look before and after adding the blue gradient.
Step 19 – Softening the border
Create a new layer on top of all the other layers and name it “vignette.” Fill the layer black with the Paint Tool. Then select the Eraser Tool with the following settings.
- Blend Mode: Soft Light
- Opacity: 69%
Erase the areas in the image around the subject.
Step 20 – Final Output