In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a realistic scorching fire text effect in Photoshop using very simple and effective techniques. We will play with some layer styles and filters to create our text and finally some stock images and textures to polish our design, the steps are much easier to follow, this tutorial requires no user expertise, even a first timer in Photoshop can create fiery text effects based on this. Warning: The following content is highly inflammable and easily catch fire, so please handle with care, LOL!
Before going into the tutorial, let us see how the final image will look like.
Step 1:New Document
Fill the background color with black.
Step 2: Add Text
Now add some text of any bold and crisp font, i am using the font Nevis which can be downloaded from UrbanFonts, about the size of 450px of any color. Position the text in the center of the document , aligning both the horizontal and vertical centers with respect to the background layer.
Step 3: Layer Styles for the text
Now add the following layer styles to the text layer.
The gradient colors are from #febf04 to #ffd65e.
Now this is the effect so far with our text.
Step 4: Distorting the text
Now we are going to distort our text to have a little realistic fire structure, i.e. to have some distorted borders and appearance, there are many ways to achieve this kind of effect, you can play with the Smudge tool on your text randomly, or you can also use the Liquify filter to distort manually around the text. In this tutorial, we are going to apply a simple and basic distortion effect called the “Ripple” effect using the standard distortion filters available in Photoshop.
Before applying the Ripple effect we are going to rasterize our text layer along with the layer effects, in order to do that, first duplicate our text layer and name it something like “base_text”, hide the original text layer, create a new layer above the “base_text” layer, select both the new layers and the duplicated text layer, merge them using Layers -> Merge Layers or simply press Ctrl + E (Cmd + E for Mac users). Don’t forget to rename the merged layer as the original “base_text”. Now our text is ready to be distorted.
Go to Filter -> Distort -> Ripple, give 100% to Amount and select Large as the size and apply Ok.
Step 5: Add Stroke
Now we are going to add a little stroke to our text to give some depth, for that duplicate the “base_text” layer and set the Fill Opacity to 0%. Add the following layer styles to the text.
We are adding a stroke of about 3px outside and Fill Type as Gradient. The gradient colors are the same as we applied to our text in Step 3 which are nothing but #febf04 to #ffd65e.
Step 6: Blur and Distort the text
Duplicate the “base_text” layer and move it to the top of the Layers Panel. Apply a Guassian Blur of about 30px.
Now distort the blurred text, using the wave filter from Filter -> Distort -> Wave with the following settings. This will put an uneven smoke texture around the text to add another level of realism to the fire effect.
Step 7: Apply Texture
Now our text is almost ready for the final touches, one thing that is lacking is that the text is still looking real flat and no particle effects on the surface such as the one present in a burning log of wood. To achieve that kind of look, we are going to overlay a texture of some rough concrete or wooden surface on to the image. Grab the Urban Textures from FudgeGraphics, unzip the file , pick the texture file name “urbantexture_by_fugegraphics_03.jpg”, import it into our document and resize the same to fit the size of the image.
Change the blending mode of the texture layer to Overlay.
Duplicate the blurred version of the base_text layer and arrange it above the texture layer, and adjust the opacity to about 50%. This will remove the sharp contrast that was added to the effect after the texture is applied.
Before applying your textures, make sure they are desaturated using Image -> Adjustments -> Desaturate (Ctrl + Shift + U) , so that the output does not have some sharp contrast or unnecessary color overlays applied from the texture.
This is the effect so far we have achieved.
Step 8: Adding Flames
Now our text is great and stunning with textures and smoke, now its time to add some flames to the text. Get the Fire stocks from sxc.hu. We are very grateful to huibidos for providing us some wonderful stock images. Open the stock image, import it into our document, transform it , resize it to fit exactly above the letters.
Change the blending mode of the fire stock layer to Screen. Now add a layer mask to mask out the unwanted portions from the fire image, take a soft round brush of about 150px in size, 0% hardness and black color, just paint over the image on where you want to mask in the masking layer of the fire stock, and finally adjust the layer opacity to about 50-60 % based on your preference.
This is the effect with one of the letters in the image.
Repeat the above step for the other letters in the text, be careful with your masks, only remove the portions subtly and adjust the opacity and hardness settings for your brush size used for masking.
This is how our final output will look like, please also take a look at how the layers are stacked against each other and arrange the same in the order given below for good looking final result.
Finally here is our final image with awesome looking Fire text effect. There are certain things i want to mention here, please be liberal with the use of stock images, different sizes, different textures, having a wide variety of stocks used will improve the quality of the output, and also experiment with the settings while applying filters to get accurate and effective results.
We’re finished! Hopefully you’ve picked up a few new techniques and had fun while doing so. Please share any of your personal creations in the comments for others to see!