How To Make Fire In Photoshop: Fastest Guide

By Tata Rossi 2 days ago, Photoshop Tips

You have fantastic vacation photos or landscape shots that you wanted to post but the campfire isn’t as noticeable as you want it to be or has gone out completely? Then check out this working and efficient lesson on how to make fire in Photoshop to make the image look more appealing and finished.

Fastest Way to Make Fire in Photoshop

By properly using Photoshop as a tool for making fire in Photoshop, you can imitate a quality, realistic campfire, flame, or even a superpower effect for an artistic image or a manga cover if you’re an artist.

STEP 1. Add an Overlay to the Photo

add an overlay to the needed photo to make fire in photoshop

Open the photo that you want to add a realistic fire to and immediately add your overlay. Before you learn this lesson, I suggest refreshing your skills by reading my old guide on how to use overlays in Photoshop.

STEP 2. Make Smooth Transitions

make smooth transitions to make fire in photoshop

I’ll hide all my overlays and will work with one of them at a time for maximum convenience. Place the first overlay on the needed layer by pressing “Ctrl+T”. Next, click the mask layer and smoothen the transitions. Press “Enter” once you’re done working on the first layer.

STEP 3. Set up Realistic Lighting

set up realistic lighting to make fire in photoshop

To make the fire brighter – open Levels and attach them to the first overlay using the “Alt” key, as shown in the screenshot.

STEP 4. Place the Second Overlay

place overlay to make fire in photoshop

Add and place the second overlay with the help of Transform and give the flame a realistic shape.

STEP 5. Finalize the Fire Shape

create correct shape to make fire in photoshop

Erase all unnecessary parts with the help of a brush and a layer mask to give the fire a proper, finished shape.

STEP 6. Add a Glare Effect

add a glare effect to make fire in photoshop

You can add glares to make the fire stand out more. To do so, keep using the brush tool and create a new layer under all the overlays, pick the yellow color, and draw a glare around the needed fire area. Also, don’t forget to change the blending mode to “Overlay”.

STEP 7. Create the Final Fire Splashes

  • create realistic campfire splashes to make fire in photoshop
  • give the spray the correct shape to make fire in photoshop

    Add the last fire sparks overlay from the professional library of FixThePhoto designers or your personal collection, and change the blending mode to “Linear Dodge (Add)”. Next, repeat all previously learned steps: create a layer mask and remove all unnecessary parts with a brush.

    STEP 8. Set the Proper Direction for the Splatters

    set spray direction to make fire in photoshop

    Transform the splatters. They have to follow the general flame direction and go upward. It’s important to mention that the number of so-called fire splashes should be kept to a minimum, as you can see in the example.

    STEP 9. Experimental Settings and Export

    experiment with the settings with overlays to make fire in photoshop

    At this stage, you can move on to exporting the image or increasing its contrast by using “Levels”.

    set up fire smoke to make fire in photoshop

    Another option you have is to add smoke. To do so, create a new layer under the overlays, select the brush tool, and imitate smoke with a white-colored sweeping brush. Afterward, change the blending mode and save the image.

    The last changes aren’t necessary, I simply showed how to create unique and mesmerizing images by properly implementing various ideas. If your Photoshop skills aren’t high enough to bring your ideas to life, or you’re going to publish a photo in a magazine and want to make it look professionally edited, then you can reach out to our experts. The retouchers will fulfill all your requests within the shortest period possible.

    BONUS Tools

    fire photoshop overlays

    If your library lacks the necessary overlays, you can check out the free pack offered by FixThePhoto’s professional designers. It contains fire overlays that imitate all kinds of shapes from round to discontinuous.


    • • How can I quickly make a more realistic campfire smoke?

    You can make use of premade Photoshop smoke brushes. The only thing you have to do is perform a small transformation and adjust the opacity while removing all the unnecessary details.

    • • What to do if I didn’t transform the overlay correctly and saved the layer?

    If you don’t like how you’ve transformed the fire overlay or you erased too many flames, you can always cancel the last action with the “Ctrl + Z” hotkey combination.

    • • What to do if the downloaded Overlays can't be opened in Photoshop?

    You may be using an outdated Photoshop version like 6.0 or older. In that case, I suggest familiarizing yourself with a short manual on how to receive the latest version of Photoshop free.

    • • How can I merge all finished layers to save my work?

    Once you’re done editing the image, use the “Ctrl + E” hotkey combination. 

    • • Why does my Photoshop freeze up when I use brushes for cleaning up the Photoshop flame filter?

    Make sure that you fulfill the special requirements imposed by the functions you want to use, for instance, GPU or OpenCL (install a graphics adapter). If this solution didn’t help, you can check out other possible reasons that can cause Photoshop lagging.

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