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4.2 Flame On

Photoshop CC2014 includes an amazing new filter, Render Flames! It turns out it is perfect for creating flaming text effects. This lesson will walk you through how to use this exciting new feature.

4.2 Flame On

Hello everybody, Kirk Nelson here. Welcome back to nature inspired text effects. This is lesson number two on the fourth chapter which is the flaming text effect. In this lesson we will explore how to add fire to our text. Before I begin, I want to point out that there was a recent update to Photoshop CC in 2014, that introduced the render flames filter that made this effect much easier to accomplish. And that's the technique we are going to use in this lesson. The render flames filter is a new filter in Photoshop CC. It's a recent addition and it does work off a path. Now, we previously converted our text to a path, but that path got incorporated in the smart object using the wave distortion so we need to create another path. We still have our original text, we can actually right-click on that and say Create Work Path. So then over in the paths panel we have a work path and let us just call this the flame path. Then we'll go back to our layers and add a new layer for the fire to render onto. Calling this layer flames, and again we make sure that the path is visible. It doesn't necessarily need to be selected like this, but it needs to be at least active. And make sure we are on our flames layer, go to Filter > Render > Flames. We get this warning, that the path is longer than 3,000 pixels. And the preview only shows the first 3,000 pixels. That's okay, because it will still render it on the rest, but it's only gonna give us a preview of that first letter. And this is a brand new dialogue box that you may not have even seen before. This box probably looks a little bit larger on your screen. It simply doesn't fit within my screen capture window. The first thing we should explore is the Flame Type. There are six different specific flame types within our presets here. We have the one flame that would trace along the individual path. This is useful if you're trying to create sort of a flame sculpture. The Multiple Flames Along Path is kinda similar to that, and it follows along the direction of the path. The Multiple Flames in One Direction would follow along the path and they would almost be copies or instances of each tongue of fire. The Multiple Flames with Paths Directed is a little bit more chaotic. The one that I am fond of is the Multiple Flames Various Angle. I feel that that creates a much more natural set of flames. The last one in that list is the Candlelight, which is fairly self explanatory. I'm going to turn on the Randomized Length, which gets that warning again about the long path. My Width, I'm going to increase up a little bit to about 105, going to increase the angle to about 25 or so. Now, these settings are somewhat arbitrary, they're going to change depending on the size and scale of the project you're working on. And the specific look that you want. Honestly, it just takes a lot of trial and error to get the exact effect that you're looking for. Flame Lines are the complexity, I dialed it up to about 25, and increased the turbulence to about 35. The Jag is a different type of turbulence, and I put that up about 23. The Opacity's set at 25% to begin with, and I just increased that by a little bit to about 30. And the Flame Bottom Alignment, I decreased from the default to about 18. Flame Style, I put to Violent. So it looks like a very large, blazing inferno. The Flame Shape, I change from Parallel to Pointing. I also used a Custom Color for the flames, and made that a dark red. Now, below my capture window, is the settings for quality. The higher the quality you set, the better the flames will look but the longer they will take to render. Underneath that is also a randomized shapes which I've also enabled. So from there, we click OK and we let Photoshop render this out. And here's how those flames rendered out for me, yours may look a little bit different but that's fine, just some randomization built in to the algorithm. But even with the randomization, I find that these look a little bit too similar in too many areas. The flames all look about the same type of size and the same type of intensity which isn't realistic at least to my eye. One of the first things I like to do, to help adjust this is to liquefy the rendered effect. So we go to Filter > Liquefy. And in here, I like to begin just pushing things around a little bit to add a much more fluid shape to the individual tongues of flame. You can use the Forward Warp tool to actually just shove and push and sort of smear things around. Another good thing is this Twirl Clockwise tool, which you need to use gently because if you hold it down too much it will actually twirl it way too much. So if you're gonna use that just be easy with it, although it can add some great effects to the movement of the flame. Experiment with this but don't go too far. Just use it to add a little bit of variation in the fire that's already there. And that helped with the shape of the flames, but not so much with the intensity. To help with that, let's make a copy of that Flames Layer and set that to Linear Dodge which really makes it bright but then reduce that opacity. I got mine just a little bit under 50%. I like the way that gives it a lot more variation in the brightest. From there, I think this entire thing is looking a little bit yellow. So let's add a Hue Saturation adjustment layer. We'll increase that Saturation and pull down on that Hue a little bit. I think that looks really good. Add some more orange and reddish hues into our flaming text here. Rendering flames isn't the only use for that flame filter. You can actually get some very convincing smoke from it as well. Let's add a new layer just for smoke. Once again, grab our Text Layer and Create a Work Path from it. Go to our Paths Panel, and this will be the Smoke Path. And to create smoke, we don't want smoke coming from the entire contour of these letters. We really just want it coming from the top. So let's grab our Direct Selection tool, use it big bounding box to select all these lower points and just hit Delete to delete them. So now, our path that we're using is rather jagged and ununiform, but that's going to be fine and it's just only along the top. Go back to the Layers panel, make sure we're on our Smoke Layer. We'll go to Filter > Render Flame again, but this time, I've got many of the settings changed. First and foremost, I set the Custom Color for Flames to be a very, very dark gray, which is going to create a more smokey appearance. The Length, I've got dialed up to 644, the Width is at 148, Angle's at 50, Interval's at 59. The Flame Lines or the Complexity is dialed way back to three, that's what's gonna give it a more sparse type of appearance. Turbulence is at 89, Jag's at 62, Opacity's at 22, Flame Bottom Alignment's at 18. And importantly, the Flame Style set to Flat and the Flame's Shape is set to Spread. Once again, you can adjust these settings to better fit whatever project you are working on and dial them in to taste. And here's how my smoke layer ended up rendering out, so it comes in very very opaque. I'm gonna set this to Screen. So we can see the fire through it and that also gives a nice little glow from that fire's visible through the back of the smoke. A little too opaque, so I'm gonna pull back on that opacity. And then I'm gonna transform it a little bit. So Ctrl or Cmd+T, Zoom out by one, two clicks, right-click for perspective. And I'm gonna pull out that upper area, so it scales the top of it out some and gives a more tapered out appearance to the smoke. And with that things are really coming together well. That completes lesson 4.2 on creating flames for our text. Next up is lesson 4.3, where we add some final effects to really make this thing heat up.

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