1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Smoke Effect for a Photoshop Brush

This post is part of a series called Photoshop Brushes from Scratch.
How to Create Custom Dirt and Decay Brushes in Adobe Photoshop
Create Your Own Rust Brushes From Scratch in Adobe Photoshop

Have you ever seen an amazing effect in a piece of digital art and wondered how they did it? Maybe it was a figure in a column of smoke or a flaming ball of energy around a fighter’s fist. Digital artists usually have to resort to purchasing stock images to accomplish these effects, unless they want to try to draw the effect by hand.

In my recent course, Practical Brush Effects in Adobe Photoshop, I show you how to create the effects in the real world, or practically, before using them as a digital resource. 

This video tutorial from that course shows you how to create and photograph actual smoke tendrils that you can then use to create a Photoshop brush. I start with the materials required for it and how to set up for the effect, and then delve into the techniques for creating and capturing some beautiful smoke tendrils.

Watch the Tutorial

Watch the Full Course

In the full course, Practical Brush Effects in Adobe Photoshop, I take you through three separate projects, each involving its own unique effect. As well as smoke tendrils, you’ll learn to create abstract light streaks and fireballs! We borrow some techniques from old-school movie effects to create some amazing digital effects.

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