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easy tutorial: Spicy fire text

In this tutorial you will learn how to use photoshops liquefy filter to create a realistic fire effect that can be used as a nice text effect. This tutorial is written for photoshop users that have basic knowledge, if you are totally new to photoshop you will probably have trouble understanding some steps.

Step 1

photoshop character settings

This fire effect that we are going to create really looks its best on black background so start out by setting the background color to black. Now start with typing the text that you want to add some fire to. A tip here is to increase the spacing between the characters, if they are to close you will not get the flame effect that looks really nice. This setting is found under window > character. I used 400 as the spacing value in this example, but the amount depends much on what font you use.

Step 2

wind text

When you have created the text layer duplicate it and forget about that copy for now. Now rotate the text layer 90 degrees. Now go to Filter > Stylize > Wind, I recommend to use the default settings and repeating the effect about three times or until it looks like the example on the left.

Step 3

Rotate the text 90 degrees in the opposite direction as last time to get the text standing up again. Apply Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur with a radius of 7 pixels.

gaussian blur text

Step 4

Create a copy of the layer containing the text. Right click in the original layer and select Blending Options and check Color Overlay. Change the color to a fiery orange. Repeat on the layer copy but select a fiery red color instead. In addition the layer copy should also be shrunk a couple of pixel on every side so that the orange color peaks through outside the red. When you have done this merge the two layers.

red and orange layer merged

Step 5

warp brush settings

Now its time to create the flame shapes! We are going to use the liquify filter which is found under Filter > Liquify. Inside this filter is many options but you only need to use the Warp tool which is already selected for you. This step takes a bit of practice, start out by experimenting and eventually you will get the effect that you are looking for. Bellow you can see my setting for the brush.

liquify filter result


Step 6

layer mask

Now we need to add some text that will be possible to read even though the flames duplicate the flames layer. Place the copy of the text layer between the two layers containing flames. To add a nice effect to the text create a Layer mask and fill it with a gradient as you can see in the example to the left. Adjust the opacity on the flames copy layer, I set mine to 30%.

The result

fire text resultfire text inverted