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Set your text ablaze for a fiery hot message

Added on Wednesday 27th of June 2007 02:16 am EST
 

Application:

Adobe Photoshop 7/CS/CS2

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

 

Tired of your plain, boring text not getting the attention it deserves? Set your message on fire with this Photoshop technique and turn the heat up on your next design piece.

 

To create fiery text in Photoshop, we’ll:

     Show you how to prepare the document and set the type in preparation for this technique.

     Explain how to create the foundation for the fire with realistic flames.

     Tell you how to colorize the fire for a realistic glow.

     Describe how to apply the proper masking to create the illusion of a burning edge.

 

When you need to draw attention to your message, nothing says “This is HOT!” better than text that’s on fire. While there’s a bit of manual work involved in producing a good flame, it isn’t difficult. We’ll show you how easy it is to create the fiery text shown in Figure A.

 

A

 

Set it up

To follow along with this technique you’ll need to create a new document with a black background. You can use any settings you desire, but for results closest to ours, create a new 6-inch wide by 4-inch high, 300 ppi, RGB document with a black background.

 

Tip: Either set the Background color to Black before you create a new document and choose Background Color from the Background Contents pop-up menu, or fill the background layer with black right after you create the new document.

 

Set the type

You can use whatever font you like for this technique. A bold type, as the name implies, will produce bolder results.

 

To set the type:

1.       Duplicate the Background layer and rename the duplicated layer Fire.

2.      Set the Foreground color to white.

3.      Choose the Horizontal Type tool horizontal_type from the Toolbox.

4.      Choose your font options on the Type tool options bar.

5.      Type your message on the canvas and adjust the font size accordingly.

6.      Choose the Move tool move from the Toolbox and position the type on the canvas just below center, like ours shown in Figure B.

B

 

7.      Duplicate the text layer, and turn off the visibility for the copied layer.

8.      Select the original type layer and chose Layer > Rasterize > Type. Your layers palette should look like ours shown in Figure C.

C

 

Start the fire

To create the flames, first we’ll apply the wind filter to our type for the initial blast. Then we’ll liquify the flames for greater precision and control.

 

To apply the wind filter:

1.       Choose Edit > Transform 90° CW. Don’t worry if your text extends beyond the canvas border.

2.      Choose Filter > Stylize > Wind to display the Wind dialog box.

3.      Select the Wind option and the From The Left option and click OK.

4.      Press [command]F two times ([Ctrl]F in Windows) to repeat this filter twice.

Note: For a lower resolution file you may only need to repeat it once.

 

5.      Choose Edit > Transform 90°  CCW for results similar to Figure D.

D

 

6.      Choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, enter 2 in the Radius text box and click OK.

7.      Click on the Layers palette’s pop-up menu button and choose Merge Down from the resulting pop-up menu. The white text is now merged with the black layer beneath it, and named Fire as shown in Figure E.

 

E

 

Shape the flames

Now for the fun part! We’ll use the Liquify filter to shape and mold the flames. Take your time on this part, what you do in the Liquify filter can make or break your fire’s realism.

 

To shape the flames with the Liquify filter:

1.       Choose Filter > Liquify to display the Liquify dialog box. By default the Warp tool is selected warp and that’s the tool we need.

2.      Set the Brush size to 30, the Brush Density to 50, and the Brush Pressure to 80.

3.      Click and drag, starting at the top inside of a letter in an upward squiggle motion to drag the “flame” up, as shown in Figure F. To get the height you want, you may have to make a second pass over the same flame.