How to Create a WICKED Burning Effect in Photoshop

How to Create a WICKED Burning Effect in Photoshop. Creating a wicked burning effect in Photoshop involves manipulating colors, adding flames, and enhancing the overall fiery appearance. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1: Open Your Image

  1. Open the image you want to apply the burning effect to.

2: Duplicate the Background Layer

  1. Duplicate the background layer to have a copy to work with.

3: Adjust Hue/Saturation

  1. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation.
  2. Lower the saturation to -100 to desaturate the image.

4: Apply Gradient Map

  1. Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map).
  2. Choose a gradient that goes from dark red to bright yellow to represent fire.
  3. Set the blending mode of the Gradient Map layer to “Color” or “Overlay.”

5: Create Flames

  1. Add a new layer above the Gradient Map adjustment layer.
  2. Use the Brush tool (B) to paint flame-like shapes in areas where you want the burning effect.
  3. Experiment with shades of orange, yellow, and red for the flames.
  4. Set the blending mode of the flame layer to “Overlay” or “Screen.”

6: Add Smoke

  1. Create another layer above the flame layer.
  2. Use a soft brush to paint smoke-like shapes.
  3. Set the blending mode to “Screen” to make the dark areas transparent.

7: Adjust Flames and Smoke

  1. Fine-tune the flame and smoke layers by adjusting opacity and using layer masks to blend them more naturally into the scene.

8: Add Glowing Embers

  1. Create a new layer for glowing embers.
  2. Use a small, soft brush to paint glowing dots in areas with flames.
  3. Adjust the layer opacity to make it subtle.

9: Apply Outer Glow

  1. Select the flame and smoke layers.
  2. Right-click and choose “Blending Options.”
  3. Apply an “Outer Glow” effect, adjusting the settings to create a fiery glow around the flames.

10: Fine-Tune Overall

  1. Adjust the overall contrast, brightness, and color balance of the image to make the burning effect more realistic.


  • Use Real Fire References:
    • Study real fire images to understand the patterns and colors.
  • Experiment with Blend Modes:
    • Blend modes play a crucial role in creating realistic fire effects.
  • Add Sparks or Ash:
    • Consider adding smaller details like sparks or ash for a more intricate effect.
  • Use Layer Masks:
    • Layer masks allow you to control where the burning effect appears and how it blends with the original image.
  • Adjust Opacity:
    • Fine-tune the opacity of different layers to achieve the desired intensity.

Remember to experiment and adjust settings based on your specific image and the level of intensity you want for the burning effect.

How to Create a WICKED Burning Effect in Photoshop
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