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Easy Smoke in Photoshop

Posted on 15th May 2019
For this tutorial, you will need an image to apply the “Smoke” effect to.

1 - In Photoshop, open the Image you chose to work with.



2 - Create a “New Layer” on top by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel” and name it “Smoke”.





3 - Select the “Pen Tool” (P) and  make sure that “Path” is the chosen format.



4 - Draw a “Wavy” Path where you want some of the “Smoke”.



5 - Select the “Brush Tool” and use a Big and Soft Brush (about 300 px and 0% “Hardness”) with a 50% “Opacity” making sure that White is your “Foreground” color. Head to the “Brush Panel” and make sure that “Shape Dynamics”, “Transfer” and “Smoothing” are selected and chose “Pen Pressure” as “Control” method in the first one.





6 - Use the “Path Selection Tool” (A) to right-click on top of the selected Path and choose “Stroke Path…” Choose “Brush” and check the “Simulate Pressure” box.









7 -  Repeat as many times as needed until the “Smoke “ looks right.



8 - Create other “Paths” and “Stroke” them to add depth to the “Smoke”.





9 - You can change the “Brush” size and/or “Opacity” to achieve different results.







10 -  Make sure that the “Smoke” Layer thumbnail is selected and click “Command/Control + T” to enter “Free Transform”. Click on the small “Warp” icon on the Top Menu and move the handles to make the “Smoke” shape be more realistic. When you are done, hit “Enter” or the small “Check Mark” button on the Top Menu.





11 - Go to Filter > Other > Maximum and use a 5 Pixels “Radius” and “Preserve Squareness”.





12 - Right-click on top of the “Smoke” Layer Thumbnail and choose “Convert to Smart Object”.



13 - Go to Filter > Blur > Surface Blur and use a “Radius” of 35 Pixels and a “Threshold” of 75 Pixels.





14 - Create a “New Layer” on top of everything by clicking on the small button at the bottom of the “Layers Panel”.



15 - Command/Control-click on top of the “Smoke” Layer to make a selection, then select back to the newly created Layer and go to Filter > Render Clouds.







16 - Change the “Blending Mode” to “Overlay”.



17 - Click “Command/Control + T” to enter “Free Transform”. Click on the small “Warp” icon on the Top Menu and move the handles to move the shape. When you are done, hit “Enter” or the small “Check Mark” button on the Top Menu.



18 - Lower the “Opacity” of the new layer to 70%.



19 - Check it out.


by @lornacane

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