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Add Fire to Create an Apocalypse Effect in Photoshop

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Tutorials Photo Effects 1813 Views March 14th, 2018

Add fire effects in Photoshop to create an apocalyptic photo manipulation. To create this end of the world effect I used fiery color gradients, fire and smoke effects, fire rain and other light effects.

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fire effect and apocalyptic photo in photoshop

Tutorial Assets

For this tutorial you will need these stock images, textures and other resources.

Add your photo in a new layer. For this tutorial I used this image of a airplane crash ruin but you can use a building, a car, etc.

airplane crash ruin

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer.

Add this Fire Rain Texture overlay.

fire rain

Set the blend mode to Screen.

fire rain

Press Control-T to transform the image. Rotate the fire rain texture like shown in the preview.

fire rain

Add a layer mask to the Fire Rain layer. Use the Brush Tool, color black and different opacity levels to hide some of the rain drops.

Add a Levels adjustment just for the Fire Rain layer.

Color Mapping in Photoshop

To add dramatic colors to a photo in Photoshop you an use a Gradient Map adjustment layer. In this tutorial I want to create an apocalyptic photo effect. So add a Gradient Map adjustment layer and set the blend mode to Hard Light, opacity 83%.

The color tones for the gradient are: #000000 (location 0%), #7c0900 (location 50%), #ffbb38 (location 86%) and #ffffff (location 100%).

gradient map photoshop dramatic colors in photoshop

Duplicate the Airplane Ruin layer and move it above the Gradient Map adjustment layer. Set the blend mode to Saturation.

Add a layer mask to the Airplane Ruin Copy layer. Use the Brush Tool, color black and different opacity levels to hide some photo areas like shown in the preview.

If you keep the Alt key pressed and click on the layer mask thumbnail, the painted mask should look something like this.

Add Fire Effects in Photoshop

Add this Fire and Smoke Texture in a new layer. Resize it and place it like shown in the preview.

Set the blend mode to Screen. Add a Levels adjustment just for this layer. Right click and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Pick the Burn Tool and use a soft round brush to darken the Highlights of the Fire and Smoke layer, to create a realistic result.

Add this Fire Seamless Texture in a new layer. Resize and rotate the texture. Place it on the airplane wing.

fire effect photoshop

Set the blend mode of the Fire Texture to Screen.

fire effect photoshop

Use the Eraser Tool to adjust the edges. You can duplicate this layer, scale it down to add more flames.

fire effect photoshop

To create an explosion light effect I added this Lens Flare Overlay texture. Set the blend mode to Screen.

lens flare photoshop

For the final touches add a new blank layer above the Airplane Ruin layer. Set the blend mode to Overlay and 75% opacity level. Use the Brush Tool and a soft round brush to add some highlights using tones of light yellow and white.

Sharpen Images in Photoshop

Add a new blank layer above all the other layers. Press Shift-Control-Alt-E to make a copy of the layers merged. Go to Filter > Other > High Pass.

high pass filter photoshop

To obtain a sharpen image effect, set the blend mode to Overlay with the opacity that you like.

high pass filter photoshop

Use the Burn Tool with a soft round brush and different opacity levels, inside the High Pass layer, to darken some areas. Use the Dodge Tool if you want to add highlights.

So here is the final result for this apocalypse photo effect. Adding fire effects in Photoshop and using dramatic color gradient maps, we created this apocalyptic photo manipulation.

fire effect and apocalyptic photo in photoshop fire effect and apocalyptic photo in photoshop

For faster results you can try one of these Photoshop actions.

Apocalypse Effect Photoshop Action

Apocalypse Effect Photoshop Action

Fire Effect Photoshop Action Download

fire effect photoshop action download

If you're looking for amazing textures and backgrounds for Photoshop, explore Textures4Photoshop where you can find 1000+ unique images. You can download all these textures and backgrounds for free to use in personal or commercial projects!

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4 comment(s) for "Add Fire to Create an Apocalypse Effect in Photoshop"

Thomas
Thomas
10:16 AM Wednesday, March 14, 2018
WOW, great photo effect and so easy to do! thank you so much reply
PSDDude
5:22 AM Thursday, March 15, 2018
I am glad you liked the Apocalypse Effect tutorial! reply
Sami
Sami
10:22 AM Thursday, March 15, 2018
It took me an hour to add the fire effects but I am quite pleased with the result!
Thank you for sharing your useful tutorials with us reply
PSDDude
5:16 AM Friday, March 16, 2018
The flames effect looks great!!! reply

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