Flaming Car
[tweetmeme]In this tutorial I’ll show you how to create a running flaming car effect. We will play with some filters, blending effects and brushes to create a very nice effect.
I’ll also show you different techniques of adjustment to get the most realistic results in your photo.

Final Image Preview

Before we get started, let’s take a look at the image we’ll be creating

Before We Get Started

For this tutorial you are going to need two images and two different set of brushes


Bridge in the night thanks to Michal Zacharzewski

Car thanks to Michal Zacharzewski


Fire Brushes thanks to Resource42

Odysee Brushes thanks to Axeraider70

Step 1 Setting up the Document

We will start opening the bridge image; you don’t need to modify the image size. Save it as flaming car.

Step 2 Extracting the car

a)   Open the car image as is and double-click on the “Background” layer to make it editable.

b)   Then use the Magic Wand Tool to select the white area around the car, then go to Select> Modify > Expand and apply 1 px.

c)   Next Select > Modify > Feather and in the dialog box apply .5px.

d)   Delete the background and then Drag and Drop the car layer itself into your work document.

Step 3 Adjusting the car to the background

We must scale and rotate the car so it adjusts to the background.

Edit > Transform > Scale

Edit > Transform > Rotate

Step 4 Preparing the car

a) Desaturate the car colors

Image > Adjustments > Desaturate

b) Now apply Glowing Edges

Filter > Stylize > Glowing Edges, Set the dialog box as follow:

c) Apply Screen layer style at 74%

d) Load the car selection for doing it: Select > Load Selection and select the car channel

e) Create a new layer below the car and paint it with color orange R: 255 G: 120 B: 0

f) Apply layer Style Screen at 53%

g) Now motion blur: Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, set the dialog box as follow

Step 5 Applying movements

a) Duplicate the car layer

b) Apply Motion Blur: Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, Set the dialog box as follow:

c) Create a new layer below the Car Copy Layer, name it speed

d) Open de Gradient Tool Editor (double click on the gradient) and select:

Gradient Type: Noise

Roughness: 100%

Color Model: RGB

Restrict Colors (select)

Add Transparency (select)

e) Select the Linear Gradient and in the Speed layer Paint with the gradient Tool.

f) Now desaturate: Image > Adjustments > Desaturate

g) Distort the speed lines so it matches the car perspective: Edit, Transform > Distort and play with the speed lines

h) Erase with the Eraser Tool all the lines in front of the car and above it you don’t want. Apply layer style Normal to 50% transparency

Step 6 Road tracks

a) Create a new layer above the background and name it Road Tracks

b) With the polygonal lazo create a selection of the imaginary tracks of the car

c) Paint it with white color and apply layer Style Screen at 83%

d) Now with the Eraser Tool with a 37% flow erase some parts of it

Step 7 Add Color

a) Create a new layer above all and name it color

b) Paint it with a bright Orange color : R: 255  G:120  B: 0

c) Apply layer Style Color Burn at 100% (now that’s what we are talking about)

Step 8 Flame tracks

a) Once you have downloaded the brushes sets and installed them go to the brushes palette and select the 9 Fire Brushes set

b) Create a new layer and name it Flames

c) Select a bright Yellow color and choose the second brush with a Master Diameter of 231 pixels.

d) Paint some flames a long the track.

e) Repeat the procedure with different brushes in different sections of the track and the car.

Step 9 Car Shadow

But this is a flaming car, so it is a bright shadow

a) Create a new layer above the tracks and name it shadow

b) With the Lasso tool draw a selection for the shadow

c) Paint it with Bright Yellow

d) Apply layer style Screen at 54%.

Step 10 Lights effects

a) Go to the brushes palette and select the Odysee Brushes set

b) Create a new layer and name it Lights

c) Select a bright orange color

d) Select the Brush Tip Shape in the dialog box and Flip x

e) Choose the first brush with a Master Diameter of 859 pixels.

f) Paint some lights behind the car.

g) Repeat the procedure with different brushes with deferent’s flows and colors like white


These effects can be used in different scenarios, with people or animals (like a flying bird)

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Javier Cantero

Javier Cantero