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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it


Here's how you can create neat firey text like this:


(More images will be added later, it's kind of late at the moment)

  1. [*:1d2fa]Create the text layer, white on black:
    1. [*:1d2fa]Use a large, blocky font
      [*:1d2fa]Blur this layer with a gaussian blur so that the details of the text are still recognizable (holes in letters like 'A' shouldn't end up closed). One eighth the point size works well. The stronger the blur, the less readable the final output will be.

[*:1d2fa]Create the difference clouds layer

  1. [*:1d2fa]Set the blending mode for the clouds layer to 'Negation'
    [*:1d2fa]Render clouds with the scale for the clouds at roughly twice the font size.
    [*:1d2fa]Repeat it a bunch to get a whispy look

[*:1d2fa]Use Levels to adjust the clouds layer. Open the levels adjustment, hit Reset, then under the output area, the replace the default values of 255, 1.00, 0 with 128, 2.0, 0. These are the output White point, output gamma, and output black point, respectively.

[*:1d2fa]Use Levels to adjust the text layer. Open the levels adjustment, hit Reset, then change the input white point (the top-left textbox) to 210.

[*:1d2fa]Flatten the image.

[*:1d2fa]Use Levels to adjust the flattened image. Open the levels adjustment, hit Reset, then change the input range (the textboxes on the left) to 255, 96 (it defaults to 255, 0).

[*:1d2fa]Open up the Curves adjustment. Choose 'RGB' under 'Transfer map', then uncheck the 'Red' and 'Green' checkboxes so you're only modifying the blue channel, add a control point as shown below. Do the same for the green channel so you have the curves shown below.


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I've tried again and it isn't clear how to do !

Yes the clouds layer is Negation and the clouds effect mode is difference.

But it seems to work also in reverse. The result depends on how many time you use the clouds effect...

I have to inverse the color some time before Flattening some time after. I manage to have the edge and the middle of the letter near white before I change the RGB values.

Adjusting the brightness/contrast is a method to reduce the flame outside the text. But also it is strongly depending on the clouds image. You could take this part as optionnal and/or try to find the values for your image.

At the beginning I suggest to use a wave effect with the blur on the text. It's "breaking" the lines for a better rendering.

I hope it's help... :roll:

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I've changed the instructions a bit, I've found these steps lead to hotter results. Let me know what you think. The main difference is that I adjust the text layer's and clouds layer's levels before flattening, resulting in a better 'negation' image. Try it out.

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I when i do the cloud effect ALL IT DOES is change the backround from white to black, when i do effect again it will turn opposite color.

Example: I do cloud, backround is white. I do cloud again (ctrl f) and it turns black again..

It sounds like your foreground and background colors are the same. Make them black/white.

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This is pretty neat! I don't pretend to understand how it works though. I just followed the instructions. I'm a two week old newbie to paint.net and I still can't get the basics of blending. Hue, saturation, level adjustments... I think I need a degree in color theory to understand this stuff. :?


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