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Here it is, the long awaited Custom Flames Tutorial!

You will need:

A Candle

A Camera (any kind will do)

A Black Background

Custom Brushes Mini (Plugin)

Grim Color Reaper (Plugin)

You done? Good cause it’s time to light the incense.

Step 1

Set up your black cloth against a wall or backboard etc. Light your candle and let it burn for a minute. Grab your camera and be sure to have a light to catch the smoke while keeping the background as dark as possible (this helps contrast the smoke from the background). Note: If you can set your camera to burst then do so.

Step 2

Blow out the candle and snap your shots making sure to get close up and distanced pictures. Take your shots of the smoke right above the wick and farther up too so your images vary.

Step 3

When you feel you’ve gotten enough photos (or your spouse/parents have had it with you stinking up the house), upload them to your computer and put them in Paint.net.

flamescreenprint1.jpg

Go to Adjustments> Black & White to rid the images of any unwanted color. Go to Adjustments> Levels, and tweak it so the background is as dark as you can get it while maintaining your smoke clarity (the settings vary). Next Press “Ctrl+Shift+i” to invert the colors. Now that your smoke is black and grey and your background is white, go to Effects> Colors> Grim Color Reaper, Set “What color?” to white and leave everything else default. Now the background should be transparent (checkered).

flamescreenprint2.jpg

Then go to Adjustments> Brightness/Contrast and make the smoke darker.

flamescreenprint3.jpg

Finally, go to Effects> Reduce Noise and put both sliders completely to the right.

flamescreenprint4.jpg

There isn’t that better!

Save your image as a PNG in a Custom Brushes folder. (be sure to leave the background un checked so you can see the checkered pattern or it will not save transparent)

Step 4

Open New. Add Layer. With Layer 2 selected Go to Effects> Tools> Custom Brushes Mini.

Locate the brush(es) you wish to use and select your desired brush size. Place them where you want and click OK.

Now it’s quite probable that the smoke creates an ugly straight edge. Just use the Gradient Tool set to Radial, Transparency, and Blend. Then use the Gradient to remove the straight edge and make it smooth.

flamescreenprint5.jpg

Press Ctrl+Shift+i once on Layer 2 and again on Background. Merge the 2 layers together.

Step 5

Use Effects> Photo> Glow on these settings (Radius: 0, Brightness: 0, Contrast: 8)


flamescreenprint6.jpg

Go to Effects> Render> Flames, and set the Sliders to your tastes.

Step 6

Lastly, Add a new layer, put it below the flame layer, make it black, and Use Grim Color Reaper on your flame layer to remove the black.

Now adjust as you see fit.


flamescreenprint7.jpg


Ta-Da! You’re Done!



I would love to see your outcomes!

Edited by NinjaManDan21
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Oh I have some downloaded smoke brushes. But the satisfation of taking a noise filled photo and chaging it into a usable brush is a good feeling. Plus if I don't have the shape of smoke I am looking for then I can make my own.

Thank you for your comments. :)

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Nice outcome nitenurse!

How many separate smoke images did you use? It looks like you use 2 smoke pics and doubled each one

Thank you :) I cheated a little (or a lot perhaps) and used some pre made custom brushes, it was done on one transparent canvas and just a little trial and error to "brush" in the right place. I'm happy with the result even though I was lacking one vital ingredient - the candle - :D

 

ZXCBOoZ.png

 

 

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With all the different brushes around I thought "why bother?"... and then I inexplicably found myself doing this. LOL

The original candle smoke looked somewhat flimsy. I had to duplicate the layer three times and under noise I changed the median to replicate the flame 3 times over... but smaller and with subtle color variances using color balance and not flames... so not following the tutorial exactly.

candlesmoke.png

Nice idea NinjaManDan21.

Cheers,

V.

Edited by ventor1
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  • 5 months later...

Now, I consider myself to be quite good with Paint.net and I've done countless artwork pieces for people (Band logos, cover art and so on...) But I can not by the life of me get THIS tutorial to actually work. I've tried following the steps at least 20 times with no result. The way its written is just...No.

Can someone please re-write this tut and maybe add some pics that actually makes sense to whats written underneath 'em?

I don't mean to be rude or anything, I'm just frustrated that I can't make THIS easy thing work when I've made Metallica DVD coverart with the same freakin' program. :)

Ghrolt

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  • 2 months later...

Ghrolt: what is the problem? How in the world could we help you if we don't know which step didn't work?

 

NMD21: Awesome tutorial! Really easy to follow. I don't have a candle handy at the moment but I will give this tutorial a try soon. :D

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, I'm not acuatlly new to this, but! Come on! I tried and tried! to no success.....I'm lost at the start of step 4, Open new what? Then what? Brushes? I have a headache! The universe is unfolding on it self! I surrender, I give up! It would be easier and less painful to remarry My Ex! Ok Seriously now, I have tried different steps as too maybe what you meant and well all I can say is " I'm more confused than Mike Tyson in a spelling B contest!

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I can't make it anymore straight forward. It's already written step by step. Anyone that has saved documents before should remember that Open New is the first option under the File tab, and opens a new whatever that program is used for. Thus it would open and new canvas in Paint.net. The tutorial is self explainatory. Forgive my frankness but this tut won't be able to be of use to anyone who doesn't first know how to navigate a computer.

 

Edit:

 

And also, the tutorial plainly lists the plugins needed for it, so if you have to wonder what I mean by brushes and custom brushes, you need to familiarize yourself with paint.net, the forum, and simpler tuts that need less plugins.

Edited by NinjaManDan21

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Be nice NMD. You don't actually link to the plugins or the guide to plugin installation. For a newb landing on this page it would be bewildering.

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Well then allow me to be more precise as to what your instructions is lacking.....

 

1: At step 4, Open what? What are we all supposed to assume we are opening? Of course I just figured we were supposed to open what we just saved, right? meaning the previous file at this point is deleted, right? So we are actually opening a file we just saved and deleted the file we started with, Right?

 

2: Brushes?! I should have been more to the point rather than assuming, My bad! Now for the question....What are the brushes for ( Not its location or its function ) if we already have a smoke pic in transparent form, what does the brush imprint provide other than adding to the smoke pic to begin with or is the process needed in order for the outcome to be successful.

 

3: I have followed your instructions, The outcome of my pic is the black background is actually the background of the flame rather than being black and the smoke being flame.

 

 

I'm only asking because I love your Idea and very interested in your creativity in regards to flame making!!.........Perhaps I'm asking way to much from you. So if anyone else could provide the answers I would very much appreciate it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Be nice NMD. You don't actually link to the plugins or the guide to plugin installation. For a newb landing on this page it would be bewildering.

 

Very true EER I overlooked that.

 

Also I don't mean to sound rude, so for the part I paly, my sincere apologies.

 

 

Edit: Wow 2nd page xD

Edited by NinjaManDan21

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Well then allow me to be more precise as to what your instructions is lacking.....

 

1: At step 4, Open what? What are we all supposed to assume we are opening? Of course I just figured we were supposed to open what we just saved, right? meaning the previous file at this point is deleted, right? So we are actually opening a file we just saved and deleted the file we started with, Right?

 

2: Brushes?! I should have been more to the point rather than assuming, My bad! Now for the question....What are the brushes for ( Not its location or its function ) if we already have a smoke pic in transparent form, what does the brush imprint provide other than adding to the smoke pic to begin with or is the process needed in order for the outcome to be successful.

 

3: I have followed your instructions, The outcome of my pic is the black background is actually the background of the flame rather than being black and the smoke being flame.

 

 

I'm only asking because I love your Idea and very interested in your creativity in regards to flame making!!.........Perhaps I'm asking way to much from you. So if anyone else could provide the answers I would very much appreciate it.

When I say open I mean Open New blank project.

 

As for brushes, it allows you to save the smoke image as a stamp/brush so you don't  (a ) have to redo the whole process of cleaning the image up from ground zreo again or  (b ) search for the image to add into the work, i just find it easier and more friendly.

 

As for the background issue, did you merge the brush (which is with a transparent checkered background) with a black underlying layer before applying the flame effect? If not thats the issue, the black background is needed to be merged so the flame effect only touches the white smoke.

 

Sorry again for my hasty judgement. :)

Edited by NinjaManDan21

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