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Smoke Effects

Lesson 7 from: Special Effects for Composite Photography

Corey Barker

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Lesson Info

7. Smoke Effects

Next Lesson: Texture Effects

Lesson Info

Smoke Effects

You would extract these spark elements very much the same way as before. There's my red channel, command click on it. Just do your command J and copy it, and then layer matting. This is always a question I get after people see this technique is, where was that setting again? So under layer, at the very bottom of the layer menu, matting, remove black matte, there we go. So now you got sparks. So if I pull those sparks and go over here, is question? When you, just before you select the remove the black matting, do you leave the selection active? No. It doesn't matter? No, just make sure you have the right layer selected, that's all. You don't have to have an active selection on it, yeah. Okay. So, don't know why I brought that in there. So smoke elements are even easier. Now of course, there are times when I'll take a smoke element, let's go back into this one, and one like this, this is a very black dense smoke element here. So I'm actually gonna rotate the orientation, and just...

gonna drag and drop it over. No, not that one, this layer. There we go. I don't know why, but that alone looks pretty cool. (audience mumbling) It's like an air of mystery around it. In fact, if I go in here and add a layer mask and let's put the layer mask in, oh, we're going off in a tangent here, here we go. Let's get a little reveal here. Okay that's cool. Want to do a constanza, leave on a high note. (laughing) But um, I'm gonna put in free transform. I'm just gonna press command T and then command zero. So obviously it's a very high res image. And you can see the box comes out here, very far. When it comes to abstract elements like this, like smoke and fire elements, the thinking might be to scale it to fit in the image here, but when you drag and drop a image, a large image like this, move the elements around. It's very big. Let me disable that mask for the moment. I'm just gonna shift click on the mask. But being close in, you can see parts, because you're in a narrow view of it, you can see parts of the smoke. You probably didn't see it as a whole. Just like when I dropped it in there. You saw immediate, I was like that was looking pretty cool. So moving it around, you can see various aspects of the smoke that you may not have seen before. So like there, 'cause what I'm looking for is a very subtle smoke effect, but not overbearing, and I actually think that positioning works really good. Now if I change the blend mode to screen, and do a little bit of a levels adjustment, force the darker areas to be even darker, then I've got a little subtle smoke effect going on in there. Of course I can move it around and see how the other areas look and get really really overbearing with it like that. And of course in addition to the size of course, paying attention to that, and the blend mode, don't forget you can also adjust the opacity. 'Cause even if you like an area and it's still too dense, just push that opacity down a little bit and you've got a nice subtle effect there. And one other thing you can do to this, is if you're not necessarily happy with the color of the smoke, right now I didn't do anything with it's original color, put if you had the layer selected, you go in here and just put a color cast on it. So if I wanted the smoke to have, kind of pick up the blue in the scene, coming from the flare, then I'll just enhance the saturation of it by adding a blue cast to it. And you can see the difference there. So now that smoke looks like it's in the scene. It's picking up the light of that flare element there. But that's just blending smoke with the background using those techniques. Now if you wanted to extract smoke, like we've done with the fire, that is like I said, a lot easier. So here for instance, is just a really interesting smoke. I've used this one numerous times. Most often I did a composite where a guy was holding a gun and I wanted a little smoke trail coming out of the barrel of the gun, so this is what I used here. But really simply, you're gonna use that luminous base selection, like I've been using up to this point, and go right in here. I'm just gonna make a simple luminous base, just command click right on the RGB channel. Instead of copying whatever's on the original layer to a new layer, it's smoke. It's just simply white. So I'm just gonna go ahead and create a new blank layer and then just option delete with white as my foreground color, and now I've got extracted smoke quickly and easily. So now I can just pop that in to whatever design I'm working on. This is just going nuts here. Flares and smoke, this is one crazy woman here. But you can see, it was big, so I brought it over. But you see closing in on it how that actually kind of wavy smoke does look pretty cool on the side there. So before you scale it in, take that closer look and just kind of move it around like this, you might see it working in a way you didn't before, so, there's like that.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Special Effects for Composite Photography Bonus

Ratings and Reviews

Pat Saizan

Great short course. Love to see advanced photoshop classes like this. Cory is great and an excellent instructor.

Beth Krzes

i found this class to be very informative. the image and description were a bit misleading but I did enjoy the subjects covered. well worth the time. I think he went through the steps quickly, you do need a better than average understanding of layers and tools as he isn't always clear as to the "path" of how to do certain steps. I took notes, attempted the project and listened to the lesson again to reiterate the sections that my notes weren't too clear. also was more focused on watching the process vs just writing it down. would recommend this class to anyone who wants to step up their skils in PS.

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