Generating Sparks and Fire Using Photoshop Tools

In this penultimate compositing class, Viktor demonstrates how to create a custom brush that can be used to add the effect of sparks to the image. He also provides a quick demonstration of how to create fire in Photoshop.

In this class:

  • How to create a custom brush effect for sparks
  • How to customise brush settings
  • How to use layer styles to further customise custom brushes
  • How to use Blur filters to add movement to sparks
  • How to work with masks to further refine custom brush effect
  • How to create fire in Photoshop using Flame filter

For compositing, using stock images is one option, but creating your own effects is another option, as Viktor and Karl decided to do here. This class shows how to use the noise filter to create a custom brush. Having used the Brush tool to create the effect of smoke in a previous chapter, Viktor shows you just how versatile this tool can be by again using it, but to produce a completely different effect. This information packed class demonstrates the steps needed to create a custom brush to add the effect of sparks.

Viktor starts by using the noise filter to create an effect he can use for his brush. You’ll then see how he manipulates this filter and uses it to create his custom brush. Using various brush settings and layer styles, he show how you can further modify the brush to get the result you want. You’ll also see how he adds the impression of movement using different Blur filters. To finish the class, Viktor gives a quick demonstration of how to use the Flame filter to create fire in Photoshop.

Using the noise filter to create a brush:
Photoshop custom brush

Viktor used the noise filter to create an effect somewhat similar to sparks, which was further modified later.

Customising the brush using layer styles:
Photoshop layer styles

Using Layer Style options such as Inner and Outer Glow to create realistic sparks.

The final sparks effects created using custom brushes:
Creating sparks in Photoshop

A combination of filters, brush settings, layer styles and blur was applied to get the final spark effects.

For more tips on creating composite images in Photoshop, read our ‘Top tips for compositing‘ article.

Questions? Please post them in the comments section below.


  1. This whole process is amazing guys. It’s nice that you picked such a complex and dynamic scene to represent. Great pick for a tutorial. Lots of good stuff in here. Thanks!

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