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Flame filter in Photoshop tutorial

flame filter in Photoshop tutorial render

How to use the flame filter in Photoshop CC 2017 2015 etc for all kinds of amazing fire / fiery / intense imagery. The flame filter / render is for Photoshop CC 2017 2015 and works on mac and pc. The flame filter creates amazingly realistic flame / fire designs in seconds in Photoshop. The flame filter needs a path. Create a path first using the path tools / pen tool etc and use that with the filter. The flame filter is found in the render section of the filters in Photoshop. The flame filter can be used to create all kinds of flames such as candle flames, multiple flame flickers, single flames and more. The flame filter render includes a number of settings as well as flame preview in Photoshop. You can change the turbalence of the flame filter effect. You can change the complexity as well as opacity of the flame render. You can use the flame filter in Photoshop to create basic fire and fiery designs as well as abstract flames. You can use all kinds of paths to create the flames with the filter so you can create a spiral flame as well as star flame design in Photoshop and many more. You can also render the result and blend that with styles and layer effects and Photoshop filter effects such as oil paint to create even more amazing flame renders. The flames can also be combined in Photoshop as well as re-colored and they can also be used as a great source for patterns and brushes as well as just layers. This tutorial shows you how to create the path for the flame filter in Photoshop along with how to modify the flame and fire settings. How you can then take the flame and modify that render even more to create the most amazing unique flame designs on the web

Custom shapes to purchase

$7.79 (also GBP, etc) for the set, CSH format, download


BUY 13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop CC 2017 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 etc and Photoshop elements and as a great source for paths for use in the flame filter CSH 13,000 Custom shapes for Photoshop and Elements


** The Photoshop flame filter will not work unless you have created a path for it.

  1. Create a path using the pen tool or use a custom shape / path or copy a path in from Illustrator etc

  2. Make certain the path is selected in the path panel

  3. Probably best to work on a layer so create new layer via layer menu

  4. Filter menu

  5. Render

  6. Flame


You will now see the flame loosely follows the path (I must admit I am always surprised that Photoshop doesn't allow for a default line path - basic up and down and not display an error message when there is no path to use)

Settings for the flame filter in Photoshop - the flame filter is quite a complex panel with turbulence, width, alignments etc

the advanced tab for the flame render filter in Photoshop

There are a lot of settings but the key ones are on the basic tab.


Click on the advanced tab to modify the flame in many different ways


Basic tab has 1. flame type 2. length + random length 3. width 4. angle 5. interval 6. use custom color 7. quality. The advanced tab has 1. turbulent 2. jag 3. opacity 4. complexity 5. Flame bottom alignment 6. flame style 7. flame shapes 8. random shapes 9. arrangement.


I would love to see a randomizer option here but the random shapes is a nice feature though there is not a huge variation (as if all the fields were randomized)


The basic tab still has a lot of functionality and also complexity and changing the flame type can slow the tool down quite a bit especially selecting the multiple options (the multiple options allow for the width angle etc to be accessible). Simply by changing settings for the length down to 5 (the minimum) with the multiple, you can create some oddball flames. Changing the custom color from orange to blue can create cold chilly flames. When it comes to trying out the flame filter in Photoshop and the different settings it is probably best to set the quality to draft (fast) as the flames can be really great looking but they take some time to process especially in multiple type


You can see the advanced tab on the left for the flame filter in Photoshop's render category

Flame types - one flame, candle, multiple flames etc (there are also many other variations in Photoshop)

candle light flame

Personally, I generally use the one flame and candle option but the multiple are useful for some very interesting flame designs spread over a large area.


The thing about the flame filter is that it can be applied on a layer as well as a background (any color of background) so you can always run the filter multiple times resulting in flames that can be re-aligned and blended in different ways


You can see an example of the candle light opposite. Personally, I would probably turn it upside down and would be then more convincing but that was the generated result from the default. You can change the width for the candle light and you can see the individual strands of image that make up the flame.

Multiple flames - you can control the angle of the flame to make it go to the right or the left etc

flame in one direction in Photoshop

Multiple flames and one direction example. In this case the angle has been set to make the flames go to the right (see the image on the right) but you can set the angle of the flame to any direction. Looks a bit like a flame on a long stick or a fence in the wind, perhaps

Length, width etc of the flame when using the multiple type of flame

These settings are only for the multiple type. Width is probably the most extreme and if you want to fill the screen with flame then set that. Interval, set low to create the greatest density of flame and set high for a more loose flame. Setting the flame length high results in an unusual flame especially with a high interval and high width. The flame filter generates more than its fair share of abstract flame designs which maybe useful just for creating interesting backgrounds as well as flames.

Turbulent / jag flame in Photoshop

moderate turbulent single flame value in Photoshop

You can create a very thin jet design by setting the turbulent setting very low. The flame looks more realistic with a moderate setting of turbulence (such as on the left). If you set the value to high, the flame is all over the place and fills the image. If you have a low turbulent setting and set the length low, you can see the very thin lines (multiple type).


Jag adds its own touch, set the value low and the image is far more concentrated, have the jag value high and the results looks more random (the flame filter works, it seems, by adding multiple internal layers of flame image)


The higher jag settings spreads the flame filter a little wider

Opacity and flames - change the opacity to create abstract as well as more realistic flames

low opacity setting with the flame filter in Photoshop

The opacity is similar to the opacity in the application in general, set the value low and the flames virtually vanish but set the value high and you can see the result of the jagged flame dabs and the image looks more abstract but less like actual flames. Opacity works best with lower values.


If you set the value very low, the result can look very misty (especially with a wide setting of jag) as on the left (if the color was set to something other than a flame color of orange - set it to a gray or white perhaps)


If you set the opacity to a high value, the result can be an abstract shape more than a flame, especially if you randomize the shapes (or just select different arrangement settings)

Complexity / bottom arrangement flame

Lower values result in a more abstract chunky flame (not realistic) but complexity high and the result is a very smooth flame design. The flame bottom arrangement is probably the most extreme and works best with low values, with high values the result is a large flame but not very realistic.

Flame styles such as normal and violent and flat

The descriptions are of interest but the normal seems more violent than the violent. Flat looks more smudged but hardly flat. Flame shape does create some interesting variations but with some settings such as low width and low length etc, it would be hard to notice any different with the flame shapes.


This setting probably makes the most extreme changes and most interesting changes with the flame filter but there is little offered to what they do, beyond (I assume as I am certain there is little difference between a 30 and 31 yet the flame filter changes considerably)

Abstract flames such shards of orange flame design in Photoshop

render flame filter and multiple layers blending

Really depends also on the path being used but if you use the following


one flame along path

width 999

turbulent 80

opacity 20

flame lines 10

flame bottom 99

default shape and style

arrangement 34.4


The example above is just one but lots of different combinations can be used to create weird and wonderful abstract backgrounds in the flame filter in Photoshop. You can apply the flame again with the repeat filter but the result may not have any randomization and so the same flame is created. Create a new layer and then re-do the flame filter panel and change the arrangement slightly and click OK


Now you can combine the two layers using blending modes or perhaps combine them with other effects such as using gaussian blurs on the flame filter render and then use blends such as darken or overlay

Different path shapes - you can use the flames on different paths to create all kinds of amazing flame imagery

flame flower designYou can use the render with different path.


If you are using a custom shape, use the path option and then also use the multiple flames path direction option (perhaps) but the others work well also.


Set many of the other settings low otherwise the turbulent etc will be too great. Set the width reasonably low as well. Keep the flame bottom alignment low. Vary things by using the arrangement setting or randomize shapes. You can add flames to circles, etc as well as things like jigsaw puzzle designs or pens etc


On the right, a flower design was used

Flame renders with layers / styles

flame filter and layer effects such as bevelsYou do not need to use them only on one layer, you can apply the flame filter / render on different layers and then combine the results. You can also add styles to the rendered design


The image on the right was applied on a layer via the flame filter command (using a different embellishment shape) and the artwork was then modified by using a style (you can find 7000 styles on this site with a mix of styles that work super well with the fire designs). The style includes a bevel and highlights etc

Flame renders and effects

You can use many of the shapes on the site as well as the shapes that come with Photoshop. The shapes can be turned into all kinds of flame themed artwork such as on the left. In most cases, the settings have all been set to low values otherwise you may find the image and the preview full of flames (not literally)


You can also add effects to them such as Photoshop oil paint filters as well as blurs and camera raw filter and many more or perhaps effects such as Analog Efex Pro 2 and Oil paint filter and multiple layers


Flame renders and type paths

flame filter and type candle light approach in PhotoshopIn the case of type

  1. type some characters

  2. type menu and create work path

  3. create new layer

  4. apply flame filter via the render category (filters)


You may find an error message appears saying about the length of the path, the render still seems to work fine though the preview is perhaps not the same as the result. You may also wish to hide the type or delete that type layer.


Different settings such as candle light can result in more abstract type generated by the render such as on the right

Other tutorials

1. How to add multiple strokes to Photoshop shapes tutorial

2. How to create amazing color LUTs / color lookup tables in Photoshop

3. Flame Painter 3 Pro and using vector layers and paths