Some time ago I had posted an article showing how to create a smoke effect in photoshop, and to achieve that I used a photo of smoke and some photoshop filters. However, some people had said at the time that I should have done the smoke as well and it´s exactly what I will show on this post right now.

I had previously thought about what would be the best way to create smoke in photoshop, and I’ve read some tutorials online and watched some episodes of the amazing pixelPerfect podcast, to find a good and easy solution for the matter at hand.

Actually it was easier than I had expected.

1 - Create some Shapes: I created some random shapes.

Create some random shapes

2 - Apply a Gaussian blur on each shape

Create some random shapes

3 - Using the liquify filter

Create some random shapes

4 - Positioning the shapes

Create some random shapes

5 - Adding some colors

Use the Hue/Saturation with the colorize selected to add some colors
Add a background color on the layer of the shape, otherwise the Hue/Saturation won't work

6 - Creating a cloud behind the smoke

Creating the cloud
Set a feather with a high value, like 40 to 80, and after that apply the hue/saturation on the cloud too

7 - Adding a gradient to create an atmosphere

Create some random shapes
The gradient will give a atmosphere and more depth to the image

Final Result

Create some random shapes

The whole process took me about 30 to 40 minutes tops, it’s pretty simple, although it can be quite hard to create a natural smoke with the liquify filter, the best thing to do is to play with the brushes and with the tools to achieve the desired effect.

About the author of this post

Abduzeedo is a blog about design. There are all sorts of articles for those who want to look for inspiration. Also you will find very useful tutorials for the most used applications out there, with a special selection of Photoshop Tutorials and Illustrator Tutorials. Of course there are other softwares conteplated like Pixelmator, Fireworks, and web design tutorials.