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Fiery Fireballs in Pixelmator 1.4

Last year I created some images using fireballs, explosion, fire and smoke. Basically I only used brushes to create that in Photoshop. Now with the release of the new Pixelmator 1.4 and its brand new Brush Engine I decided to try it and create the same image in Pixelmator. So, in this tutorial I will show you how to create fire and smoke using Pixelmator. We will play with the Brush Engine, colors and Blendings. Also visit the Pixelmator site for more information at Step 1 Open the new Pixelmator 1.4 and place import an image to your document. I used an old image I had and I really don't know where I found it. If you know please let me know and I will credit the author. Step 2 Duplicate the image layer and change the Blending to Overlay. Step 3 Now it's the coolest feature in this new version of Pixelmator, the Brush Engine. Go to View>Show Brushes. Then select the brush I selected in the image below. Just double click to edit it. You will have pretty much the same settings as in Photoshop. Change the Spacing to 40%, Scatter to 0%, Flow to 100%, Angle to 100% and Opacity to 50%. Use the image below for reference. With this brush we will create all the smoke and fire effects. Step 4 Create a new layer, select black for the color and pick the Brush Tool (b). Start painting the first fireball, to do that go pressing the button and not holding the button, that way you can change a bit the direction and it will produce a less uniform effect. Also use the "[" and "]" to resize the brush. So you can make it bigger and smaller just to create a more realistic effect. Step 5 Add another layer on top of the fireball layer and select grey for the color. Paint a smoke over the end of the fireball, exactly like the image below. Step 6 Now create another layer and select orange for the color. Change the Blending of this layer to Multiply and paint over the fireball and grey smoke. Step 7 Let's add another layer, keep the orange for the color and paint over the other smokes again. This time however, change the Blending of the layer to Color Dodge. Step 8 Let's add another layer and, now, select white for the color. We'll create the highlights of the fire. Still using the same brush, reduce its size a bit and paint over. The Blending of this layer will be Color Dodge too. Step 9 Add another layer, now let's create the shadows. Select black for the color and paint another smoke cloud, this time use Overlay for the Blending. Step 10 Select the Lasso Tool (L) and create a marquee selection on the areas of the photo that are in front of the effects. After that select the fireball layer and go to Layer>Add Layer Mask. Step 11 Select the all the layers used to create the fireball and fires and duplicate them. Then go to Layer>Merge Layer. Reduce its size going to Edit>Transform>Scale. Then change the Blending to 86%. Also use the mask feature to hide the areas that are supposed to be behind the plane. Step 12 Using black and a new layer create more smoke. Change the size of the brush to make the smoke more realist so close to the ground make it much smaller. After that duplicate the layer and change the Blending to Multiply, that way the smoke will be much stronger. Remember, always use Mask to hide the areas behind the aircraft and the dude. Step 13 Duplicate the big smoke layer you have just created and use the Perspective tool to create the shadow. Just go to Edit>Transform>Perspective and start distorting the new layer. Use the soldier's shadows for reference. Step 14 Also create another smoke column using the brush tool. Step 15 Here I used an image I created for the Flying Girl, it's an explosion I did using Cinema 4d. So basically I just imported the image and selected a part of it. Then I changed the size and used the Zoom Blur to create a nice explosion effect. After that just change the Blending to Multiply. Step 16 Let's add another smoke column. Again with the brush tool create the smoke but make it a little curved to the right. Use Hard Light for the Blending. Step 17 Add another layer and create smaller smokes close to the ground using black for the color. Step 18 Now create another layer and paint some orange smokes. Use Color Dodge for the Blending. Step 19 Finally, add another layer and paint more smoke this time use Multiply for the Blending. Step 20 Create a new layer, behind all the smokes, just on over the Image layer and fill it with black. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (Y) and create an ellipse. Fill the ellipse with white and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Change the Blending to Color Dodge and you will have a sort of blast effect. Step 21 Add another layer, this time in front of all the other layers. With the Gradient Tool (G) fill the layer with a gradient from Yellow to Black. Then just change the Blending to Overlay. Conclusion Now just add your logo and you will have a very nice apocalyptic image full of fireballs and smoke. We basicaly used only one brush and just played with colors and blend modes. It's really nice to see the guys over at Pixelmator working hard to improve this great image editor. The Brush Engine and the Clouds filter are great, I did this image last year in Photoshop and now in Pixelmator and I have to say, Pixelmator is much faster in terms of Filters like blurs. The Zoom blur is a greate example, it's in real time, while in Photoshop it's always a surprise the effect wil you will get. Click on the Image for Full Preview Download the Pixelmator File Click here to download the Pixelmator file used for this tutorial

Web Picks #1 : SMOKE

Web Picks is a new series here on Abduzeedo. The idea of the articles is to choose a subject, and present photography, artwork, designs, illustrations and tutorials we find on the topic; and put them together. When designing we tend to forget to look at mediums other than the one we are currently working in. We hope this series will illustrate the many dimensions a single subject can have, and provide cross-format insight for each subject. Following "Daily Inspirations", this is the second new series on starting today. The idea is to choose a subject, and present photography, artwork, designs, illustrations and tutorials we find on the topic. This time we chose "smoke". Here's what we found. This is my first entry for this series. It would be great if you could give me some feedback. PHOTOGRAPHY DESIGNS TUTORIALS CREATE FLAMING METEOR EFFECT CREATE A SMOKE FADING EFFECT CREATE A STUNNING DIGITAL SMOKE EFFECT CREATE SMOKE IN PHOTOSHOP CREATE SMOKE WITH LIQUIFY FILTER SMOKE ON THE WATER THE FAMOUS SMOKE METHOD Web Picks is going to continue and we need your help. If you want to add designs, illustrations, photography or any kind of art send me an email: aloa[at] Next topic: WATER

Creating Smoke

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. 2 - Apply a Gaussian blur on each shape 3 - Using the liquify filter 4 - Positioning the shapes 5 - Adding 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 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 The gradient will give a atmosphere and more depth to the image Final Result 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.

The Joomp wallpaper

The Joomp wallpaper

Here I'm again writing about some stuff that I have done or seen online. In my last article I had shown how to create a wallpaper with some free stuff like icons and textures. Well in this article I wanna show you another wallpaper that I did using basically photoshop, for a company which I have been working for, Joomp. The idea for the wallpaper was a dark image with some light and smoke effects. Below there are images showing step by step how I created that. Step 1: Using the lasso tool, I set a feather of 60px and drew an abstract shape like a cloud. Try to create a small shape, it will get bigger when you add the clouds though Step 2: Filter > Render > Clouds The cloud is black and white Step 3: Image > Adjustments > Hue /Saturation, to make a bluish cloud. Choose colorize to be able to change the colors of the cloud Step 4: Using an image of smoke. I found this image at, it was one of the most dugg posts there, really amazing p>Step 5: Mixing the images; set color dodge as blend mode to both layers. I just used some parts of the image and mixed them up Step 6: Adding the company's logo and a bit of glow. The joomp logo is behind the cloud Step 7: With a custom brush, I added some sparks over the double blue Os of the logo. Just play with the options there, I changed the scattering, shape dynamics and... I think I tried all of them Final step: The last thing was the address and slogan. The end result The .psd file used here can be downloaded, and if you have any doubt or want to ask or suggest something, just let me know.UPDATE: TAKE A LOOK HOW TO CREATE THE SMOKE FROM SCRATCH IN PHOTOHOP