Keep up-to-date with Free tutorials!!


Sign up to our twice-monthly newsletter today for the latest tutorials, interviews and product information.

Sign me up to receive third-party emails from 3dtotal's partners, too!

- Latest news
- Exclusive Shop Offers
- Preview early content
- Plus much more


Not Ready to take that step? OK, Why not just Subscribe to the RSS Feed

submit tutorial
Quick texture tips in Photoshop: Smoke

By Ivan Khomenko
Web: Open Site
| Your Rating:
rating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star nonerating star none
(0 Votes)
| Comments 0
Date Added: 26th February 2015
Software used:
2002_tid_image--(6) gif.gif

Ivan Khomenko divulges some of the best techniques for creating smoke textures
in Photoshop…


You can download the brushes used in the follow tip here.

Step 1: Smoke I

In this tip I'll first say a couple words about creating smoke in Photoshop. Basically it all depends on which brush you use for creating smoke. Of course you can manage it with only a standard Photoshop brush set, for example with a default air brush, but in this case the smoke will look too soft and without sharp edges. If you want a thicker and denser smoke effect, you should use a special smoke brush (you'll find it with this tutorial).

So to start, you need to create a new file (you can use the shortcut Ctrl + N on your keyboard), and set the resolution to 2000x1400. Then you'll need to create new layer Shift + Ctrl + N. Now you can find the brush we'll be using for the smoke - it should be third from the top in your Brush Presets Panel on the right side.

Finding the right brush for the effect you want

Step 2: Smoke II

Select the brush above, and then choose a suitable color for your smoke. If you need to erase some parts of the smoke, you can use the same brush to erase areas - just choose the Eraser Tool.

Using the erase tool to remove areas

Step 3: Smoke III

Everything is ready, so now you can start to paint. Imagine that the wind will blow from right to left across the scene; in this case our smoke will be painted in as seen here.

Painting in the smoke, thinking about the wind direction

Step 4: Smoke IV

Don't forget that smoke is volumetric object and so has dark areas on the underside and lighter areas over the top - the same as if it were a spherical object.

Adding a third dimension to the smoke using shadow and highlights

Step 5: Smoke V

The last thing you can add to make your smoke more realistic is a drop shadow. For this purpose you can use another special brush, which is found fourth from the top in Brush Presets Panel. This is a flat brush which is very useful for situations such as this.

A drop shadow makes the scene more realistic

An example of smoke textures put into practice

Related links:

Check out Ivan Khomenko's Artstation
Get our Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop book

Related Tutorials


Gallery Image.

Keywords: 3ds Max, FumeFX, After Effects, Smoke, VFX

Go to tutorial
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star full (6)
Comments 4 Views 103542


Gallery Image.

Keywords: explosion, smoke, particle, technique,

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star halfrating star none
Comments 0 Views 131766


Gallery Image.

Keywords: photoshop, concept, digital painting

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
Comments 1 Views 4160


Gallery Image.

Keywords: hands,digital painting,

Go to galleries 1
rating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star fullrating star half
Comments 7 Views 26005
Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
no comments!
No comments yet. Be the first to comment!
Add Your Comment