Obviously you cannot have a heat haze across the entire image as it would look unrealistic and so I focused it along the foreground. I duplicated the distorted layer and then, in Quick Mask Mode, selected a Foreground to Transparent Radial Gradient and dragged a circle around the base of the right foot as shown in Fig.19. Switching to Standard Mode I then deleted the area around the foot and repeated this on the duplicate layer for the area around the left foot. The two layers could now be merged and the before and after effects of this distortion can be seen in Fig.20.
One final filter that will complete the effect is a Wave, which is also found under the Distort menu. Again the settings for this are entirely dependent on the scene and image size; however these are roughly the ones I applied in this instance (Fig.21). Again to limit this filter to a specific region I duplicated the flattened layer and then applied the Wave to this. I wanted to restrict it to the extreme foreground and so, using Quick Mask Mode, I dragged a Linear Gradient from the bottom of the canvas up to the knee region at an angle that matched the ground (Fig.22). Back in Standard Mode I then deleted the upper section and merged this layer with the Glass distortion. I applied a little Gaussian Blur to the distortion and then flattened the PSD file, resulting in the final version (Fig.23).
I hope that this tutorial has offered some useful tips on creating complex particle effects in Photoshop and shown that post work can prove a viable alternative to 3D.I would like to extend my thanks to Christopher Tackett for allowing the use of his great artwork for this project.