The resulting picture was taken to Photoshop where I fine-tuned it – this is where I put the flame and the hairs on. A few words regarding the creation of this: after the picture was completed I really liked the cat's slightly offensive stance, and I thought it would look good to have a flame as if though it was attacking it (Fig.10).
Creating The Flame
I Googled a picture of a candle flame and put in on the given layer in Photoshop. As the background was black, I simply changed it to Linear Dodge with 100% visibility, then I duplicated this layer and changed it to Screen before smudging it with the help of Gaussian Blur (using setting 7). This gave the flame a bit of a glow. Now I just had to adjust the appropriate visibility, which was 60% for me.
After this I created the stripes over the flame using the Knoll Light Factory plugin (http://www.redgiantsoftware.com/products/all/knoll-light-factory-pro/). I opened a new page and filled it black and with the help of the Knoll Light Factory plugin I generated a sort of Chroma Fan (this needs to be added to the existing tools!) (Fig.11).
I then pulled this over the original picture as a new layer and adjusted it to Screen with 29% visibility.
Post - Production
I also gave the image a few layers which influenced the color of the whole picture. In Curve Editor I adjusted the color scale so the picture was bluer and increased the contrast. I gave it a slight CA (Cromatic Aberration) and then duplicated the layer on which there was a high pass (the demonstration of this is not practical as the outcome always depends on the picture and how you use it).
However, in this before and after, you can really see the value that post-production has during the creation of a picture (Fig.12)
Pay heed next time you hear a pro say that render is simply an uncut diamond!
I hope this Making Of was of use to you and that you will be able to employ some of the techniques I used, when creating your very own works of art.