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Fire from Foil

Author: Locke21

Tools Needed

  • Scanner
  • The Gimp or image editor with layers and adjustable brushes.

Support Files


Ever wanted a cool fire texture for your work, but couldn't find one? Here is one way using just a scanner and an image editor with programmable brushes. I'm using The Gimp, but I believe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro are both capable of it.


Step 1 - Step one


First, you need to scan a piece of aluminum foil. This will give you the erratic background that every fire has. I will just include a sample if you do not have a scanner.

Step 2 - Step Two


Put a transparent layer over the foil and paint it a nice, vibrant orange. Then reduce the transparency to about 80%.

Step 3 - Step Three


Now is the time to be artistic, and to take advantage of the adjustable brush. Take or invent a brush with the following shape and attributes. Radius 25, Hardness .30, Aspect Ratio 3, and Angle 90. You should end up with a soft-sided oval like the picture.

Step 4 - Step Four


Add another layer, change the color to a warm orange-yellow and start painting in flames with your new brush. There isn't any hard and fast rule here, just remember that most flames rise and fall, and no two are the same height.

Step 5 - Step Five


Reduce the transparency of the flame layer to 80%. Then create another layer on top of that one. Change the color to a bright yellow, reduce the opacity of the brush 50%, and add a few highlights to the yellow sections. Don't overdo it, just a few bright spots here and there.

Step 6 - Step Six


Now here is how you get your flames out of the picture. Merge all the layers and flatten the picture. Then using “Select by color” select the orange that ISN'T part of the flames. Invert the selection, copy, and then paste it as a new image.

Step 7 - Step Seven


As you can see, there is a lot of clean-up to do, but a little time with an eraser tool, and you have a cool set of flames. To use them, just select the white background, invert, copy and paste. The images I put up show how to create flames for the bottom of a dress or coat, but with a little imagination, you could make about any flame you want. Have fun, and don't get burned!