Glyn Dewis / Beauty, Portrait Photographer
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In this tutorial I want to take you through two different ways that you can add smoke / fog into your pictures.
Ordinarily adding in smoke would require a smoke machine and whereas they have dropped in price considerably over the past few years, it's maybe still an expense that some wouldn't wish to stretch to when considering how often it is likely to be used.
A great, and believable alternative way is to add in smoke/ mist using Photoshop and in fact Photoshop has had a clouds filter for quite some time now. However the filter does require some extra work to help it look realistic and indeed with a little bit of practice it can be extremely convincing.
Step 1: Blank Layer
Start by setting the foreground and background colours to their default of black and white by pressing the letter 'D' on the keyboard. Thenadd a new blank layer to the top of the layer stack.
Now we'll add the beginnings of our clouds by using a filter so go to FILTER> RENDER> CLOUDS and then click OK.
Step 2: Rectangular Marquee Too
Step 3: Free Transform
With the smoke layer active go to EDIT> FREE TRANSFORM and whilst holding down the ALT/OPTION and SHIFT keys click and drag any of the corner transform handles and enlarge the selection way outside the picture boundaries.
This now stretches out the cloud filter effect and gives it a much more realistic look. Press ENTER/RETURN to lock in the transformation.
Step 4: Opacity and Layer Mask
Now that we have our fake smoke / mist we need to reveal the underlying picture of our subject. To do this simply lowerthe opacity of the smoke layer to taste. In this example I lowered the opacity to around the 25% mark. Once done, click to add a layer mask and then with a soft edged black brush set to around 20% opacity paint random brush strokes over the subject to reduce the dense smoke / mist and make it look as though he is stood amongst it.
Another way we can create fake smoke/ mist is using brushes.
Now, ordinarily this can be quite a lengthy process to create a brush that is only part way to looking realistic but thankfully there are brushes freely available for us to make use of and one such collection is explosion brushes available from Brusheezy at this link: http://bit.ly/1LfLOhY
Step 5: Download and Install
Step 6: New Document
With the explosion brushes now installed we need to make some adjustments to the settings so that they look even more realistic.
Choose one of the brushes from the explosion brush set and then add a new document by going FILE > NEW and from the Document Type choose the name of the file we've already been working on and click OK.
Choosing this give us a new document with the exact same dimensions. Then go to EDIT> FILL and choose black from the drop down menu and click OK.
Step 7: Brush Shape Dynamics
Press X to set your foreground colour to white and then choose one of the explosion brushes from the Brush Preset Picker. Go to the Brush Panel and from here we can make changes to how the explosion brush looks. In the Shape Dynamics tab increase Size Jitter to 100% and Angle Jitter to 100%.
Step 8: Brush Transfer
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TIP I Jitter Explained
For added realism when using brushes for effects, it's important that there is variety in each of the brush strokes and this is where Jitter comes into play.
Think of Jitter as meaning Randomize and so when we see it such as in the Brush Panel, the higher percentage we increase the Jitter, the more variance there will be each and every time you lift off and re-apply a brush stroke.