Flare Text Effect


READ BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT: This is a very old tutorial created in 2001. Software gets changed, updates occur, and some of the steps on this tutorial maybe severely outdated with Photoshop CS1 and onwards. I am not planning to update this tutorial any longer so please do not e-mail or message me telling me that this tutorial does not work. Sorry for the inconvenience.

1. First off, we’re going to start by creating the flare effect first. Now what’s a flare? Flare is a ring of flame which I got inspired by the game Final Fantasy. I applied it on text to make a realistic flame looking effect. Lets create a new document. 8 x 5 inches is good. Black background color is best.

2. Now on the document, make a circle with the circle marquee tool and color it in white, and then while the marquee tool is still going, (don’t deselect), make a new layer and color it in black so the circle stays the same size. Afterwards, change the size a little bit using the FREE TRANSFORM tool (CTRL + T for windows, COMMAND + T for macs) and resize it down just a bit. Then nudge the shape a bit so you make a crescent shape like you see here. After this is done, MERGE the two circle layers together.

3. Now we’re going to RADIAL BLUR this crescent. Go to FILTER > BLUR > RADIAL BLUR and then apply the same settings like u see here. Now, if your circle is kind of small, you might have to lower your amount of radial blur. Just play around with it till it looks fairly blurred but not too much. Afterwards we are going to apply a motion blur on it.

4. Go to FILTER > BLUR > MOTION BLUR. Now just like you see it on the 2nd image of section 3, apply a distance of only 7 pixels on 0 degree angle.

5. Now apply a GAUSSIAN BLUR. Go to FILTER > BLUR > GAUSSIAN
BLUR. Blur it about .5 pixels.

6. After that part is over, your crescent should look like what you see on the top image. Now make a DUPLICATE LAYER of the crescent and apply a layer blending of SCREEN.

7. And then you want to apply a motion blur again for about 30-32 pixels.

8. Now rotate your flare using the FREE TRANSFORM while holding down the shift key. This should constrain your rotation 45 degree angles. Rotate it 45 degree’s two times to make it look like the image you see on the left. Now your flare should look real fuzzy but have some good definite high contrast in the middle portion of it. Now you can merge the duplicate layer and the original together now.

9. Now do the following. Go to IMAGE > MODE > GREYSCALE and turn your document into GREYSCALE mode. This will ask you if you want to flatten the layers. Click on FLATTEN. (Remember to save your documen as a .PSD file before you flatten it if you would like your file to be in seperate layers still).

10. And then go to IMAGE > MODE > INDEX COLOR. If a message box prompts you, say yes FLATTEN IMAGE. But it shouldn’t do this. After all that flattening stuff, go to IMAGE > MODE > COLOR TABLE, and then the screen above should show up. On the dropdown box, choose BLACK BODY and click okay.

11. This should be your final result. Nice and clean isn’t it? Time to add typographic elements.

12. Now make a whole new document, make a type layer with your choice of words and fonts. Serif fonts like TIMES and GARAMOND works best but I could be wrong so experiment with it. Make the type fairly large, and then RASTERIZE the layer. (LAYER > RASTERIZE > TYPE). After that is complete, make a duplicate layer of your type.

13. On the very top layer of your document (which should be your duplicate layer) apply a motion blur so it’s not TOO MUCH but not too less. Around 20 – 30 pixels usually work best.

14. Make another duplicate layer again. Make sure it’s on top of the original type layer and then apply MOTION BLUR again. But this time, apply it with an ANGLE of 90 degrees.

15. This is what your type should look like. Or if anything something close to that. Now go to IMAGE > MODE > GREYSCALE, flatten the document, and then change the MODE to INDEX again. Then apply the COLOR TABLE effect of BLACK BODY once again.

16. This is what it should look like. If not you did something wrong. Now switch back to RGB mode. After this, SELECT > ALL and then COPY AND PASTE to make a new layer with this text on the layer. Or u can just easily duplicate the background or layer.

17. Now you have two layers on your document, go to FILTER > BLUR > GAUSSIAN BLUR and then apply a blur of about 1.6 pixels – 2.5 pixels. And then apply a layer blending mode of MULTIPLY. Look at the images to see if you are in the right place.

18. Now go to your HUE/SATURATION control (CTRL + U, COMMAND + U for macs) and apply your text the same kind of color as your flare resembles.

19. Now you’re going to want to CUT and PASTE your flare you made on a seperate document and apply a layer blending mode of SCREEN or HARD LIGHT. Try different ones to see which works best. Layout all your flares all over your text (not too much) and make sure you rotate it around so it’s not consistant.

20. Adding GAUSSIAN BLUR of your flares may add some good smooth looking fames on your text after you pasted it on your text. Integrating the flare with your text is where your creativity takes over.

My final result.

15 Responses to “Flare Text Effect”

  1. Bohdan said:

    In step 16 you should first change the image mode to RGB, because you couldn’t have more than one layer, and apply filters in Indexed Color mode.

  2. Synergy said:

    Thanks :)

  3. macky said:

    Synergy how are you? just wanna ask of this flare text im trying to follow your instructions but my problem is after number 18 you say (Now you’re going to want to CUT and PASTE your flare you made on a seperate document and apply a layer blending mode of SCREEN or HARD LIGHT. Try different ones to see which works best. Layout all your flares all over your text (not too much) and make sure you rotate it around so it’s not consistant) you mean i make a new document? if i paste the flare to the text the background of the flare is still there, and your text is inside with the flare, how? and how can u take the background of the flare? pls pls help me…thanks a lot…more power

  4. macky said:

    hi synergy thanks a lot, i got it now….more power….

  5. macky said:

    synergy how are you? just wanna ask on how the picture to be sized for the banner, coz everytime i adjust the picture like 800×200 it will be stretch i want like the same if you take a look the picture of the resized one…like the pictures of your banner the football field you resized that one already right? but its looks the same with the original…how do you do that? pls help me…thanks..more power

  6. Andrés said:

    This turiotal didn’t help me that much, since i didn’t get the same result from step 7 to step 11, are you using an older version of photoshop or?

  7. sheehan said:

    i didn’t know about anything about color tables before now i know thanks to you.

  8. harik said:

    hi.. i konw photo shop with 2 experience but i dont know new effects so your tutorioal is usefull in my exp thank you

  9. Joannah said:

    This was one of the best effects I’ve done so far. And it’s really simple. Thanx a million.

  10. franks said:

    great tutorial…Thanks!!

  11. sampath - srilanka said:

    its really good………..i shall try to do it………….

  12. Lyddy said:

    I’m irmpeessd! You’ve managed the almost impossible.

  13. John.smith said:

    Nice

  14. Enamul Hoq said:

    This tutorial is very helpful for me but i think it will be very helpful for all categorizes beginner

  15. Enamul Hoq said:

    This tutorial is very helpful for me but i think it will be very helpful for all categorizes beginner…thanks for sharing ..

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