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I'm looking to do a similar text effect to this

enter image description here

I haven't used photoshop in a while for this sort of thing.

Thanks

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I believe that may be a photographic technique called light painting. Though I'm sure something similar is achievable in photoshop. I could be wrong though, but that's what it looks like to me. The way I would handle this though is I would find some suitable text edit it a little bit to get the look I want, find some quality stock imagery of sparks and blend those into the text. Also play with the layer style of the base text a bit, blend in the highlights in the snow with a soft brush. –  luclabs Jul 21 '11 at 8:59
    
@luckycypher: You need to add your comment as an answer so that we can vote it up and you gain the reputation you deserve. –  Philip Regan Jul 21 '11 at 9:35
    
Thanks I'll look into that. I have seen light paintings. It's similar for sure. The sparks idea is a good one, I'll try that. I'm open to other suggestions too :) –  user1982 Jul 21 '11 at 10:03
    
@regan Thanks i'll do that. At first I was just going to comment on the light painting but I guess I got carried away :P. Good Luck user1982! –  luclabs Jul 21 '11 at 10:06
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3 Answers 3

I believe that may be a photographic technique called light painting. Though I'm sure something similar is achievable in photoshop. I could be wrong though, but that's what it looks like to me.

The way I would handle this though is I would find some suitable text edit it a little bit to get the look I want, find some quality stock imagery of sparks and blend those into the text. Also play with the layer style of the base text a bit, blend in the highlights in the snow with a soft brush.

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Luckycypher's right - this is light painting. The technique involves holding the shutter of the camera open while you run around with a light source (and various bystanders look on with amusement).

This tutorial:

http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/tutorials-effects/glowing-light-painting-effect/

shows a pretty good method for creating this look. The glowing effect is done using layer effects; to actually give it the realistic uneven look they suggest using brush strokes first. Personally, I'd either find a font that's a little uneven or create paths in Illustrator, import them into Photoshop and stroke them in Photoshop. Luckycypher's suggestion of using stock images of sparks is a good one, too - place them at points where there may have been hesitation on the part of the painter (such as points where they had to return back over their "stroke" path). This is a fairly popular technique and there are some folks who are really, really good at light painting; I'd look around to see other examples as inspiration.

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Thanks - I'll give I'll look into that too –  user1982 Jul 21 '11 at 12:53
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The image was created with sparklers and a camera, not in Photoshop, but you can create something like the effect.

The tutorial lawndartcatcher refers to is good. Deke McLelland (as Irish as they get over here ) also has a great video here.

As I always say at the start of one of these, there are lots of ways to do this in Photoshop. Here's one take on it, as promised:

Start with your text, and give it dual effects: an orange color overlay and a yellow inner glow. Set the glow to Center, the contour, range, jitter and noise to taste. I used these settings:

Inner glow settings

Here's the text at this stage:

the base text layer

Make the text layer a Smart Object and then copy it.

On the copy layer, open the Filter Gallery and apply the Sprayed Strokes effect to roughen up the inner glow like this (don't click OK yet):

inner glow with sprayed strokes

Add a new filter (the new filter icon is at the bottom right of the panel, by the trash can), and make that Glass. Adjust to get something like this:

Glass filter added

Change the Blend Mode of this layer to Lighter Color.

Take a small, soft-edge brush, with brush size controlled by pen pressure if you've a Wacom, or set to Fade if not. Set the foreground color to yellow, add a new layer, and place some random spots around the letters. Don't worry too much about being precise.

spots that will become glowing smoke

Convert this layer to a Smart Object. Ctrl/Cmd-click on the text layer icon in the Layers panel to create a selection in the shape of the text.

Press Q to enter Quick Mask mode, and give the mask a Gaussian blur of about 5 to 10 pixels: enough to see a bit of a halo around the letters. Press Q again to exit Quick Mask.

Choose Select > Modify > Expand Selection, enter 10 into the field and click OK. Your text should look roughly like this:

selection active

Make sure that you are still targeting the "spots" layer, and click the Layer Mask icon, 3rd from the left at the bottom of the Layers Panel. You now have a layer mask that limits the "spots" to the vicinity of the letters.

mask added

Using a black hard-edge brush on the layer mask, get rid of any painted bits below the baseline of the text, then add an Inner Glow. Set the color to orange (around 50 hue, full saturation and brightness), the Blend Mode to Color Burn, Source to Center. Note my settings for Choke, Contour, Range and Jitter. You don't have to stick with these; they will depend on your particular image.

enter image description here

Still on the "spots" layer, add a Ripple filter (Filter > Distort > Ripple) to remove the roundness of the spots and make them look a bit more random:

ripple filter applied

I added a bit of motion blur for a smokier effect:

motion blur applied

To increase the effect, duplicate this layer one or two times. Take a soft black brush and paint on the Layer Masks of different layers to add texture to the "smoke and flame," to end up with something like this:

final image

As with Deke's example, the text is editable. Just open the Smart Object, change the text and both layers update. You will, however, have to change any "smoke and flame" layers.

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