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I'd like to recreate the effect used in this picture. How can I do this in Photoshop?

enter image description here

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It's an illustration more than anything. While the effect is part of it, the actual implementing of the illustration is likely 90% of the challenge here. –  DA01 Jan 6 '12 at 3:00
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I voted down this question because there's like gazillion tutorials about smoke that can be found with 3 seconds of googling "photoshop smoke tutorial" and then theres the obvious, brushes. ( Granted that it has some watercolor'ish feature's, but still ) –  Joonas Jan 9 '12 at 9:30
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3 Answers 3

There are several ways to achieve this effect you can get such brushes in-case you need them..

Hope this will help

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I suspect the original author simply used the liquify command on a stock image (or lifted image) of actual smoke.

Then simply apply a gradient overlay for color.

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Looks like a photo of smoke, mirrored with a gradient colour overlay.

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