Learn how to create this dark, fiery Halloween witch in this Halloween. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how you can achieve realistic fire effects with the very dark background. You’ll learn how to work with fires, practice retouching, making light effects, painting hairs and deal with complex masking in an easy and effective way.
Find out more by diving right in !!

Tutorial Resources

Preparing a Dark Background

Step 1

Start by creating a new document by selecting File > New and then set the setting as shown in the image below or feel free to choose your own setting.


Step 2

Place the night background image to the main document by selecting File > Place Embedded (Photoshop CC 2014) or Place. Place it as shown in the image below.


Step 3

Add a Layer Mask to night background (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All). Activate the
Brush Tool (B)
. Set it’s opacity and flow about 30%. Using a soft round black brush hide the sky part of night background.


Now place the sky image under the night background layer.


Step 4

Add a Gaussian Blur filter to sky image. But before doing this convert the sky layer into smart objects by right clicking on it and then choose ‘Convert to Smart Object’. Now apply the filter by selecting Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Set the radius value to 2.1px and here are the results.


Step 5

Decrease the lightness of sky using Curves (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Curves) adjustment layer. Here are the values.


Decreased brightness on sky:


Adding Moon

Step 6

Place the moon to the main document.


I also added the same amount of Gaussian Blur to the moon as well.


Step 7

Add a Layer Mask to moon layer. Using a soft round black brush (with same setting in step 3) hide the selected part of moon as shown in the image below.




Step 8

Make a Hue/Saturation to moon as clipping mask (click on the red button to clip it to moon) to reduce the saturation and lightness.


We’ll make the moon brighter further in this tutorial.

Step 9

Let’s add some colors to the sky part of our scene. Make Curves adjustment layer (above the moon) and set the setting as shown in the image below.


Reduce the opacity of Curves to 49%.


Step 10

Make a Brightness/Contrast adjustment to increase the brightness and contrast.






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