Making of Flaming Hand


This tutorial will need to prepare 2 images
(fire and a hand).

You can download the fire image  here and
hand image here.

Fire image is copyrighted by Jason M.
Hand image is copyrighted by Charles-Elie Lathion.

Step 1 – Setting Up:

Create a new file and fill the background layer with
radial gradient. The foreground color used is #461800
and background is #210700.

Step 2 – Adjusting Colors:

Drag the hand image on top of the background layer.

We call this new layer as hand.

Select Image > Adjusments > Hue/Saturation to
adjust the color.

Check on Colorize and enter the values shown on
the left..

Step 3 – Adjusting Levels:

Select Image > Adjusments > Level and enter the
values shown beside.

Step 4 – Cropping the Hand:

Once these are done, crop the hand out from its

You can do so by clicking on the Add layer mask button
while on the hand layer.

Then start using Brush tool with a comfortable size
(I used 9px) to paint out the shape of the hand.

Some points to note. While on the layer mask,
#FFFFFF is used to reveal and #000000 is for
removal parts of an image.

Step 5 – Adding Glow:

Next thing is to create a glow on the hand.

Create a new layer called glow.

On that layer, use the Elliptical Marquee tool to
draw a selection around the hand.

Go to Select > Feather it for 30px.

Once you got that, fill it with white color.

You will get to see something like what is
shown on the diagram.

Step 6 – Colorize the Glow:

Set the Blend Mode of glow layer to Multiply.

Right-click on the glow layer and choose Blending

Move on to Color Overlay and set its color to be

Also set its blend mode to Overlay

Step 7 – Extracting Flames:

Now open up the fire image and go to its Channels tab.

Ctrl + left click on the Red layer and
it loads the selection of the brightest area.

Click onto RGB layer with the selection still active and
drag the fire on top of the glow layer that we have

Let’s name this new layer as flame.

Step 8 – Touching Up:

Next thing you need to do is to use the Eraser tool of a
larger size (I used Soft Round 100px) to remove the
excess flame since I just need a small one
around the hand.

You can use the Smudge tool to move the fire
around so that it appear more realistic.

Step 9 – Change Blend Mode:

Last thing is to set the flame layer to Screen mode.

Click here to view the final image.

Hope you have fun there. Cheers.

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54 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. joe says:

    Step 7 is so not clear, i was trying on my pic and it was aweful.
    NOT helpful.

  2. Will says:

    I don’t understand step 7, the picture appears to have every layer other than Red deselected, do I do that first and then ctrl + click on red? When I do that and left click on RGB nothing happens, the selection is still there though.

  3. Linz says:

    I can’t see half of the words in the steps because the right column cuts it off…

  4. LXPX says:

    I can´t find hand image !

  5. Boyex says:

    this is the hottest stuff . . i have been a graphics designer for 4years now and this is a whole new field to me its really great

  6. designer-m says:

    woooow that is great

    it is so so so goood


  7. teh_n00bian says:

    hey get a new link to the hand

  8. hamzeh says:

    تسلم ايدك وانتا فنان الله يخليك

  9. Good one liked it i am the beginner a new designer learning still and these steps helped me

    Thanks mate

    • Johnson Koh says:

      Glad this tutorial is helpful to you. Welcome to 10Step.SG 😉

    • WebFrukt says:

      Жена заполняет автобиографию для устройства на работу и спрашивает лежащего на диване мужа: – А место рождения указывать? – Ага, Ñ‚Ñ‹ его ещё нарисуй…

  10. Lamiai says:

    aw it was realy easy xD

  11. Wizard says:

    THANK YOU!!!

  12. Niyi says:

    I’m retrying this tutorial, but I keep getting a weird banding effect when I do the gradient. The gradient looks low quality and “pixelly”.

    Anything I can do to fix it? I didn’t have this problem when I did this about a year ago.

  13. Johnson Koh says:

    Hi deadyetpresent, there is no hard rules for the erasing 🙂 It takes a few tries for me to get the desired effect too.

  14. deadyetpresent says:

    ty dude i dont know but maybe im bad at photoshop step 8 is hard for me i cant really get it to look like that

  15. Thats good man i like this tutorials. says:

    I like this man this is an easy one but have fun i like this one keep it up.
    i try in cs3 its really working man. iam happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

  16. Johnson Koh says:

    Very sorry for my late reply as I was in the army camp training these few days. Will be “released” only next Tues 🙁

    @MirazTutorials: Thanks for your pointers. It’s great that you share your ideas with the rest of the readers.

    @turbo: Adobe Photoshop is an imaging editing software, probably the most useful one ever 🙂 You can find more info about it at

    @deadyetpresent: You may wish to check out where I highlighted several ways to crop an object. It depend on which one you are most comfortable with.

  17. deadyetpresent says:

    I need help i ‘m stuck at Step 4- the cropping part. I tired to crop out the hand but it looks really bad when I do it. ):

  18. turbo says:

    can someone please tell me wat adobe photoshop this is, i have lightroom2 will that work?

  19. Just a little constructive feedback i hope i think the tutorial was great but personally i would made the flame raise just a tiny bit higher for the added effect and maybe darkend the skin on the hand slightly more. But the readers can take the basics of this tute to whatever level they want so its all good 🙂 good job love the effect.

  20. APSNewbie says:

    thanks for the tutorial, i’ve tried it and am satisfied with my result.

  21. nick says:

    tadd sounds gay.


  22. nick says:

    i love this. but i cant get it to look exactly like it should. hopefully i get better.

    great tutorial !

  23. doogz says:

    yah got it right…only one thing tough…i had a hard time erasing the flames….my flames did not come out right…haha…it was obvious that i erased it cause some had sharp edges or missing flames…etc…but tnx 4 d tut tough…:D

  24. Johnson says:

    Hi Doogz, thanks for pointing this out. You have to set Blend Mode of the glow layer to Multiply also. 🙂

  25. doogz says:

    hey can u help me? i
    m getting stuck with step 4..once i go to blending options and i change the color and the blending mode to overlay…the circle just turns white…any advice? tnx..:D

  26. Johnson says:

    Hi Drew, what you did sounds correct to me.

    How about trying this…instead of filling in white at Step 5, fill in with #FFCC00 and set that layer to Overlay.

  27. Drew says:

    Im stuck on step 6, I filled it with white, when i go to blending options and color overlay, i put that color in, and when i put blend mode on overlay, it jsut gos back to white?!?! Please help.

    Is it because i have photoshop 7?

  28. Johnson says:

    Hi mikki,
    How about joining our Flickr group to display your works?

    The link is

    Currently I’m trying to automate the submission of tutorials so everyone can contribute easily.

    Will definitely look into your suggestion for User Submission after that!

  29. mikki2 says:

    Is there anyway to post up our own results from these tuts, like a “User Submission” option. Cuz I made this fire one and I’m really proud of it so I wanna show it off a bit, even if it isn’t the best out there.

    I’ll probably put it on my portfolio but not after I have done a few that look good.

  30. Johnson says:

    Hi Mason, You’ve just given me a good idea for the next tutorial 😉

    Btw, when is HeroesIII releasing?

  31. Mason says:

    Anyone know of a way to get a Heroes-like look to it, like how it looks right before the person’s about to go nuclear?

  32. Johnson says:

    Thanks for your great support 😉

  33. Tadd says:

    Hey very nice tutorial. I’m liking it ..

    Your site has a lot of great stuff .. keep up the good work – I’m book marking this .. and going to subscribe to the RSS feed. Lovely.

  34. Johnson says:

    Hi Tyler,
    There are several methods of cropping a subject out of its background at See if they can be of some help to you.

    Thanks for trying out the tutorial 🙂

  35. Tyler says:


    great image. Can someone please email me at, i am getting very stuck on step 4 and i do not get how to crop the hand out of it’s original background and make a perfect cut out hand over the background. I tried but i can’t seem to do anything!!

  36. jeje says:

    Love the end ressult!

  37. Gian Clarke says:

    Nice tutoral!
    And thank you for submiting it to my website!

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