by Julieanne Kost
If you’ve ever needed to create flames, be sure to check out the new Flame Generator filter in Photoshop CC. This new feature is designed to render realistic flames on user-defined paths. You need to create your path first (using the pen tool or any of the shape tools), then choose Filter > Render > Flames. (Note: you need to have a pixel layer targeted in the Layers panel as a landing place for the flame to be created, not a Shape, Type, or Smart Object layer. You can however convert type to paths or use the Type Mask tool to render paths for letter forms).
As you can see from the dialog below, there are a large number of options that can be customized in a number of ways. The six different Flame Types are:
• One Flame Along Path: A single flame will be rendered on each path.
• Multiple Flames Along Path: More than one flame will be rendered on each path. The flames will follow the direction of the path.
• Multiple Flames One Direction: Multiple Flames will be rendered on each path. All of the flames will point in the same direction.
• Multiple Flames Path Directed: Multiple Flames will be rendered on each path. Each Flame will point according to the path angle.
• Multiple Flames Various Angle: Multiple Flames will be rendered on a path. Each Flame will point randomly. You can control the angle variation by changing the “angle” parameter.
• Candle Light: One candle light will be rendered on a path.
Another variable that you can change is the Flame Style. There are three types including Normal, Violent and Flat and are illustrated below.
The Flame Shape can also be varied and include the following options:
• Parallel: The lines that construct the flame are parallel.
• To The Center: The lines that construct the flame point toward the center.
• Spread: The lines that construct the flame spread away from the center.
• Oval: The vectors that construct the flame shape are curved in an arc.
• Pointing: The lines that construct the flame point converge at one point.
In addition, many other parameters can be changed including:
• Length: Flame length in pixels (available for Flame Types #2-5).
• Width: Flame width in pixels.
• Angle: Flame angle (available for Flame Types #3-5).
• Interval: Pixel length of the gap between flames (available for Flame Types #2-5).
• Adjust Interval For Loops: When checked, if the path is a loop, “Interval” will be adjusted so each gap between the flames will be uniform or even.
• Flame Lines (Complexity): This setting will increase/decrease the number of lines in each flame (each flame is made up of lines under the hood).
• Turbulent: This controls the calmness and roughness of the flame.
• Jag: If this is greater than 0, the flame will be jagged.
• Opacity: This controls the opacity/transparency of the flame.
• Flame Bottom Alignment: When this number is 0, each line that constructs the flame is evenly aligned. When this number is greater than 0, they will be randomized.
• Color: Choose from any color by clicking in the swatch and using the color picker
• Quality: This is always a trade-off – the lower the quality, the faster the render. However too low of quality might result in pixelated or jaggy edges.
• Randomize Shapes: when checked, the flame shape will be different every time a flame is created.
• Arrangement: The Randomize option must be turned off to access the Arrangement parameters to create identical flames.
Here are a few more examples of the different types of flames that can be made using the various adjustments listed above. All of the flames were based on a circular path.
Note: the Scripted Pattern Fill features – Picture Frame and Tree – are also now available under Filter > Render.