Flame Text in Photoshop

Creating your own logo, wallpaper, theme, greeting cards, blog titles, or anything that necessitate texts or fonts is somewhat fulfilling and fun. Why? It’s because you create yourself what exactly you want. If you know already the basics and quite familiar with Photoshop, it will be easy for you to follow the steps and technique in creating various text effects. Don’t worry much if your creation don’t look so perfect because that is achieved gradually (a lot of time and practice, actually). What will matter most anyway is that if you are happy with your work and continuously striving to improve it.

Well, here, I’ll show you how to create a flame-effect text using Photoshop, step-by-step.

1. Selecting the Background and Foreground Colors.

By default, your BG/FG colors is set to black/white, and interchangeable. We’ll use this temporarily.
Or, as in this tutorial, you may use a grungy-textured background.

2. Select Font, Type Text, and Blending Options

Select a relatively big font. I use Trajan Pro, 72px.
Type the text you want to appear and work with, like “APOY” which I use here, then duplicate it. The duplicated text layer (“apoy”) will now appear as “apoy copy”.
Double-click the “apoy copy” layer in the dialog box, then proceed with the following Blending Option settings:

check Outer Glow, then click Ok.
double-click Outer Glow in the layer dialog box, click the color box, and set the color to #ffb017; click Ok.
double-click again Outer Glow in the layer dialog box, this time, click Inner Glow style, Opacity to 100, color to #ff9c00, size to 11px.

3. Setting the Flame

Select the Smudge Tool and set the following settings: Hardness=25, Strength=75, Diameter=20.
With the “apoy copy” selected, use Smudge Tool to make wisps of flames each of the typed letters (e.g., APOY).

4. Enhancing the Flames

Turn the “apoy copy” into a selection by holding down Ctrl key and clicking its layer icon in the layers dialog.
Inverse the selection by going to Select>Inverse.
Press Delete key.
Deselect by pressing Ctrl + D.
Turn the “flame copy” again into a selection by holding Ctrl key and clicking its icon in the layer dialog box.
Create a new layer by clicking the new layer icon located below the layer dialog box.
Bring up the Fill dialog window by pressing Shift + Backspace and, under Contents, select White. Click Ok.
Deselect by pressing Ctrl + D.
Set the blending mode to Overlay.

5. Optional (Type a quotation under the typed text)

Blending Options>Effects settings: (check the following)

> Drop Shadow
> Bevel and Emboss
> Color Overlay
> Satin
By the way, I added a border from one of Photoscape’s border selections. Below is the final outcome.

So, that’s it!

Transparent, Pressed Text Effect in Photoshop

A 2-3 minutes tutorial on how to create a transparent, pressed-in text effect in Photoshop is our topic this time. It’s an easy-to-do, few clicks and you’re done!

1. Create a new layer (File>New). Choose a regular frame size, say, 5×3 inches or bigger. Hit Ok.

2. Double-click that layer (usually “Background” layer by default) you just made in the layer dialog box to open it, ready for any editing work. This layer will then be changed automatically as “Layer 0”.

3. Fill the layer with a light color of your choice and clicking the Bucket icon in Tools onto the screen image. I selected a light blue here.

4. Choose a font (black or any dark color, bold with sharp edges preferable, like Impact) and type the text you want. To do this, go to Tools box and click the text icon (the letter T), then choose the font you want located on the top left of your screen. After that, type your text. I typed “pressed” here using the Impact font.

5. Resize and reposition the text you typed (Edit>Free Transform).

6. Go to your layer dialog box and Right-Click the text layer (the current layer you just made which is highlighted by default), click Blending Options…
With Blending Options box in view, check Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow and Inner Glow. Hit Ok… and you’re done!!

And here’s the final result:

Remove background around hair in Photoshop

This is a follow-up to my related tutorial in GIMP, and my first with Photoshop tutorial here.

Not contented much with the result of my GIMP tutorial, I tried doing it in Photoshop and, I daresay, it’s a lot easier indeed! It’s like magic doing it and I did with so much ease and fun. By the way, I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 here.

Here are the few steps to do:

1. With your Photoshop opened, proceed to File menu>Open… Select the image to be edited in your photo gallery. If you are using CS5, it’s more convenient to let the Mini Bridge open at start-up. This will minimize time and easier to select which photo or image you want to edit just by doing the ‘drag and drop’ method.

2. Pick the Quick Selection tool (Free Selection tool in GIMP)>click over to the image on screen and drag the dotted selection tool around it. Be sure to make the best selection but don’t bother if you can’t, that will be fixed later.

3. Click Refine Edge>Edge Detection. Adjust the radius to the right, about 30%, more or less. You’ll notice that the edges of the image is still rough, of course, so…

4. Still on the Edge Detection dialog, click that small brush icon, left of the radius adjuster, then paint over to the gray areas around the hair. Now, the result is better and almost done.

5. To enhance, adjust the selector under Decontaminate Colors to sharpen and hide gray areas. Don’t adjust too much because it will produce white and “warp effect” on the image. You can also adjust the Shift Edge to middle. Okay, we’re done with the image. Now, we’ll proceed to paste it on the selected background.

6. Put the selected background image on screen. Resize it accordingly with your first, if needed.

7. In your layer dialog, click the arrow icon below to move the ‘Background Layer’ (new layer) below your first image layer (background layer).

And that’s it!

How to extract hair from background using GIMP

In this tutorial I will show you how to extract strands of hair from the background. Capturing the best out of the image subject requires patience and modest amount of time (about 30 minutes, more or less, I guess – depending how familiar you are with GIMP and how fast you do it).

Here is a picture of Eva Longoria, before and after. You can download the stock image HERE. Result varies on the time involve in editing and enhancing.

Step 1 : Open GIMP, then go to File>Open. Select a picture from your computer then click Open.
Step 2 : Right-click the ‘background layer'(named eva-longoria.jpg in this case)>Add Alpha Channel.

Step 3 : Duplicate the ‘eva-longoria.jpg’ layer which creates a new layer ‘eva-longoria.jpg copy’.

Step 4 : At this time, we would like to make a good contrast out of our image in preparation to layer masking that we will do. So, to do this, go to Color>Curves and have the most desired adjustment settings like the one below:

Step 5 : Colors>Desaturate>Luminousity, then hit Ok. This step will reveal the image in black and white, where layer masking works.

Step 6 : Pick the Brush Tool and make the face/skin color the same with that of the hair (which is white), and the background with black. Don’t paint the cloth. When done, go to Select>All, then Edit>Cut. Notice that the layer will disappear, but don’t worry because that was just being queued ready to be pasted. A floating layer will appear in place instead.

Step 7 : Switch back to the ‘eva-longoria.jpg’ layer, right-click then select Add Layer Mask. In the dialog box that appears, select White (Full Opacity)>Add.

Step 8 : Now click the mask icon (that small white rectangle), not the image icon. This is where we paste the image we’ve cut earlier.

Step 9 : As we’ve mentioned earlier, a ‘floating layer dialog’ will then appear in the layers palette. Click the anchor button located below the layers palette and the second image below will appear as a result.

Step 10: Observe that the image above has a transparent background so we need to change the background so that the extracted hair will stand out. So create a New Layer (Layer>New…),fill it with black using the Bucket Tool.

Note : White is a better background than black, although you can choose any background of your preference.

Step 11 : Clone Tool>Clone all the grayish areas around the hair and edit the imperfections. Take your time. If satisfied, Flatten Image, then Save it.

Here is the final result:

How to lose weight in seconds in GIMP

If you are fat or obese and you don’t want to look that way in your photos, well, why not fix them? If more than 90% of celebrities have their photos edited before they are published, then you may do it as well! Amaze your friends how you did it without doing any tedious workouts!

Here’s how it works…

1. Choose your photo to be edited. If you have one in bathing suit, that’s preferable to unveil your sexiness. 🙂

2. Open GIMP, go to File menu and Open your chosen photo.

3. With your photo now on the screen ready for editing, go to Filters menu>Distorts>IWarp… The IWarp dialog box then appears. This is where you will do the work – on that photo you have selected to be edited.

4. So how does it work? Right-click your mouse and push it inward or outward right on the edge of the area to be edited. Don’t push it too hard. You can repeat the process until contented with the results by going to Filters>Repeat IWarp…
The circled areas below are the main sections to be edited.

5. If satisfied with your work, go to Image menu>Flatten Image, then File menu>Save.

Here’s the final, edited photo…

So how’d you like it? Please post your comment…

Remove wrinkles, moles, blemishes in GIMP

You want to upload your photo and want to share to your friends, but the moles, wrinkles and blemishes on your face prompts you to do so. Is there a way to fix it so you always look younger and at your best looks in your photos? Of course, there is, and this is actually what we will deal today with our easy-as-ABC tutorial using GIMP.

Ready? Here we go…

1. After opening GIMP, go to File menu and hit Open. Select your photo to be edited from your gallery, then click Open. Your photo should now appear to your screen, ready for editing.

2. Now, go to your Toolbox and select the Healing Tool icon (that crossed plaster below). This is exactly the tool that removes the moles, wrinkles, and all that on your face. All you have to do is point your mouse to an area near the area (e.g., where the mole or wrinkle is located) to be edited so that the color to be patched in place look realistic.

3. With the mouse pointed over the said area, press Ctrl on your keyboard and right-click your mouse. The pointed area now is selected.

4. Now, right-click the areas (moles, wrinkles, warts, blemishes, etc) to be healed. You can see that you’re as if doing some instant magic, with those unwanted skin problems being removed gradually!

5. For some finishing touches, although optional, you may smooth or sharpen your work by using the Blur/Sharpen tool from your Toolbox – that little droplet icon found at the bottom. Just click that and right-click over the areas you want to enhance.

This is the finished product–

You can do more refinements if not satisfied by repeating the process. And you can do more actually to enhance your photo by using the other tools and features of GIMP but for now, enjoy what you’ve done!

How to change the background of your photos in Gimp

Back to our basic tutorials in Gimp. This time, we’ll tackle how to make your photo more interesting and amazing by changing the background. Take a look at the pictures below – before and after.

What to do:

1. Choose the photo you want to edit and the background you like to apply. The color and theme should match your photo to make it more realistic. Feel free whatever background you prefer though as this tutorial just show you how to change background. You may edit or change it later anyway if you already know how to do it, and that is what more important.

2. Open Gimp. Go to File and click Open. Choose the image from your gallery that will serve as your background. I’ve chosen the image below from my computer as an example which should look like this one on your Gimp window.

3. Go to File again, then click Open As Layers. Select the photo now you want to lay on your background image. By doing this, you’re simply putting your photo on top of the background you first opened (which you can no longer see of course at this time). The next steps will show you how to replace the foreground areas selected into the desired background.

4. Go to Layer menu>Transparency>Alpha to Selection.

5. On the Toolbox, click the Eraser icon. Erase the parts of the foreground image you wish to be replaced by the background image by right-clicking your mouse. You can choose the size of the eraser as well as the scale located on the Eraser box settings (just below the Toolbox). Smaller brush size is usually used for the curves for erasing that can’t be done by bigger size. Make sure the edges of the retained image is smooth and no imperfections if possible.

6. To hide from imperfections and make your image more realistic with the new background, go to Filters menu> Blur> Gaussian Blur. Set the blur size to 2, or, depending on the image result, you may experiment it by adjusting the blur size that will suit your preferences.

7. Finally, go to File menu, then Save your work.

Color Correction in Gimp

In this tutorial you will learn how to edit or enhance the color of an image. For example, you might be so uncomfortable seeing a dim or blurry part of your group picture but you’re helpless you don’t know how to make it more pleasing to the eye. Neither you have an idea if there’s a way to edit or correct it so you can be proud to show your friends how great a picture you have. Well, not now that you come to this place… a place where you can learn the basics and more advanced knowhow in image editing via Gimp program!

In particular, you will learn how to adjust color values with the use of Levels or Curves to give a satisfying result to an image you wish to correct or enhance.

This is my first in a series of tutorials related to this topic, so watch out for the next to be published here anytime from now to several hours!

Okay, now follow these easy how-to’s to get the job done:

1. Open Gimp, go to File menu, then click Open…
Select a photo or image from your computer, click Ok. For convenience, we will use the
photo shown above to be our subject.

The image as shown on the active window after being selected.

2. Go to Colors>Curves…

Click and hold your mouse anywhere on the diagonal line, then push up or down. Experiment freely by adjusting the curves until the desired result is met. You can see the actual result while working on the curves with the Preview screen.

You can choose which color (red, blue, green) you like to be set by clicking the Value drop-down button.

3. Go to Image menu, click Flatten Image…

4. Finally, go to File menu then select Save.

Amazon.com Widgets

Silk-look wallpaper in Gimp

This is my third wallpaper tutorial, my second in Gimp. Like the first, this is quite easy and very much suitable for beginners. Unlike the first though, another tool feature of Gimp will be introduce here – the Sinusoidal Pattern from the Filters menu, which is equally incredible and interesting as the first feature that was applied in my first wallpaper tutorial.

We have only a few steps to follow to get the Silk-Look Wallpaper result that we will tackle here, as shown below…

1. Open Gimp, go to File menu, then click New. Make the appropriate settings in the dialog box that appears, or just click Ok for the default value.

2. Go to Filters>Render>Pattern>Sinus… A dialog box will appear for the Settings, Colors, and Blend.

There are 2 main components under Settings, namely : Drawing Settings and Calculation Settings.

For the Drawing Settings, set the value of X=32, Y=33, and Complexity=3; on the other hand, set Random Seed=42 and select Distorted under Calculation Settings. Click the Ok button when finished with the settings.

Note: Click Randomize to preview varying image styles and effects to choose from.

For the Color Settings, choose any 2 color of which one is darker, the other lighter. In this case, i use blue. Just leave the Alpha Channels to its default value. Click Ok when done.

For the Blend Settings, select Sinusoidal. Leave the Exponent as is to its default value, then click Ok.

3. Ok, now that we have the image we sought, we are ready to make it colorful and attractive.

Go to Colors menu, then click Colorize… Adjust the sliders for the Hue, Saturation, and Lightness on the dialog box that appears.

The settings used here are as follows: Hue=the position of the slider is about 3/4 to the right, Saturation=maximum, Lightness=0 (default). Click Ok when done.

And the result is something like the image below.

4. Finally, go to File menu, click Save (or Save As) and you’re done!

Free Photo Editing Programs

Having the best software or program available in the internet is not that easy. True, there are long lists to choose from but you have to pay for a hundred or so bucks which, to many users, cannot afford. Thanks, there are at least free programs available that we can right away download or use it online.

Here, I have collected some of the best and most popular programs in photo editing. I’ve gone to reviews each of these programs, their pros and cons included. Rating these programs may vary according to one’s priorities and usability. Professionals may still opt for Photoshop but others may prefer GIMP or other easier-to-learn programs. The latter is by no means an easy program to learn also like the former. You have to go through painstaking process to get the hang of it. Well, just take a look for yourself what is most suitable for you.

1. GIMP. This is regarded as the alternative to Photoshop and it’s free! They do have almost similar features with Photoshop but the latter is more stable. I tried them both and I daresay overwhelming for beginners. You’ve 3 boxes filled full of tools and icons popping-up once you opened it before your eyes, and most likely, you’ll be thinking twice if you pursue to learn or not. But with perseverance, I bet, you’ll earn what you want and indeed rewarding.

Features (For details, click here).

  • customizable interface
  • photo enhancement
  • digital retouching
  • hardware support
  • wide file formats support
  • supported platforms : GNU/Linux (i386, PPC), Windows, Mac OS X, Sun OpenSolaris, Free BSD


Other than mere tutorials, you’ll find out that there are also updates and valuable information on GIMP. And there are links for free downloads and references too!

Download GIMP

2. Photoscape. Not as many tools as Gimp or Photoshop but this program is easier to learn with enough basic tools that you need. For beginners, this might be a good option to start with when planning to learn more advanced programs soon. I, myself, started here and earlier with MS Paint.

Key Features

  • Viewer: View photos in your folder, create a slideshow
  • Editor: resizing, brightness and color adjustment, white balance, backlight correction, frames, balloons, mosaic mode, adding text, drawing pictures, cropping, filters, red eye removal, blooming, clone stamp
  • Batch editor: Batch edit multiple photos
  • Page: Merge multiple photos on the page frame to create one final photo
  • Combine: Attach multiple photos vertically or horizontally to create one final photo
  • Animated GIF: Use multiple photos to create a final animated photo
  • Print: Print portrait shots, carte de visites(CDV), passport photos
  • Splitter: Slice a photo into several pieces
  • Screen Capture: Capture your screenshot and save it
  • Color Picker: Zoom in on images, search and pick a color
  • Rename: Change photo file names in batch mode
  • Raw Converter: Convert RAW to JPG
  • Paper Print: Print lined, graph, music and calendar paper
  • Face Search: Find similar faces on the Internet



3. Paint.Net. This is equally on top of the line free photo editing program on my list. Why? Like Photoscape, it’s much easier to learn though not as feature-packed as the first two programs mentioned here. It’s something like an improved MS Paint. So, for those who are familiar already with MS Paint, this one will most likely a hassle-free, easy-to-use for you.

Features (Click here for details)

  • simple, intuitive, and innovative user interface
  • performance: claimed to be the fastest image editor available
  • layers
  • active online community
  • special effects
  • powerful tools
  • unlimited history
  • free!


Download Paint.Net

4. ArtWeaver. Artweaver is an Image Editing Software product from artweaver.de. It is a simple Freeware software for creative painting, i.e. Artweaver offers you all artistic effects which you need for your work.
You can create sketches from photos and experiment with a wide range of brushes. The brush simulation is thereby so realistic as possible.
Artweaver is a Windows Freeware software to simulate natural brush tools. It is therefore suitable to leave your creativity free run. It offers you a clear software window, which can be used without training immediately.
Artweaver is available in English and German language. Through support for language files, the Artweaver software window can be translated easily into other languages.
Advantages of Artweaver:
Support of many different digital brushes e.g. chalk, charcoal, pencils…
Standard image editing tools like gradient, crop, fill and selection tools.
Transparency and Layers support.
Effect filters like sharpen, blur, emboss and mosaic.
Support for the most common file formats like AWD (Artweaver), BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, TGA, TIFF, PNG, and PSD (no layer support).
Pen Tablet support for a realistic feeling.
Support for many languages through language files (Columbian Spanish, Danish, Hungarian, Swedish, …).
Artweaver is Freeware.

Artweaver Features
Support of many different digital brushes e.g. chalk, charcoal, pencils…
A wide variety of adjustment settings to customize the default brushes or to create new brushes.
Standard image editing tools like gradient, crop, fill and selection tools.
Support for the most common file formats like AWD (Artweaver), BMP, GIF, JPEG, PCX, TGA, TIFF, PNG, and PSD (no layer support).
Transparency and Layers support.
Effect filters like sharpen, blur, emboss and mosaic.
Editable text layers.
Pen Tablet support for a realistic feeling.
History function to und/redo last editing steps.
Expandable by Plug-In modules (Artweaver Standard).
Support for many languages through language files. The license of this graphic software is Freeware, you can free download and free use this Graphic software.


Download ArtWeaver

5. Photopos. Photo Pos Pro is an advanced yet extremely user-friendly and easy photo editing software, Photo Editor, Image Editor and Computer Graphics Editor offering users a wide variety of possibilities in the fields of Design Graphic, Photo Editing and Enhancing, Image Editing and much more!


Download Photopos

6. Digikam. DigiKam is an advanced digital photo management application for Linux, Windows, and Mac-OSX.

The people who inspired digiKam’s design are the photographers like you who want to view, manage, edit, enhance, organize, tag, and share photographs under Linux systems.


Download Digikam

7. MyPaint. MyPaint is a fast and easy open-source graphics application for digital painters. It lets you focus on the art instead of the program. You work on your canvas with minimum distractions, bringing up the interface only when you need it.


  • exists for several platforms
  • supports pressure sensitive graphics tablets
  • extensive brush creation and configuration options
  • unlimited canvas (you never have to resize)
  • basic layer support


Download MyPaint

8. PaintStar. PaintStar is a versatile digital image processing software suitable for such tasks as retouching of photographs, image morphing, composing and authoring images, screen capture, and displaying image thumbnail in Windows Explorer context menu. It supports alpha, layer, path ,and the most common editing techniques. Paintstar has many of the tools and filters you would expect to find in similar commercial offerings, and some interesting extras as well.


Download PaintStar

9. Seashore.

Seashore is an open source image editor for Mac OS X’s Cocoa framework. It features gradients, textures and anti-aliasing for both text and brush strokes. It supports multiple layers and alpha channel editing. It is based around the GIMP’s technology and uses the same native file format.
However, unlike the GIMP, Seashore aims to serve the basic image editing needs of most computer users, not to provide a replacement for professional image editing products. Also, unlike GIMP, Seashore has an all-new Cocoa UI that will fit right in on Mac OS X.
Seashore was created by Mark Pazolli who led the project until the end of 2009.


Download Seashore

10. Krita. Krita is a painting and image editing application for KOffice. Krita is part of KOffice since version 1.4. Krita contains both ease-of-use and fun features like guided painting (never before has it been so easy to airbrush a straight line!) and high-end features like support for 16 bit images, CMYK, L*a*b and even OpenEXR HDR images.

Says one user which I agree partially, “Krita is geared more toward artists rather than photographers, and has a toolset which reflects that. While a number of photography-specific tools are missing, Krita can still be a very powerful photo editor when supplemented by another program to handle the basic raw conversion and curve editing. The fact that Krita supports deep color gives it a big advantage over GIMP, at least until the next full version release of GIMP.”


Download Krita