It’s used in sacred ceremonies. It’s used to cleanse. It’s linked to the spirit world. It makes breath visible. It’s a sign of danger. Fire precedes it. It’s pollution. It stops breath. Smoke is a powerful symbol.
Compositionally, smoke is extraordinarily flexible. It can be thick or thin, heavy or diffuse, contained or scattered, simple or complex. You can draw a line in any direction, linking two objects or creating a new focus of attention. You can literally draw the eye to any point in an image along any path.
The complexity and variety found in smoke effects gives you an extraordinary degree of artistic license without compromising realism. That said, if you plan to incorporate the effect into your work, it pays to closely study the appearance smoke in the real world. There’s a logic to the way smoke unfurls. It’s tighter and more energetic closer to the source, more diffuse and calmer when it’s further away. It billows, curls, and twists in undulating arcs, rarely making a sharp turn. While it can drift quickly or slowly, it rarely descends; it usually ascends. It’s amazing to me that something so complex can be so easily rendered by hand, using Photoshop.
1.Draw and distort a line.
Starting with a Background layer filled with black, use the Paintbrush to paint a white line on a new layer in a Layer Set entitled Smoke. Then, distort the line. Use the Smudge Tool to pull through, push out of, wiggle, or twirl portions of the white line until a desired effect is achieved. The more you distort the line the more blurred it becomes. Use the History Brush to selectively undo distorted areas as desired.
2.Refine the effect.
Use Liquify (Filter > Liquify) to create further distortions. Unlike the Smudge Tool, Liquify will not introduce blurring with distortion. Use Liquify’s Reconstruct Tool to undo distortions selectively. Unlike using the History Brush, the Reconstruct Tool allows you to pick a transitional state between undistorted and fully distorted.
Read Part 2 Click here