Paint.NET/Realistic Fire

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This tutorial is a simple, but effective way to make a realistic fire.

Make a new image with dimensions 1000x500

Draw a gradient like so (with white at the bottom and black at the top):

Layer1firetut.png

Make a new layer.

Double-click Layer 2 to edit its properties

Set the Blending Mode to 'Overlay', then hit OK.

Paint.net - Layer Properties dialog box.png

Go to the 'Effects' menu under 'Render' and choose 'Clouds'. Change the blending mode to 'Difference', then hit OK.

Paint.net - Clouds dialog box.png

Push CTRL+F to repeat the effect. Do this about a dozen times.

On the 'Image' menu, choose 'Flatten'. This will give you a single layer with some nice black-and-white clouds.

On the 'Adjustments' menu, choose 'Curves...'.

Choose 'RGB' under 'Transfer map', then uncheck the 'Red' and 'Green' checkboxes so you're only modifying the blue channel, add a control point as shown below. Do the same for the green channel so you have the curves shown below.

Paint.net - Curves dialog box.png

Viola!

Other things to try[edit]

  • Use different shapes for the Layer 1 Gradient. Round gradients make neat looking explosions
  • Tweak with the Curves, the general shape of them should be preserved to keep good saturation, but the channels don't need to go in the above order. *Try Green, Red, Blue (instead of Red, Green, Blue) for a copper flame (copper burns green).
  • Play with the 'scale' setting of Clouds for finer or Coarser clouds
  • Play with the Roughness setting for clouds for softer or sharper fire
  • Just try things out, you never know what you'll get.