Preparations: 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 background. 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 Options. Move on to Color Overlay and set its color to be #FFCC00. 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 earlier. 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.