1. Step one, open a new image, it doesn't really matter what size but be sure to set your background color to black. (this effect generally looks its best on a black background.) Make a new layer and select the "Polygonal lasso tool" and create an abstract shape that looks similar to the example below.(It doesn't really matter what color you use here either, but just don't make it too dark, and feel free to experiment.)
2. Now we can start our highlights of our smoke. Select the "Dodge" tool and make the brush size around "50" and the "Range" to "highlights." Now use this tool around the edges and corners of your shape. Next, select the "Burn tool" and use it in the middle and wherever you see fit. You should have somthing that looks like this:
3. Here we can make it look like smoke now. Go to "filter"/"Distort"/"Wave." And make the settings as follows:
- Generators "5"
- Wavelength "10"/"120"
- Amplitude "5"/"35"
- Scale at "100%" for both.
4. Right after you have used the "wave" filter you can go to "Edit"/"Fade-Wave" and set the opacity to "50%." Now repeat this distort and fade method many times, or untill you think it looks best.
5. To make this effect look even better you may have to "distort", resize, and change the blending modes when fading a bit. And lastly, to make it different colors instead of the same throughout. make a new layer and use the "brush" tool all over the place using different colors. then set that layers "blending mode" to "Overlay." And there you have it, a simple yet effective smoke method!
It's amazing what you can do with some Adobe Photoshop training and a little time!
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