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How to Make Fire with GIMP

How to Make Fire or Flames with GIMP:

This is what we will be making:


Step 1: Open up a new canvas. Make it any size you want. Mine is 400×300.

Step 2: Fill canvas with black and make a new transparent layer.

Step 3: The fire will be made with 3 colors, red, yellow, and white. With your red color the basic shape of the fire, Similar to below.


Step 4: With your yellow brush make the second layer, make sure there is still red showing. See below.


Step 5: Repeat, now with white. Once your done with the red white and yellow, it should look similar to the screen below.


Step 6: The fire looks like it has been done by a 3-year-old. Now you will need to add a gaussian blur(Filters–>Blur–>Gaussian Blur). Set Vert and Horiz to 100. It should look similar to the image below.


Step 7: It looks alright but still doesn’t look realistic. Now make a new transparent layer and goto Filters–>Render–>Clouds–>Solid Noise. See the settings similar to below. X-Value=13 Y-Value=7


Step 7: Duplicate the layer with the clouds.

It should look like this by now;


Step 8: Now create a new transparent layer. And goto Filters–>Render–>Clouds–>Plasma. Turbulance=5


Step 9: And now goto Layers–>Colors–>Desaturate. And then set both cloud layers options to Overlay.

IF you want a little more random movement on the fire you can just goto filters–>distort–>IWarp. And play around with it.

All done!

14 comments to How to Make Fire with GIMP

  • Nobody

    I’ve done as you said to, but I get to the part of the clouds and it turns into the clouds, and the flames disappear.
    What happened?
    What should I do?

  • admin

    You have to set both layers that are clouds to ‘Overlay’. This basically makes those layers transparent but applies the texture to the underlying layers.

  • I

    This works completely. Good job!

  • Amine

    well i have a simple question : how to create a new transparent layer please ?
    i am just a nooby in gimp
    (this is my first day)

    thanx in advance

  • Amine

    ok now i know the layers since i did a researsh but i still dont understand ho to :
    Duplicate the layer with the clouds.

  • admin

    For new transparent layer -

    From the menubar, choose: Layer, New Layer. Make sure the ‘Transparent’ radio button is selected and hit OK.

    To Duplicate layers, make sure you have made ‘active’ the layer you wish to duplicate. (Viewing the Layers Dialog is helpful…CTRL+L) Activate (highlight) the layer in the Layers Dialog and from the menubary choose Layer, Duplicate Layer.

  • Ulysses

    Thank you so much! It worked the first time and got better the second time! Could you do a water (preferably an ocean)creation tutorial?

  • And then set both cloud layers options to Overlay? how to set both cloud layaers ti overlay? cant see it

  • darkwings

    How do i add the images to overlay (n00b questionm, sorry)

  • rickrichi

    I still don’t get. U r not being very clear on this

  • DonkeyManda

    OK, after reading this tutorial i was confused, i couldnt find how to get the clouds to work, i read the comments, and noone else knew what to do! so, i researched, and found out, select the cloud layer, then right above where it says ‘opacity’ (on the layer selection menu) there will be an option that says ‘Mode: Normal’ and to the right it hays a down arrow, clicking on this arrow will display a drop down list, where you can select overlay from! =D

  • Shi

    Wait, I don’t understand. I put new layers for each part of the flame, and I set them to overlap, and I did the cloud setting, and it didn’t work.

  • Axelfangirl

    i saw that you said to make the cloud layers overlay, but how do i do that

  • GimpFanGirl

    To get the cloud layers to overlay you have to go to the layers box. Near the top it says” Mode: Normal” then click on the drop down arrow next to Normal and you should get a list of words(Normal, Dissolve, Divide, Multiply ect) then pick “overlay” and that will do it.

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