In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create a smoke effect in Affinity Photo. We’ll be using smoke brushes to create this effect. The smoke effect can be used to add a dramatic look and atmosphere to your images.
Before you begin, go to the following links to download the image and brushes used in this tutorial.
First, go to File > New. Go to Web and select FHD 1080p which is 1920 px by 1080 px. Set DPI to 72. Then, click Create.
In the Swatches Panel, make sure the white color is active. Then, grab the Flood Fill Tool from the Tools Panel. Take the tool and click on the document. A new pixel layer will be created and it’s filled with the white color.
Now, grab the Gradient Tool from the Tools Panel. Take the tool and drag it from the bottom up. In the Context Toolbar, set the Type to Elliptical. Click on the black color point. Then, go to the Swatches Panel. Double click on the fill color to bring up the Color Chooser. Set the fill to a grayish color. I set it to #707070. Take the white point and place it in the center of the document.
Next, go to File > Open and select the image you downloaded.
After that, grab the Selection Brush Tool from the Tools Panel. In the Context Toolbar, set the Mode to Add and check the Snap to Edges box. Take the brush and make a selection of the man.
Once you’ve made the selection, press CTRL + J to make a copy of the selection. The copy will be placed on a new layer.
With the duplicated layer selected, copy the layer. Then, go to the other document and paste the layer.
Now, go to the Layers Panel and click the Adjustments icon. Select the Black and White adjustment. Slide the Red slider slightly to the left to add some darkness to the image.
Select the layer of the man. Press and hold the ALT key. Then, click on the Layer Mask icon in the Layers Panel.
Go to the smoke brushes link (at the beginning of this article). Click Download Resource. Once it finishes downloading go to the file. Right-click on the file and select Extract All. Then, open the brush file.
Next, grab the Paintbrush Tool from the Tools Panel. Then, go to the Brushes Panel and locate the brushes you downloaded. They’re labeled 7SS – Smoke and Fog Starter.
Select the smoke brush you want to use. I’m using the Smoke Master 5 png brush. Go to the Swatches Panel and make sure the white color is active. Then, in the Layers Panel, select the mask layer. Take the brush and go over the area where the man is to reveal him.
After you’ve revealed the man, click the Add Pixel Layer icon in the Layers Panel. Drag this layer to the top above the black and white adjustment.
With the Paintbrush Tool still active, press Shift + X to switch the white color to black. Select the new layer we added. Then, take the brush and start adding some smoke around the man’s hair and along his back.
Congrats, this tutorial is complete! You now know how to create a smoke effect in Affinity Photo. For more Affinity Photo tutorials, check out this article on how to turn yourself to stone.