I got a question about from a reader last week asking about the best way to create a fire in the fireplace with Photoshop. He said he had seen the tutorial that shows how to put flames on text but having trouble making the jump to making a fire place look convincing.
Yes, there is more to good looking fires than just the flame. You need logs on grates etc. My approach is to use a actual fire with logs and all the supports from a real fire. The way to do this is as follows:
If you have a good selection of real fires the process is much easier. I'm thinking that we need a library of fires for people to use much like the library of skies I have up under the "Resources" tab along the top of the blog. In a quick inventory I found at least 3 usable fires to start out. If anyone else has some good fires they want to contribute to the library post a link in a comment or send the file to me and I'll add them to the library. Here is the link to my public domain fire library.