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 Photoshop no plug-in flames tutorial
Done in Photoshop 5.5)
  Click, Ctrl+N make an image 200x150 pixels,
use the paint bucket tool and fill with the
background color of your choice. In the layers
pallet, make a new layer, then using the marquee
tool make a rectangular shape near  the bottom.
paint bucket  marquee
  Select the linear gradient tool, click the options
pallet and set to foreground to background. Fill
your rectangle with orange and red by clicking
inside the top of the rectangle and dragging
toward the bottom and releasing. Click Crtl+D
to deselect.

fore/background color linear gradient

Select the smudge tool, and start with a 19
pixel round brush, click inside the red area of
the colored rectangle and drag your mouse
upward, moving your brush from side to side
slightly as you drag.

smudge tool

Add a few yellow areas with the airbrush
tool and a small brush, near top ends of
your flames.

air brush

Go back to the smudge tool, reduce the round
brush size to 5 pixels, to blend the tops of the
flames. You may also want to drag downward
to blend color. Use short random strokes.

smudge tool

Select the burn tool, under burn options choose
highlights and set exposure to 9, using a large
burred brush you can add some shaded areas.
Pause briefly in between your strokes to
examine your progress.

burn tool

There you go! Flames with no plug-ins!
I copied the layer twice, flipped both new
layers horizontally, moved them down and
to each side. Added some text with a drop
 shadow. Then I sharpened the final image.

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