Muzzle Flares: The smaller the flare, the smaller your weiner

There are a lot of muzzle flares/flashes used in this section, but not a lot used right. In this thread I’m going to teach you guys my patented 4-step muzzle-flare process, so you will never again make small, ugly flares. Be sure to read the captions for each step, that’s where the important stuff is! It’s a short tutorial, because it’s a fairly easy/straight forward process, but the points I cover in each step are important!

This step is pretty self explanatory, but I see it screwed up often. Take a decent picture with editing/muzzle flare in mind. If you haven’t already, read up on anti-aliasing and file types. In addition, make sure you put a bright, almost white (very slightly orange/yellow) light where the flare will go.

You’ve taken your shot, now drop it into your favorite editor for step two. Using a soft brush at 20% opacity, paint light onto nearby flat surfaces that are facing the flare. You can do this by selecting the areas, and painting within the selection. If you want to get really fancy, you can use this to paint in some fake shadows and gradients on portions that aren’t quite facing the flare. When you’re done, set the layer to overlay (or a similar blending type). Here’s just the lighting overlay from the above picture.

Now for the actual flare. Google “muzzle flash” or “muzzle flare” and find yourself 1-3 flares on transparent or black backgrounds. Slap them onto the barrel of the gun in your picture. It probably looks like crap. Now, you’ve got three important things to do:

  • First, combine multiple flares from different angles if the flare is facing the camera at an angle. This makes a dynamic, natural flare. The flare I used is a combination of two.

  • Next, SCALE THE FLARE TO BE LARGE. This is a major, common mistake. Muzzle flares are BIG. Bigger than most people think. Unless the gun is silenced, or extremely small, the flare should be big and smokey.

  • Finally, if you haven’t already, set the flare’s layer to “screen,” so that only the flare itself/smoke show.

Finally, we need to make the flare look bright as hell, because it’s an explosion and explosions are bright. Duplicate the flare on top of itself 1-3 times, and merge the layers (don’t forget to keep it set to “screen”). Now, go into your filters, and gaussian blur the hell out of it until it looks pretty.

Now that we’re done, shit your color correction and filters and lens flare and contrast on it.

There are more advanced ways of doing this, but these steps are fast, easy, and generally yield good results. Cheers!

So if I make a really big flare, does it mean I have a big weiner?

Of course it does, I thought this was common knowledge. Photoshop will not let you make the flare bigger if your weiner doesn’t meet size requirements.

protip: never use the X-shaped flares if you’re dealing with something lighter like handguns or SMGs. they can only look good on heavy automatic weapons

here’s a stock texture card that should come in handy

^download the full size file from here^

but if you feel like you could make a muzzleflash from scratch and not have it look shit, then by all means do so

i tried making a muzzeflash from recycling once, took a larger muzzleflash and hit it with the image repair tool until i liked how it looked, then pasted it onto this picture

the image above is a good example of a messy muzzleflash that also happens to have dark red where the white highlights should be

bloom/glow should gravitate towards white, not yellow

If I make the muzzleflash purple-highlighted, does that mean my weiner likes dudes?

bloom should gravitate towards what ever is the dominating color of the thing that’s glowing

Generally speaking, I’ve found that taking the color of the bright object with the color-picker and moving it far towards white (but not all the way) works well.

But then again, most of what I know is self tought, so I could be totally wrong. I just think it looks good.

the color and saturation of the bloom always depends on the overall feel and mood of the picture so pretty much anything can work


Thanks a bunch for this tutorial, I’ve been confused on a good way to do this, hence I haven’t attempted to incorporate them. Thanks!

Changed the flare “x” based on Joazz’s critique, and added a “just the lighting overlay” to show how I did the selection.