Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: GHOST RIDER – How to Create the Terrifying, Flaming Skull!

November 8, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
For fans of horror and the macabre, I’m going to show you how to create a flaming
skull. For your convenience, I provided this skull PNG file for you download. It’s link
is in my video’s description or project files. If you prefer to use your own photo, just
cut the face out from its background and copy it to its own layer. I covered how to cut
and copy images in many of my tutorials. I also provided this image of flames that we’ll
use later. Open the skull file. If your foreground and background colors aren’t black and white,
click this icon or press “D” on your keyboard. Invert the colors by clicking this icon or
by pressing “x”. Click the Adjustment layer icon and click “Gradient”. Open your Gradient presets. If you don’t see this set, click the gear icon and click “Reset Gradients”. Click this thumbnail. Make the Style: Linear, the Angle: 90 degrees and the the Scale: 20%. Check “Reverse” and drag the gradient up approximately this much. Then,
click OK. To remove any of the white gradient that may be inside the eye sockets, click
the layer mask to make it active and open your Brush Tool. Make the brush size 125 pixels
with a Hardness of 0. Make sure the Opacity and Flow are both 100%. Brush inside the eye
sockets to reveal back those areas of the skull. Click the Adjustment layer icon and
click “Hue/Saturation”. Check “Colorize” and make the Hue: 200 and the Saturation: 40.
We’ll convert our image into a Smart Object, so we can continue to modify it nondestructively,
as well as allow us to replace our subject with a different one without having to redo
the effects that we’ll be adding to it. To do this, Shift-click on the skull to make
all the layers active and click the icon at the upper, right of the Layers panel. Click
“Convert to Smart object”. Make 2 copies of the layer by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J twice.
Name the top layer “Blur” and click the eyeball icon to hide the layer. Rename the middle
layer, ” Multiply” and change the Blend Mode to “Multiply”. Make the top layer visible
and active and change its Blend Mode to “Overlay”. Go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Make
the Radius: 5 pixels and click OK. Go back to Filter, Blur and “Motion Blur”. Make the
Angle: 90 degrees and the Distance: 100 pixels. To save space in the Layers panel, let’s collapse
the blur effects by clicking the small arrow on the right. Click the New Layer icon to
make a new layer. We’ll fill the empty layer with white and since the foreground color
is white, press Alt or Option + Delete. Change its Blend Mode to “Overlay”. Make a copy of
the layer and change its Blend Mode to “Difference”. Name the top layer, “Difference” and name
the second layer, “Overlay”. Click the Adjustment layer icon and click “Color Balance”. In “Midtones”,
make the Yellow / Blue: 30. Open the Tones and click “Highlights”. This time, make the
Yellow / Blue: 50. This makes the midtones and highlights warmer in color. We’re ready
to add the flames. Make the top layer active and open the flames image I provided or you
can open your own flames image. To place it onto your skull document, press “v” to open
your Move Tool and drag it onto the skull tab. Without releasing your mouse or pen,
drag it down onto the skull and release. Change the Blend Mode to “Screen”. Click the Layer
mask icon to make a layer mask next to the flames. We’ll be making a few copies of the
flames layer, but first, let’s place the flames and its layer mask into a folder by pressing
Ctrl or Cmd + G. Name the folder, “Flames”. Make the flames layer active and make 3 or
4 copies of it. Hide all the flame layers except for the bottom one, which we’ll make
active. Drag the flames over the eye sockets and forehead. To resize it, open your Transform
Tool by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. Go to a corner and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow,
press and hold Shift” as you drag it in or out. Holding Shift kept the flames retain
its aspect ratio.To reposition it, go inside the Transform and drag it. Then, press Enter
or Return. To remove areas of the flames, make the layer mask active and make sure your
foreground color is black. Press “B” to open your Brush Tool. To make your brush bigger
or smaller, press the right or left bracket key on your keyboard and then brush over areas
to mask them out. We’ll place more flames over that area to finesse it. Make the next
flames layer visible and active. Open your Move Tool and drag an area of the flames over the part you want to finesse. Make the corresponding layer mask active, open your Brush Tool and brush over the areas of those flames you want to mask out. Make the next flames layer visible
and active. Open your Move Tool and drag an areas of the flames to the bottom, left. If
you want to resize it, open your Transform Tool and drag it over to resize it. Then, press Enter or Return. Continue these steps for your other flames until you’re happy with your image. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply CraigAllenFilms March 20, 2016 at 11:45 pm


  • Reply PixelSheep March 20, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Now this is some badass shit!!!

  • Reply PixelSheep March 20, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    So this could be done with just a regular human face?

  • Reply Known2God March 21, 2016 at 12:00 am

    Absolutely fantastic. This photoshop is the real bad ass in all of this. Thanks for sharing mate. Regards.

  • Reply NeuroticApe March 21, 2016 at 12:02 am

    someone else watching h3h3 vs leafy

  • Reply Ludielson Batista March 21, 2016 at 12:07 am

    muito bom parabéns

  • Reply Renzo Pineda Cabrera March 21, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Great Tut, always so easy to follow! thanks 🙂

  • Reply Brian Jennings March 21, 2016 at 1:41 am

    When I got notified that you had released another vid, I quickly took a look to see what magic you had done this time. At first glance, I was instantly interested to see how you achieved the look. As I watched it, I realized how easy it is to make, but your know-how always astonishes me. Great understanding of PS tools & great instruction as usual. Thanks for the techniques.

  • Reply Kartik Gupta March 21, 2016 at 2:32 am

    hello Marty please do Wpap tutorial. I am eagerly waiting for that.

  • Reply Mitch March 21, 2016 at 2:43 am

    How would this work with an object Thad not a face?

  • Reply Alpha Rage March 21, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Awesome!! Keep up the good work.

  • Reply CivilizedMenKilledMe March 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Oh Youtube … You don′t have enough Like buttons.

  • Reply Binty McFrazzles March 21, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Another good one, Marty. Nicely, clear tutorial.

  • Reply Best Western K March 21, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    do you ever make tutorials for illustrator, InDesign, or after effects?

  • Reply Md. Leon Kazi March 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Marty, would you please create multiple exposures next week?

  • Reply Danilo Miguel March 22, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    ::Great for texts and letters::

  • Reply Nitai Singha March 25, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Sir pls Show me some Webdesign tutorial pls sir

  • Reply NONAME CHANNEL March 26, 2016 at 9:06 am

    go next video with subtitles ( badly speaking english )

  • Reply GunjiMANE March 27, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Anyone here willing to make me free Graphics very easy request….. All I ask is for someone to make Gunji look really cool…. its for my GB profile

  • Reply Tudor March 27, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you man this helped me.

  • Reply amit borate March 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    thanks dude i was searching for this only ………. …………wait for more such awesome videos………..

  • Reply Scarlet Kitten March 28, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    I love your Tutorials so much. So easy to follow 🙂 thank you!

  • Reply IXOYC March 28, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    How can i reduce the Image size without losing the quality , what is the
    best way ? … i tried to use the photoshop cubic sharper but it does
    not work also i tried to use reduce with smart object but also does not
    work .

  • Reply Phong Nguyễn March 29, 2016 at 4:25 am

    Thank you man this helped me.

  • Reply IBRAHIMA FAYE April 8, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    you impression easy to undestand can i have some lesson in copy, write

  • Reply Olga Vareli May 5, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    please, a tutorial for tears making in photoshop 🙂

  • Reply kay afzan May 7, 2016 at 11:28 am


  • Reply MrAwsomesause15 May 9, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    won't let me unlock the image

  • Reply Vargheese Janarious May 11, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Hai Martin.How Are You.Why You Did Not Giving Hitfilm Tutorials.pls

  • Reply 《 Sarcastic Potato 》 May 16, 2016 at 9:47 am

    My blend modes are not all active. Overlay not possible what to do?

  • Reply eldiablo dirane June 7, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    how can i make my pic have flame in it

  • Reply Neko June 8, 2016 at 5:36 am

    good, nicely tutorial. Thank you.

  • Reply Cathy Neary July 30, 2016 at 10:49 am


  • Reply Jessi Julie October 4, 2016 at 7:57 am

    so much helpful, and its really awesome!

  • Reply Sohail Wazir October 8, 2016 at 9:55 am

    you in Photoshop and in illustrator tastytuts. you both are legend . thanks for all your hardwork. Allah will bless you InshaAllah. many thanks with respect

  • Reply Nekropolis Ov Disgraced February 8, 2017 at 6:28 am

    what sucks is i cant use png in CS6 and when i changed the extension manually it told me there was an unknown JPEG file or something. sucks i couldnt do this. now i have to find something else…

  • Reply just adude February 21, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    cant unlock the layer, what to do?

  • Reply Kailash 1999 April 10, 2017 at 6:19 am

    would you explain what is the use of background colour and also what is overlay?

  • Reply David Allen May 26, 2017 at 1:55 am

    hi Marty. Having trouble using the skull. when I try to use the tools like the adjustment layer or dragging it onto another pic the curser turns into a circle with a line through it like a do not enter sign. This happened with the scary x-ray video as well. Am I doing something wrong or is there something wrong with the skull file?

  • Reply Penny Wise August 31, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Wtf is this shit only 500k subscribers he deserves 1 million

  • Reply Cathy Neary October 9, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Thank you!

  • Reply Bikeman Junkie October 17, 2017 at 6:58 am

    The skull is partially locked. How do you unlock it?

  • Reply Rob-karen Kennedy-parker December 24, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Excellent tutorials. Thanks.

  • Reply Jay George May 10, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    Could you make some 3D text that stands out please

  • Reply Zxch June 5, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Copyright this guys ass

  • Reply Janet Green September 15, 2018 at 1:40 am

    For some reason I am unable to unlock the skull.png file. It seem to lock everything out.

  • Reply Nightmarefox 1234 November 28, 2018 at 4:04 am

    You created Ghost Rider!

  • Reply Patrick Boulanger February 27, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    merci pour ce tuto

  • Reply WiKiT Woo WoNKa July 18, 2019 at 4:29 am

    Says the fire file is no longer available 😥

  • Reply Craig Kaiser August 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Marty. Love your tuts. Where did you get the skull image?

  • Reply HuyGamingMC _ October 17, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Okay, you create Ghost Rider Brother

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