Using Photoshop and a specific technique, it’s rather easy to create something that looks like smoke or fog—from scratch. It’s not as good as actual smoke photographed on a black background, but it’s much easier to come by. Here’s the trick…
Draw a doodle. Preferrably keep the doodle in its own layer with a black background beneath.
Use the Liquify tool to distort the doodle. Liquify resides in the
Filter > Liquify... menu. Using the various “forward warp”, “twirl” and “pucker” tools residing in the menu to the left, you distort the doodle as if you were fingerpainting.
Once you’ve applied the liquify transformation, select
Edit > Fade Liquify.... In the dialog box that appears, set the opacity to 50% and apply.
Now repeat the process until you’re satisfied:
- Fade Liquify to 50%
If you enjoyed this tutorial, you might also enjoy my Creating Microworlds in Photoshop tutorial.