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How to create comets?
Now it's time for the hardest part which is comets. To create them we can use many different techniques but I'm going to show you my favourite one although it's not always the best one (anyway it's the easiest one in my opinion and gives great results at the same time). We'll use Pen Tool (P) and Brush Tool (B) a lot but we can start with some photos at first. I used ink photographs from cgtextures.com to make it look like a fire and then I improved everything by hand using different brushes. First of all most of the ink pictures are blue on the white background. That's great because we can invert the colors and use "Lighten" as blending mode to make it look like a fire immediately (lighten blending mode will make black invisible but everything else will be visible). In case some photos aren't blue you can simply go to Hue/Saturation . . . (Ctrl/CMD + U) and make them so.
Step 8: building the full document
Grab any ink photo you like and paste it into you Photoshop document. Press Ctrl/CMD + T to free transofrm it. Scale it down and rotate as you like.
Step 9: Experimentation and finishing
Now make sure you have your layer selected and press Ctrl/CMD + I to invert the colors. It looks almost like a fire in my case but it is likely that your photo will need a couple more tweaks. I used Hue/Saturation . . . , Brightness/Contrast . . . and Curves to adjust my image.
Try to just play with these settings until you get something that you are happy with.
Step 10: Blend to lighten
Change layer's blending mode to "Lighten" and erase everything that you consider not necessary.
Step 12: another optional step
Here is another optional step. I've created some paths using Pen Tool and used "Stroke Path . . . " with white brush set to 1px for two comets. I played with different layer styles and blending modes to improve my comets by making them a bit differentiated. That's optional but it may help you to achieve some diversification. Also you don't need to paint entire comet like I did but you can create some single lines.
NEXT: Experimenting for final look and feel
... continues on the next page!