Create a Surreal Photo Manipulation by Mixing Ice and Fire Textures

In this Photoshop tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Create a Unique Photo Manipulation via Mixture of Ice and Fire Textures. Along the way, I will show some interesting ways to manipulate texture via image adjustment tool and free transform tool. This is an intermediate level tutorial, have a try!

The PSD file of this tutorial is available to buy on PSD Vault Shop, or via the PSD Vault VIP members area.

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)


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OK Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:


Metal Image


Ice 1

Ice 2

Step 1

Create a new document sized 860px * 1140px with black background, load the metal image into Photoshop and select a piece as shown below:

1 sel

Copy and paste the selection over to our document, resize it to cover the canvas. Then apply the following Accented Edges filter to give it a special effect:

1 filter

and here is the effect so far:

1 after filter

Use a soft eraser, remove the edges of this layer as shown below:

1 erase

Add the following 3 adjustments layers on top:

Black and White

1 bw


1 lvs


1 curves

and here is the effect so far:

1 effect

Step 2

Load the model image into Photoshop and cut out the head area, paste it onto our document as shown below:

2 paste

Apply the following Surface Blur settings to smooth out the skin a bit:

2 sur blur

Use a soft eraser, erase the edges of  the face as shown below:

2 erase

Add the following adjustment layers as clipping mask to this model layer:

Black and white

2 bw

Layer mask on the black and white adjustment layer:

2 bw mask


2 lvs

Layer mask on the levels adjustment layer:

2 lvs mask


2 curves

and here is the effect so far:

2 effect

Step 3

We will add some ice texture onto image. Load the ice 1 image into Photoshop and use the Lasso Tool to select a piece as shown below:

3 sel

Copy and paste into the document, and set it as a clipping mask to the face layer:

3 paste

Apply the following Crystallize filter to add some crystal effect into the ice texture:

3 cry

Apply the following black and white adjustment to this ice layer:

3 bw

Change the blending mode of this ice texture layer to “vivid light”:

3 vivid

and here is the effect so far:

3 effect

Step 4

Now let’s go to the fire image and select the fire with the quick selection tool as shown below:

4 sel

We can then copy the fire texture over and place it under the face layer, use the free transform tool to resize it to fit the shape of the face:

4 attach 2

Add some fire texture over the head as well:

4 attach

Step 5

Now we want to give this photo some further surreal effect by adding some “Dark Energy” around the face. To do this, simply duplicate the fire texture layer once and apply the following black and white adjustment:

5 bw

and you will the fire texture changed into some black/grey lines, as shown below:

5 after bw

We can then duplicate this layer a few times, and attach them around the face:

5 dup

Step 6

We can further add some ice texture over the face. Load the “ice” 2 image (pick one from the pack) into Photoshop, and select a portion with the Lasso Tool as shown below:

6 sel

Copy and paste a few of those selections onto our document, change the layer blending mode to “screen” for those new ice layers and use the free tranform tool to adjust their shape as you see fit. Here is the effect so far:

6 attach

Step 7

We’re almost done! To fine-tune the effect, I added the following image adjustment layers on top of all previous layers:

Selective color

7 sel red

7 sel yellow

7 cyan

7 white

7 neutrals

7 blacks


7 curves

And here is my final effect: (click to enlarge)


That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy it and find it useful! Drop me a comment below if you have any question.

Till next time, have a great day!


  • My name is James and I have been using Photoshop since version 5.0 (long time ago!). PSD Vault is my spare time hobby and I write majority of the Photoshop tutorials and articles here. I hope you enjoy my blog, and feel free to leave a comment or contact me if you have any questions.

  • Show Comments

  • Pheonix

    Thank you so much for these tutorials!! They are really helping me expand my knowledge of my Photoshop, (I use CS4) and they are really helping me tap into my creative side when I feel I’ve hit a wall.

  • PSD Vault

    No problem, I’m glad that the tutorial helps!

  • cloud

    how can i make the fire blue too :| ? can make it pink but not blue.

  • abraxon

    this is a really great effect. thank you.

  • Stacy

    awesome tutorial! thanks

  • Majid

    Thank you

  • dimpi pinto

    gud one <3

  • Sauptik Marik

    how did you get the red color after adding layer mask to the black and white adjustment layer? help!!

  • frenchvann

    thank you so much this was fun! im working with cs so the blk&wht adjustment layer threw me off a lil but i made it work i love the turn out.

  • gökhan

    söylediğiniz herşeyi yaptım ama olmadı amk neden olmadı ki acaba

  • Deepu

    hi wanaa friendship with me Stacy

  • kelldoni

    How do you get the red/pink color on the black and white layer?

  • Addams

    How do you get the red/pink color on the black and white layer?

  • sabrina

    that’s beautiful ,wonderful .i’like it .

  • Anaïs Redant

    im stuck with the b&w layer for the ice clipping mask (?), can u send me -if possible- a screenshot of your layer panel? if i make the ice layer a clipping mask for the face layer, i cant make the b&w adlayer work for the ice mask layer only… help! :(

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