In this tutorial, learn a cheap and easy way to add fire and flames to your text in Gimp 2.8 using just filter effects. All you need to do is print text on a black background, and apply a Wind filter. Then a Gaussian Blur, and an Unsharp Mask filter. All that’s left is to color the flames with Color Balance, and add color to the text with a white 2-pixel stroke. Easy Peasy.
You can also spend more time with the Smudge tool and IWarp to make the flames more realistic. But I left that out to make the tutorial short. It’s your turn to experiment.
Create 2 layers below. One a text layer and fill the background layer with black. Make a backup of the text layer and put it at the bottom of the layer stack. Then Merge two layers.
Now go to Image – Transform – Rotate 90 degrees.
Apply a wind filter effect with Filters – Distorts – Wind. Be sure to activate the text layer. Make the settings like you see below.
Apply the wind filter one more time. Rotate the image counter-clockwise to start editing.
Go to Blur – Gaussian Blur. Make the Blur Radius 6 on both vertical and horizontal.
Go back to the menu: Filters > Enhance > Unsharp Mask. Play around with the settings here, but you can use the ones below.
Here is what it should look like.
Now to add a fiery color to the flames. Go to Colors > Color Balance. Adjust the shadows, mid-tones, and highlights. Make them all have the same settings of: 100, 0, -100.
Put the original text layer on top of the layer stack and change the color of the text from white to something like red or orange.
Right click the text layer and click Text to Path. Go to the menu and choose Edit > Stoke Path at 2 pixel white.
A little more tweaking like adding one or two more fire text layers with varying levels of fire, and I have a decent finish below:
Animated Flaming Text
To make the text flame animated is pretty straight forward. Just create additional text flames with varying amounts of flame. At least 4 or more frames should do it.
Remember to merge the text and flame layers together for each frame like below.
Here is a simple flaming text GIF animation.