Since this is an image of a model plane then the propellers are obviously not moving so we’re going to make them move in Photoshop; to do this we first have to make a copy of the plane then extract the propeller. First hold Alt and drag the plane layer above the noise layer, this will duplicate the layer but not break the clipping mask. Now hide the original plane layer then select the new plane layer and add a layer mask by pressing the layer mask button in the bottom of the layers panel. Now select the brush tool and choose a hard round brush, change the foreground color to black and start painting around the propeller; the parts that you paint on will be hidden. GO round the propeller and change the size of the brush regularly to suit the part you are working on. Keep at it until you have something like this and don’t worry about being accurate here it wont really matter as long you have the basic shape.
Duplicate this layer then right click on the layer mask and select ‘Apply Layer Mask’. Select the smudge tool and choose a brush with 0% hardness andd a size of about 60px then change the strength to 50%. None blade at a time, just drag from the blade anti-clockwise slightly a few times to give the smudged effect shown below.
Repeat step 5 but this time drag out a bit further then change the opacity of this layer to 50%.
We’re going to make make it look even more like its spinning as well as adding some smoke at the same time. Create a new layer then select the brush tool and with a 0% hardness brush with a diameter of about 10px draw two rough circles one in black and one in the same color as the tip of the blades.
We now need to blur this so go Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and use a value of 20px and you should get something similar to this.
We’ll take a look at where we’ve got to so far, we’ve added the noise first to make it look a bit dirtier then we isolated the propeller and and smudged it to look like its moving. Isolating parts of an image is a really important technique to start using as you’ll often need to edit parts of a stock image and it’s often much easier to isolate the parts whether you want to blur the part, alter some colors or change the shape and size of it. Lastly we just used a quick and simple way to add some more motion by quickly drawing a circle then heavily blurring it. Now just turn the visibility of the original plane back on and you should have something looking like this.
In the next few steps we will be adding some burn marks, flame and smoke so we need a really good stock image to use for this, The one I use all the time for this kind of thing can be found here
. I’ve shown what it looks like below and you’ll notice that it’s perfect for this kind of thing; it has flames, burn marks, smoke and even bits of debris. First paste this image into your document and scale it down to roughly your document size.
Basically now we’re going to copy part of this image onto the side of the plane, the easiest way to do this is to first duplicate the layer with the van in it then hide the original van layer. Now either use the eraser tool or the lasso tool to remove all except the the front corner of the van with burn marks, just do this roughly then rotate and scale this layer and place it over the plane like so, I used a soft eraser brush just to remove the hard edges.
Now click the layer mask button in the layers panel to add a mask to this layer. Now select the brush tool and choose a soft round brush then change the foreground color to black then in the main toolbar change the opacity to 20%. We want to get rid of most of the flames here so do this by brushing over them (make sure you are working on the mask not the layer). As well as brushing over the flames we also want to hide some parts that are a bit too harsh or generally don’t look right.