How to Create a Fried Chicken Explosion in Photoshop

How does one — and, indeed why would one — combine fried chicken and a Space Shuttle in Photoshop? Find the delicious answers in Tutvid's latest tutorial. 

If, like me, you inexplicably experience hunger pangs while watching a rocket launch, drag racing, or (ahem) Power Rangers, it might be because of an ingenious ad campaign earlier this year by KFC to promote a hot and spicy flavored offering. The photographic adverts, created by the marketing team at Ogilvy, depict the crispy, golden grease nuggets as massive plumes of fire coming out of a shuttle's rockets, a car's tailpipe, and as an explosion behind a quartet of mighty-morphin lookalikes.

As Nathaniel Dodson of Tutvid doesn't have time to source the perfect chicken bits to shoot in studio conditions, and because it's a fun tutorial to make, he explains how to get the same effect with some stock imagery and Photoshop trickery.

Dodson decides to use sand dunes as his foreground, which act as a complimentary yet not too distracting environment for the composite. The most obvious hurdle in this exercise, however, is to make the chicken look like fire. And, while if one squints hard enough, it kind of does look like that, Dodson takes us through a few easy to follow steps so that one might indeed mistake some crispy-fried artery-lodger for a fiery discharge.

What about our readers? Can anyone create a fiery discharge from fried chicken using Tutvid's tutorial? 

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David Hill's picture

Great work, really excellent results. But weren't the original ones that were doing the rounds on social media literally just fried chicken put over the top of the explosion? No PS required? Is was just the simple fact that it looked like explosions that made it clever?

Mike O'Leary's picture

Hey David. I cannot say for certain, but I assume that there would be a small bit of PS work on them. I would also say that the chicken in the adverts were lit in such a way as to replicate the luminosity of of an explosion. I really doubt that they just stuck some fried chick into the photos and left it at that.