One of the challenges I face while making my webcomics is improving World of Warcraft's graphics. My readers deserve cool effects! However, what works for gameplay doesn't always translate to the comic.
As a player, I know the orange ball spit by a proto-drake at me is bad news. However, the reader would just see an orange ball. It doesn't mean anything.
Something more is needed. Some oomp to convey that the red ball is dangerous.
So, I research and photoshop to come up with different things to add that oomp. Let me know if I succeeded.
VERY Impressive!! You must tell me how you did that!!
Your striving for realism is to be commendable. Suggestion on fire balls, look at pictures of forest fires, bombings, etc., see how they are appear. Might give you an idea.