In this tutorial, I will tell you in detail on how to use the functions of Photoshop in creating stars, planets, nebula and combine them into a unified and harmonious composition, color adjustments and more. You will learn a lot of useful and interesting techniques in space-art and Photoshop. See this tutorial and learn how easy it is!
First, we’ll create a color background and add a little stars to make the depth for image. Then I will show you how to create a nebula and star brushes. The next step will be the creation of the planets, mounting it and various effects. At the end of this tutorial, I will show you how to make dark matter and add lighting effects. I want to warn you that all in this tutorial (colors, shapes, sizes, types of brushes, and so on) are given for my artwork. You can try and experiment with everything. Because this tutorial aims to develop your creative skills and thinking. Feel free go for it! You will need any version of Photoshop, inspiration and a bit of attentiveness.
- Planet texture – MariaSemelevich
- Galactic Space Brushes Set – drkzin
- Sky stock – affen92
- Asteroid Ring Stock Pack – Euderion
Launch Photoshop and begin to create! Create a new document. Go to File > New or the short key Cmd /Ctrl+ N. A blank document with size of 4000 pixels wide and 2000 pixels high, resolution 200 Pixels/Inch, Background Contents: Other (black color (# 000000)).
The first thing I did a colored background. Create new layer, used icon on Layer panel (or Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N). Select Brush Tool (B) on Toolbar and set the settings Size: 900px, Opacity: 100%, Hardness: 0%, Flow: 100%. I chose tints of blue and green color in Swatches panel (Colors: # 005952, # 003663, # 002157). Arbitrarily drew a few spots across the entire width the working area.
To mix and make the colors more smooth, I added a filter “Gaussian Blur” (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur…). Set Radius: 300px. Set Opacity: 76% to colored layer.
To create a volume for the background, I added stars. Create new layer, used icon on Layer panel (or Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N) and Fill it a Black color. Press D, then X on keyboard to set Background color to Black. Use Cmd/Ctrl + Del to fill layer.
Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise… Set Amount: 30%, Distribution: Gaussian, be sure to set check box on Monochromatic, then click Ok.
Now we have a little excess star remove the texture to be more natural. Use Cmd/Ctrl + L to change Levels adjustment for this layer (Image > Adjustments > Levels…). Set Input Levels for black point to 150 and click Ok. As you can see the noise was like a stars. Set Blending mode “Screen” to this layer for show background color.
To make a bigger stars, Duplicate stars layer (Cmd/Ctrl+ J or Layer > Duplicate Layer). Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+ T or Edit > Free Transform) to resize scale to 200% proportionally. Be sure to move both layers with the stars texture under colored layer.
Created texture seemed to me a bit of like pattern and I decided to diversify its. I create brush from usual “Oil Pastel Large” brush (it is in a standard set of Photoshop brushes), but I modified it. Select brush “Oil Pastel Large” and press F5 to move in Brush settings.
Make settings for each value like shown in the images below. This is a simple brush with varied changing angle. Be sure to save this brush, because it will be needed us in future. You have two options, you can use the Eraser Tool (E) or add Layer masks to both stars layers and remove needless on it (I recommend the second way, because then you can correct the position of the stars, if you do not like something).
Add a Layer mask to each star layer (Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All or use icon on Layer panel). Use Brush Tool (B) with created brush (Size: 400px, Opacity: 70-40%) to remove excess stars texture. Try not to repeat the previous layer mask and put stars in the same place. Make texture varied and where you plan to place Nebula (or the main object). It is important to make the texture varied that there were clusters of stars, and some parts.
Now I have created a nebula. It’s very simple, create new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N). Use Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and draw an ellipse almost the entire width of the worked area. In principle, not necessarily to use this tool. You need to create an area desired shape. Right click on the circle and select “Feather”, enter of feather radius 45px and click Ok. This is to soften the edges of the future nebula.
Make sure you select a created layer and set Default Background and Foreground colors (D or Icon next to the switching colors). Go to Filter > Render > Clouds… In your ellipse should appear clouds. Add another filter – Difference Clouds (Filter > Render > Difference Clouds…). You should get similar like in image below.
To better understand the structure of the future nebula, change the Blending mode for this layer to “Color Dodge”. Repeat apply filter “Difference Clouds”, using Cmd/Ctrl+ F or Filter > Difference Clouds. Keep hitting Cmd/Ctrl+ F until you get the desired result or at least 9000 times :).
Deselect nebula (Select > Deselect or Cmd/Ctrl + D) and begin to sculpting the shape. At this stage, I used two tools: Warp Tool (Ctrl/Cmd+ T or Edit > Transform > Warp) and Puppet Warp (Edit > Puppet Warp). To give the basic shape, I used a Warp Tool few times, gives shape to something similar on picture. You can experiment with all of the Transformation tools. Try to stretch the edge of the nebula, so they will look more interesting and realistic.
To make a more precise form, I used Puppet Warp few times to make the final desired shape. I place transformation pointâ€™s nebula around the edges and give the desired shape and a little spaced out some parts. Just be careful, because if you strongly to stretch or bend one point may get a nasty bend in the texture and it will need to be removed.
Another interesting technique, it is a bit enhance color of nebula. Duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl + J) nebula layer and use different Image adjustments. Then reduce the layers Opacity to balance the color of your choice (This is not necessary if you are satisfied with the source of its color. I did not do it).
Now I made apophysis on nebula (dark areas and texture). Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N). Select foreground color from background only which is a bit darker than the color on which you choose to apply apophysis. It is very easy to do using Eyedropper Tool (I) (When you use Brush Tool (B), hold Opt/Alt to switch on it). Upload “Galactic Space Brushes Set” brushes in Photoshop and used Brush Tool (B) proceed to draw the dark details over nebula, using low Opacity (30-70%).
You may to change the shape of your brush in the brush settings (F5). Remember to create a new layer after every one or two strokes, it will allow you to change the Opacity of every stroke. When you determine exactly the final version of apophysis, all layers are created with it can be merge into one (Layer > Merge Layers… or Cmd/Ctrl + E).
That’s how I did. Working with Nebula is finished. It is important not to overdo it and change “Opacity” to make apophysis a variety of contrast. If you want to make some elements nebula brighter, use apophysis or soft brushes with bright colors and gently paint over nebula on a new layer. You can also change Blending mode to achieve unusual effects.
Now I need the stars, which are becoming more and a variety of texture. That long to not seek the appropriate brush, I made it myself. Create a new document (File > New or Cmd /Ctrl+ N) A blank document with Width: 600 px, Height: 600px, Resolution 200 Pixels/Inch, Background Contents: White.
Select Brush Tool (B) (Size: 35px, Opacity: 100%, Hardness: 0%, Foreground color: black (D)). On a new layer draw a point approximately in the center of the document. Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+ T) and stretch a point in width so that the ends do not touch the edges of the document and slightly reduce the height.
Duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl + J) the layer with beam and turn it clockwise (Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 degrees Clockwise or Right click in transform mode > Rotate 90 Clockwise). Set Size: 200px, Opacity: 50% for brush and in the center of the crosshairs rays put a point.
Merge all stars layers (Cmd/Ctrl + E) on without background, select resulting star by clicking in layer thumbnail with hold Cmd/Ctrl (Do not worry if the brush is not released completely. When you make Brush Preset, it will be an entire) and go to Edit > Define Brush Preset… Specify desired name of the brush and click Ok.
Let’s go back to the brush and create another kind of star. Deselect (Cmd/Ctrl + D) star and Duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl + J) it. Use the Free Transform tool (Ctrl/Cmd+ T) to proportionally (hold Shift + Opt/Alt) reduce its size and rotate it on angle 45 degrees. When finished, repeat previous paragraph.
Stars are ready and now I have to do settings for brushes. The first will be four-pointed star. Select first star brush in Brush Presets and go to Brush settings. In “Brush Tip Shape” set Size: 150px and checkbox on “Spacing”, Spacing: 255%. Then go to “Shape Dynamics”, set Size Jitter: 100%, Angle Jitter: 100%. Next tab is “Scattering”, set Scatter: 1000%, Count: 1. That’s it! The brush is ready. The result was not dense brush of the stars. Now save it and let’s do a test!
I create a new layer, set foreground color to white (press D then X on keyboard) and drew a stars like in image below, in dense areas of small stars and a single. I did not immediately make a big group. This is the basis of the starry sky.
Now make them shine. Give a little spark in their existence :). Make double click next the layer name and you will arrive in “Layer Style”. Go to tab “Outer Glow” and set Color for glow #e65d01, Spread: 3%, Size: 13px.