How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch

How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch
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Step 19

Now I have made light of the planet. Select planet and create a new layer under shadow layer. Fill selection white color (Cmd/Ctrl + Del). Go to Select > Modify > Contract... and set 100px, do this 2 times. Press BACKSPACE to remove selected area and Deselect it (Cmd/Ctrl + D).
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Need to blur the resulting stroke. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur... Set Radius: 300px. Remove the glow outside the planet (Select planet - Invert selection ((Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + I) - BACKSPACE - Deselect).
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Step 20

I decided to add a little shine on the horizon of the planet. Double-click next to the name of the layer with the planet. Set the values for the inner and outer glow as shown in images. Move the shadow so that it covers the glow and planet is ready!
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Move the shadow so that it covers the glow and planet is ready! (as an additive, you can use various image adjustment to change the color, the contrast and so on (Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, etc.)). Remove all backgrounds from the substrate to the planet remained on a transparent background (I have a black background for example only received the planet) and save your planet in PNG file (File > Save As... or Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + S) in the right place for you.
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Step 21

Let us return to our working document. Go to File > Place (Place Embedded) and choice crated planet (layer of the planet should be at the top in Layers palette). Reduce its size (Cmd/Ctrl + T) and position it in the lower right corner of the picture. Select Move tool (V), hold Opt/Alt and drag the planet to the right place. Rotate it towards to the bright side a first planet.
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Step 22

Duplicate in such a way to have four planets and place them as shown in the image below. I combined all planets layers in one group (Cmd/Ctrl + G), to them it was easier to work with. When positioned planet, try to get theirs a harmonious community. Though the genre is almost no rules, but it is integral part harmony. Space is a big clockwork and every detail is closely connected with others, and visual clutter is not.
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On a new layer I darkened the planet in the right places to make it look realistic (I used Brush Tool (B) (Size: 300px, Opacity: 70%, Hardness: 0%)). Just do not overdo it. In order not to darken small planet in the lower right corner of the image, move the shadow layer under the layer with this planet.
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Step 23

When all the planets in their places. I started to work on the main planet. I would like to diversify their boring look :) and add a gas ring Create a new document (Cmd /Ctrl+ N). A blank document with size of 2000 pixels wide and 2000 pixels high, resolution 200 Pixels/Inch, Background Contents: Other (gray color (# 898989)). Used Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), on a new layer, draw a medium ellipse. Leave a little space to fit the ring. Add style "Outer Glow" to this layer.
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Step 24

Now create the rings. I know another way to create them, but I like this more often. Add style "Inner Glow" to this layer. In "Structure" set: Opacity: 100%, Noise: 2% (Adding noise ring will look realistic and with the effect of particle); in "Elements": Size: 250px (I take the same maximum value to get the big ring). You do not see the rings? Do not worry! In "Quality" set contour "Rounded Steps" and enjoy the results.

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20 comments on “How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch”

  1. Step 7 is fairly confusing, I followed the steps but when i try to remove excess stars it comes out white and looks horrible, confused as to what I should do.

    1. That's only because you weren't coloring on a layer mask! Make sure that after you apply the layer mask, you click on the second thumbnail on the layer. After doing so, begin coloring in a black brush. Anything colored black on a layer mask will actually be erased. If you want to make the stars reappear, simply color it white.

  2. Every great tutorial. I need some help on Step 25. After I delete the center of black area the rings, the effects also disappear too. I still can't figure out how to make the rings effects and without black area. Thank you.

    1. Hi Dylan, Thank you very much for your letter! Try to create rings, select all the layers with rings right click on layers > Convert to Smart Object. Select a dark circle (Elliptical Marquee Tool (M)). Add a layer mask (Layer > Add Layer Mask > Hide Selection or hold Opt/Alt and click on "Add layer mask" icon). This should remove the black circle. Then convert the layer to Smart Object again and you're done. Also, this happens if you are working on a background layer.
      If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them! And I will answer you.

  3. This is a really great tutorial, thanks for this, Maria!
    http://i.imgur.com/RjttyDI.jpg
    This is how it turned out for me (for some reason, it's darker when posting online, looks better in PS)! As you can see, I tried to make a larger star/sun closer to the planets, as it's not realistic to have such shine from a nebula.

    I'm not very happy with how the sun turned out, could you give me an idea on how to make a better sun? Thanks!

  4. I am having problems with step 9: I keep clicking Ctrl and F for the "Difference clouds", but nothing seems to happen inside the nebula, apart for at little shift in the stars, and I have clicked ALOT of times!

    1. Hi Tommy, It's strange, because everything should work. Are you exactly set “Color Dodge” blending mode for nebula layer? If the blending mode everything is fine, then try to apply filters through Filter > Last Filter or Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. Surely set the default colors (D on keyboard) before you apply a cloud filters. Repeat steps 8 - 9 for nebula on a new layer if the problem does not go away. Make sure that you have made a colored background, otherwise Nebula did not appear. Write to me if the problem is not solved.

    1. Filling in a free and quick survey would have been much quicker than filling in this form to leave a comment and would help support the author of the tutorial who has given up their time to create this excellent walk through.

    1. I'm very glad that you enjoyed it! I hope you will find a lot of useful information.

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