How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch

How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch
How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch

I set Blending Mode "Screen" and Opacity: 45% for ring layer. Do not forget to place a layer with ring layer above layer with planets shadow, a ring did not close a small planet. Add a layer mask and use soft brush to remove part of the ring, which should be hidden behind the planet.


Step 28

Now I started to paint rings. I did not want to use traditional methods, because their result I did not like. But I wanted to get something interested. So I added a hidden Photoshop gradients. Select Gradient Tool (G) and click on gradient editor. In the upper right corner of this window is a small gear - button, clicking on it brings you to the properties. At the bottom of this list is available gradients kits. Add "Photographic Toning" to using gradients. When they appear in gradient editor, select "Cyanotype" gradient.


Step 29

Create new layer above ring layer as Clipping Mask (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + G). Apply a gradient starting from the center of the planet and on a diagonal to the star, as shown in image below.


Set Blending Mode "Multiply" to gradient layer and duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl + J). For duplicate gradient layer set Blending Mode "Hard Light" and Opacity: 65%. The first layer toning ring, and the second strengthens its color, showing the planet's shadow.


Step 30

Well, you can not leave the planet in such a way :). About them completely forgotten, but now I will fix it. My space landscape already found the final tone, so I want the world to harmonize with the overall picture. For this I used three adjustment layers. All of them will be as Clipping Mask for planets group. First and second adjustment layers is "Brightness/Contrast"


Step 31

Third adjustment layer is "Color Balance". I added blue and cyan tint to the planet, in all three tones. Make settings for Midtones: Cyan - Red: -14, Magenta - Green: +9, Yellow - Blue: +24; for Highlights: Cyan - Red: -11, Magenta - Green: 0, Yellow - Blue: +13; for Shadow: Cyan - Red: +2, Magenta - Green: +1, Yellow - Blue: +3.


That such was the picture after using adjustment layers.

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22 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!
    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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