Photo Manipulation

How to Composite Your Own Space Scene from Scratch

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.

Tutorial Resources

Step 1

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)).


Step 2

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.



Step 3

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.



Step 4

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.



Step 5

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.


Step 6

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.

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