Articles, Blog

Photoshop Tutorial: How to Quickly Create Stars, Planets and Faraway Galaxies

October 30, 2019

Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
I’m going to show you how to easily create a vast, star field amid interstellar clouds
of galaxies and faraway constellations. Create a new document by pressing Ctrl + N
or Windows or Cmd + N on a Mac. Make the Width: 1550 pixels, the Height: 870 pixels and the Resolution: 150 pixels per inch. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. If your foreground and background colors aren’t black and white respectively, press “D” on your keyboard or click this icon. We’ll fill the background with the foreground color color by pressing Alt + Delete on Windows
or Option + Delete on a Mac. Go to Filter, Noise and Add Noise. Make the Amount: 400%, Gaussian and Monochromatic. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. Make a copy of the layer by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Click off the eyeball to hide the layer and click on
the thumbnail of the background to make it active. Go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Blur it 0.5 pixels and click OK or press Enter or Return. We’ll adjust its Levels by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + L. For the Input black, type in 200 and for the Input Midtones, type in .42. Make the top layer visible and active. Go back to Filter, Blur and Gaussian
Blur and this time, blur it 2 pixels. Open Levels again, and this time, in the Input
Black field, type in 170 and for in the Input White field, type in 172. There are less stars,
but they’re a bit larger now. We need to blur them slightly to make them a bit soft, so
back to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Blur it 1 pixel. Next, we’ll give them a slight
outer glow. Open the Channels panel. If you don’t see it, go to Window and Channels. Click
the small, circular icon at the bottom to make a selection of all the stars and then
open back up your Layers panel. We can trash the layer of the larger stars, since we now
have a selection of their shapes. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. In this
layer, we’ll fill the selection of the large stars with white. Since white is the background
color, press Ctrl or Cmd + Delete. Keep in mind, it may be difficult to see that the selection is now filled with white due to the size of the stars. To deselect it, press
Ctrl or Cmd + D. Double-click the large stars to open its Layer Styles. Click Outer Glow
and click the color box. Pick white and click OK. Change the Blend Mode to Normal and increase
the Size to 10 pixels. Then, click OK. As I toggle back and forth, you can see the difference with and without the large glowing stars. It’ll even make more of a difference, once
we add color later. Let’s merge the layers by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + E. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer and press Alt or Option + Delete to fill it with black,
which is the foreground color. Go to Filter, Render and Clouds. Change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge and we’ll make a new layer under the active layer by Ctrl-clicking or Cmd-clicking
on the New Layer icon. In this layer, we’ll brush in colors. Click the foreground color
to open the Color Picker. Pick a rich blue. Its hexadecimal value is 0018FF. Then, click
OK. size Open your Brush Tool and make the Size: 700 pixels, the Hardness: 0% and the Opacity: 10%. Then, press Enter or Return. Press the F5 key at the top of your keyboard to open
your Brush preset panel. Make sure none of the settings are checked except Smoothing. Press F5 again to close the panel. Now, gently brush over wide areas of your image.
To reduce the size of your brush, press the left bracket key. Let’s add another color.
Click on your foreground color again and this To increase time pick a brighter color. I’ll pick an aqua. Its value is 00FFEA. To increase your brush size, press the right bracket key. Continue to brush over your star field to simulate gases, constellations, nebulas and other formations. Go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Blur
it approximately 80 pixels. I find that blurring the colors softens it and makes it look more
ethereal. Let’s add another color. I’m picking 6000FF. I’lll increase the size. I’ll add one more color. This time, I’ll choose a warm, rich yellow. FFD200. I’ll brush over an area that already has a lot of color to increase the density of its formations. Next, we’ll add a celestial sphere. Open the rock texture file I provided. Open your Elliptical Marquee Tool and go to a corner of the document.
Hold down Shift as you drag a circular selection to the opposite corner. Press Ctrl or Cmd
+ J to cut and copy it onto its own layer. Go to Filter, Distort and Spherize. The Amount
is 100%. Click OK or press Enter or Return. Press Ctrl or Cmd + F to repeat the filter. To place it onto your star document, press “V” to open your Move Tool and drag it up
onto the tab of the star file. Without releasing your cursor, drag it down onto the image and release. If its not on the top, just drag it up. To resize it, open your Transform Tool
by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + T. Go to a corner and when you see a diagonal, double-arrow,
hold down Shift + Alt on Windows or Shift + Option on a Mac as you drag it in or out.
To reposition it, go inside the Transform and move it. Then, press Enter or Return. Click the New Layer icon to make a new layer. Ctrl-click or Cmd-click on the thumbnail of
the sphere to make a selection of its shape. We’ll fill the selection with black. To do
this, press “D” on your keyboard to make the foreground and background colors default to
black and white and then press Alt or Option + Delete to fill it with the foreground color.
Click the Layer mask icon to make a layer mask of the selection next to the active layer. Click off the chain link to unlock the layer mask with the layer. This will allow us to
reposition or resize either one independently of the other. Click on the black circle to
make it active and drag it to a position that shows a sliver of the sphere under it. Go
to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur. Blur it 15 pixels. I’d like to enlarge the shadow, so I’ll open my Transform Tool and enlarge it. The shadow is a bit too dense, so I’ll reduce its opacity to 90%. Next, we’ll add some glows
to the sphere, itself. Make the Sphere layer active and double-click it to open its Layer
Styles. Click Outer Glow and the color box. For the color, type in D7CAB8. Since, we”ll
use the same color for its Inner Glow, copy its value by highlighting it and pressing
Ctrl or Cmd + C. Then, click OK. The Blend Mode is Screen, the Opacity is 35% and the Size is 60 pixels. Click Inner Glow and the color box. Press Ctrl or Cmd + V to paste
the code into the field. Then, click OK or press Enter or Return. Change the Blend Mode to Lighten. Make the Opacity: 40% and the Size: 60 pixels. The last effect will be make
it look like there’s a bright star just behind the horizon of the sphere. Make a composite
snapshot of your image by making the top layer active and pressing Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E
on Windows or Cmd + Shift + Option + E on a Mac. Go to Filter, Render and Lens Flare. The Lens Type is 35mm Prime and the Brightness is 75%. Drag the lens flare right to the edge
of the sphere and click OK. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. Thanks for watching!


  • Reply LapinBeau August 5, 2018 at 4:31 am

    I actually use Clip Studio Paint, not Photoshop. But a lot of your tutorials translate over to CSP rather well! Sometimes though, I have to use photoshop.

  • Reply Наталия Мышако August 7, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    I love you, thank you for it !!!!

  • Reply Dimitri August 10, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Brilliant tutorial, thanks a lot. Like & subscribe well earned. I'll even watch all your ads. Now I'm gonna loose a day or 2 making space shit. Thanks again.

  • Reply raniere August 13, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Wow dude, what a awesome video. Ty so much.

  • Reply ShaggaDagga101 August 16, 2018 at 12:33 am

    thx, that helped a lot

  • Reply Janice Vazquez August 21, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    that is sick!!

  • Reply Ken Morris August 24, 2018 at 3:23 am

    Marty…fantastic video…many thanks…

  • Reply Kayla Burger August 25, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Loved this video! I was able to follow along and make a beautiful picture with zero previous photoshop experience! I had to slow down the video to keep up, but all in all it was a wonderful tutorial!

  • Reply şizofrenadamgamingrespawn August 26, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    awesome tutorial

  • Reply Steven Villegas Uribe September 7, 2018 at 1:41 am

    thanks for your tutorial friend =)

  • Reply Bromoteknada September 9, 2018 at 9:56 am

    You are the FUCKING BOSS

  • Reply Dento do mar September 10, 2018 at 1:41 am

    So this is how NASA gets so much planets all the time

  • Reply Ansh Malhotra September 17, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    Man you explain so so so well….thanks 4 such nice tutorials.

  • Reply Samuel L. Tankson September 19, 2018 at 4:26 am

    Space donuts, here I come!

  • Reply Ken Hurst-Earl September 21, 2018 at 6:38 am

    Really well done. Thank you.

  • Reply Tammy Chau September 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Very clear instruction for Photoshop beginner to create space art! Thank you so much!

  • Reply Deniz Arıcı September 28, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    YOU ARE REALLY REALLY AWESOME! I wanted to hang a space photo to my living room but I can't find the size that I wanted to, and I think I can make one and your tutorial is just so clear that I can make it happen. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Offsure October 4, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Incredible video. You did a great job.

  • Reply encenten October 5, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    wow that's awesome! thank you so much!

  • Reply Vento Roverso October 12, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Grazie! Thanks!

  • Reply Many Flames Away October 13, 2018 at 7:59 am

    This was amazing! I can now visualize my far away worlds whenever I want to.

  • Reply Adetunji Daniel October 21, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Does the Background size i.e. the width and height of the bck affect the result?

  • Reply NiceGuyGamer October 31, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    You are an absolute gift sir.. God bless your soul. You are truly a Genius and I might become a good artist and designer because of you.

  • Reply Deserboy November 8, 2018 at 7:36 pm

    OMG Best tutorial ever!!! Really slow so evryone can make it and create quality!!! LY

  • Reply nichisan November 9, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    Best tutorial I've watched. You've explained everything so perfectly and clear. I'm so happy I get to create my own starry sky because of this. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  • Reply BEARONICA November 15, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Thank you for this tutorial! I love learning how to use tools like this. Your way of speaking makes this easy to follow and understand.

  • Reply Emma Coates November 17, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Excellent tutorial. Each step clearly explained with superb results. Thank you!

  • Reply Garrett Sartain December 13, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    Marty that was fucking raw.
    I appreciated your pace, it made it so I didn't have to pause and rewind every 15 seconds!
    When that lens flare put everything together I was so excited!!! Thanks

  • Reply Ec0nomy December 15, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    I dont see a cloud filter button on mine

  • Reply 로리 December 18, 2018 at 1:22 am

    영어는 몰라도 다 알아들음…그리고 이새끼 발음 개좋음

  • Reply Melissa M December 23, 2018 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I was able to follow along and create my own planet in a galaxy. Great instructions!

  • Reply Amanda Laing December 24, 2018 at 1:46 am

    this is a wonderful tutorial, thank you for sharing!

  • Reply RAptor XD December 25, 2018 at 11:20 am

    somehow your voice makes me feel calm inside

  • Reply KESHAW KUMAR December 29, 2018 at 1:38 pm


  • Reply Dungeon Keeper December 30, 2018 at 10:56 pm


  • Reply KatMEW93 January 4, 2019 at 12:30 am

    For anyone who is missing the clouds filter, use fibres (Vibrance 30 and Strength 1). It might not look exactly the same as the tutorial but it's a suitable alternative and when colour dodge is added gives pretty much the good effect. For an even closer match click Eraser, change Opacity to 80%, Hardness 20% and rub out

  • Reply jyoti kushwaha January 7, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    it was just an unexpected outcome…..still hard to believe. you are just amzing

  • Reply Liam Duncan January 8, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you for this amazing guide. This has not only increased the level of art I can now create on photoshop, but also my understanding of the software.

  • Reply Methapod January 10, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Dwight Schrute?

  • Reply Joall McGeachie January 16, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    love this

  • Reply Durkyy January 19, 2019 at 9:51 pm


  • Reply ward janssen January 24, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks a lot!

  • Reply JAB Media January 25, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Man yr just awesome

  • Reply PUTANGINA MO REN!! February 3, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    Why is input 200 black so different from the other levels ? I tried typing from 100-1000, the differences are barely noticeable except from 200.

  • Reply MRF Design February 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    really ……nice ,I can't say anything…….just wo……………..w

  • Reply Bilal Guedri February 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Creative 👌❤❤

  • Reply Jack Kraken February 17, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Very impressive. I wouldn't have though you could make something this amazing so relatively easily in Photoshop.

  • Reply Elyesaf Ozer February 17, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    One of the best instructors out there WOW!

  • Reply Galactic Archangel February 23, 2019 at 10:43 am


  • Reply Bernd Neuper February 23, 2019 at 8:39 pm


  • Reply Galactic Archangel February 23, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Hello again! I may have missed it, but is there a tutorial for how to create asteroids in a similar way to how you created the planet in this video? I'm trying to paint/animate an asteroid field under 30min or less. . . having some difficulty😅

  • Reply iStefan March 11, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Jesus Christ I've never seen such a clear Photoshop tutorial!!

  • Reply pieter lion March 11, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    thank you for this amazing guide sir!

  • Reply Max Noneed March 14, 2019 at 4:36 am

    Cant find the channels panel nor the circular icon.

  • Reply Sebastián Melgarejo March 18, 2019 at 8:17 am

    how i create continents on my planet?

  • Reply zerocontrast March 18, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    This tutorial works great, but I'd like to use a spacescape like this in a video where I gradually zoom in on a single star (and then have something enlarge into view from the center of the screen). And using your method, if I start to zoom in even a little, I quickly see pixelation (even when I upped the resolution). Is there any way to accomplish the same effect while having the stars either in a higher resolution or at least to smooth them out so pixelation isn't apparent when you zoom in?

  • Reply K Gopinathan March 19, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    Wow, wow that's great.

  • Reply B3ll3ttz March 25, 2019 at 12:34 am

    Simple and completely understood every step. I followed along and the result was incredible. Thank you so much for the amazing video !

  • Reply Chiara Consoli March 25, 2019 at 10:36 pm

    Okay I love you! Ahahah

  • Reply SYO Learn To Draw April 10, 2019 at 6:37 am

    thank for tutoriial

  • Reply HELLDORADO April 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Muchas gracias! en realidad se me dificulto por el idioma ingles pero ahi pude hacerlo…..Te lo agradezco.

  • Reply Mohammad Aazam April 14, 2019 at 5:04 am


  • Reply TheSuperGamingArtist April 16, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial!

    It was short, sweet, and to the point! ☺👌

  • Reply ARGames15 April 19, 2019 at 8:49 am

    ohh maannnn such good for my android game <3

  • Reply The Blue Pill April 19, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    I find the amount of seemingly incidental information which is communicated within your tutorials to be astounding. Cudos to you Marty. You have a true genius for communication.

  • Reply Jerry Jean April 25, 2019 at 3:51 am

    When I go to render there is no clouds option

  • Reply Azxioan Erazes May 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    do i have to make the photo that exact size?

  • Reply Azxioan Erazes May 3, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    ohh awesome i did it haha thanks 🙂

  • Reply seesikopter May 11, 2019 at 10:22 pm

    Your'e The main dev of photoshop, am I right?

  • Reply garry Basnett May 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you for such a clearly taught tutorial. GarryUK

  • Reply iStefan May 31, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    My CS6 doesn't have the "clouds" option 🙁

  • Reply Marina Malik Roza June 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Thank u so much! God bless u ❤

  • Reply Jay Flores June 15, 2019 at 9:32 am

    this is great… thanks!

  • Reply LightSketch June 19, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Bob Ross is that you?

  • Reply Epic Comment June 19, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Damn this tutorial looks 80. i mean the voice and perfect instruction is what we see in most old black and white tutorials

  • Reply Mind Mastery & Law of Attraction June 26, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Thank You!

  • Reply Be Happy June 26, 2019 at 9:32 am

    Thank You!

  • Reply Mind Mastery & Law of Attraction June 26, 2019 at 9:40 am

    You are Amazing !

  • Reply huma arif July 16, 2019 at 12:02 am

    this is so amazing

  • Reply Gravidust July 22, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    This man found all the cheat codes. Nice tutorial

  • Reply Mad Orange August 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    BLTV 'r the best and clear tuto i ever seen in youtube thank you from Paris

  • Reply Ashala Page August 15, 2019 at 11:05 pm

    This is such an amazing tutorial, I have learnt so much. Thank you

  • Reply CommanderNiki August 18, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you very much! This was very helpful.

  • Reply Paul D August 25, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Appreciate this is quite an old posting but just wanted to say thank you for a very useful video

  • Reply León Vargas August 27, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Dude! you gave me what I looking for, Thanks!

  • Reply Sanyogita Ravi September 7, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Thank you your video was really very helpful.

  • Reply What Is Calm?? September 15, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you! My galaxy actually looks pretty good! And I’m pretty new at this.

  • Reply koncrete TO September 17, 2019 at 8:47 am

    i try to make the small stars outer glow and still cant work out where i go wrong lol , nice video though hopefull i can work out what im missing xD

  • Reply Christopher Blake September 17, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    Is there a download for this image, sauce please

  • Reply CrawfordPrime 1996 September 24, 2019 at 3:49 am

    Does this work on Krita as well?

  • Reply Ruben Beltran September 27, 2019 at 10:07 am

    Awesome!, thanks best explanation ever, easy and clear to follow

  • Reply M Preet September 30, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Thx u sir. I am Msc student from India for 😊

  • Reply Bhooshan Nagaokar October 12, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Extremely educative tutorial on creating Space visuals in Photoshop. Thanks.

  • Reply Shabnam Khan October 20, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Love this tutorial!

  • Reply Михаил Лапшин October 21, 2019 at 3:37 pm


  • Reply Technical Future October 22, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Really very nice 👍👍👍👍👍👍

  • Reply Michal Svozil October 26, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial! Simply explained. Very well done! 🙂

  • Reply 2Langdon October 29, 2019 at 10:38 pm

    Brilliant, thanks very much!

  • Reply Kathy Williams October 29, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    Lots of fun.

  • Reply Melvin Steifel October 30, 2019 at 4:11 am

    I love the way he pronounces "Gaussian"

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