How to Make Amazing Outer Space in Photoshop

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In this Photoshop tutorial you will learn how to create a image of outer space.

Final Image Preview

How to Make Amazing Outer Space

Step 1

Let´s start our tutorial by creating a new document with 1920×1200 pixels (72 dpi) and fill canvas with color #000000.

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Step 2

Create a new layer above the black one and fill it with pure white color (#ffffff).

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Step 3

We have now two layers: the black one and the white above it. For the layer with white color we change the Layer Blending Mode to Dissolve, layer opacity 1% (no more than this amount) and get something resembling space.

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Step 4

Create a new layer on top and give a name to the layer, for example “Nebula”. (Note: Right now we will be creating the galaxy but in the future this layer will hold the nebula). Select the Brush Tool, with a soft-edged brush, opacity 100%, 125 pixels in diameter, white color (#ffffff) and simply apply several brush strokes on the new layer as shown in the screenshot:

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Step 5

Apply the Filter > Distort > Twirl:

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Step 6

Deform the result a bit with the help of Edit > Transform > Perspective:

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Step 7

Further on we apply Edit > Transform > Scale:

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Step 8

And then we apply Edit > Transform > Rotate:

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Step 9

This shape suits to be the galaxy, but we will improve it. Apply Filter > Blur > Motion Blur:

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Step 10

And apply the Twirl filter once again Filter > Distort > Twirl:

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Step 11

We deform the galaxy again using Edit > Transform > Perspective:

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Step 12

Scale the galaxy to the desired size using Edit > Transform > Scale:

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Step 13

Rotate it a bit with the help of Edit > Transform > Rotate:

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Step 14

We now have our galaxy. Copy the layer by pressing Ctrl+J and name it “Galaxy”.

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Step 15

Any galaxy contains nebula, so let´s create one. Temporarily hide Galaxy layer (eyeball) and select layer Nebula. This layer should be blurred with the help of Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

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Step 16

Choose the Smudge Tool (Strength: 31%) and brush Spatter 59 (it’s a standard Photoshop brush), set diameter to 150 and begin stretching the nebula out a bit in the galaxy direction, at the same time we can change the brush diameter sometimes, for the galaxy not to be uniform.

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Step 17

We switch on visibility of the layer Galaxy.

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Step 18

Keep on changing the layer with the nebula, apply Filter > Distort > Wave:

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Step 19

Now we copy the layer with the nebula by pressing Ctrl+J. After that, merge the two layers which have the nebula into one using Ctrl+E.

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Step 20

With the help of Eraser Tool, we make the nebula more opaque to adjust its shape and transparency. The edge of the nebula is more transparent, but on the borders of the galaxy quite the contrary, though it depends on somebody´s taste, it´s advisable to use the brush with 500 pixels in diameter and opacity 45. Also we should slightly adjust opacity on the layer with the galaxy, especially on the edges.

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Step 21

Open PSD file that was created on Part 1 of this tutorial. Select layers Nebula and Galaxy and merge both layers by going to Layers > Merge Layers (Ctrl+E). We will have now three layers: black, white, and the one with the galaxy. It’s worth noticing that space is very beautiful, all colors can be found in it, so let’s add them into our galaxy. Create a new layer and change the layer Blending Mode to Color. After that select a soft-edged Brush Tool, opacity 10%, 300 pixels in diameter, color #5a78cc and paint it arbitrarily.

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Step 22

Keep Brush Tool selected and change color to #ff0000 to add red color.

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Step 23

Keep Brush Tool selected and change color to #fff000 to add yellow color.

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Step 24

Create a new layer. On this new layer we create the centre of the galaxy. Select a soft-edged brush, 500 pixels in diameter, color #ffffb7, opacity 100%.

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Step 25

Change the brush diameter to 300, white color (#ffffff) and apply.

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Step 26

Shape the shining to the galaxy outline with the help of Edit > Transform > Scale:

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Step 27

Rotate using Edit > Transform > Rotate:

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Step 28

Any galaxy needs stars and our galaxy is not an exception. To bring bright stars to the canvas, create a new layer, select a soft-edged Brush Tool, opacity 100%, white color (#ffffff) and open Brush Panel to adjust settings (Windows > Brush or press F5).

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Select Shape Dynamics option and change settings.

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Select Scattering option and change settings.

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And on Transfer option update opacity to 100% and change Control to Pen Pressure.
Important: On older Photoshop versions there isn´t any Transfer option but Other Dynamics option is available and this is where you update settings.

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With the help of this brush, change its diameter according to the situation and your taste and we can create stars along the outline of the galaxy and slightly beyond its bounds.

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Step 29

It´s worth remembering, that the closer the stars the bigger they appear to be on the picture. So you need to keep changing brush size.

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Step 30

There is also its own nebula around the stars. Duplicate the layer (Crtl+J) and blur the layer that is below using Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur:

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Step 31

Stars have color too. Select the Gradient Tool and set up following presets:

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Go back to original stars layer and select stars. Create new layer and apply gradient.

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Move this layer below both layers that contain stars.

Step 32

Apply Soft Light Blending Mode for the layer with the gradient.

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Step 33

To be more realistic our galaxy lacks dust. To create dust we select standard Dry Brush, opacity 100%, black color (#000000), change the diameter according to the situation. We apply strokes along the galaxy shape on a new layer.

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Step 34

Now we adjust the dust outline using the Eraser Tool, select a soft-edged brush, opacity 50%, diameter according to the situation.

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Step 35

Then we remove hard edges of brush strokes and get realistic dust.

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Step 36

Now let´s apply color to the dust layer. We treat the dust in the same way as the stars, select the layer with the dust and apply the same gradient.

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Step 37

Apply the Multiply Blending Mode for the layer with colored dust.

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Step 38

It remains only to add volume to our image, we select a soft-edged brush, 900 pixels in diameter, opacity 30%, black color (#000000) and darken the image above and slightly on the edges on a new layer.

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Step 39

We can say the galaxy is ready but we can add some more details. Let it be very big stars or constellations. Create a new layer, select the Brush Tool and brush with 70 pixels in diameter, opacity 100%, color #6191dc.

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Step 40

Let´s change brush color to white (#ffffff).

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Step 41

Deform slightly using Edit > Transform > Scale and Edit > Transform > Rotate.

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Final Image

It´s possible not to deform and so it depends on your taste. Add a few stars on the same principle.

How to Make Amazing Outer Space

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  • jamey

    Looks Great so far!

    • shanki

      wow its amazing!!!!!!!!!

  • Rocky

    nice one

  • http://www.colddesign.it Giacomo Colddesign

    Great tut, i’m curious for the second part..!

  • http://www.17ps8.com peter

    unique method,go on.

  • COLLEGE photos

    This is a Wonderful tutorial , easy to learn with work experience .

  • John

    amazin!!!!! thx

  • alexys

    easy to do, but with amazing results, can’t wait for part 2

  • Nine Lay

    Thank for every effect and this website.

  • Fiha

    Wow Great tutorial

  • Spencer

    Put up part two now damn it

  • William

    Wow! I Hope the second tutorial very soon. Thanks.

  • Mario

    this site rocks always learnt alot no lie. d best

  • Irwan

    well done..

  • TDM

    Dis Is Hard But Awsome

  • mohamud

    Great job!

  • Poly

    Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!

  • angchur

    awe some ….

  • zahid

    very good tutorial

  • Gordon

    Found this realy good an cause I’m new to photoshop the step by step approuch was ease to follow…..Thanks!

  • live

    hey. i cant get step 16 done. it wont let me

    • SaraThePie

      Same with me! It’s irritating. I know you posted that a while ago, but did you ever get it to respond?

  • yawsis

    I so like.

  • elizabeth

    I loved this!!

  • DisaFear

    That is bloody amazing