This two part tutorial will teach you how to create a image of outer space. In this Part 1 (of two) you will create the galaxy and the nebula.
Final Image Preview
Let´s start our tutorial by creating a new document with 1920×1200 pixels (72 dpi) and fill canvas with color #000000.
Create a new layer above the black one and fill it with pure white color (#ffffff).
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.
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:
Apply the Filter > Distort > Twirl:
Deform the result a bit with the help of Edit > Transform > Perspective:
Further on we apply Edit > Transform > Scale:
And then we apply Edit > Transform > Rotate:
This shape suits to be the galaxy, but we will improve it. Apply Filter > Blur > Motion Blur:
And apply the Twirl filter once again Filter > Distort > Twirl:
We deform the galaxy again using Edit > Transform > Perspective:
Scale the galaxy to the desired size using Edit > Transform > Scale:
Rotate it a bit with the help of Edit > Transform > Rotate:
We now have our galaxy. Copy the layer by pressing Ctrl+J and name it “Galaxy”.
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.
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.
We switch on visibility of the layer Galaxy.
Keep on changing the layer with the nebula, apply Filter > Distort > Wave:
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.
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.
Part 2 of this tutorial has been published.