Sci-Fi Space Scene Photoshop Tutorial

Hello everyone this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial Today we're going to have some fun in Adobe Photoshop creating a cool sci-fi space scene with planets, moons, nebulas and colourful cosmic space dust

We'll start by making a vast black universe full of tiny stars, then begin building up the scene with a large alien planet and its moon To give the scene a cool sci-fi vibe, we'll add a vibrant nebula then finish it off some with intense lighting effects So begin by opening up Adobe Photoshop and creating a new document at your desired image size You could enter large monitor resolution dimensions to make the final piece a wallpaper, but I'm just going to work at 3000x2000px Press the D key to reset your Photoshop colours to black and white, then fill the background with black

Create a new layer and fill this with black too Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise Max out the slider to 400% and check the Gaussian and Monochrome options Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and enter 1px in the radius setting, then press CMD+L to adjust the Levels Move the shadows slider towards the right to reduce the number of tiny dots and produce a star field effect

Grab the brush tool and set it up with zero hardness and a size of 1 pixel Create a new layer, then randomly dab a few more stars, incrementally increasing the size up to around 15px with the square bracket key Double click this layer and add an Outer Glow layer style Set it up with #99f2ff as the colour, which is a bright cyan Screen as the blending mode

100% opacity and zero for the Spread and Size This adds a subtle blue glow to these additional stars Search for an image of some whispy clouds and paste it into the document I'm lucky enough to have a Shutterstock subscription to find loads of high res stock photos, but there's plenty of free images out there on the web Use the shortcut CMD+Shift+U to quickly desaturate the image, then set the blending mode to Screen

Open up the Levels and move the black and midtones sliders towards the right to darken the background enough so it becomes transparent Reduce the opacity of this clouds layer to around 70% Find another clouds image, this time pick one that has more of a flowing smokey look to it Paste the image into the document and scale and rotate the clouds into place Desaturate the image, change the blending mode to Screen then alter the Levels to blend them in

Any image that has a hard edge, or has unwanted areas still visible can be erased with a Layer Mask Use a soft black brush to remove any unwanted portions of the clouds Next we need a texture to make a planet from Images of rust, concrete and rocks work really well to simulate a harsh landscape of mountains Select the Elliptical Marquee tool and hold the Shift key to draw a circle

Copy and paste this selection into a new document Go to Filter > Distort & Transform > Spherize Drag the slider to 100% then hit OK to turn the texture into a simple planet Copy and paste a clipping of this Spherized planet layer into the main working document and scale and move it into position in your composition Double click the planet layer to open up the Layer Styles and add an Outer Glow

Use the same bright cyan colour of #99f2ff as the stars and change the settings to Screen, 50% opacity and 40px in size Next add an Inner Glow Use the a mid blue such as #4691b0, then set the blending mode to Linear Dodge Alter the Size to the maximum 250px, then reduce the opacity slightly to 80% CMD+Click the layer thumbnail of the planet, then create a new layer and fill this selection with black

Press CMD+D to deselect, then move the black circle downwards and towards the right to make a portion of the planet visible again Add a Gaussian Blur of 200px to fade out the shadow, then press CMD+T to transform and enlarge the shadow so it smoothly flows around the sphere Adjust the Levels of the planet layer to tweak the overall contrast of the planet's surface Next, create a new layer and set up a soft white brush, then dab a few spots around the edge of the planet Change the blending mode of this layer to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 30%

Create a new layer and change the brush colour to a mid blue such as #363d71 Enlarge the brush and dab a few random spots around the composition Change the blending mode to Overlay to add some cool colour casts Add another new layer and change the blending mode to Overlay, then go to town with some nice bright pastel colours like pinks and cyans to colourise the nebula I've used the colours #6df8fa, #9f41bd and #e961e4

Find another texture to use as a moon Use the same techniques to select a circle, apply a Spherize effect then position it in the main document Copy the layer style from the original planet and paste it onto the new moon layer Double click the layer styles to edit the Outer Glow and change the settings to Color Dodge, white, 100% opacity and a much larger size so it interacts with the surrounding nebulas to create a cool lighting effect CMD+Click the moon's layer thumbnail to loads its selection

Fill it with black and add a gaussian blur Move the shadow downwards and to the right just like with the main planet, but since the whole moon can be seen, some of the shadow needs erasing CMD+Click the layer thumbnail of the moon layer again to loads its selection, then go to Select > Inverse Add a layer mask to the moon's shadow layer and fill this area with black to effectively erase it All that's left it to finish off the image with some intense lighting

Grab a soft white brush and dab a few spots across the document to highlight certain areas Change this layer's blending mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to around 80% The final result is a stunning space scene straight out of science fiction The basic texture does a great job of producing an undiscovered world in the form of an alien planet and those cloud photos make fantastic nebulas, especially with some additional colour and lighting effects If you followed along with this tutorial yourself I'd love to see your results

Feel free to send me a picture to @chrisspooner on Twitter Be sure to subscribe to the channel if you want to stick around for my future video tutorials, or head over to my website at spoongraphics if you fancy some free design resources Otherwise thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next one

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