A few days ago I posted a tutorial how to draw a planet with photoshop, but the steps I show only half the journey. There are still some steps that must be completed to obtain the desired results. Here I’ll show you the final touches of the process of making these wallpapers, including environmental effects such as cosmic clouds, lighting, stars and sun.
Final Result Preview
Before heading to the step by step tutorial, we see again that we will create wallpaper. To more clearly see the image at actual size.
To recall the last glimpse of the tutorial, in the first part of this tutorial we have created the planet’s surface texture using some filter and shape it into balls with spherize. Go back to your file, we will continue our game!
Copy planetary ball we’ve made a few days ago and paste in new document the size of 1920 x 1200 pixels, use a resolution of 300 dpi. Add dramatic lighting via Filter > Render > Linghting Effects. Pick the Flashlight peset, but move the light source to the planets top-right edge. Drag the handles to scale the light up until it almost touches the other edge.
Duplicate the planet layer with a Color Dodge blending mode. Add a layer mask and set the Gradient Tool to linear. Use a white to black gradient to fade this layer.
Because we want to create a partial eclipse effect, we need more intense lighting along the edge of the planet. Duplicate the planet again and move this copy above the other. Set the blending mode to Color Dodge and hit Ctrl+U to adjust the Hue/Saturation. We left the Hue at 0 but set the Saturation to -53 and Lightness to 67.
Press Ctrl-click the layer to create a circular selection, then hit the Add Mask icon. Unlink the mask layer and hit Ctrl+I to invert it. Finish this step with a Gaussian Blur of 100 pixels to soften the mask.
Add a ‘glow’ layer to the top of the layer stack. Create a selection in the shape of the planet by using Ctrl+click on the planet layer. Then go to Edit > Fill and select 50% Gray. Change the blending mode to Overlay, you’ll notice the gray circle just disapeared. That’s fine, we just want the glow effect. Open the layer styles control and be sure to check the Layer Mask Hides Effects box. Add the Outher Glow and Inner Glow styles, the images below will give you the exact information you need.
Add a layer mask and use a White to Black gradient to fade the glow around the planet.
Create a new layer behind all the planet layers, call it ‘space’. Set your colors to black #000000 and a deep purple #36155c, then run the Clouds filter again. Scale this layer up to around 350%.
Add a ‘gradient’ layer above the space layer. Change the blending mode to Soft Light and add a radial gradient from White to Transparent.
Now create a new layer, name it ‘clouds’ and set the blending mode to Overlay. Use the default black and white colors and fill with the Clouds filter again. This is should add a nice texture to the dust clouds.
Create a ‘stars’ layer and fill with black. Go to Filter >Noise > Add Noise, setting the Amount to 20%, Distribution to Gaussian and check the Monochromatic box.
Set the layers blending mode to Screen to hide the black and just let the white noise remain visible. This is where we’re at now.
Hit Ctrl+L to bring up the Levels control and set as in the screenshot below.
Then scale the ‘stars’ layer up about 300% so the stars aren’t quite so tiny anymore. Add a layer mask and use a soft gray brush to mask out groupings of faint stars among all the bright ones.
Now we will draw a sun that rises from behind the planet. Now create a new layer on top called ‘flare’. Make a circular selection where the sun would be using the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), as the tips press Shift while making the selection, so that the resulting selection shape is perfectly circular, not elliptical. Fill the selection area with a Radial Gradient from white # FFFFFF in the middle and a bright yellow color # F0FF00 on the outside, choose Layer > New Fill Layer > Gadient press OK and set as in the following image.
Hit Ctrl+D to deselect and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. A Radius around 70 pixels should work nicely. Set the layer blending mode to Hard Light.
Duplicate the flare layer and scale the duplicate so it’s a long horizontal line that spans much of the canvas. Select both flare layers and merge them together by pressing Ctrl+E. Make sure the new merged layer is still set to Hard Light.
Now add an Outher Glow layer style, change the color to bright red, push the Size up to 250 pixels and set the Range somewhere around 50%.
Duplicate the merged flare layer and rotate it 90 degrees. Make sure that the vertical flare layer is behind the horizontal flare layer.
As a final touch, select the horizontal flare layer, then go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Set the Brightness to 150% and Lens Type to Movie Prime.
Here’s the end result of our wallpaper, you can be creative by adding other cosmic objects such as comets, satellites, or perhaps an alien’s UVO. I hope you enjoy this tutorial, please subscribe to Grafisia RSS feed or simply share this tutorial to your friends.
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