Thanks go out to Zeeshawn Durrani for this tutorial. See more of his work at www.creative9.com
Step 01 – Canvas Setup
It’s essential that you set up a couple of templates to help lay things out in a responsive design. Create a new file at 1920px by 9000px for a desktop version and another at 320px by 9000px for smartphones. The canvas should relate to the size of a device. Don’t forget to hit Cmd/Ctrl+R to set your guides and margins.
Step 02 – Main Navigation
Create a blue-black (#0b0c10) menu background using the Rectangle shape tool. Set the width fully across the page and the height around 50px. Drop its Opacity to 36%. Activate the Type tool and write menu titles in white, using the free Bebas font at 14px. Create the dividers using the Pencil tool at 1px, drawing with a dark pink (#a51950).
Step 03 – Make some noise
Open a new file at around 410px by 410px and fill it with a dark grey colour (#242524). Select Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set Amount to 10%, Distribution to Gaussian and activate the Monochromatic option before clicking OK. Add a Levels adjustment layer and set your Shadows point at 82, Midtones point at 0.82 and Highlights point at 193.
Step 04 – Star Field Texture
Go to www.cgtextures.com
and grab some star fields from the ‘Skies0258’ set. Set your first image’s blend mode to Screen. Set your second image’s blend mode to Linear Dodge at 37% Opacity. Create a new layer set to Screen at 61% Opacity. Fill this with a dark grey (#242524) colour. Add another layer set to Overlay at 58% Opacity, filled with a dusky blue (#296099) colour. Create a new layer and select Filter>Render>Clouds, then set the blend mode to Overlay and adjust Opacity accordingly. Also add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer.
Step 05 – Make it Tileable
Select all of your layers and convert them into a Smart Object. Select Filter>Other>Offset and click OK. You’ll now see a bunch of lines that we need to get rid of. Select a black round airbrush and start painting over the lines in the Smart Object layer. Do this until the lines are gone. Now select Edit>Define Pattern and save. Go to your main template and then fill the background with the pattern we created. You should see a perfectly tiled background, but if not go back and adjust.
Step 06 – Create a Planet
Create a new layer and select the Elliptical Marquee tool. Hold Shift and drag to get a perfect circle, filling it with your chosen colour; we used a pink (#4e655d). Grab the ‘Leaves0058’ texture from CGTextures. Add it to your circle shape with a clipping mask. Select Filter>Distort>Spherize, set the amount to 100%, then paint over our planet, brushing in details and lighting onto new layers with various blend modes, such as Overlay and Multiply. Finalise with adjustment layers like Color Balance and Gradient Map.
Step 07 – Create Atmosphere
Convert your planet layers into a Smart Object. Make two flattened copies at 0% Fill. Label the first ‘Atmosphere’. Add a light blue (#72ccff) Outer Glow layer style, setting the blend mode to Screen and Opacity to 64%. Apply an Inner Glow using the same colour, setting its blend mode to Linear Dodge (Add), Opacity to 34% and Size to 213px. Label the second duplicate ‘Glow’. Apply a light blue (#92e7ff) Outer Glow, set to Screen, and an Inner Glow using the same colour, set to Screen at 100% Opacity.
Step 08 – Create a Forcefield
Put all your atmosphere layers into a group, then duplicate it and expand between 5% and 10% using Transform>Scale. We positioned the force field effect group around one of our ships. Add a layer mask to the group then brush away and fade out what you want to, using a black airbrush. Create a new layer and set its blend mode to Overlay. Use a white brush to paint in rays of light. Duplicate your layer to intensify the effect then duplicate it again this time putting it into soft light mode at opacity 17%.
Step 09 – Headings and UI
Most of the UI elements on the site are created using nothing more than the Rectangle and Ellipse shape tools. We stick to a core colour scheme of dusky pink (#cc2666) and white for these. For the headings, we used the Bebas Neue font (www.dafont.com), setting the Size at 180px for the headings and 54px for the subheadings. You can add some more visual interest by interspersing super-small text snippets throughout the site, using the Arial font set to 6px.
To be continued…