advanced photoshop

Create a planet in Photoshop

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Tips & Tutorials, by Adam Smith

How to make planets in Photoshop

Here we show to make a planet using Photoshop.  Selection tools, Layer Styles and textures all feature.

This easy-to-follow tutorial proves that it doesn’t take hours to create convincing effects. In fact, it can take as little as ten minutes to produce looks, if you’re already familiar with the tools discussed.

Once familiar with this technique, you’ll be able to create stellar styles in your own projects!

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.

Create a planet in Photoshop

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.

Create a planet in Photoshop

Create a force field

Put all your atmosphere layers into a group, then duplicate it and expand between 5% and 10% using Transform>Scale.

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 17% Opacity.

Create a planet in Photoshop