Creating an exploding Supernova star in Photoshop – Part II

The result of the lesson.

Full size

When the stars die, they explode, leaving a huge flash of light that emits a lot more energy than the flash of the sun during its strong activity. This brilliant flash of light is so bright that for a brief moment it can overshadow the entire galaxy. Supernova stars appear in our galaxy every 50 years. In other words, somewhere in the universe, a star explodes every second. This is important because the remnants of these explosions ultimately become planets, satellites, water, and even life. Today’s lesson will demonstrate how to create the Supernova star, which is going to empty the entire solar system. In our scene we will depict a ring-shaped planet and a space fleet, trying with all its might to carry its legs in time.
In the lesson, we explore the cosmos from the point of view of a fictional civilization making its way through the universe; we will demonstrate methods you can use in Photoshop to depict your own cosmic landscape. In addition to textual content, this lesson also includes more than an hour of video tutorials to help you understand all the tricks and techniques. And now let’s get started!

Materials for the lesson:

In the first part of the lesson we stopped at this stage.

We continue!

Step 8. Stars.
In this step we will create stars. Create a new document 1000 by 1000 pixels and fill it with black.

We will use a soft brush, as well as resize a few times to get different stars. Select a white brush with a size of 5 pixels.

Press several times with a brush on the document, just press, because it is easier to click on the same place several times to change the intensity of a point.

Now set a smaller brush size and draw some more stars.

Now increase the size of the brush and draw a couple of big stars.

Once again, change the size of the brush and draw other stars. Our goal is to create clusters of stars.

Now with a 1px brush. create tiny stars.

Finally, increase the brush size to 4 pixels. and add a few more stars.

After you have created a variety of stars, invert the image in the menu Image – Correction – Inversion (Image-Adjustmants-Invert), get black stars on a white background.
Then go to the menu Selection – All (Select – All).

Now go to the menu Editing – Define a brush (Edit-Define Brush Preset), name the brush as you like and click OK.

Now let’s go back to our main document and create a new layer for these stars.

Activate the tool Brush (Brush), set the color to white and find the brush with the stars that we created.

Just start adding stars to your image, mostly in dark areas.

You can reduce the size of the brush to get even more variations of stars. Keep going
Add stars as shown below.

Activate the tool Eraser (Eraser Tool) and erase some stars.

Now we’ll do a blink effect for some stars. Choose a tool Finger (Smudge Tool) with a tiny brush size, as shown below.

Spread the stars as shown in the screenshot.

This is how our stars look now.

Add color to the stars with the tool Brush (Brush).

Block transparent pixels and color the stars.

For other stars, choose the bright yellow color that we used before.

Now select the color yellow, a little darker, and paint them a couple of stars.

Set this layer overlay mode to Hard light (Hard Light) and duplicate the layer.

Duplicate set the blending mode to Overlap (Overlay).

Now go to the menu Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter- Blur-Gaussian Blur). Apply the settings shown below.

Go back to the first layer with the stars. We need to discolor it. Let’s do it in the menu Image – Correction – Discolor (Image-Adjustmants-Desaturate). So, our new blurred layer provides a hint of color, and the original provides its intensity. It looks much more realistic.

Now let’s merge both layers together and add a layer mask to it.

Now you can disguise some of the stars if you see fit.

Step 9. We will improve the explosion.
In this step, we will add some additional effects to the main explosion, but first we will correct our main planet again. Add another adjustment layer to it. Levels (Levels), and move it above the other two adjustment layers in the layers palette.

Adjust the adjustment layer Levels (Levels) as shown below.

And also to the layer with the rings, add an adjustment layer Levels (Levels), with the settings shown in the screenshot.

Create a new layer and make a rather large round selection.

Choose a tool Brush (Brush) with a bright yellow color, and make strokes, as shown below.

Now go to the menu Filter (Filter), apply Radial blur (Radial Blur) with the settings shown below.

Then apply the filter again (Ctrl + F).
Draw new strokes.

Apply blur with the same settings twice.
Draw more brush strokes, and then repeat the process as many times as you want until you get a good effect that you like.

Once you have done all this, let’s distort the explosion, as shown below. On the menu Editing – Transform – Distort (Edit-Transform-Distort).

Now just move the explosion to its place in our composition. How to do this is shown here.

Set the blending mode for this layer to Screen (Screen).

Now create a new layer.

Draw a couple of bright yellow lines and go to the menu. Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter-Blur-Motion Blur).

Customize Motion blur (Motion blur), as shown below, and then draw other lines to create an interesting effect.

Apply Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter-Blur-Motion Blur) twice.

Repeat the process with lines several times.

Create a new layer and select a color swatch from the image.

Draw horizontal lines as shown below.

Apply other yellow shades and draw more lines.

Activate the tool Finger (Smudge Tool). Settings below.

Spread the lines on the left and right as shown in the screenshot. Set the blending mode for this layer to Multiplication (Multiply).

Here is the result.

We will need another new layer, then activate the tool. Gradient (Gradient Tool).

Select the gradient as in the screenshot, and drag its center to the center of the explosion.

Set the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard Light), and you should have it as in the screenshot below.

Now, standing on this layer, go to the menu. Image – Correction – Hue / Saturation (Image-Adjustmants-Hue / Saturation). Set the settings as shown below in the screenshot.

Here is the result of our action with the explosion. It looks more impressive.

Step 10. Fleet.
It’s time to draw the spaceships. Use the form below.

You can skip the process of creating ships and use ready-made brushes, but who are interested, using the tool Pen (Pen Tool,) in mode Layer shape (Shape Layers), let’s continue the lesson.

Circle all parts of the ship.

For all created shapes, use black.

We merge layers with figures. Then go to the menu Selection – All (Select – All).

Now go to the menu Editing – Define a brush (Edit-Define Brush Preset), name it
brush and click ok.

Find the brush you just created in the brush palette.

Let us return to our main document and print out the shape of the ship with a brush.

Now go to the menu Editing – Transform – Flip Horizontally (Edit-Transform-Flip Horizontal).

Further Editing – Transform – Distort (Edit-Transform-Distort) and, holding the key Ctrl, change the shape of the ship a bit, as shown below.

Scale the ship in the menu Editing – Transforming – Scaling (Edit – Transform – Scale).

Duplicate the ship and move it as shown below.

Now block the transparent pixels in both layers with the ships so that we can add
some effects.

Activate the tool Brush (Brush) and set a bright yellow color.

Draw this brush on the ship, so we give volume.

Using tool Polygonal Lasso (Polygonal Lasso Tool) draw a ship’s wing.

And the same brush that we chose for the color of the ship, paint it.

Then choose a hard blue brush.

Draw blue windows on ships.

Here is the result.

Create a new layer and activate and customize the tool. Gradient (Gradient Tool).

Add tiny lighting effects for each ship.

Set the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard Light).

Now activate the tool Finger (Smudge Tool), its settings are listed below.

Smear the gradient to create a light effect from the engines.

Finally, select all the layers related to the ships, scale them in the menu Editing – Transforming – Scaling (Edit – Transform – Scale) and place them as you like.

Here is the result of our work at this stage.

Step 11. Clouds (Nuances).
In this step, we will refine the view of the clouds. To get a more complete picture of this, you can use the video preview. Activate the tool Finger (Smudge Tool) and use the settings for it as shown below.

Spread the indicated areas to increase the flow. See two for an example.
screenshot below.

After we have processed the streams, create a new layer for some details. Activate the tool Brush (Brush) the size of 1 pix.

Choose a very bright yellow color.

Draw the lines with the brush where the red arrows indicate. You can watch this process in detail on the video.

Walk through the entire image, adding such details.

To smooth these details, use the tool again. Finger (Smudge Tool).

And now with a very small tassel, go through all the created details so that they
harmoniously looked. Do not be lazy to watch the video if you had something incomprehensible in this step.

Step 12. The effect of a blast wave on the ring.
As planned, all the energy of the explosion will necessarily have an impact on the rings of the planet, so let’s create this effect. First of all, we need a new layer, and we will create it at the very top of the layers palette.

Activate the tool Brush (Brush) and set the bright yellow color we used earlier.

Now just draw short lines right above the rings.

And now, of course, let’s go back to the tool Finger (Smudge Tool) and set the size of its brush, as shown below.

Spread the lines in the direction of the explosion.

Add more lines and apply to them. Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter-Blur-Motion Blur). See settings below.

Here is the result of actions taken.

Add a few more strokes and also smear them with the tool. Finger (Smudge Tool).

Set the blending mode for this layer to Hard light (Hard Light) and can see the result.

Now select the brush with the stars that we used before and adjust its settings in the brushes palette as shown below.

Set the brush size as shown below and draw star particles.

To enhance the effect, duplicate this layer and then merge both layers together.

Erase some particles with a soft Eraser (Eraser Too).

Step 13. Adjustment layers.
Now we come to the final stage of this lesson, and see what we lack and what needs to be added. The author decided to emphasize some details.

Take a small 1px brush. and add strokes as shown below.

And, of course, you need to smooth them with a tool Finger (Smudge Tool), as we did before.

Now let’s create a couple of adjustment layers to complete our work. Let’s start with the adjustment layer. Photo filter (Photo Filter) and configure it as shown below.

This filter enhances the shadow areas, but we do not need its action on the bright yellow area. Therefore, standing on the layer mask, erase the specified area.

Now create an adjustment layer. Levels (Levels). The settings are shown below.

We need to leave the impact of this layer only on bright areas, therefore, standing on the mask
hide the effect on the shadow plots.

Here are the two adjustment layers that we created in the layers palette.
You, of course, can conduct your experiments with the correction.

The result of the author after the correction corrective layers.

We have come to the end of this lesson (finally). I hope you have mastered the new technology, and will use them in your practice.
The final image. Full size

Good luck and see you soon!

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