Create an abstract nebula in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a fantastic cosmic nebula in Photoshop.
In the course of the lesson, I will tell you how, by combining the Liquify (Plastic) filter with the cosmic texture and clouds, create an interesting effect.

Here is a preview of the final result:

Materials for the lesson:

Step 1. Create a new document with the size of 800×1080 px, fill the background with a dark gray color and draw a base circle on the new layer:

We use Lasso Tool (Lasso) (L) with Feather (Feather) approximately 30 px, to draw a selection, select a dark purple color and visualize the clouds using a filter Filter – Render – Clouds (Filter – Rendering – Clouds):

Squeeze the clouds with Edit – Transform – Wrap (Editing – Transformation – Deformation), as shown below:

Apply filter Filter – Distort – Twirl (Filter – Distortion – Twisting) to make the semicircle clouds:

Remove unnecessary parts and position along the contour of the base circle:

Duplicate (CTRL + J) this layer several times, rotate and adjust the size until we fill the entire outline of the circle, then fill the background layer with black:

Step 2. Load the texture into Photoshop, use Lasso Tool(Lasso) (L) with Feather (Feather) 30 px to highlight part of the image:

Copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) the selected area onto the working document, position it along the contour of the base circle:

Apply filter Liquify (Plastic) (SHIFT + CTRL + X) with the following parameters:

Arrange as shown below:

And we get this effect:

Duplicate (CTRL + J) the layer with the nebula several times, adjust the size of copies and place them on the circumference surface, as shown below:

After duplicating the layer, adjust Opacity (Opacity) for each copy to give a depth effect:

And we get the following result:

Use soft eraser (E) to get rid of rough edges:

Step 3. Now back to the filter Liquify (Plastic) and clouds. Draw the selection again using Lasso Tool (Lasso) (L) (shading 30 px), visualize the clouds inside the selection, press CTRL + L to bring up the window Levels (Levels) and apply the following parameters:

Apply filter Liquify (Plastic) to the clouds, as shown below (we choose the filter parameters at our discretion):

You should get a similar result:

Move this layer to the circle, duplicate it several times and place it as shown below:

Step 4. Now we can move all the created layers into a separate group, then duplicate it twice, adjust the size of the copies and arrange it as shown below.
We also need to merge the layers within the group and reduce Opacity (Opacity) Layer:

If you want, you can draw some stars around the circle. Brushes for this you can find on the Internet:

Step 5. I decided to use a different color scheme for this image. Therefore, I added three adjustment layers:

Blackwhite (Black and white)

Curves (Curves)

Color balance (Color balance)

We get this effect:

Step 6. We are almost done! A bit of correction for the final effect. I applied the command Flatten Image (Merge Layers), then the filter reduced the noise Filter – Noise – Reduce Noise (Filter – Noise – Reduce Noise):

Then use the tools Dodge (Clarifier) ​​and Burn (Dimmer) (O) to add light and shadow around the image, as shown below:

And finally, the final result:

Like this post? Please share to your friends: