New year walks on the planet

This lesson is devoted to the creation of a collage on the New Year and Christmas themes. In the process, various Photoshop brushes and images will be used. We will turn our planet Earth into a giant Christmas ball!
The author hopes that you will start creating space, Christmas wallpapers with great inspiration and achieve excellent results.

Final image

Materials required for the lesson:
Before you start, download all the images and set the brushes in Photoshop:

Since we will create wallpapers for your desktop, you need to decide in advance on their size, for example, 1600×1200, 1920×1080, and so on. The author usually makes wallpapers with a size of 1920×1200 pixels, since basically users use either this size or less. And, as you know, the image is better to reduce than stretch.

There is another trick. If you need to increase the wallpaper without loss, it is better to use a seamless texture for the background and gently mix the wallpaper with the background around the perimeter.

Step 1. Background.
Create a new document with dimensions of 1920×1200. Drag texture Starfield Seamless Pattern in the document as the first layer. Make sure you add a large texture (2048×2048) that will cover the entire document. If you want to use this texture on a smaller image, you can save this texture in Patterns (pattern) pat format, as it is seamless.

There are too many stars on this texture, and to make them smaller, we will adjust the texture a little. To do this, go to the menu Image – Correction – Levels (Image-Adjustments-Levels) and set the following settings.

Via Levels (Levels) you can adjust the brightness, contrast and tonal range of the image by setting the position of the black slider, white and midtones. Since our texture is in black and white, you can easily see the changes.
To soften the texture with the stars, apply a filter to it. Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) with a blur radius 0.5 pix.

Now add another texture. Starfield Texture and thereby giving our background the look of a colorful galaxy. The texture looks great, apparently the author did it for himself. If you are interested in creating textures from scratch and want to learn how to create a realistic galaxy in Photoshop, you can view this collection of lessons.

Change this layer overlay mode to Lighter (Lighten) and reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 60%. We make this correction so that the focus is on the planet, and not against the background with the stars.

Step 2. Planet.
In this step we will deal with the planet. Add an image with the planet Earth to the document and place it in the center of the canvas. As you can see, this image already looks pretty good, has light and shadows, so all we need is just to try to blend it with the rest of our composition.

Activate the tool Oval area (Elliptical Marquee Tool) and make a round selection. Hold down the key to get the perfect circle. SHIFT. Now copy the selected area to the new layer. To do this, inside the selection, right-click and select one of the options. Copy to new layer (Layer Via Copy) or Cut to new layer (Layer Via Cut). Another way is to go through the menu. Layers – New (Layer-New) and choose one of the above options.

Author’s Note: the easiest way to copy the selected area to a new layer is to press the key combination Ctrl+J (Copy to new layer) and Shift+Ctrl+J (Cut to a new layer).Try to always use keyboard shortcuts, it will make your life much easier.

Reduce the size of the planet to 85% and then apply layer styles. First add a layer style. Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and in the settings change the color of the shadow to # 092541.

Add a layer style External glow (Outer Glow) glow color # 0a80ee.

Now add a layer style. Internal glow (Inner Glow), as shown in the figure below. Set the color for the internal glow # c3c3c3.

Step 3. Christmas ball.
First of all, we need to adjust the layer with the planet. In order to rasterize this layer with all its contents (layer styles), we will use this trick. Hide all layers except the Planet layer and create a new layer with the name Christmas ball. Now go to the menu Image – External Channel (Image-Apply Image), click in this window Ok. and as you can see, the same image of the planet will appear on the newly created layer, only layer styles that are no longer editable, but the planet looks exactly the same.
At this stage, we will begin to turn our planet into a Christmas ball. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool) Draw a similar shape as in the screenshot.

Now load the selection of the created shape and make a copy of the selected area from the layer Christmas Ball. Place this copy above the shape layer. Using the tool Stamp (Clone Stamp Tool), clone areas from the planet to completely fill the shape. Make sure that the shape selection is loaded and in the top options bar of the Stamp tool option Sample is in mode All layers (Sample All Layers).

Using tools Clarifier (Dodge Tool) and Dimmer (Burn Tool), add shadows and highlights over the entire surface of the created shape. You can also add some light and shadows to the layer. Christmas ball. For a more realistic look, use a graphics tablet to better process every detail.

Step 4. Color correction.
Before we finish the work on the Christmas ball, we have to make a color correction. As you can see, the planet has beautiful blue tones, and the background is purple. To fix this, add a new adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill). At the bottom of the layers palette click on the icon Create New Adjustment Layer or Fill Layer (Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer) and select a new adjustment layer Gradient (Gradient Fill). Adjustment layer settings look at the screenshots.

In fact, you can change the gradient to whatever the adjustment layers are convenient, at any time there is an opportunity to correct and do it differently. There are so many beautiful gradients and if you wish, you can use the author’s collection of gradients.

Step 5. Fastening the ball.
To finish the job with the Christmas ball, create a metal mount for it. Using tool Pen (Pen Tool) create the following shapes above the adjustment layer Gradient (Gradient Fill).

Place all four layers with shapes for attaching to the group (Ctrl + G) and position the mount, corresponding to the ball, as shown in the screenshot.

Now add layer styles to each shape to add volume. Add to the first form Shadow (Drop Shadow), Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay). See the settings in the screenshot below.

Add layer styles to the second shape. Inner shadow (Inner Shadow), Internal glow (Inner Glow) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay).

The third shape has only one layer style – Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Add layer styles to fourth shape Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay).

Step 6. Christmas Tree.
In this step we will create trees.
Create a new layer on top of all existing layers and name it. Christmas tree. Take a brush sample 6 from the set and three times click the brush in the same place. Brush (Brush) use about 160 pixels and with this color # 157904.
Create another layer on top of this. Use the same brush, just change its color to # 0a4a00 and click once in the same place as before. Change the blending mode of this layer to Bright light (Vivid Light).

The final touch is to add light and dark areas with tools. Clarifier (Dodge Tool) and Dimmer (Burn Tool).

Put all the Christmas tree layers in one group. Duplicate the group and copy down to 60%; Now expand the two trees and place them on the surface of the ball. To not eat the same, you can make some changes to one of them.

In order for the trees to merge into the overall composition and not have the feeling that they are hanging in the air, we will add shadows under them. Take a soft round Brush (Brush) black and draw a shadow. Change the blending mode for this layer to Soft light (Soft Light).

Step 7. Sparks and sparkles.
Now it’s time to add light effects – Sparks and glitters. Create a new layer under the adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill) and name it Light effect layer. Create another layer above the adjustment layer. Gradient (Gradient Fill) and name it Sparkle Effect Layer. Later you will see that the first layer will acquire beautiful blue tones, and the second layer will be silver.
And so, activate the layer Light effect layer and white color add small sparks on the sky with a brush from the proposed set. If you are wondering how such brushes are created, you can see this lesson.

Add a highlight with this color on the same layer. # 269697, also using a brush from the set.

Now activate the layer Sparkle Effect Layer and the same tassels (white) add glitter to the Christmas ball. You can also add random sparkles in the sky, but not too much.

At this stage, the lesson is completed, and below you can see the final result. The author really hopes that you liked this tutorial!

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