Towards the stars in Photoshop

Starting materials

Final result


(click on image to enlarge)

Step 1. Create a new document with dimensions (1000 x 650px), create a new layer, which we will call the “background color”.

Fill the layer with a linear gradient from # 110b64 to # 5a2391.

Step 2. Create a new layer and name it “stars”. Fill the layer with black.

Next we go Filter – Noise- Add Noise (filter> noise> add noise). Apply the following settings: Amount 12%, Gaussian, monochrome.

Now, change the blending mode to Lightening (screen). This mode will help us to hide the black color, leaving only the noise that will be visible on our background. Next, to make our noises look like stars, we go Image – Correction – Brightness / Contrast (image> adjustments> brightness / contrast). Reduce the brightness to – 30 and increase the contrast to +100.

Step 3. Download a set of brushes to create stars and on a new layer, apply brushes all over the document to your liking which brushes are most suitable. Name this layer “stars 2”.

Step 4. Create a new layer and name it “glow”. You are taking radial gradient (radial gradient) from white to transparent and at the bottom of the document in the center draw a glow.
Next, change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay) to create the basis for applying a stunning light effect to the background:

Step 5. Create a new layer and name it “Glow 2”. Holding the left mouse button, draw a couple of glow radial gradient (radial gradient) from a754fd to transparent. The blend mode for this layer is normal (normal).

Next, create a new layer and name it “Glow 3”. Holding the left mouse button, draw a couple of glow radial gradient (radial gradient) from 55defe to transparent. Reduce the opacity of this layer to 65% and change the blending mode to overlap (overlay).

The essence of this step is to create different light / color shades to add more depth and make your work more interesting.

Step 6. Create a new layer and name this layer “Glow 4”. Draw in different places where you want a few highlights using radial gradient (radial gradients) from white to transparent.

Next, reduce the opacity of this layer to 30% and change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay).

Step 7. And now, we will learn to create a cosmic abstract grid, which will become the main part of our background.

First, create a new document with dimensions (100 x 100px). For the purposes of our lesson, I filled the background with black, because we’re going to create a white pattern, and it will look better on a dark background.

Above the black background, create a new layer and stay on the new layer using the tool Rectangular area (Rectangular Marquee tool) make a selection on our left black square with a size of 1 px. Paint the selection with a white brush. Do the same with the upper part. Next, on the same new layer, paint each corner with a soft white brush to create a light effect on the corners of our future grid.

Below in the screenshot you can see an enlarged version of the result.

Next, hide the black background layer and go Editing – Define a pattern (edit> define pattern). Choose a name for our pattern “grid” and then click OK.

Step 8. Next, create a new document with dimensions (2000X2000px), go Editing – Run Fill (edit> fill). Fill in gray with 50% color. Next, double click on the layer to bring up the layer styles and select Overlapping pattern (pattern overlay). Choose our “grille” pattern.

Step 9. Create a new layer below the grid effect layer. Select our two layers and merge our layers. Layer – merge layers (Layer – merge layers). Now, we have a grid pattern in image quality, it’s easier than just having a layer style. This means that we can carry out various manipulations with our image!

Let’s go Editing – Transformation – Perspective (edit> transform> perspective), and reduce the top vertices of our lattice. We press the key Enter, those. apply transformation (apply transformation).

Next, we go again Editing – Transformations (edit> transform) and transform our lattice, reducing in size, creating the illusion of perspective.

Step 10. Next, we transfer our grid to our original document.

Change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay). This will help us to hide the gray color, while the effect of our lattice remains!

Step 11. Next, go Layer – layer mask – show all (layer> layer mask> reveal all). With the help of a large black soft brush with an opacity of 40% (opacity), erase a certain part of our lattice (in particular, at the end of the lattice, so that it looks as if it is dissolved in space).

Further, if you want your grille to look more clearly, then duplicate the layer with the grid and reduce the layer opacity to 30%.

Step 12. Create a new layer and name it “clouds”.

Let’s go Filter – Rendering – Clouds (filter> render> clouds). Next, change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay). Finally, we go Layer – layer mask – show all (layer> layer mask> reveal all), and with the help of a big black brush we paint over parts of the clouds, leaving only the areas in the center of your document:

Translator’s Note: in this and the next step, the author does not mention in his lesson about setting the opacity of the brush, so try yourself to experiment with setting the opacity.

Step 13. Upload an image of a girl.

There are many different ways to separate the girl from the background, but I applied the usual layer mask, then carefully process the edges of the girl. Using a small brush, process small edges, if you do not succeed, simply switch the brush to white and correct the error.

Step 14. I didn’t really like the girl’s hairline, so I used brushes to correct the hair that you downloaded to lengthen the hair in several places:

Step 15. Now, apply adjustment layers Levels, Hue / Saturation and Color Balance (levels, hue / saturation, color balance adjustment), settings in the screenshot below.

For each layer we go Layer-create clipping mask (layer> apply clipping mask) in order to apply our effects only to the girl, and not to the whole image:

(Translator’s note: the author suggests first creating adjustment layers through the bottom toolbar and then applying the adjustment layers to the adjustment layers layer- create clipping mask (layer> apply clipping mask).


(click on image to enlarge)

Step 16. If we carefully look at the sunglasses of a girl, we will see that on one side they are not perfect (they look like on our original).

Therefore, create a new layer and name it “processed glasses”. Using tool “Lasso” (lasso tool) and Fill (paintbucket) create an artificial edge of sunglasses.

Step 17. Next, create a new layer and name it “stars on glasses.”

Using the stars brush, create a few barely perceptible stars on the girl’s sunglasses. If necessary, lower the layer opacity to make the effect more subtle:

Step 18. Create a new layer and name it “vignette”. With a big soft black brush opacity (30% opacity), darken the corners of our image. This will help to draw the eyes of others to the center of the composition:

Step 19. Next, create a new layer and name it “lighten / darken”. We go Editing – Fill (edit> fill) and apply a 50% gray fill. Next, change the blending mode to Overlap (overlay). This will help to hide the gray color and allow you to draw on our image.

For shadows, use a soft black brush, apply a soft white brush to brighten. Paint until you achieve the desired result.

Step 20. Apply adjustment layers curves, gradient map, vibration, Settings in the screenshot below:

Translator’s notes:
1. Adjustment layers are created through LayerNew adjustment layer (Layer- Apply new adjustment layer). When the window pops up, then tick “Use previous layer to create clipping mask”Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask ”do not set.
2. Correction layer LayerNew Correction Layer – Vibration (Layer- Apply new adjustment layer- vibrance) this function comes from the version CS4, so who has an earlier version of the program, they may not accept this adjustment layer.


(click on image to enlarge)

Step 21 Next, add text at the top center of the image:
(Translator’s note: you can add any text and use any font, everything will depend on your imagination)

Step 22 Create a new layer and name it “highlight”. Fill the layer with black colors. Next, we go Filter – Rendering – Flare (filter> render> lens flare). Install lens type 100 mm (lens flare) and place a highlight on the right side of the girl

Then, change the blending mode to “Clarification” (screen) and reduce the layer opacity to 50%.

Step 23 Apply the last highlight on top of the girl’s sunglasses. Reduce the layer opacity to 80% and also change the blending mode to “Clarification” screen.

We finished the lesson!
You can see the final result in the screenshot below. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!

Author: Tom.

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