Digital Art: Creating a Space Scene in Photoshop | Scott Stuart | Skillshare

Digital Art: Creating a Space Scene in Photoshop

Scott Stuart, Graphic Designer & Artist

Digital Art: Creating a Space Scene in Photoshop

Scott Stuart, Graphic Designer & Artist

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6 Lessons (24m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Course

    • 2. Getting Started (File Setup)

    • 3. Creating a Starry Background

    • 4. Creating a Nebula

    • 5. Creating Realistic Planets

    • 6. Creating the Full Composition

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About This Class

This Skillshare class breaks down the theory behind creating different space objects from scratch in Photoshop, then walks you step by step through composing them into a realistic scene (with a variety of techniques that you can use to improve your workflow across any design). You'll learn everything from lighting, to composition, to stacking filters and much more.

What you will learn:

  • Create a Starry Background. We'll create our own night sky with different star depths, layering different Photoshop filters to create a realistic effect.
  • Create a Nebula. Easily design beautiful clouds in space, including simple techniques for making them far more realistic.
  • Create a Planet. We'll use 2 different techniques (including a quick dive into Photoshop 3D) to turn textures into realistic planets.
  • Create the Composition. Well use a variety of lighting techniques to bring the design together into a final, cohesive scene in Photoshop.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Scott Stuart

Graphic Designer & Artist


Scott has been a too-much-chocolate-eating designer for almost 15 years, working on projects for companies & brands like Disney, Warner Bros, Harry Potter, Coca-Cola, Dreamworks & LucasFilm. Based in the beautiful city of Melbourne, he has also written a children's book (and working on more), is an illustrator/artist, and for some strange reason knows how to play the bagpipes.

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1. Introduction to the Course: Hey, I'm Scott Stewart. And today I'm gonna be walking through how to create a realistic, beautiful space background using only photo shop. Gave being a designer 15 years working with companies like Disney Pixar, one of brothers Cola. You're also sorts of massive companies, not picked up a ton of tricks over the years. And I'm gonna be walking through and showing you have improved your designs, but also had to create this specific case off art. And then I'm gonna get you to go away and create pieces of using the principles that I've given. So jump on enjoying this joint session. You can only tons, and you're gonna create something really beautiful. I'll see you inside. 2. Getting Started (File Setup): do you get things started? I'm gonna create a new Photoshopped document. Set a 2000 pixels wide by 1500 pixels high. Don't worry about the adults, courage. And I'm gonna set a black background because we're working in spice. Now, from here, I'm just gonna create three groups. I'm gonna cool them nebula stars and let's and then we're ready to get started. 3. Creating a Starry Background: you. Creating a realistic star field is a great place to stop when we're creating a space background. And we don't want to waste a 1,000,000 years drawing in every single girl in the sky. So we're gonna do this using some noise buildings. So I'm gonna create a new leg in my stars fold. I'm gonna feel that layer with black, and then I'm going to add noise. That service basic add noise filter from here, I'm gonna make sure that that's still looking reasonably, Doc. I don't want it to look incredibly, Brian. I wanted to have a little bit of darkness to it. Something centered around 50%. And then I'm gonna add a very small blood is filtered blood blood from here. I'm gonna just The level was like, I'm going to image adjustment levels, always in command or control. L. Then there's gonna call the black slider away to the right until I get a nice effect off stars. Okay, Just in the background. And that's looking good. So hit. Okay. You noticed that sometimes when working with a star field in working with noise when you when you apply an adjustment land sometimes photoshopped just brings back a little bit more than you selected. So we're just gonna apply a little bit more black to these levels. Okay? And now that's looking really, really right. And what we want to do is we don't believe that this level we actually want to create a free, different levels off stop building. So we're gonna create three levels going to create a new lab, fill it with black one more time and again, add some noise through that have used the same setting says before. But this time I'm gonna free transform coming up to edit free transform. I'm gonna make this a little bit bigger. OK, so we're going to start working on some slightly larger stars again. I'm going to add some blood to it. And now again adjusting those levels. So I'm gonna pull this down one more time, and this time I'm looking for some slightly largest us and so might pull the white in a little. Just add a little bit more brightness to these does. All right, I hit. OK, maybe just cool. Good. That lacking just a touch more. And now I'm gonna sit this late to scream so I can see the true latest three. All right, so you can see both players, the stars, through that one document. And that was the final step. I'm actually going to set a layer of styles that's closer to us that actually has a faint outer glow. So again adding a new lamb feeling black. I'm gonna add some noise to that. And this time I'm gonna increase the size quite drastically. I'm gonna blew it again. And now adjusting the level was one more time. And this time I'm looking just to pull out some of those nice close to stars. My pull that blew it further. Uh, all right, so now what I want to do to apply an outer glow. We can't do that while we have this entire last set with a black background. So one was separate out these white stars from the black background. Now, the quickest way to do that is actually to come to a channels panel where you can go to window channels, right? And then you just going to command or control click on the thumb. Now, next GV that's going to select just the stars. So now with that at layer active. I could just hit command, seat or control. See, then commanding control control V to copy and paste. Or alternatively, you come up copy and then paste. What? That stomach is pasted the stars on top of that last. So I'm just gonna delete that lay beforehand. You noticed that I can now see these brightest stars through we're gonna add a slight out of glow to the stars. Was women so I can see what I'm doing good out of global now just so I can see where it's that. Let's make this quite obvious. There it is. Some gonna bring it down nice and soft to around about there. Pull the capacity down a bit. I might set this to a nice blue and they haven't really not stuff. You 4. Creating a Nebula: do you accept? I'm gonna do is creating the nebula, which is those beautiful, gassy clouds in space. So for the moment, I'm gonna turn off my styles folder and again, I'm gonna create two new layers inside the nebula folder. The bottom line, I'm gonna cool colors and the tote lay up E nebula. We're gonna still this might constrain. All right, so in the nebula fault in the nebula layup there's gonna set my foreground and background colors to the DeBolt that I'm gonna come up to filter and render some clouds right now, these look great, but their a little soft for my lacking. So what I'm gonna do is come to filter rendered difference clubs. I'm gonna do that one more time running a difference. Clouds or even you can come up to the last field used, and they can see that we have these really nice lines. Kind of like little lightning storms in space. And that's the look I'm going for when I'm creating nebula. So now with these life, I'm gonna sit the transparency, too. Color dodge. And now, in the lay below it the colors lamp. I'm gonna get a nice, big brush. It's nice and soft. You can use your square brackets holding shift to increase in, decrease the hardness of the brush. And also just the square brackets left and right to increase or decrease the size of the brush. So now I'm going to sit a nice color as a full round. In this case, I'm gonna sit a nice read. I'm gonna bring the capacity of the brush down to around 3%. Get There we go. So I'm just gonna brush in these nebula, and you can already see that these nebulae are coming in nicely. So I'm gonna brush in some other areas somewhere around then and now wanted actually build up these colors. A little bit of variations. I'm going to use a pink, and most gonna pull in some blue as well. All right. I'm just looking to create a little bit of variation and also pull some of this. Some of this nebula app. Just a touch away from the main field. All right, so now this is looking fantastic. So the last thing I want to do is I just want to make these whites these brightest parts of the nebula just a little more powerful. There's a few ways we could do that. Firstly, I could just duplicate the nebula. Lamb? Yeah, I could do that. Holding down, just command or control. J and I could set that to overlay. And you notice that that already pulls out those affects really, really nicely. A second way I could do this is the leading. That way I can create a new layer of the top of the nebula. I can feel this lab with what? Since it's my background colleges command or control backs ice. And now what I'll do is use blend if you guys are gonna blend if the underlying lad is white. So pull up this left hand side. I'm gonna press option or Ault and to break apart this little slider. And I'm just sit this toe a nice soft sitting just to capture whose life is pots all right , and I hit OK, and now just this laugh. I can sit over way and it's just brightening up these specific parts of this image and because I have this is a blend. If laugh, I can adjust this nebula layers much like one, and it's still only going to affect those. Light is part of parts of the image 5. Creating Realistic Planets: loath. Last thing I'm gonna do before I bring all these three elements together in the composition is I'm going to create some plants. And so in my planets. Hold on. Just turn off my nebula folder. For the moment, I'm actually gonna create these using a nice texture. So when we're looking for a texture for planet creation, we want to look for something that's a little rough, a little grungy, but also still has quite a bit of detail in it. Okay, so you noticed that I'm using this great image off some lava. And when I zoom in, its got really beautiful details in and around here. Which do you think everything's We're creating really, really nice planets. Other examples of textures you can use things like concrete textures, model textures, sand textures, things like that. Great. Really nice planets. All right, so there's two ways that we can create planets. One super super fast, and you know, there's a little more involved but creates great results. So the first method is using a simple, spare eyes function. So I'm just gonna grab my circular my Keitel. It may be hidden under the regular rectangular my Keitel that's that. And I'm just gonna hold down, shift and grab a circle off somewhere in the texture that I like to come up to fill them, going to go to distort and then to spare eyes. And now I'm gonna sit this sitting all the way up to 100% and that's gonna extrapolate out that selection as though it's wrapped around a sphere just like that. So now copy what's inside the selection, Okay? And then I'll come back to my document and I can pace that into my planets. All right, So I might sit. This is a smart objectives so that it doesn't degrade when I change size, and I'll just reduce the size of that so we can see it. And c, we've got a really nice looking planet straight away. The second method that we're going to use is actually working with three D layers inside photo shop. So I'm gonna go back to my texture. I'm just gonna revert back to how it was at the very start and so freshly opened this document. All I have to do is I need to go up to three date from the top menu going new mesh from land mesh, preset and then spear. And this is automatically gonna wrap this texture around the sphere with lighting effects. OK, so it's a really, really powerful and fantastic tool. So you can see here. I've already got this set has this beautiful three d planet. Okay, so we need to do is find a view that we like in this case. I quite like this view right here with some nice shading. I'm gonna turn off this shadow down here at the bottom, so I'm just gonna select the planet. I'm gonna de select con shadows up here on the right hand side. Sold decent like that. Get rid of that shutter right then. All right. And so now all I need to do is I'm gonna convert this to a smart object, or I could rob Cerise the lamp, or I could even work with this in three day. But for the moment, I'm just gonna convert this to a smart object and I'm gonna drag this layer across into my working document. And again, I'm going to justice. Lies damn so fits in nicely. And you can see the difference in these two planets. One now is looking a little bit flat. The others looking very realistic because of the shame 6. Creating the Full Composition: You know, it's time to bring all our elements together into one composition. So I'm gonna stop working they used together and start creating something. Really? So I'm gonna get my true planets. I'm gonna sit them into position, and now I'm gonna turn on my stars loud. Said I want to set my stars to scream so I can see the nebula through 10. My nebula, Ron, you can see I already can see this great nebula coming through. The next thing that we want to do is gonna add lighting effects to these plants. Okay, So I'm gonna work on my main planet first. Because I have this as a smart object. I could do a lot more with so immediately go to duplicate, put these into two lions just so we can see the two planets bit easier. Hole this, What? A planet. And this one top planet. All right, so with my bottom planet of the first thing I'm gonna do is create a nice shadow across most off the planet. So I'm gonna duplicate this landfill in command or control J. And now I'm gonna add a color overlay to this, and I'm gonna set This is black with multiply 100% you know. OK, now I'm just gonna position this nicely, so I want it just creeping out. Just a touch wide up and somewhere around, then doesn't think to exact. So that's a nice positioning. Now I'm going to add a blur to this. So galaxy and blur. I'll set this up around 26 to 30%. You see, that's created something quite not just all right. Now, while I have that in position because I'm gonna have a starburst coming off the center of this bottom planet, I just want to ease off this section off the show. So I'm gonna create a lamb Oz, making sure black is full grand. Public it a nice being brushed. It's nice and soft and just rush away looks make sure that I pass it. He is back up to 100%. It's gonna brush away just a little bit off this plan. Probably brushed away touch too much. All right, so now, working with the main planet lab actually want to create some lighting effects on this. So the first thing I'm gonna do is add a little atmosphere outside. So I'm gonna do an outer glow we're gonna look for Be nice and soft and not to visible. I'm gonna follow the color of the planets. I'm gonna make this somewhere in the red orangey kind of range down here. Fact, I might even lean towards the pinks off that nebula. Fantastic. Next thing on one is an inner glow. So I'm gonna turn it into blow one, and I'm gonna sit this latest screen. I just want to get that nice AENA glow on the planet. So I'm gonna make it a bit soft. Not too large. Set that around 8 10 pixels. And I might just bring the city down to somewhere around 70%. The last thing I want to do is I want to have a little bit off faint ready glory coming off the edge of this planet. OK, so the last thing I'm gonna do isn't in a shadow just so I could see this. I'm gonna sit this nice and large. All right, so I want something around here, so making sure that the angle is correct. So light source is coming straight from the top somewhere around them. Bring the capacity down said it to screen, and that's looking great. All right. So from this actually want to create some of the lighting effects in that starburst behind it. So in a new land underneath the main planet, just gonna get a big brush. I'm gonna set my foreground color to a nice read following the colors that I've already dictated in this document. Just hit a nice big brush trick. Now, I'm just gonna work this color range down, reducing the size of the brush age time, maybe back into those reds again and finally ending up into the orange and what? All right, so I'm in a position this life might reduce the size. And now to shape it a touch just to match, like over this planet. Now I'm gonna start adding some brightness in front of this planet. Okay, So the first thing when you do, you create a new lamp again with what? Selected a nice big brush. Just gonna shrink this down. And I want just a little bit of curve coming off the edge of this planet. Someone used my puppet walk and just set three pins. One in the middle one on either side. and just reshaped that down through around the planet. I'm gonna apply a nice cosy and blood to that somewhere around 10 pixels doesn't need to be precise. I'm just gonna set this lab to overlay. That's a little bit live in my district that down again? It doesn't need to. All right. Fantastic. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna add a lens flare straight over the top of that. So said a new lamp. I'm gonna feel that lay with black going a long way here. Now, I'm gonna go to fill top Renda Lens slit, and I want to set this lens flare using a 35 mil prime. Somewhere around where I wanted to sit in the document here. Okay, Now I'm gonna hit this layer to scream. You can see that sitting almost perfect office moving into position somewhere about there. And now one, adjust the levels because you can see this is Washington time document. And so I'm gonna come upto image adjustment level's gonna pull the black side of this Damn , you can see immediately starts to look quite nice, okay? And that is looking great at one thing that I like to do is just to break this symmetry off these lighting I'm gonna create one will laugh again with a nice big brush and a shrink that down might expand it out a little, put it on to an angle, cutting across the light source something like that, and just set that overlap and then immediately starts to add a little bit more realism into that light source Doesn't break so perfectly symmetrically. All right, so now that I've got this planet done, gonna jump up into the top planet and essentially rip eight those steps using the builders that I've already got apply. Okay, So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to drag along these effects onto my top planet, and that's already looking home most perfect to exactly what I want. And I'm gonna duplicate this lamp. He didn't command or control J delete those specs that already have. And now I'm going to copy the effects from my shadow lab, and I'm gonna copy my smart, filled up blood. And I did that just by dragging what's holding option or fault. I'm gonna move this layer into position somewhere about them. What extend that had a little and suddenly that's looking really fantastic. The last thing that I want to do with this composition, it just make sure that the overall composition is looking great. So you noticed that now that we've got this imposition that nebulous just being lost a little bit behind, so I might just go in and paint a few more colors into this nebula just to showcase the passes I want. All right. So when I have that looking how I want last thing I'm gonna do is actually use a camera or filter across the entire thing just to start editing the colors on a grand scale. You can do this using things like your adjustment levels and things like that, but I camera roll filter just gives me a little bit more control. So I'm just gonna hit with my top most layout war full of selected hit command option shift E or control off shift A. And that's going to merge a visible copy of all the layers. Okay, so anything that you can see on screen is gonna put it into one layer at the very top. Now I'm going to convert that to a smart object and I'm gonna go to filter camera Roll fills up. And now I can play around a lot of these options. Thio, Thio change the colors and do lots of different things with it. The first thing I'm gonna do is come across the right hand side and I'm gonna add a turquoise and red filter to the entire document, and then I'm going to at a little bit of, like, graining to it. And you can see that that's already done a lot for my document. So this is before this is after. All right? Now, with that in mind, last thing I want to do is just gonna add a new lab. And I might just brush it very lightly with a blue brush. Just gonna brush in a little bit of blue at into these edges just so I get some of that nebula effect going on one more time and I'll set that just hard light just so you can see that nice and easily. All right. And now we are done