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How to create a starry sky

Author: Carole

Tools Needed

  • Photoshop


With this tutorial you will learn to create you beautiful night sky, with stars, black holes, and nebula.


Step 1 - Sky and stars


Open a document about 500×500 with a black background.

Choose the airbrush tool, and use alternately 1px, 5 px and 9 px.

Use a layer for each size.

You should have 3 layers with 3 sizes of dots.

Step 2 - Add a glowing effect


Now you are to apply some effects on each layer.

You need to add a outer glow on layer, try to vary the opacity and the size of the glow, to give an impression of depth to your sky.

Step 3 - Nebula


Once you've done all the layers (you may add as layers as you wish, I use only three to be easier)add a layer between the other ones.

Apply the clouds filter (with white as foreground color, and black as background color)

Step 4 - Add depth


With a big airbrush, of about 50% opacity (you may vary the opacity to fit your taste)erase the clouds here and there.

With a bigger opacity (70% or more) you may give more depth to the sky.

Step 5 - Weird sky and black holes


Here it is !

Now you have your starry sky !

I tried to be as simple as I could, but you may add as layer as you like, alternating layer with stars with layer with clouds, and play with them to approach what you have in mind, and add depth or weirdness to you sky.

If you want to give a weird appearance to your sky, like an alien sky or very far one, you should add a difference clouds to your clouds layers.

Repeat it until you are satisfied.

You will notice that difference clouds may create some black holes among the clouds.

Step 6 - Add colors


By playing with color balance you may add colors to you sky.

If you want to add more than one color, you should work on each cloud layer separately, copy and paste the layer on a new transparent background, and then choose your balance color.

Repeat this step for the other cloud layer, changing the color each time.

Once you've done with each layer, copy and paste them on your sky (remove the old cloud layers)

Now you should have a beautiful starry sky, with nebulas and some black holes.

Enjoy !