Chrissy's Easy Starfield Photoshop Tutorial

This tutorial will teach you how to make aquick and easy starfield using filters. No more painstaking effort to poke millions of tiny white dots on a dark background with a brush one by one.

Step One:

First off, start with a black background..

Keep in mind that if you choose to use a different color background you'll run into problems when you hit the Brightness/Contrast step ... Step Three ... So black is a default that works best. I can show you how to change the black area to a gradient or different color later.

Step Two:

Now go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the distribution to Gaussian. Check Monochromatic and use a percentage value from 5% to 20% or even higher if you wish. The higher the number the more 'stars' in the star field.

Remeber ... Less is more. Heehee.

Step Three:

Now you'll need to edit the contrast to get some stars to stand out so it looks more realistic. Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast. Lower the brightness and raise the contrast to taste. This will make some of the specks vanish and others stand out brightly.

It'll actually look like the night sky.
 

Step Four:

Pick a bright color like green , blue, purple, yellow or red make the other color black. Fill in a new layer above your stars with a gradient of your color choice.

 

Step Five:

Render some Difference Clouds on the gradient layer. Go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. This is the beginning of some Nebula Clouds on your starfield.

Nebula clouds can make a starfield look more realistic.
 

Step Six:

Right click the layer with the difference clouds and select Blending Options.

In the menu under Blend if: choose Gray. Hold down the ALT key on your keyboard and select the black arrow under This Layer. Holding the ALT key causes the arrow to split. Drag half the arrow to the right until the nebula clouds fit nicely in the starfield.

 

Alternative Step Seven:

If you want to, you can add another set of nebula clouds. Pick a different color for your gradient and fill a new layer above your first set of nebula clouds.
 

Alternative Step Eight:

Once again use the Difference Clouds filter. Go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds to add the new nebula clouds to the image.
 

Alternative Step Nine:

Right click the layer with the new clouds and select Blending Options.

Once again in the menu under Blend if: choose Gray. Hold down the ALT key on your keyboard and select the black arrow under This Layer. Drag half the arrow to the right until the new nebula clouds fit nicely in the starfield.
 

Alternative Step Ten:

Put a layer with another dark color or gradient below the layer with the Noise (after step three).

If you can't see the layers menu, go to Windows > Layers or press F7 on your keyboard to bring it up.

Select the layer with the orb and drag it above your image if it's not already there.

Right click the layer with your noise filtered stars and select Blending Options.

In the menu under Blend if: choose Gray. Hold down the ALT key on your keyboard and select the black arrow under This Layer. Holding the ALT key causes the arrow to split. Drag half the arrow to the right until the new color or gradient become the background of the star field.


Rainbow Nebula clouds!

Using multiple layers of different colored difference clouds can create various looks. Experiment with the colors and see what you can come up with.

The nebula clouds can be any colors you want.
 
Art by Christine Weiser

Have Fun!

The star field is very useful for a lot of projects! It doesn't matter if you're doing Fantasy or Sci-Fi. You can always find use for a star field.

You can also use my Universe Photoshop Brushes with this tutorial to create something really special!

Luv,
Chrissy!