In this tutorial, I will show the steps I took to create this Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop. This is an intermediate level tutorial so some steps can be a little tricky for beginners, but why not have a try!

Along the way, I will show you how you can combine the liquify filter with nebula texture and cloud to render some very interesting effect :)

Here is a preview of the final effect I have for this tutorial: (click to enlarge)

abstract circle flatten 500x675 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

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vip sign up 250 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

OK let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need to the following stock:

Nebula Texture – by =Moonchilde-Stock

Step 1

Create a new document sized 800px * 1080px, filter the background with a dark grey color, and draw a base circle on a new layer:

1 draw cirlce 500x688 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Use Lasso Tool with around 30px feather to draw a selection, set the foreground colour to dark purple, and render some cloud into it:

1 render cloud Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Compress this cloud layer to a very thin strip, then warp it as shown below:

1 warp 500x396 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Apply the Twirl filter to make it look like a half circle:

1 twirl Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Erase the unnecessary bits and attach it to the base circle:

1 fit 500x578 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Duplicate this layer a few times, rotate and resize them until they form a full circle shape roughly, then fill the background layer with black colour:

1 effect1 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Step 2

Load the nebula texture into Photoshop, use Lasso Tool with 30px feather to select a portion:

2 select 500x314 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Copy and paste into onto our image, warp it according to the base circle:

2 warp 500x507 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Bring up the liquify filter (Shift + Ctrl + X) and use the following settings:

2 liquify Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Apply it to the position shown below:

2 indicator Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

and you will have the following effect:

2 effect1 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Duplicate this nebula layer a few times, resize them and put them around the circle as shown below:

2 dup 500x504 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

When you duplicate the nebula layer, make sure you adjust the layer opacity for each duplicate layer for some image depth:

2 adjust 500x262 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

2 effect 2 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Note: make sure you use a soft eraser to get rid of the rough edges when necessary:

2 erase1 500x431 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Step 3

Now we’re getting into the liquify filter + cloud effect. Again we draw a selection with Lasso Tool (30px feather), render some cloud inside it, hit Ctrl + L and apply the following Levels settings to it:

3 levels 500x296 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Apply the liquify filter to this cloud as shown below: (you’re free to use whatever tip size you wish)

3 lquify cloud Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

and you will have similar effect to this:

3 effect cloud 500x404 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Attach this layer to the circle, also duplicate a  few times and scatter them around the canvas:

3 attach 499x520 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

3 scatter cloud 500x683 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Step 4

Now we can put all those layers we made into a group, then duplicate this group twice, resize them and move them to the positions shown below.

You should also merge the layers under the duplicated group together, and lower their layer opacity:

4 move 492x700 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Optionally, you can paint some stars/dots around the circle. You can find lots of star brushes around the net:

4 paint star 500x699 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Step 5

I decided to use some alternative colour scheme for this image. So I go ahead and added the following three adjustment layers:

Black and White:

5 bw Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Curves:

5 curve red Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

5 curve gr Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

5 curve blue Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Color Balance:

5 col bal Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

and here is the effect so far:

5 effect 500x687 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Step 6

We’re almost done! To adjust the final effect, I flatten the image and duplicate the background, then apply the following Reduce Noise filter:

6 re noise 500x376 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

Then use the dodge and burn tool to add some highlights and shadows around the image, as shown below:

6 dodge burn 500x385 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

and here is the final effect: (click to enlarge)

abstract circle flatten 500x675 Create Awesome Abstract Nebula Circle Shape in Photoshop

That’s it! I hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it useful! Till next time, have a great day!