In this tutorial, I will show the methods you can use to create this awesome planet explosion effect in Photoshop. We will use a few simple manipulation and selection techniques, mixing with custom brush painting and finally, adjustment layers for adding colors.

This is an immediate level tutorial and some steps can be a little tricky, have a try!

Note: The Photoshop tutorial is done in CS6 – therefore some screenshot may have slighting different layout as in the earlier version. Some brushes are exclusive to Photoshop CS6.

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

planet explosion flatten 550x305 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

PSD File Download

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vip sign up 250 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

OK Let’s get started!

To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:

Rock Texture

Space Brush (Pick a few sets from the list)

Debris Brush

If you have any difficulty completing Step 2, please check out this video tutorial below:

Step 1

Create a new document sized 1400px * 900px with black background. We will start building the planet core using the rock texture.

Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool with 20px feather to select a circle below: (hold down the “Shift” while selecting for a perfect circle)

1 sel1 550x331 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Copy and paste the selection over to our document, reduce its size and place it on the left side of the canvas:

1 paste2 550x289 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Use a soft eraser to remove parts of the layer as shown below:

1 erase2 550x292 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Add the following 3 adjustment layers as clipping masks to this layer:

Black and White

1 bw2 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Levels

1 lvs1 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Curves

1 curves1 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

And you will have the following effect so far:

1 effect2 550x396 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Repeat the steps above to add a few more pieces of the rock texture, and form a full planet shape as shown below:

1 effect 2 550x390 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

We will add break-apart effect with the debris brushes downloaded at the beginning of the tutorial:

2 brush 550x128 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Go to the rock texture file and create a new layer:

2 brush layer 550x390 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Use the debris brush to paint some particles over this new layer:

2 paint 550x350 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Hold down the “Alt” key and left-click the “brush” layer on the layer pane to make a selection over this layer:

2 sel2 550x290 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

2 ants 550x302 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Maintain this selection, and go back to the background layer of rock texture and copy the selection. Paste it over to our document and re-size it as shown below:

2 resize 550x415 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Use a big soft eraser to fade the edges of this particle layer to add a bit of depth:

2 fade 550x372 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

We will render some gas/cloud to spice up the explosion effect: (I used this brush set here to paint this effect)

3 cloud 550x359 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Duplicate this cloud layer, compress and rotate the duplicated layer as shown below:

3 warp 550x384 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Repeat the above process and add some more cloud effect around the planet:

3 effect2 550x325 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Step 4

We will add some extra pieces of rocks around the exploding planet. We can simply use the method described in step 1, and use the free transform tool to rotate the layer into the angle as shown below:

Hint: You can also use the Quick Selection tool to select a few larger rocks from the texture.

4 more rock 2 550x458 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

4 more rock 550x366 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Use the space brush you downloaded, paint a few space patterns/objects around the canvas:

4 brush 550x328 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

4 brush 2 550x293 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

and here is my overall effect so far:

4 effect1 550x357 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Step 5

We will work on adding colours in this final step. To do this, add the following 2 adjustment layers on top of all previous layers:

Selective Color

5 sel white Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

5 sel neu Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

5 sel black Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Layer mask on this selective color adjustment layer:

5 sel mask 550x302 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Color Balance

5 col mide Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Layer mask on this color balance adjustment layer:

5 col mask 550x301 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

Vibrance

5 vib Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

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

planet explosion flatten 550x305 Create Awesome Planet Explosion Effect in Photoshop

That’s it for this tutorial! Hope you enjoy going through it and find it useful. Drop me a comment below if you have any question.

Till next time, have a great day!