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In this tutorial, I will show you how to Easily Create Planetary Ring via Cloud and Twirl Tool in Photoshop. The steps are very simple and if you have some experiences with Photoshop in the past, you should be able to complete it without any problem. Have a try!

Along the way, we will render some cloud, then apply the twirl filter to turn it into a planetary ring. We will also make a simple planet with some lighting effect.

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

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OK let’s get started!

No stock image is required for this tutorial – although you may need some star and debris brushset.

Step 1

Create a new document sized 940px * 700px, fill the background with black colour. Let’s create the Planetary Ring first.

Create a new layer and use the lasso tool (50px feather) to draw a selection, render some cloud in it:

Hit Ctrl + L and apply the following Levels adjustments:

Go to Filter > Distort > Twirl:

and apply the following settings:

Then hit Ctrl + T and perspective the ring as shown below:

Reduce the height a bit and you will have the following effect:

Erase the edges with a a soft eraser, and you have made a simple ring:

Step 2

Now let’s draw a planet on top of the ring layer. Firstly draw a circle on a new layer, then fill the circle with black color and apply the following layer blending options:

Outer Glow

Bevel and Emboss

Gradient Overlay


here is the effect so far:

Step 3

Now create a new layer under the planet layer, use the star and debris brush you downloaded, paint some splashing effect around the planet, as shown below:

Now we can create some cloud/nebula effect around the planet. To do this, create a new layer below the planet layer, use a lasso tool (50px feather)to draw a selection, render some cloud inside.

Then apply the Difference cloud filter to it:

Here is the effect after applying the difference cloud filter:

Then Warp the cloud as shown below:

Duplicate this layer a few times and scatter them around the globle, as shown below:

You can also duplicate and drag some nebula layers above the planet layer, position the nebula as shown below: (make sure to set the blending mode of those layers to “screen”)

Here is the effect so far:

Now we can add a bit of backlight for this planet to increase the depth. Create a new layer under the planet layer called “highlight”, grab a soft white brush and do a single-click to the position shown below:

Step 4

Now let’s add some abstract lines to decorate the planet. Once again we can use the Pen Tool to draw a path as shown below:

Choose the 1px hard brush from the brush pane:

Right-click on the path with Pen Tool selected, and choose “Stroke Path”:

Select “Brush” from the drop down box, tick “Simulate Pressure”, click “OK”:

and here is the effect:

Duplicate this line layer a few more times, rotate and resize them then scatter the lines around the planet, as shown below:

Step 5

Ok we’re almost done. Let’s add a few image adjustment layer on top of all previous layers to fine tune the image a bit:


Mask on Curves adjustment layer:

As you can see, we increased the contrast of the debris on the left so it looks more distinctive:

Colour Balance

and here is the effect after apply those adjustment layers:

and here is the final effect for this tutorial: (I further adjusted the colour and contrast of the image)

That’s it! Hope you enjoy this tutorial and find it useful :)

Till next time, have a great day!

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