In this tutorial, you will learn how to make an epic deep space photo effect in Photoshop. We will use several techniques such as free transform, image adjustments and layer blending to manipulate several stock image, in order to achieve our final result.
The concept of this artwork comes from my own imagination of deep space – a fiery environment, full of unknown danger awaiting the brave space travellers.
The PSD file of this tutorial is available via the PSD Vault VIP members area.
The difficulty level of this tutorial is intermediate.
NOTE: THE PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL IS DONE IN PHOTOSHOP CC – 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)
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OK Let’s get started!
To complete this tutorial, you will need the following stocks:
- Nebula 1 by cosmicspark
- Nebula 2
- Fire 1
- Fire 2
- Spaceship 1 by HZ-Designs
- Spaceship 2 by TexelGirl-Stock
Create a new document sized 140opx * 820px with black background. Load the “Nebula 1” stock image into Photoshop and select the following portion:
Copy and paste the selection to the bottom of the canvas, slightly distort it with the Free Transform tool as shown below:
Apply the following adjustment layers as clipping masks to this nebula layer:
You will see the color of the nebula changes into dark red. Use as soft eraser, remove parts of the nebula as shown below:
We will work on adding a curvy rock at the bottom of the canvas. We will select a piece of rock from the rock stock image:
Place the selection at the bottom of the canvas, distort its shape as shown below:
Select the pointy tip of the rock:
Add this to our document and warp this layer so it forms into a upward shape:
This is the effect you should aim to achieve:
We can continue to add more rock onto our canvas – I placed a huge piece of the rock on the right side of th canvas:
Apply the following Levels adjustment to this rock layer:
And you will have the following effect:
I further added a big piece of the rock on the left side, using the Warp tool to make it bend a bit:
Apply the following Levels adjustment to it:
This is the effect you will have:
We will add some fire to our image. We will use the following stock image:
To blend this fire image into our document, we have 2 blending modes to experiment:
Feel free to use these 2 blend modes and add the fire around our document:
We can add some extra nebula effect around the canvas. We can use the “Nebula 1” stock image again – this time, we change its colour to light blue with the following Color Balance settings:
Again we use the “screen” blend mode for blending this nebula layer in:
Feel free to make several nebula layers for more variety. You will have the following effect:
We can some spaceships onto the image. Use the “Spaceship 1” image and place it to the bottom left as shown below:
Apply the following image adjustment layers as clipping masks to this new spaceship layer:
I also painted some smoke effect around the spaceship so it looks like flying through the nebula:
We’re onto our final step for this tutorial – add 1x more spaceship! This spaceship has a bit more details than the previous one and there are a few interesting techniques you can learn by making it.
Load the “Spaceship 2” stock image into Photoshop and move it to our document, resize it as shown below:
Apply the following image adjustment layers as clipping masks to this spaceship layer:
Black and White
Go to the Nebula 1 image, select the following bright spot:
We will be using this to create a trail of engine flame behind the spaceship – we add the light to the spaceship:
Then use the free transform tool to compress it:
Remove the front part with a soft eraser tool:
Use the “Nebula 2” stock image and select the following portion:
Attach it to the spaceship, make sure the layer blend mode is set to “Screen”:
Add some fire and white light around the spaceship as well:
And this is the overall effect so far:
I further adjusted the contrast slightly, and this is the final effect I have: (click to enlarge)
That’s it for this tutorial! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer it.