Make a Planet in Photoshop

    ●   Create a Planet in Photoshop and then Place it in your Illustrator Document.

Learn About:

Clipping Mask Lens Flair Filter Elliptical Marquee Tool Texture

  •   This tutorial is part of the Monster Mesh Project and Renaissance Poster Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

fantasy village example fantasy village example

Step #1: Open Photoshop ~

Open a new document in Photoshop the size of the background or your current project, probably 18 x 24 inches:

Step #2: Create a Circle ~

Draw a circle using the Elliptical Marquee Tool.

Hold the shift key down while you drag out a circle.





What does the shift key do? Try it without …


Step #3: Fill the Circle ~

Get the Paint Bucket and fill the shape with the color of your choice.

Step #4: Surface Cracks ~

Go on Google, search for cracked texture (or use this one), and copy it …

Cracked texture

… and paste it on a new layer above the circle.

Step #5: Clipping Mask ~

Then go to: Layer > Create Clipping Mask

…or hit the keyboard shortcut: Alt (⌥)+ Cmd (⌘) + G+ +

Cracked circle

Step #6: Merge Layers ~

Turn the Background Layer visibility off by clicking the

… and then go to: Layer > Merge Visible

merge visible

…or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+Shift(⇧)+E and merge the visible layers.

+ +

Finally, turn the visibility back on.

Step #7: Colors ~

Go to: Image > Adjustments > Color Balance or hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+B, and adjust the highlights to whatever you like

Then do it again! Hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd(⌘)+B and apply shadows, midtones, do it several different times - Experiment!

Step #8: Lens Flare ~

Next, go to: Filter > Render > Lens Flare




Position the lens anywhere you like - experiment with the settings!


Step #9: Blur Filters ~

Right-Click on the planet layer and Duplicate it.

Go to: Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and make it really fuzzy …

Then drag the fuzzy layer beneath the planet layer …

Looks like this now …

Step #10: Shadow ~

Select the top layer …

… and holding the: Cmd (⌘) key - Click the Layer Thumbnail:

That selects everything on the layer.

Step #11: Another New Layer ~

Create another new layer on top …

… select a soft fuzzy Brush Tool …

… and, using a dark color, shade the planet’s shadow.

Lastly, go to the background layer and apply Filter > Render > Lens Flare, in a way that the highlight could be seen behind the planet.

Step #12: Save your Work in Photoshop ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save your .psd document somewhere you can find it.

Step #13: Open Your Project in Illustrator ~

Then open YOUR CURRENT PROJECT in Adobe Illustrator and create a new background layer below all your other layers …

new layer background

… lock all your other layers.

Step #14: File > Place ~

Then go to: File > Place … and find the .psd file you just saved.

Step #15: Embed the File ~

With the background selected, hit the Embed button so the Photoshop document is permanently "embedded" into Illustrator layers:

Then select "Convert layers to objects":

Step #16: Blending Options ~

Drag your Planet layer just above your background …

… then click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and change the Blending Mode until you get something you like.

Also, experiment with lowering the Transparency (if necessary …)

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:

  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.

  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.

Other Resources: . Search the internet for Star Field PhotoShop Tutorial.