I’ve been meaning to post more tutorials on here, so here’s one. This is a pretty straightforward, simple method to generate a starfield in Photoshop. I haven’t tried it in other programs, so I don’t know if it’ll work, but you can always experiment. You don’t need any particular artistic talent, and you can use this kind of background for digital paintings, web design, book cover design… anything you can think of.
Clicking on the images will enlarge them, and you can click through them in the viewer too. That’s right, you get two options for viewing this tutorial! Exciting, isn’t it? … yeah, I know, get on with it. Let’s go!
1. Start with a new canvas, any size you like – in this tutorial I went for 500×500 pixels. At this point there’s only one layer. Fill it with black.
2. Click on “Add noise” and select Gaussian distribution and about 20% – you can vary the amount if you like.
3. Select “Brightness/Contrast and reduce the brightness until you’re left with a starfield! You can play around with the contrast, but the brightness should be at -100.
4. Duplicate your layer.
5. Resize your new layer – 200% width and height. These will be slightly bigger stars.
6. Select “Brightness/Contrast” again and play around with the contrast until the stars are as bright as you want them. Leave the brightness as it is.
7. Add a bit of Gaussian blur to the new layer.
8. Change the blend mode of the new layer to “Screen”. Voila, your starfield is finished!
If you’d like to save this to your computer for future reference, here’s the full version – just click on the image to get the full-size version, and save that. It’s the same thing, except the individual pictures are slightly cropped.
The next installment will show you how to add a cool nebula effect to this background, so keep an eye out for that! Any questions, as always, just ask. Have fun with it, and if you like, let me know if you used this to make something. I’d love to see it!