High Resolution Planet Creation with Photoshop

Ever wanted to know how people create a realistic looking planet just using photoshop? If so then this tutorial will show you some of those tricks! Even if you never
really wanted to know how to do that, this tutorial will show you some methods you can use for many other projects.

Step 1: Download your patterns

If you want some good free patterns check out http://www.sxc.hu/index.phtml

That is where I downloaded this one for the tutorial:

And this one:

After saving the images, open up the first pattern, and go to edit>>define pattern and call it whatever you want. Also define a pattern for the rocky image.

Step 2: Creating the high resolution planet base

Start a new document at 4000x4000px and fill it with black. I am working at 16.7% zoom by the way.

Create a new layer and grab your elliptical marquee tool.

Hold down shift and make a large circle that fills up most of the canvas.

Get your paint bucket tool and change it from foreground to pattern on the top menu

Once you do that pick the pattern you made earlier and fill your circle with it

As you can see the pattern repeated itself and you can see where it repeated. I want this to look seamless so to make that happen I am going to use the clone stamp tool.

I will use a 300px soft brush as my clone stamp tool to get rid of the lines. So click on a section above the line and then paint over it

When you are done it should look something like this

The final step on creating our planet base will be to add the spherize filter to it.

Go to filter>>distort>>spherize and use it at 100%.

Hit ctrl+f 2 times to use the filter 2 more times. Save that if you want and just sit it off to the side to use later. You may notice a few lines on the planet base after you use the spherize filter, if so, just use the clone stamp tool again. Now on to the next step.

Step3: Creating the planet and putting it all together

Start a new document with the size 1000x1000px and fill the background with black yet again.

Use your elliptical marquee tool again to fill most of the canvas with a circle.

Just fill your circle with any color and then add these blending options

Gradient Overlay

Inner Glow

Now you should have something that looks like this

Time to use the huge planet we made earlier. Drag it into your canvas and size it down to fit over our blue circle layer. Zoom out a lot to fit it over the other circle.

If you sized it down and there is some excess over the other layer, just hold down ctrl and click on the little icon beside our blue circle layer making an outline around it. Choose the new layer we made, cut and paste it back in the document then delete the other layer with the excess.

Next I will create a new layer below the one we just made. Also hide the previous layer we made. Fill the circle in this layer with the other rocky pattern I had you download.

It will have some repeating lines like the other one did so use your clone stamp tool to get rid of those.

Add gaussian blur to the layer after that

Change its blending mode to hard light and it should look like this

Now unhide the layer above it and change its blending mode to linear light.

Here is what mine looks like now:

I think it starting to look like a planet, what do you think? Time for the last step!

Step 4: Adding the shadow to cover the planet

Create a new layer above all the others and fill it with black.

Now use gaussian blur on it without the selection around it

After that zoom out to about 33.5% and use ctrl+t on the layer to transform it and drag the bottom right until the shadow move down over the planet.

Here is how the planet should look now

I think it should have a little outer glow so go to your first layer and add this outer glow to it:

Just experiment with different layers and blending modes to get the planet you want. If you want to change the colors merge all the layers together and mess with the hue/sautration.

I messed with the brightness/contrast to get my final planet:

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions comments just leave one in the comments section!

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