Lunar Space Beach

Today we’re going use some various blend modes to create a dreamscape space beach scene on one of the many moons of Saturn.


First start off with a normal picture of a beach. One with some sky and a view of the ocean. A somewhat calmer tide is more effective for the mood we’re going for.

Have both images open in Photoshop and press Ctrl+A to select all in the space image and press Ctrl+C to copy.

Go to the beach and Ctrl+V to paste it in creating a second layer. Use the eraser brush to subtract the bottom half not the sky.

The first blend mode we’re going to use in the Layers Panel is “Linear Light”. Watch the blue sky beneath pop through the space scene.

Now we’re going to work on the beach some. Click the eye icon on the space layer to hide it. Click on the beach layer to activate it. Now press Ctrl+L to bring up the Levels window and use the following settings.

At this point you can use the Burn Tool to darken the sand a little bit.

No go back in the space sky layer and make it visible again. Right click the layer and Duplicate it. With this duplicate sky, go to the top menu and click Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical. It should now be upside down which should serve as a reflection in the water. Change the blend mode to Linear Dodge to give it some different properties than the sky. You can use the Move Tool to line it up just right, using the horizon line to act as a guide for your symmetry.

Here is how it looks so far.

Now it’s time to add some heavenly bodies to the sky. Here’s a picture of Saturn we can cut out by using the Elliptical Marquee. First draw a selection circle with around the main planet. Now press Ctrl+Shift+I to inverse the selection. Now you’ll be able to erase outside the lines.

Do the same for the rings.

Now copy and paste Saturn into the space beach and press Ctrl+T to scale and rotate the planet to this size. The blend mode used is “Screen”.

Now we’re going to add Titan into the scene using the same blend mode as Saturn.

Now we’re going to have the great moon actually cast a shadow on to the main planet. Create a new layer from the icon at the bottom of the Layers Panel. Draw an oval with the Elliptical Marquee Tool and fill it with black. Go to the top menu and use Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur with the following settings.

A nice detail we can do now is lightly erase one side of the shadow.

This is the final result. Click here to see the high resolution image.

By Mark Rivera

Mark is an animator and ad designer for WebProNews. He has a passion for illustration and 3D art.

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