Abstract Glowing Planet Tutorial

Space and abstract lighting have become a major trend over the years in design. Here’s a quick overview on how to achieve these effects.
This tutorial is for intermediate to advanced users of Photoshop, I haven’t covered all the intricate details as I think it’s all down to individual taste which ultimately affects what the planet looks like in the end. However there is a PSD for download at the end of the tutorial.


Download the following world map shapes
Download the star brushes from here
How to load custom shapes


Start by creating a new document 1500×1500 pixels, colour the background using #000000
Select the eclipse tool and draw a circle ensuring shape layers is selected.
Add a blue to black gradient and a light blue outer glow (for now the settings don’t matter as we will be changing them in a later step)


Load our custom world map shape which we downloaded in the preparation step. Create a new shape and lay it over the eclipse, call the layer map.


Select our eclipse layer right click the path and choose make selection. Create a new group and hit the layer mask button on the group. Make sure both the eclipse and the map are in the group.


Duplicate the map layer, move it outside of the group, choose white for the colour of the shape and rasterize it. Go to Filter -> Blur -> Motion Blur and use angle: -52 distance: 268. Group this layer and choose Vivid Light as the layer blending mode.


Duplicate the layer inside the group and you will see the light become increasingly brighter.
Create a layer mask on the group and start erasing.


Repeat the process however use the following settings when choosing motion blur from the filters:
Angle: 66
Distance: 268
Select the eclipse we created from the beginning of the tutorial and use the following layer styles:


Duplicate the eclipse layer place it beneath the original eclipse layer in the layer palette, rasterize it and choose Filter -> Blur -> Radial Blur. Choose 90, zoom, best as the settings.
Repeat the process but duplicate the map layer instead, use color overlay for the layer style, set the blend mode to overlay, choose white. Duplicate the layer again.


Go back to our light layers, duplicate the group, rotate it, delete the layer mask, create a new mask and begin selectively erasing once again.
You can also experiment with different colours on the light streaks using a color overlay layer style.


Once you’re happy add some stars in the background layer using the brush we downloaded in the preparation section.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Leave a comment below if you have any queries.
Download the PSD here

Further Reading:

Create a magic crystal ball
Planet star and meteor impact creation in photoshop

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