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Creating a synthetic star field

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

Video: Creating a synthetic star field

In this movie, I'll show you how to create this synthetic star-filled background. And while it's not technically a transformation, it will transform the scene from what we have now, and it's pretty fun. So, I'm going to Shift+Tab to bring back my panels here. And I'm going to turn off that Color slider, and I'm going to click on the top glass layer and drop down to the black white icon right there. And I'm going to choose the Invert command. And that'll go ahead and create an Invert Adjustment layer. Notice that it doesn't have any options in the Properties panel, which begs the question, then why are you showing me this.

Creating a synthetic star field

In this movie, I'll show you how to create this synthetic star-filled background. And while it's not technically a transformation, it will transform the scene from what we have now, and it's pretty fun. So, I'm going to Shift+Tab to bring back my panels here. And I'm going to turn off that Color slider, and I'm going to click on the top glass layer and drop down to the black white icon right there. And I'm going to choose the Invert command. And that'll go ahead and create an Invert Adjustment layer. Notice that it doesn't have any options in the Properties panel, which begs the question, then why are you showing me this.

But in any case, now we have white glasses against a black background. Because the invert adjustment layer is reversing the luminance of everything below it. Alright. Now I'll click on the Colors layer to make it active. And I'll press Ctrl+Shift+N or Cmd+Shift+N on the Mac to bring up the new layer dialog box. Call the layer noise and click OK. Then, go ahead and dial in a B value of 15% for your foreground color. I've already done this in advance. But we want a color that's almost but not quite black. Then press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac to fill this layer with that very dark gray.

A great synthetic starts using a couple of filters, and I want to apply them as dynamic Smart Filters. So I'll right-click on this image and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Noise, and choose Add Noise. And the settings we're looking for are an amount value of 20% distribution set to Gaussian. Monochromatic should definitely be turned on, otherwise you're going to get very colorful noise. And by the way, incase you're interested in the function of the distribution option. Uniform evenly distributes the luminance of the noise, while Gaussian pushes the noise outward.

So you have more dark and light noise, meaning you have a higher degree of contrast. Then click OK to add that Smart Filter. Now, we're going to have a lot of layers, so I'm going to right click inside this empty filter mask, and I'm going to choose Delete Filter Mask to get rid of it. Next, you want to go onto the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. And you want to set the Radius value to 2 pixels. Now I know that doesn't look like anything you'd want in a million years, but as soon as you click OK, you're actually done with the first phase of the effect.

We're done working on this layer anyway. Now we need to increase the contrast using a Levels Adjustment layer. So press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac. Click the Black/White icon on the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose the Levels command. And that'll go ahead and bring up the new layers dialog box. Let's call this layer Starmaker, and then turn on the check box, Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. And that way we'll affect this layer and this layer only. Now click OK in order to switch over the Properties panel.

And you may need to adjust these settings a little bit, but here's what I came up with and it seems to work pretty consistently. Click in the black point value and change it 55, and then Tab over to the white point area and change it to 65. That's not enough stars for you, you can reduce the white point value, and reduce the black point value as well. If you're seeing too many stars, then raise the black point value, and then raise the white point value in kind. So anyway you should see an effect that looks something like this. Then close the Properties panel.

If you take a very close look at the scene, I'm going to zoom in here, you'll see that a lot of the noise is kind of piled against the edges. So we're seeing all these noise graps at the top and around the sides as well. And to solve that problem, we need to scale the Smart Object. So click on a noise layer to make it active. And then I'll press Shift+Tab to hide those panels. And press Ctrl+0 and then Ctrl+Minus or Cmd+Minus a couple of times in order to zoom out from the scene. So I have little room to work.

And I'll press Ctrl+T or Cmd+T on the Mac in order to enter the free transform mode. Now, this message right here is telling you that when you're transforming a Smart Object, it's Smart Filters will be turned off. And so that's just something to bare in mind. In other words, we're going to totally lose the effect. So click OK, and you're just going to see a layer of blackness now, because that 15 % gray has gone black thanks to the Levels Adjustment layer. And what you want to do is click on a little link icon up here in the Control panel and increase the width value to something like 110, and press the Enter key a couple of times in order to accept that change.

And as soon as you press the Enter key the second time, Photoshop scales the layer and reapplies the Smart Filters. So you may end up getting a slightly different effect. I'm going to go ahead and zoom back in. The final thing that we want to do is drop out these blacks, so we can see the martini glasses in the background. So I'll press Shift+Tab in order to bring back my panels. And I'll change the Blend mode from Normal to Screen, and we end up getting this fanciful effect here. Alright. I'm also going to turn on these Text layers right there.

And so, I'll just drag across that eyeball column like so, in order to turn them on. And so, as promised, we've managed to entirely transform the scene by adding a synthetic star field that we created using a combination of Smart Filters and a Levels Adjustment layer, here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

119 video lessons · 9316 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 29m 46s
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
      35s
    2. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    3. Using Content-Aware Patch
      5m 42s
    4. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch
      2m 5s
    5. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      3m 9s
    6. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    7. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    8. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    9. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 9m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text
      5m 58s
    3. Font and type style tricks
      7m 10s
    4. Type size and color tricks
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters
      8m 7s
    6. Creating and editing area text
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs
      6m 36s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path
      5m 32s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements
      6m 14s
  6. 57m 13s
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting paths and isolating layers
      4m 11s
    6. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones
      5m 59s
    7. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes
      5m 50s
    8. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    9. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    10. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

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