This tutorial will teach you how to create a Spiral Galaxy in Photoshop using nothing but filters and simple transformation tools. The tutorial is aimed at beginners and you’ll learn techniques involving different transformation modes, the clouds filter, selection option and using blending modes. Should you run into any trouble feel free to leave a comment to enquire about it. So lets get started.
1. Document Setup
Open a new document, 1920px by 1200px and fill the background with a dark grey #131313.
2. Render Clouds
Create a new layer. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool and set Feather to 50px. Draw a circular selection as shown below making sure there’s some space from the top and bottom. Hold down Shift to make a perfect circle.
Press “D” to set Foreground and Background colours to Black & White. Go to Filter > Render > Clouds. Set the new layer’s Blending Mode to Soft Light.
3. Create Spiral
Hit Cmd + T (Ctrl + T) to enter the Free Transform Mode. Switch to Warp Modes and choose Twist. Set the Bend to -100%.
Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J). With the new layer selected repeat the twist transformation (using the same settings) 2 times. Your image should look similar to the one below.
Select the bottom layer (Galaxy Spiral BG) and reduce the scale it down from the centre to about 87%.
4. Add Colours
Create a new layer on top and set its Blending Mode to Soft Light. Use a large, circular brush with hardness set to 0 to add some colour to the galaxy. Use the Ereaser to delete any colours outside the galaxy.
5. Give it some Perspective
Select both Spiral layers (hold down Cmd while selecting) and enter the Free Transform mode (Cmd/Ctrl + T). Hold Cmd/Ctrl and select the anchor points to distort the galaxy. Use the image as guideline.
6. Extra Bit: Add Pattern Texture
To finish off we’re gonna add pattern texture to the design. Create a new layer on top. Use a simple Black & White checkered pattern. (Mine can be downloaded here. Open the jpg in Photoshop and go to Edit>Define Patter). Fill the new layer with the pattern and set it to Multiply at 70% opacity. That’s it.
7. Final image
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial! I encourage you to play around with different colours and patterens as well as applying these techniques to different designs.