In this tutorial, we will learn how to create a starry night sky in Photoshop, which means adding stars to an empty night sky.
You will need:
- Adobe Photoshop CS6 or CC
- City at night picture
Let’s start with opening the picture.
Now, make a new layer by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
Go to Edit > Fill and use the settings shown below.
Select the new layer, click on the small menu icon in the top-right of the Layers palette and choose Convert to Smart Object.
Now, go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and use the settings shown below.
We will now blur the noise by going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and using the values shown below. Set the Radius value to somewhere between 2 and 6, 2 for smaller images and 6 for larger ones.
Let’s darken the darkest areas of our noise layer and brighten the brightest areas. Firstly, press and hold Option (for Mac) / Alt (for Windows), click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Levels.
On the New Layer dialog box, make sure that you have checked the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and press OK.
In the Properties panel, drag the white point slider to where the right side of the histogram begins.
Now, drag the black slider close to the white slider to achieve the best effect.
We will now create a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to add a little bit of color to the stars. Press and hold Option (for Mac) / Alt (for Windows), click on the New Adjustment Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and select Hue/Saturation. On the New Layer dialog box, make sure that you have checked the “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” option and press OK.
Now, select the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, go to the Properties panel and make the following changes.
The stars are now blocking the original picture, so let’s solve this problem. We will group all the layers except for the background layer. Select the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, press and hold Shift and select Layer 1 (the noise layer).
Now, click on the small menu icon on the top-right of the Layers palette, select “New Group from Layers” and name the group “Stars”.
Hide the Stars group by clicking on the layer visibility icon (the eye) in the Layers palette.
Using the Lasso Tool, select the part of the image where you don’t want the stars to appear.
I also want to add the moon. To do this, select the Elliptical Marquee Tool and choose the Add to Selection option.
Click on the center of the moon and drag outwards while holding down Shift+Option (for Mac) / Shift+Alt (for Windows).
Make the Stars group visible again.
Now, press and hold Option (for Mac) / Alt (for Windows) and click on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.
Finally, change the layer blending mode of the Stars group to Screen.
And we’re done!