Creating a background in photoshop is a fantastic way to make your image stand out as unique. In this tutorial we’re going to show you how to creat a background in photoshop with a simple but effective night sky. This sort of background can be customised in many different ways once you have created it to suit many image styles.
Start by creating a new document, mine was 1500 x 1500 px and 240 dpi. Drag your moon into your new document, I have provided a basic crescent moon for you to use or you can paint or find your own.
Make a new layer behind the placed moon and fill it with a nice night sky color. I chose #2f474c but lighter or darker or bluer can work great too.
Right clicking on your new layer choose blending options, tick Gradient Overlay and in that section change the Blend Mode to Overlay and tick reverse. This is a nice simple way to acheive a nice graduated sky effect.
Next we need some clouds, these need to be both behind the moon and in front of it for a bit of perspective so we’ll start by making a new layer just behind the moon.
On this new layer we’re going to go to Filter –> Render –> Clouds with our foreground set to black and background set to white. Next add a layer mask to this layer and paint out the top half with a large soft brush to give us some gentle fluffy clouds. Using a layer mask instead of the eraser allows you to easily undo any mistakes you may make and also lets you change the shape of the clouds later if you change your mind.
Great so that has taken care of the clouds behind the moon, now we need to do exactly the same for the ones in front of it. Again create a new layer this time above the moon layer, go to Filter –> Render –> Clouds and this time set blend mode to screen. Add a layer mask and again paint out the top half of the clouds until you have them just at the bottom.
Next it’s time for stars! Chosing a soft round brush set it to small – about 20 pixels – and go to the brush window. Here’s an image of good brush settings for stars, basically you want your spacing set to the highest as well as the size jitter and scatter.
Create a new group and change the blend mode to color dodge, then create a new layer within the group. Try your brush out on this layer, it may take a few tries to get a smatter of stars that your happy with.
Now for some sparkle, this time we’ll need a new layer above all of the others, and choose the hard round brush at around 7 pixels. Again go into the brush window and set them as in the image below.
Try painting this on the top and bottom of the moon for a frosted sparkly look.
An that’s it! Hopefully you have created a background that looks a lot like ours! You can experiment with this tutorial to create other versions of this background but now you should be ready to add whoever you want to your background.
Have fun creating your own backgrounds in Photoshop!