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2.2 Adding Stars and a Planet to the Sky

Welcome back to Introduction to Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. In this video, we will be covering how to create a quick Fantasy inspired sky. First, we want to lay down some stars using a hard round brush, set to five pixels. Next, let's adjust the Photoshop brush's settings by increasing the spacing to 1,000%. The Size Jitter to 100% and the Scatter to again 1,000%. Now, create a new layer above all current layers and paint tiny, white stars above at the very top of the canvas. Focusing on the darker portions of the sky. We want them to be reasonably faint as it is daytime after all. Now let's place an image of the moon onto our canvas, making sure it's a nice and big. Use the Move and Transform tools to angle the moon to your liking. I ended up liking this darker, patchier area of the moon. So I wanted to make sure it showed but it's all up to you. Once happy with the angle and position, go ahead and set the Layer Mode to Screen. Bring down the layer Opacity to around 75%. Next, we want to blend in the moon into the sky using Layer Masks. Another tool crucial to photo compositing. Adding layer mask to layer by clicking the Add Layer Mask button found towards the bottom middle of the Layers panel. The basics of layer masks are simple. If you want to erase something you paint with black, if you're going to bring back what you previously erased, you paint with white. We want to erase the bottom half of the moon. So, with a huge soft round brush, set the black. Making sure the layer mask is selected, paint black on the bottom half of the moon, thus masking it out. You might be wondering why I should use the layer mask, if I could be using the eraser tool. What's the difference? Basically, using layer masks means you never have to commit to any permanent change. For instance, if days from now, I decided I erased a bit too much of this moon, all I have to do is select white and mask back in. Always use non-destructive editing techniques when you can. This can include Smart Objects, Layer Masks and Adjustment Layers which we will cover here in a second. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, let's add some glow to the moon. Right-click, Duplicate Layer or hold down Alt and then click and drag to duplicate the moon. Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, setting the radius to 37 pixels. Use a black brush, masking out all but the outer edge of the blurry moon, leaving a subtle, glowy border. Now let's add an adjustment layer. An adjustment layer is just as it sounds, an adjustment that is it's own layer. While you can add adjustments to specific images, as we have done a few times already. Adjustment layers are different, in that they affect all layers that are located underneath them. You can move and rearrange them in just as a standard layer. As well as adjusting their opacity, changing their layer modes, and of course, adding layer masks, probably one of their most useful features. Let's make a brightness contrast adjustment layer, placing it above our moon. Double-click to open its properties. Let's set it to 16 Brightness and 27 Contrast. As you can see, it affects every layer located beneath it. However, we only want the layer to affect the upper portion of the sky. So, let's add a layer mask, masking out the bottom two-thirds of the canvas Finish up by grouping together your moon and stars and then group that group with all the other sky images into one larger group. The shortcut for grouping layers is Ctrl+G. Keeping your layers organized is less than fun. However, your future self will thank you if you ever need to go back looking for an old layer. And in the video coming up, let's finally add some land to this landscape. An Introduction to Photo Manipulation in Adobe Photoshop.

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