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The best thing about Photoshop is that it allows us to create practically anything our imaginations can conceive. In this premium tutorial we will demonstrate how to combine several photos to create a fantasy, cosmic, mini planet in Photoshop. Let’s get started!

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial.

Step 1

Create a new Photoshop document, the size is - 1024px × 768px at 72 px/inch of resolution .Make a new white layer, click "Add layer style" icon

and choose "Blending options", apply radial Gradient Overlay effect. Keep Gradient Overlay options panel open and move little bit up and right the center of the gradient by clicking and dragging in the image window.

Step 2

Insert fireworks image. You may open image as another document, select all (Command/Ctrl +A), copy and paste it above gradient layer or File > Place, then choose Layer > Rasterize. Rotate it like on the example below.

Step 3

Apply Screen Blending Mode for this layer and correct Levels and Saturation settings. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and Hue/Saturation.

Step 4

Insert 3D sphere with craters. Below you may see this shape without any layer style affects and with them.

Step 5

Open Sponge texture image in a new window. Change the canvas size, increase space above an existing image. Choose Image > Canvas Size, apply settings like on the screen shot below.

Step 6

Duplicate texture layer and move it up. Apply Flip Vertical and Horizontal transformation to created layer. Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal/Vertical. Merge both of layers. Hide edge between textures by using Patch Tool.  Drag the selection border to the clean and textured sponge area. When you release the mouse button, the trace of the selected area is patched with the sampled pixels. Repeat these actions to mask whole edge area.

Step 7

Load selection for merged texture layer (Select > Load Selection), copy and paste it into photo manipulation document above craters layer. Apply free transformation to texture. The width of texture layer should be similar to sphere width. Make monochrome, go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

Step 8

Apply Overlay Blending Mode to the sponge texture layer and load selection for sphere shape (Command/Command/Ctrl + click sphere layer thumbnail), correct selection using Refine Edge settings. Then return to texture layer and add Layer Mask

to remove superfluous area.

Step 9

Make active sphere and texture layers, duplicate them - drag the layers to the New Layer button 

. Merge duplicated layers and copy merged layer once again. The first copy we will use to create sharp effect and second one for future steps (you may make second copy invisible). Apply High Pass filter to the first copy, Filter > Other > High Pass. Change Blending mode for this layer to Overlay. Group thematic layers. This photo manipulation contains a lot of elements and grouping will be helpful. Select multiple background or sphere layers in the Layers palette and drag layers to the folder icon

at the bottom of the Layers palette to group the layers.

Step 10

Insert connector image.

Step 11

In order to separate this shape from background you may use following method. Select central circle shape using Elliptical Marquee Tool, then choose Polygonal Lasso Tool. Be sure that "Add to selection" option is active.Add outside shapes to selected area. When all shape will be selected, click Layer Mask icon to remove background. Erase small (marked with green color) areas with 1-3px Eraser Tool


Step 12

Correct a bit Saturation settings for the connector shape. Go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, move Saturation marker left (around -20). Apply Scale Transformation, make this shape smaller. Rotate it just like on the screen shot, be sure that light part of the connector is on the right side. Apply Inner shadow effect to it.

Step 13

Load selection for the connector shape (Command/Command/Ctrl + click layer thumbnail), find the merged copy of the sphere with craters and sponge texture (from step 9), make it visible copy selected area and paste it above connector layer. Apply Color Blending Mode and Opacity 90%.

Step 14

Insert next element, load selection for central part with Elliptical Marquee Tool

like in the previous example with connector, then you may use Polygonal Lasso Tool or try the new method. Click Quick Mask icon


Choose small round white brush and process
overhang elements. Click Mask icon again, invert selection, go to Select > Inverse selection. Remove selected background by using "Backspace" on keyboard or go to Edit > Clear.

Step 15

Load selection for this shape, copy selected area from textured sphere like in the previous steps and paste it above original shape. Apply Color Blending Mode. Keep grouping layers.

Step 16

Then insert the pipe image, separate it from background using on of the previous methods. Repeat actions with sphere texture, play with Opacity settings, 85% is looking fine for this layer.

Step 17

Create pipe shadow effect. Load selection for the pipe shape, create a new empty layer below original pipe layer and fill selected area with any color. Apply Warp transformation for created shape like on the image below. Go to Edit > Transform > Warp Transformation.

Step 18

Keep active shadow layer. Click Quick Mask icon and apply black and white linear gradient from the bottom of the pipe to the top. Click Mask icon again. If you will have marked bottom part (like on the screen shot), invert selection, Select > Inverse. You should have selected bottom part, in final. Apply Gaussian Blur filter to selected area. Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Move shadow layer left on several pixels.

Step 19

Apply Fill setting 0% for the shadow layer and black/transparent Gradient Overlay Blending Mode.

Step 20

Insert water splash image, place it below original pipe layer. Apply Screen Blending Mode to this layer and Flip Vertical transformation. Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical. Cut out top part of the image.

Step 21

In order to remove background light fade, play with Levels settings. Choose Image > Adjustments > Levels, move the left and central markers till the background will disappear. Make splash smaller using Scale Transformation. Erase top sharp corners(marked with green color) with small Eraser Tool. Apply Color Overlay Blending Mode to the splash layer.

Step 22

Insert porthole image. Separate it from background using the methods from previous steps. In order to remove central circle, use Elliptical Marquee Tool, select inside hole and clear it.

Step 23

Rotate porthole, shady part should be on the left side. Apply Perspective transformation to this element like on the example below. Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective. Correct Levels settings for this layer. Make it lighter.

Step 24

Place Glass light image. Apply transformation like early for the porthole.

Step 25

Load selection for porthole and glass. Command/Ctrl + Click to thumbnail of the porthole and Command/Ctrl + Shift +Click glass layer, copy selected area from the textured sphere layer and paste it above both of layers, apply Color Blending Mode to it, add Layer Mask

to this layer and touch central part of glass with soft black brush.

Step 26

Create a new empty layer, activate Quick Layer Mask and fill inside area of the crater with Brush Tool. Click Quick Mask again, invert selection (Shift + Command/Ctrl +I or Select > Inverse) and fill it with black color. Insert underwater image.

Step 27

Rotate the sea ground image like on the screen shot. Load selection for the black shape, make active sea layer and add Layer mask

, to remove superfluous area. Then insert glass sphere.

Step 28

Select sphere with Elliptical Marquee Tool, invert selection and clear background. Apply Warp transformation to glass shape like on the image below. Duplicate this layer.

Step 29

Apply Multiply Blending Mode with Opacity 30% to the first glass sphere layer. Choose Screen Blending Mode for the second glass layer and change levels settings like on the screen shot.

Step 30

Return to the sea layer and process top blue area with translucent soft brush (Opacity - around 20%).

Step 31

Select Screen Blending Mode glass sphere layer and erase yellow spot in the left central part with soft Eraser Tool.

Step 32

You should have similar result and following folders.

Step 33

Insert green moss image. Scale this layer and rotate like on the screen shot. Erase area around crater hole, in order to see crater contour, you can make the moss layer translucent temporary - change layer Opacity to 60-70%, then return 100%. Apply gradient Overlay effect to this layer, similar to craters sphere, but with smaller Opacity value.

Step 34

Create a new empty layer below moss layer, touch it with soft green brush, use following adjustments. duplicate this green spot and paste it above moss layer, apply Dissolve Blending Mode to it and Opacity 16-20%. Scale it, make little bit larger.

Step 35

Insert fruit image. Rotate it and shrink it by vertical like in the example. Apply Gradient Overlay effect.

Step 36

Erase bottom part of the fruit, duplicate it and apply Gaussian blur filter to the created layer. Then choose Dissolve Blending Mode and Opacity 10%.

Step 37

Insert Dill image. Separate it from white background using Color Range selection. Go to Select > Color Range, click to white area with Eyedropper Tool, click "Ok". Invert selection, go to Select > Inverse. Add Layer Mask

(click small icon in the bottom of layers palette), the background will be removed automatically.

Step 38

Rotate it and shrink dill shape, erase pot. Process bottom green branches with small Eraser Tool. Apply Gradient Overlay effect like in the previous steps. Duplicate green spot and dissolve dots layers from Moss folder and paste in below and above dill layer.

Step 39

Create a new empty layer above background folder and below craters sphere. Touch it with large soft white brush like on the screen shot. Apply Overlay Blending Mode to this layer.

Step 40

Insert second fireworks image. Go to Edit > Transform > Rotate 90 CCW. Then again Edit > Transform > Warp, choose arch transformation

Step 41

Rotate created shape and place it below craters sphere. Apply Screen Blending Mode and correct Levels settings and Color Balance. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels/Color Balance. You may move this layer and large light spot from the step 39 to the background folder, place them above other background layers.

Step 41

Insert smoke image. Select smoke area with Rectangular Marquee Tool, inverse selection and clear outside area. Go to Image > Adjustments > Auto Contrast.

Step 42

Open Channels palette. Duplicate Red Channel. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels, correct levels settings. Command/Ctrl + click to "Red copy" thumbnail to load selection or click

icon. Keep selection active. Make visible RGB channel and return to layers palette. Click Layer Mask icon in the bottom of the page.Blue background should disappear.

Step 43

Apply Screen Blending Mode to created layer and move it like on the example below.

Step 44

Duplicate smoke layer and move it down a little bit, make this shape smaller using Free Transformation. Insert another smoke image, separate it from background using absolutely the same method like in previous image.

Step 45

Return to the large light spot layer from step #39, duplicate it. Apply Dissolve blending mode to it and Opacity 30-40%. Merge created layer with a new empty layer, apply Overlay Blending Mode and Gaussian Blur filter - 0.3px, Opacity 50%.

Step 46

Insert clouds image. Cut out blue top part. Apply Auto Contrast to this layer, Image > Adjustments > Auto Contrast.

Step 47

In order to separate clouds from background use very similar method as for smoke, but with following adjustments. Duplicate Red channel again and adjust levels like on the screen shot below. Load selection for Red copy 2 thumbnail, return to the layers palette, add Layer Mask


Step 48

Apply Screen Blending Mode for clouds layer.

Step 49

Rotate clouds layer, make it smaller and apply Warp Transformation like in the example below. Smooth sharp borders (marked with green color) with soft brush Eraser Tool and place this layer below craters sphere.

Step 50

Download lightning brushes, create a new layer and draw first lightning(use 795 brush), touch empty layer in the central part of document, then rotate and move it to get result similar to this one.

Step 51

Add more lightning elements.

Step 52

Select all groups and layer, and create a new group from them (Group 2 on the screen shot). Duplicate created group and merge it. Apply Soft Light Blending Mode to merged layer and Opacity 18%.

Final Image

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