Unlimited PS Actions, graphics, videos & courses! Unlimited asset downloads! From $16.50/m
  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Make a Galaxy Brush in Photoshop

Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Wondering how to create a galaxy brush Photoshop effect? Today I'm going to show you how to create galactic brushes, star brushes, and a space Photoshop background.

If you need an amazing, ready-to-go galactic brush pack, check out this beautiful package of nebula pattern Photoshop brushes:

nebula pattern photoshop brushesnebula pattern photoshop brushesnebula pattern photoshop brushes

What You'll Learn in This Galaxy Brush Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to create galactic brushes from scratch
  • How to make a "stars" brush
  • How to create a nebula pattern Photoshop background

1. How to Create Nebula Effect Photoshop Brushes

Step 1

Let's start to create our galaxy in Photoshop by setting up a new document with a size of 2000 x 2000 px.

creating a new documentcreating a new documentcreating a new document

Step 2

Select the Background layer and press Control-J to create a duplicate, and then go to Filter > Render > Clouds.

adding clouds effectadding clouds effectadding clouds effect

Step 3

Go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and set the Brightness to -90 and Contrast to 95.

adding brightness and contrast to the layeradding brightness and contrast to the layeradding brightness and contrast to the layer

Step 4

Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the Amount to 20%, Distribution to Gaussian, and put a tick on Monochromatic.

adding noise filteradding noise filteradding noise filter

Step 5

After that, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and set it to the following settings: 125, 1.00; 255. (The numbers may depend on your picture, so play with the settings until you get something like star clusters.)

adding levels adjustmentsadding levels adjustmentsadding levels adjustments

Step 6

Now we need to pick the Lasso Tool and select the part of the texture that will be our galaxy brush. Once you've finished selecting, press Control-J to create a copy of the selection.

using a lasso toolusing a lasso toolusing a lasso tool

Step 7

Make all the layers except the last one Invisible, and then select it and hit Control-I to invert the colors.

inverting the colorsinverting the colorsinverting the colors

Step 8

Add another Brightness/Contrast adjustment to both, setting set the Brightness to about 80 and the Contrast to about 60.

setting up brightness and contrastsetting up brightness and contrastsetting up brightness and contrast

Step 9

Make sure that all the layers except the last one are Invisible. Then go to Edit > Define Brush Preset, select a name for your brush, and hit OK.

defining brush presetdefining brush presetdefining brush preset

Step 10

Now we need to create a new layer with Shift-Control-N and then add a stroke with our brush. As you can see, our galaxy brush is almost invisible, and there is no glow effect. We will fix it in the next step.

creating a strokecreating a strokecreating a stroke

Step 11

Double-Click on the layer and select Outer Glow, using the following settings:

  • Blend Mode: Screen
  • Opacity: 100%
  • Color: White
  • Spread: 3%
  • Size: 16 px
adding outer glow layer styleadding outer glow layer styleadding outer glow layer style

Step 12

Now Right-Click on the layer and select Rasterize Layer Style. Invert the colors with Control-I, and finally Define Brush Preset, as we did before, to create a new brush.

rasterizing layer stylerasterizing layer stylerasterizing layer style

You can see what our brush should look like below. Try to create a few similar brushes the same way by using different cutouts with the Lasso Tool.

galaxy brush previewgalaxy brush previewgalaxy brush preview

2. How to Create a "Stars" Brush

Step 1

If you want to learn how to create a galaxy in Photoshop, you'll definitely want to create a stars texture. Let's start by creating a new black layer and then Add Noise with the following settings:

creating a noise texturecreating a noise texturecreating a noise texture

Step 2

After that, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 3.

Adding gaussian blur effectAdding gaussian blur effectAdding gaussian blur effect

Step 3

Let's go to Image > Adjustments > Threshold and set the Level to 30.

adding threshold effectadding threshold effectadding threshold effect

Step 4

Select a part of the texture with a bunch of "stars" using the Lasso Tool, and then press Control-J.

selecting the starsselecting the starsselecting the stars

Step 5

Make all layers Invisible, except the new one, and then hit Control-I and Define Brush Preset.

creating a stars brushcreating a stars brushcreating a stars brush

Step 6

And finally, go to Brush Settings and set the Size Jitter and Angle Jitter to 100%, and set the Scatter to 574%.

setting up the brushsetting up the brushsetting up the brush

3. How to Create a Nebula Pattern Photoshop Background

Step 1

Now, it's time to combine all the brushes and add some more effects to create a realistic galaxy background. Let's create a new layer above the black background and then add a few strokes with the "stars" brush.

adding first layer of starsadding first layer of starsadding first layer of stars

Step 2

After that, increase the brush size and add a few more strokes of stars, and then repeat it a few times.

creating starscreating starscreating stars

Step 3

Double-Click on the layer and add an Outer Glow with the following settings:

  • Blend Mode: Screen
  • Opacity: 75%
  • Color: #9000ff
  • Spread: 3%
  • Size: 9 px
creating outer glow effectcreating outer glow effectcreating outer glow effect

Step 4

Create a new layer and use our "galaxy" brush on it. Double-Click on the layer and add an Outer Glow with the settings we used in the previous step. Then click on Gradient Overlay and use the following settings:

  • Blend Mode: Hard Light
  • Opacity: 50%
  • Gradient Colors: #e11767, #cc16bf, #0037ff
  • Angle: -90.
creating gradient overlay effectcreating gradient overlay effectcreating gradient overlay effect

Step 5

Create a new layer and fill it with black using Shift-F5, and then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the amount to 20%.

creating a noise texture overlaycreating a noise texture overlaycreating a noise texture overlay

Step 6

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Screen and the Opacity to 40%. This will add a realistic look, since space images often have a lot of noise on them.

changing the blend mode of the layerchanging the blend mode of the layerchanging the blend mode of the layer

Step 7

Let's add some color correction to finish our space background. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels and change the settings to 35, 0.56, 236.

adding levels adjustments to the imageadding levels adjustments to the imageadding levels adjustments to the image

Step 8

And for the final step, let's create a Curves adjustments layer with the settings you can see below:

adding curves adjustment layeradding curves adjustment layeradding curves adjustment layer

Awesome Work! We've Finished Our Photoshop Tutorial Galaxy Background

Today you've learned how to create galaxy brushes and star brushes, and how to use them to create a realistic-looking galaxy background. Here is our final result:

how to make a galaxy brush main previewhow to make a galaxy brush main previewhow to make a galaxy brush main preview

5 Top Galaxy Effects and Resources From Envato Elements

Looking for a high-quality galaxy Photoshop action? Or maybe you want to try other space nebula Photoshop brushes? Take a look at some of the best products from Envato Elements!

Space Nebula Photoshop Brushes (ABR, PNG)

This beautiful package contains ten different Photoshop brushes which you can use to create a realistic galaxy effect! All the brushes come in two file formats: transparent PNG and Photoshop ABR. This set is a perfect tool for creating fantastic space backgrounds.

Futuristic space nebula brushesFuturistic space nebula brushesFuturistic space nebula brushes

Nebula Photoshop Brushes (ABR, PNG)

Here's another package of nebula effect Photoshop brushes which can be used for creating posters, backgrounds, books, or CD covers. Just customize the settings of your brush to get a perfect look for your next design project!

Nebula Photoshop BrushesNebula Photoshop BrushesNebula Photoshop Brushes

Space Brushes (ABR)

So now you know how to create a galaxy in Photoshop and where to find perfect brushes, but if you need some star brushes, take a look at this package of ten photorealistic starscape brushes! This product will be a great addition to your collection of space Photoshop effects!

Space BrushesSpace BrushesSpace Brushes

Supernova Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, TXT)

Looking for a galaxy Photoshop action? Check out this cool action, which will turn your image into a beautiful work of art in a few simple clicks! The video and text tutorials included with the product will help you to get started and customize this effect.

supernova photoshop actionsupernova photoshop actionsupernova photoshop action

Futuristic Spheres Photoshop Brushes (ABR, PNG)

Want something more interesting than just a galaxy effect? Check out this package of futuristic spheres. You can use them not only for creating space Photoshop effects, but also for creating any type of futuristic design. You'll get unique brushes in two file formats, PNG and ABR, so you can use these not only in Photoshop.

Futuristic Spheres Photoshop BrushesFuturistic Spheres Photoshop BrushesFuturistic Spheres Photoshop Brushes

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on creating space nebula Photoshop brushes. If you want to learn even more, check out our other tutorials:

One subscription.
Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads