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How to Make Stars in Photoshop

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Ever wondered how to make stars in Adobe Photoshop? Well, wonder no more! In this quick tip tutorial, you will learn how to make stars in Photoshop quickly and easily.  

For more quick tips, visit us at the Envato Tuts+ YouTube Channel:

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to make a star in Adobe Photoshop
  • How to create a star effect in Adobe Photoshop
  • How to make star trails with a brush
  • How to create a shining star
  • How to create a shooting star

Tutorial Assets

For this tutorial, I will be using stock photos from Envato Elements:

1. How to Make a Star in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

In your document, go to the Polygon Menu, right-click on it, and select the Polygon Tool (U), which is a pentagon.

Polygon Tool U For Star Shape

Step 2

Go to the Settings in the top toolbar. This will be shaped like a cog. Click on this and select the Star checkbox with the Radius set to 25%.

Path Options for Star Shape

Step 3

Next, drag out your shape. This will give us a chunky star.

25 Star Sample

Step 4

Change the percentage to create a range of different star shapes. Simple! 

Star Path Option Percentages

2. How to Create a Star Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Step 1

Create a New Layer (Control-N) in your document and fill the layer with black.

Base Image for Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

Next, go to Filter > Add Noise and set the Amount to 50%, select Gaussian, and check the Monochromatic box. Click OK.

Noise Filter for Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

Go to Filter >Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the blur Radius to 1.5%, and click OK.

Gaussian Blur for Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 4

Next, we go to Levels (Control-L) and move the arrows to the base of the curve in the Input Levels, similar to how this is below. Play with these sliders until you get a pleasing star field intensity.

Levels for Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 5

Next, set the Layer Blend Mode to Screen. To add extra intensity to your stars, simply duplicate the layer. I think this makes a really impressive star effect with not much effort.

Star Effect Final Result

3. How to Make Star Trails With a Brush

Step 1

Create a star of your choosing as in "Part 1. How to Make a Star in Adobe Photoshop", and make sure that it's set to black.

Here are the settings I used to create a star trail.

Brush Tip Shape 

  • Spacing to 102%

Shape Dynamics 

  • Size Jitter to 27% with Control set to Pen Pressure
  • Angle Jitter at 70% with the Control set to Pen Pressure
  • Roundness Jitter to 20%; Control: Off
  • Minimum Roundness to 25%

Scattering 

  • Scatter is set to 196% on Both Axes; Control: Pen Pressure 
  • Count Jitter to 14%; ControlPen Pressure 

Transfer

  • Opacity Jitter is set to 0%; Pen Pressure is set to Minimum 0%
  • Flow Jitter at 0% set to Pen Pressure with Minimum at 76%

Smoothing

  • On 
Star Brush Base for Star Trail Brush Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

Now you can save your brush by clicking the square with the + sign at the bottom of the Brush Settings panel.

Saving for Star Trail Brush Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

Here's how our star trail brush looks with our settings. 

Sample for Star Trail Brush Effect in Photoshop

4. How to Create a Shining Star

Step 1

Draw out your stars using the Star Trail Brush we just created and duplicate the layer.

Glowing Star Trail Effect in Photoshop Base

Step 2

On the lower layer, go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 8.6 Pixels. Click OK.

Glowing Star Trail Effect in Photoshop Glow

5. How to Create a Shooting Star

Step 1

In the Brush Settings, select the default Hard Round Pressure Opacity brush and squeeze the tip shape to a narrow oval.

Brush settings for Shooting Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 2

On a New Layer (Control-N), draw out a shooting star with the tip being more intense than the trail.

Base for Shooting Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 3

Select the Eraser (E) and use a Soft Brush to gently paint out some of the tail.

Refining Shooting Star Effect in Photoshop

Step 4

To create a meteor shower effect, hold Alt and use the Move Tool (V) to duplicate each layer. Scale, move, and repeat as necessary. Optionally, to add depth, you can lower the opacity of some of the shooting stars. 

Meteor Shower Shooting Star Effect in Photoshop

Conclusion

Now you have learned how to make stars in Photoshop! I hope you found this quick tip useful and can use these techniques to jazz up your artwork. 

How to Make Stars in Photoshop Sample Image

If you'd like to learn more from Envato Tuts+, here are some excellent tutorials on how to get started with Adobe Photoshop, working with brushes and light effects!


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