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Nebula style texture tutorial

This tutorial is not intended to be followed to create an exact copy, but to show the general method. Play around with different gradients or use some full color layers, change blending modes, and change the settings for the lense flares (or leave them out) to create your own textures with the exact color combinations that you want.

This tutorial was made using Photoshop CS2. It can be translated into Photoshop 6, 7, CS, and Photoshop Elements. (It may be translatable into earlier versions of Photoshop, but I do not have easy access to these versions.)

  1. I created a new document by going to File and then New. To add a gradient go to layer then new fill layer and then gradient. Or you can add one using the layers palette. I used a blue gradient from the "simple" gradients included with Photoshop.
    tutorial1
  2. I added a new layer. You can use Layer then New and then Layer or the layer palette. I highlighted the new layer and added an orange gradient from the "simple" gradients included with Photoshop. I adjusted the gradient so that it was diagonal and set it to "multiply".
    tutorial1
  3. I added a new layer. I highlighted the new layer and added a green to yellow to pink gradient from the "pastel" gradients included with Photoshop. I set it to soft light.
    tutorial1
  4. I selected the entire image and copy merged. (Highlight the top layer on the layer palette and then go to Edit -> Copy Merge) I then pasted the copy merged layer as a new layer. I selected the new layer and added clouds. (Filters -> Render -> Clouds). I then set the copy merged (clouds) layer to soft light.
    tutorial1
  5. I duplicated the copy merged layer. I set the duplicated layer to overlay and the opacity to 29%.
    tutorial1
  6. I added a new layer and used a blue to yellow to pink gradient. I set this new layer to soft light.
    tutorial1
  7. I selected the entire image and copy merged. Then I pasted the copy merged layer as a new layer. I duplicated the new copy merged layer and set it to multiply and the opacity to 38%.
    tutorial1
  8. I selected the entire image and copy merged. I then pasted the copy merged layer as a new layer and added clouds. I set this new copy merged layer to soft light.
    tutorial1
  9. I selected the top layer and made the "stars" by using Filter -> Render -> Lense flare. My settings for my five "stars" were:
    50-300mm Zoom size 106
    105mm Prime size 50
    35mm Prime size 62
    35 Prime size 40
    105 Prime size 55

    tutorial1
  10. Your layers should be (in order): background, gradient at multiply, gradient at soft light, copy merged at soft light, duplicated copy merged layer at overlay, gradient at soft light, copy merged at normal, duplicated copy merged layer at multiply, copy merged at soft light, and copy merged at normal.
  11. tutoriallayerpal
  12. I flatted the image and saved as a png file. (Layer ->Flatten layers) I recommend saving the file as either jpg or png.

Final image

tutorial1

PDF file of this tutorial

This PDF file has been resized to make it smaller (just under 1 MB). It may only be used for learning purposes. You may not redistribute the PDF file without my written permission.