50 Photoshop Tutorials For Sky and Space Effects

In: Graphics|Photoshop|Site Feeds|Tutorial

10 Aug 2008

By Steven Snell

Humans have always had an infatuation with the air above us and the space around our planet. With Adobe Photoshop we can create new images or enhance existing photos to include the sky and space as a backdrop. There is virtually no limit to what can be done with some Photoshop skills and a bit of creativity.

As you will see from the tutorials featured here, some of the most entertaining and practical Photoshop creations and manipulations deal with the sky and space. Whether you are looking to make adjustments to the sky in the background of a photo or if you want to create an exploding space scene from scratch, Photoshop can meet your needs.

From this collection of tutorials you’ll learn all kinds of tricks that can be applied to your own work. Some of them are ideal for realistic photo manipulation and others are more suited for fun and experimentation. Take some time and explore the possibilities when working with the sky and space.

You may also be interested in some of our other collections of Photoshop Tutorials:

Space and Planets

Really Cool Eclipse Effect in Photoshop
Photoshop master Fabio Sasso shows you how to create this lighting effect.

Eclipse effect

Space and Planet Tutorial
Create a very cool look with just some simple Photoshop effects.

Space and Planet Tutorial

Make a Real Planet
Here you can learn how to easily create a fairly realistic planet.

Make a real planet

Deep Space Nebula
Create a colorful nebula space scene.

Nebula effect

Space Lighting Effect in 10 Steps
This tutorial shows a colorful, creative light effect ideal for space and dark backgrounds.

Space lighting

Space Scene Design
Create a scene of planets and lights by starting with a simple background image.

Space scene design

Painting Planets
Using a texture you can create a realistic planet.

Painting planets

Planetary Masses
Using brushes you can create a nice, textured planet.

Planetary masses

Planetary Rings
Give a planet an extra touch with some simple rings.

Space rings

Creating an Awesome Space Effect
This tutorial makes interesting use of some images for the space effect.

Awesome space effect

The Beauty from the Outside
A combination of images and Photoshop effects create this scene.

Beauty from outside

Alien Invasion Photoshop Tutorial
What is space without aliens? Learn how to add a UFO to a simple picture of the skyline.

Alien invasion

Planet Tutorial
Create a planet pretty easily starting with a texture.

Planet tutorial


Creating Fireballs and Explosions
Learn how to turn a typical roadside photo into an apocalyptic battle scene.

Creating fireballs

Create a Space Explosion from Scratch in Photoshop
Using no photos and a variety of effects in Photoshop, you can create this very realistic looking explosion.

Explosion from scratch

Fiery Explosion
Another way to reate a realistic explosion with no images.

Fiery explosion

Fiery Photoshop Space Explosion Tutorial
PSDTUTS brings us more fiery goodness, this time starting with a simple downloaded image of a planet.

Fiery space explosion

The “End of the World” Photo Manipulation
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to turn an ordinary picture into a cool apocalyptic image.

End of the world

Explosion Effect
A gradient map and some simple effects are used to create this explosion.

Explosion effect

Exploding Planet
Not a realistic type of explosion, but still useful for some purposes.

Exploding planet

The Sky

Super Slick Dusky Lighting Effects in Photoshop
Turn a regular sunset photo into something special with this effect.

Dusk lighting effect

Vintage Clouds
An ordinary sky becomes a much more dramatic scene in this tutorial.

Vintage clouds

Ray of Light
Use rays of light with a silhouette-like photo.

Ray of Light

Add a Realistic Rainbow to a Photo
Sometimes you may want to add a rainbow when there simply isn’t one in the photo.

Realistic rainbow

Basic Graduated Neutral Density Filter
A subtle yet powerful effect for skies in photos.

Graduated neutral density

Add Dynamic Lighting to a Flat Photograph
The sky in your photos can be drastically improved with Photoshop to create a more striking image.

Dynamic lighting

The Orange Sky
This tutorial takes an image of the skyline as the starting point and gives it more character.

Orange Sky

The Magic Night
This tutorial uses several different images to create this sky and the reflection on the water.

Magic night

Warm Golden Sunsets with Gradient Maps
Turn an unspectacular sunset picture into something more special.

Golden sunsets

Clouds from Above
Clouds can be used for a lot of different types of work.

Clouds from above

Mysterious Moonlit Landscape
A combination of photos and brushes are used for this tutorial.

Moonlit Landscape

Sleeping Sun
This fantasy art tutorial will help you to create an interesting image of a fairy.

Sleeping sun

Planet Integration Tutorial
This tutorial takes an image of a planet and implements it into a landscape photo.

Planet integration

Create a Starry Sky in Photoshop
Adding some stars to a sky is a practical trick that could easily come in handy.

Starry sky

Adding Fireworks to a Photo
Fireworks can be taken from one photo and dropped right into another.

Adding fireworks

Realistic Fog and Mist
Create realistic fog in just a few steps.

Realistic fog

Quick Sunsets
Take a photo shot during the day and give it a sunset effect.

Quick sunsets

Create a Stunning 4th of July Collage
Using a few images you can create a festive collage.

4th of July collage

The Soft Sea Light
Create a planet on the horizon of the sea.

Soft sea light

How to Break Sunlight Through the Clouds
When working with images of the sky, adding a sunlight or ray effect can create a completely different look.

Sunlight through clouds

The White Tree
Create a more interesting and dramatic sky in the background of a photo.

White tree

Mysterious Lightning
This tutorial uses a few different photos to create the scene and some Photoshop touches for the lightning.

Mysterious lightning


Mysterious Lighting Effect Tutorial for Photoshop
Create a dark, cartoonish sky scene.

Mysterious lighting

Create a City Skyline
A fun, cartoon skyline.

City skyline

Cartoon Sky
Create a simple cartoon sky that could be used for many purposes.

Cartoon sky

Creating a Fantastic Fantasy Night Sky in Photoshop
If you’re after the fantasy look as opposed to a photo-realistic look, this tutorial is for you.

Fantasy night sky

Nature’s Sunshine
In this tutorial you’ll create a wallpaper of a fun sunset

Nature's sunshine


Creating Clouds
This video tutorial will show you how to create realistic clouds with brushes.

Creating clouds

Space Planet Tutorial
Another helpful video tutorial that will show you how to create a space scene.

Space planet tutorial

Create Stunningly Realistic Planets
This video will show you how to get the realistic look with Photoshop.

Realistic planets

Related resources

You may also be interested in some of our other collections of Photoshop Tutorials:

About the author

Steven Snell has been designing websites for several years. He actively maintains a few blogs of his own, including DesignM.ag, which regularly provides articles and resources for web designers.

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