Creating an E.T. Moon in Photoshop

Deke's Techniques by Deke McClelland

In this weeks free Deke’s Techniques episode, Deke takes a standard shot of Earth’s moon and turns it into a dreamy ET-inspired one using some custom colorization techniques. This all in the service of eventually making a movie poster for his latest Spielberg homage, R.T. (Warning, the R stands for “Rex.”)

We begin with this high detail full phase moon photo (courtesy of our friends at Dreamstime).

A full moon photo courtesy of

Then, using a careful combination of Levels adjustment, Camera Raw split-toning, and Gaussian Blur, he eventually arrives at the familiar glowing orb of the ET-bicycle in the sky poster, suitable for next week’s addition of a visitor from a very different movie altogether.

If you’re a member of or LinkedInLearning, Deke’s got an exclusive movie this week in which he adds the tree line to his masterpiece courtesy of these two vector images from Dreamstime:

A couple of vector-based tree silhouettes from

Resulting in this arboreal combination of Pacific-coast pines and prehistoric deciduous greenery suitable for dinosaur dwelling.

Silhouetted trees and a glowing moon

Deke’s Techniques
, the time and space-traveling graphics tips of your imagination.

Next entry:I Am Finally Updating My “Photoshop Channels and Masks” Course for CC

Previous entry:Creating a Full-Color Hedcut Effect


  • I’m using Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit with PS CC 2018. My computer couldn’t finish the Camera Raw Effect, ‘cause not enough RAM-Memory. Is there an alternative way to achieve the same effect?
  • @Roos, I waylaid Deke on this one when he finally emerged from the studio today. He admits it’s a big file, but the idea is to create high enough res to serve as a real poster. Here are his three suggestions for your situation: 1. Make sure anything you care about is saved/closed. Go to the Edit menu and choose Purge > All. 2. Again, with all your files saved/closed, Quit Photoshop and restart your machine. 3. And if neither of those work, you can reduce the Image Size by 50%, just be sure to cut the Gaussian Blur radius settings in half as well. Let me know how that goes!
  • I’ve made the same exercise on my Windows 10 Laptop 64-bit without any problems. Anyway, thanks for your respons!

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