Deke’s Techniques 009: Building a Synthetic Starfield from Scratch

This week, I and my beloved video publisher have a special treat for you: I show you how to create a galaxy of stars, solar flare, and space gas from nothing more than a layer of black pixels. And you can customize it for print, for the web, whatever you want. In just 9 minutes and 1 extra-quick second, you can Big Bang in Photoshop.

Here’s the official description:

This week, intrepid Photoshop explorer and author Deke McClelland gives you no less than the infinite universe. Actually, this installment of Deke’s Techniques shows you how to create your own galaxy view, complete with stars, lens flare, and space gas, all created completely from scratch in Photoshop. Starting with a layer of nothing but black pixels, Deke uses smart objects and classic Photoshop filters to create an infinitely customizable space-scape that you can use in your own design voyages. The universe is at your command.

Next week, Deke will put this starfield to work as a useful background for some dramatic Repoussé text. In fact, every week Deke brings you a new free technique in this course, and members can view the entire collection—plus some exclusive members-only techniques—inside the Online Training Library.

Which are your favorite techniques so far and how have you put them to work?

That last sentence comes from Colleen’s description. (Longtime dekeOnline sidekick Colleen writes these things! I personally love that.) But I want to know, too. So please, friends, do share.

Next entry:Martini Hour Complete, In Which Colleen Gathers Everything in One Place (with Love)

Previous entry:dekeSpeak February 22, 2011


  • Keep the weekly techniques coming!

    I used the branding type technique to create the invitation for our annual meeting. It has thus set the tone for what our theme will be as well (western/cowboy). I’ve also used the Molten type technique on a few ads. Thanks for doing these weekly presentations! I think they are grrreat!

  • Very happy to have read this

    Very happy to have read this information. Again thank you and good luck.

  • stars

    Deke, another way is to fill a layer with white with the blending mode set to dissolve and lower the opcity. instant star field

  • Deke’s Techniques 009: Building a Synthetic Starfield

    Can anyone explain why after I changed the background color and added the clouds layer-the clouds did not take on the blue background color I just changed-the clouds were grayscale-even though the background color was blue?

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