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50 Photoshop Tutorials For Sky and Space Effects

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. [Content Care Nov/27/2016]

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 manipulation1 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 Link

Helio Nebula Tutorial5

How to paint a Nebula Star effect in Adobe Photoshop.


Create a Supernova and a Ringed Planet7

How to create a supernova that is about to devastate an entire solar system.


Create a Red Giant Star in Photoshop9

All the techniques that you can use in Photoshop to depict your own cosmic scenery.


Photoshop Tutorial: Space Environment11

Paint a space environment in Photoshop just with some brush strokes and Filters.


Planet Ring Tutorial13

With a little help of some filters: create a great planet ring.


Nebula Brushing Tutorial15

Creat this Nebula only with Photoshops basic brush-set.


How to Illustrate an Astronaut in Photoshop17

How to create sci-fi concept art by illustrating an astronaut that is performing maintenance during a space walk.


Drift In Space19

An intermediate level difficulty tutorial of creating this “Drift in Space” Digital Art.


Space Explosion Photoshop Tutorial21

How to create your own space scene using three stock photos and Adobe Photoshop.


Recreating Solar Eclipse in Space23

One more tutorial about creating a great space landscape.


Outer Space Astronaut25

Learn how to create a realistic outer space galaxy background with an astronaut that seems lost in space.


Explosions Link

Create a Dramatic Building Explosion Scene27

In this tutorial you will learn how to make a dramatic building explosion scene.


Exploding Planet29

Here is another tutorial that shows you how to create an exploding planet.


Create a Space Explosion31

Create explosions from Scratch in Photoshop as seen in a Sci-Fi television series.


Apocalyptic City Explosion33

Learn how to create a city explosion in Photoshop using just a few simple blending techniques.


Create a Dramatic and Surreal Apocalyptic Scene35

Learn how to create a dark surreal scene using few Photoshop techniques and some stock images.


How To Create Blast In The City Effect In Photoshop37

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a war scene which contains some fighter planes and a big explosion.


The Sky Link

Create a spritit dove effect39

In this tutorial, you are going to create a dove like spirit bursting out of a woman’s body amidst the cloudy sky.


Design Surreal Concept Manipulation41

All the steps to Design this Surreal Concept Manipulation with Alien Structures in Photoshop.


Painting clouds43

Painting Clouds the easy way. Use different highlight and shadow colors.


Create a Fantasy Fish Scene above the Sky45

How to create a fantasy fish scene using a variety of photo manipulation techniques.


Starry Sky Tutorial47

How to draw a starry sky only in Adobe Photoshop.


How to create fog49

How to create fog and mist in Photoshop using a number of different tools.


Super Slick Dusky Lighting Effects51

Put together a sunset image mixing some vector shapes and dusky lighting effects to produce a slick image that would make a nice album cover.


Add A Realistic Rainbow53

Learn how to easily add a rainbow, and even a double rainbow, to a photo.


Planet Integration Tutorial55

How to integrate a planet in another photo.


How to create a realistic sunset effect in Photoshop57

Transform a daytime image with a bright, intense sunset effect.


Movie Like Sunset in Photoshop Tutorial59

How to create a piece of romantic movie like sunset in Photoshop.



This basic tutorial will guide you step by step to drawing your own fireworks.


Create Rays Of Light In Photoshop63

Learn how to create a sunburst and how to combine it with lens flare for obtaining an intense light effect.


Illustrations Link

Mysterious Lighting Effect65

A lighting effect that you can create in Adobe Photoshop using the Lighting Effects filter.


Creating A Fantastic Fantasy Night Sky67

How to create cartoon-style clouds using Photoshop and a bit of Illustrator.


Skyline Silhouette Header69

In this tutorial, you will be creating a Skyline Silhouette Header.


Cartoon Clouds Tutorial71

All you need to draw clouds are pen, paint can and blur.


Moon Tutorial73

It only needs 8 steps to draw a moon.


Video Link

Realistic Sunset Effect75

How to create a realistic sunset effect and we’ll create an awesome romantic manipulation in Photoshop.


Digital Space Art77

This tutorial will guide you on how to create a Space scene.


Make Spirals of Light in Deep Space79

how to make a celestial scene of swirling light surrounding a planetary orb in deep space.


Photoshop Tutorial – Create Space Pictures81

Learn how to create space like composites using texture & sky pictures.


Creating a starfield83

Creating a starfield in Photoshop with some interstellar clouds.


How to Composite a Moon or Planet85

How to composite a moon, planet, death star, or anything else into the sky using a combination of selections, layer masks, and layer styles.


Close Up Planet Tutoria87

This is a primarily photominipulation based tutorial with a lot of textures.


Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Nuclear Explosion89

How to transform a serene, peaceful day into an apocalyptic, nuclear explosion.



In this Photoshop Tutorial you will create a abstract explosion.


How To Edit Dramatic Sky93

This tutorial will explain how to edit the sky more beautiful and dramatic.


Spiral Star Trails95

Learn how to blend spiral star trails with another night image foreground.


How To Create a More Impacting Sunrise/Sunset97

This tutorial will show you how to create a more impacting sunrise/sunset in your Photos.


How to Create a Sunset in Photoshop99

Learn how to color your image to give it that warm “sunset” feel.


3D Planet Scene101

Learn how to use some images along with Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a 3D Planet Scene.


Tutorial – Painting a Nebula103

Paint a Nebula in Photoshop using your basic brush and some techniques to detail nebula.


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

Footnotes Link

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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

  1. 1

    Some of these are great, absolutly love the cloud one

  2. 2

    Woot! Space art is teh absolute best! Ie, I fell in love with the top part of the list. Thanks!

  3. 3

    Absolutely BEAUTIFUL… thank you very much…

  4. 4

    David Leggett

    August 7, 2008 2:13 pm

    Thanks for mentioning our Mysterious Lighting Effect among these incredible tutorials Steven. Lots of wonderful finds here!

  5. 5

    Great Tutorials!

    Would like to see some GIMP or Inkscape tutorials once and a while though.


  6. 6

    Daniel Whyte

    August 7, 2008 2:19 pm

    nice collection man :D
    ill have a closer look at this after

  7. 7

    Steven Snell

    August 7, 2008 2:30 pm

    You’re welcome. Thanks for creating the tutorial!

  8. 8

    Some really good tutorials. One of the most useful tutorial posts on Smash.mag. I must admit… gj..

  9. 9

    Breathtaking! What a collection!!!

  10. 10

    Kaushik Chemburkar

    August 7, 2008 5:26 pm

    Smashing magazine, Always the best collection… Awesome.

  11. 11

    I really love the planet ones! Thanks.

  12. 12

    try :}

  13. 13

    and great collection guys :D! i love the starry sky effect! with the proper constellations, it will look very realistic, esp when you takle skylines of cities with too much light :)!

  14. 14

    Wow! Thanks!
    just what the doctor ordered!

  15. 15

    WOW that’s awesome collection Luv it

  16. 16

    The best of the Photoshop Tutorials….hats off.

  17. 17

    I’m making an illustration with clouds for a web banner, this article is coming at the perfect moment ! Thanx a lot !

  18. 18

    Pretty cool!

  19. 19

    smashing as usual!
    thanks for doing that


  20. 20

    Love your work Smashing, but that 4th of July collage is far from stunning…


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