Photoshop Starfield Starry Night Tutorial

Photoshop Starfield Starry Night Tutorial
In this tutorial, I will show you how to paint starfield by using a custom brush and also a quick way to "generate" starfield in Photoshop by using noise.

First, lets create a custom stars brush for Photoshop. These are the steps on how to create star brush in Photoshop.

Brush Tip

custom photoshop starfield brush
Draw the brush tip shape with random dotted pattern.

Define Brush Preset

Convert the image we draw by using, Edit > Define Brush Preset.

custom photoshop starfield brush

Shape Dynamic and Scattering

Now, select the new brush we just created. The brush currently is without any settings, so enable Shape Dynamics and Scattering

custom photoshop starfield brush custom photoshop starfield brush
Shape Dyamics
  • Size Jitter - Randomise brush tip size. Control with Pen Pressure.
  • Minimum Diameter - Minimum brush tip size.
  • Angle Jitter - Randomly rotate brush tip.
  • Flip X Jitter - Randomly fliping brush tip in X axis.
  • Flip Y Jitter - Randomly fliping brush tip in Y axis.

  • Scatter - Randomise brush tip location. Enable Both Axes so it scatter on X and Y axis.
  • Count - Number of brush tip scatter. Default 1 is good enough

Saving The Brush Settings

After changing all the brush settings, we will need to save it again via New Brush Preset in the brush panel. If we don't do this, we will lose all the settings! Then under the brush panel again, choose Save Brushes to backup your whole set of brush.

custom photoshop starfield brush
To quickly delete the brush without settings, ALT-CLICK on it.

Painting The Starfield

With the custom star brush created, lets paint some starfield!

photoshop starfield tutorial
Add a new layer, and paint the sky color with photoshop soft edge round brush.

Generating Starfield With Noise

Now, lets generate some distance stars using noise filter.

photoshop starfield tutorial
  • Add A new layer and fill it with black colour.
  • Go to Filter > Add Noise.
  • Change amount to 5% and set monochromatic

photoshop starfield tutorial
  • CTRL-L to bring up the Level Adjustment.
  • Adjust the levels so some noise are bright and some are dim. Refer to image above.
Currently, the generated stars still appear evently in the whole image. We will need to change it so certain part will have star clusters, and some part have will less stars.

photoshop starfield tutorial
  • To add more stars, use a soft edge round brush for clone stamp tool (screen mode)
  • To remove stars, use eraser tool

photoshop starfield tutorial
After you are done adjusting the star layer, set its blending mode to screen and it will look something similar to this.

Painting More Stars

photoshop starfield tutorial
Add a layer with screen or add blending mode. Then use the star brush we created earlier to add more stars in the scene. I usually use the brush for bigger stars.

photoshop starfield tutorial
Add a layer with color dodge blending mode and use a cloud brush to paint some nebula. You can download custom cloud brush in my brush list page.

photoshop starfield tutorial
Add a layer with screen or add blending mode. Use those default photoshop star brush to add more stars around the nebula.

photoshop starfield tutorial
Last, add another layer with screen blending mode. Use photoshop soft edge round brush to paint some glowing effect near the nebula.


Below is a timelapse video on painting starfield. The painting process took around 40 minutes, but the railway was model and render earlier.


Some of my artworks which use similar method to paint starry night and starfield.

Starry Night Starfield Galaxy Railway Mid Autumn Festival Playground Electric Sky Nebula


DeviantArt Starry Night
Pixiv Starry Night
Youtube Photoshop Painting Starry Night


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