In this Tip from the quick tips series of Photoshop Tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a nice cartoon space planet using simple shapes and tools.    

By Supercolor, on September 28, 2012, under Photoshop Tutorials

Final Result Preview


Step 1 – THE New Document and Background

Let’s Start by opening Photoshop and create a new document, I choose 500x500px with a transparent background. Next fill the background with a dark grey tone colour.


Step 2 – Planet and Shadow

Select the Ellipse Tool (U) and create a perfect circle (hold the shift key while drawing) with a 400px diameter and a dark grey colour. Next I added a Colour Overlay layer style with a green colour, I used #b1cf1a. Rename the layer Planet.


Duplicate the Planet layer, rename the new one Planet Blur and place this layer between the Background and Planet layers. Next let’s apply a Gaussian Blur filter to it, Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur, with a 10px radius. Change the opacity of the layer to 25%.


Select the Pen Tool (P), make sure the option to draw Shapes is selected in the Tool toolbar. Select a black/grey colour and draw a shape a part of the planet to create a shadow. When that’s done, we’ll create a layer mask on the shadow layer. Make a selection of the Planet layer, we’ll reduce the size of the selection, go to Select – Transform Selection, reduce the size to 98% for width and height. Make sure the shadow shape layer is selected, create a layer mask on this layer, Layer – Layer Mask – Reveal Selection. Change the Fill of the layer to 25%.


Step 3 – Atmosphere

In this step, we’re going to give an Atmosphere feel to the planet. Create a new layer, I named it Smoke. Select the Lasso Tool (L), make sure the Feather in set to around 40px and create a selection in the centre of the planet. Next make sure the foreground and background colours are set to default B&W or press the D key. Then go to Filter – Render – Cloud, this will create a sort of Smoke, with Free Transform Tool (Ctrl+T) make this smoke shape bigger so it appears on the whole planet.


Apply a Layer Mask to this layer, this time with the selection of the planet layer but don’t reduce the selection.


Step 4 - Details

Let’s add some details to this planet, select the Ellipse Tool (U) and start drawing some round shape on the planet with black. When you’re done set the opacity of the layer to 15%


Repeat the same process on a new layer but this time with white for the colour.


To finish with details on the planet we’ll add some depth, create a few other round shapes with the Ellipse Tool, then add some layer style, Layer – Layer Styles:


That’s it for this other quick tip, just using a few simple shapes and tools we have a nice cartoon like planet. Feel free to share your creations or leave a comment.