August 2017
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Faking a moon

When making fantasy pictures its often useful to have a moon in a night sky, we can easily fake a nice convincing moon using a couple of Photoshop Filters.

Step 1.

First make a new 1024×768 size RGB document and fill the background with Black (Edit>Fill>Black) this will be our night sky.

Step 2.

Make a new Layer called Moon above our background Layer. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool and while holding the Shift Key draw out a large circle selection .

Step 3.

Fill the Circle with Grey (Edit>Fill>50% Grey) this will be the background colour to the moon. Make a new Layer above the Moon Layer called Texture, first we want to reset our colour swatches by pressing D on the keyboard. We then fill the circle on the new Layer with Clouds (Filter>Render>Clouds)

Step 4.

Change the Layer Blending mode of the Texture Layer to Multiply. We now use the Spherize Filter to make the texture looks spherical, Filter>Distort>Spherize. Set mode to Normal and amount ot 100%. Press Control / Command and D to remove the selection.

Step 5.

Make a new Layer Below the Moon Layer and using a small brush with the foreground set the white paint in a few stars, change the size of the stars from time to time.

Step 6.

Finally we make another new Layer at the top of our Layer Stack and using the Rectangle Marquee Tool make a small Selection. Once again fill this with Clouds (Filter>Render>Clouds). Press D to remove the Selection.

Step 7.

Use Free Transform (Edit>Free Transform) to stretch the small clouds rectangle over the entire screen. Add a Reveal All Layer Mask (Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All) and using a soft edge brush with the foreground set the black and the opacity set to 50% paint out some of the clouds.

Step 8.

We can also add a new Layer above the Texture Layer and painting with black we can black out some of the moon to create different types of moon eg half moon.


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