///Creating a Realistic Sun in Photoshop

Creating a Realistic Sun in Photoshop

creating a sun in photoshop

1. Create a new document. It should be relatively large like 700×700 or bigger.

2. Create a new layer and call it “Base”.

3. While holding down shift, Use the eliptical marquee tool to create a circle selection.

4. Fill the selection with black.

sun photoshop

5. Go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. Press CTRL+F twice to apply the effect two more times.

photoshop sun tutorial

6. Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. On channel RGB use the following settings 0, 1.64, 190.

7. Select Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Use the following settings – Amount: 500%, Radius: 3.0, Threshold: 15

8. Select Filter > Distort > Spherize > Amount: 100%. Then spherize the selection again using a setting of Amount: 50%.

9. Now select Image > Adjustments > Color Balance and use the following settings.

Shadows: +100, 0, -100
Midtones: +100, 0, -100
Highlights: +70, 0, -15

10. Sharpen the image again by going to Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Using these settings – Amount: 300%, Radius: 3, Threshold: 15

11. Create a new layer, we’ll call this layer “Accent” and repeat steps 4 and 5 so that you’ve filled the selection with black and added difference clouds a few times. We’ll hide the “Base” layer for now so we can just focus on this layer.

12. Now go to Filter > Liquify and use the Brush settings – Size: 235, Desity: 50, Pressure: 100. Now, using the Forward Warp Tool (W) and Twirl Clockwise Tool (C).

13. In the “Accent” layer’s blend options set the Blend Mode to “Overlay” and ad a Gradient Overlay with these settings – Blend Mode: Multiply, Gradient: Reverse, Style: Radial, Angle: 90, Scale 131.

14. Let’s duplicate the “Base” layer three times. Name one “Outer Glow”, one “Inner Glow” and one “Liquid”. Let’s go ahead and arrange them like so:

arrange the layers from top to bottom

15. Hide all but “Outer Glow” for now. Select this layer, which should be identical to “Base” and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and use the setting 43.5%. Change the Opacity to 50%. This turns the layer into a soft halo effect behind our sun. (Note: This layer should be the only layer underneath “Base”.)

16. Unhide and select the layer called “Liquid”. A real star like our sun consists of molten rock and plasma and both can sometimes appear like liquid. So in this step we’ll add a bit of liquid to mirror reality. We do this by selecting Filter > Distort > Ocean Ripple. You should play with this but I suggest these settings – Ripple Size: 7, Ripple Magnitude: 16. Set the opacity of this layer to 45%.

17. This step is very important our elliptical marquee should still be selected. (If it isn’t option click on any layer with our sun on it then click on the “Liquid” layer.) Select “Add Layer Mask”. Now select the MASK AND NOT THE ACTUAL LAYER. Select a soft brush from your palette and the Default black and white settings (D). Using a black brush, draw on the layer mask so that most of the liquid layer is hidden and only a little bit remains. In the picture below I show you what this should look like when all the other layers are hidden. (Note: This layer should be below “Accent” but above “Base”)

18. Now unhide and select the layer called “Inner Glow”. Set the Fill to 0%. Now select the Blending Options and as you may have guessed, Inner Glow. This is just to diffuse the border of our sun a bit, Here’s the settings I used, feel free to copy them or use your own.

19. We’re all done! Now we’ve got something that looks like the fiery hot solar body that gives us all life!

sun tutorial psd


If you’re lazy or you just want to see some examples of everything I did here, this entire tutorial can be downloaded from Mediafire. This tutorial is a improvement upon this tutorial by Tutorial Wiz.

2010-05-19T22:58:42+00:00 April 7th, 2008|Photoshop|3 Comments

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3 Comments

  1. Rookie artist May 31, 2008 at 12:46 AM

    NICE WORK! but not good enough. Sun’s color need to be adjusted a little more. Though I learn something from this tutorial. Tnx a lot.

  2. photoshop guy March 3, 2009 at 8:16 PM

    I wanted to comment and thank the author, good stuff

  3. EdgarRuskov July 12, 2009 at 11:14 AM

    Great! This is good for beginners.

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