blog‎ > ‎

CS5 & Stars

posted Jul 1, 2010, 6:38 PM by Jose Velasquez   [ updated Jul 1, 2010, 7:08 PM ]
A couple of days ago I received my Student/Teacher edition of CS5. What a cool program. I'm getting the hang of Photoshop, and am finding out that I know way more than I thought I did. Yeah the basic photo-editing stuff is fairly straight forward...but what I wanted to do to a picture recently required more than just basic editing. I wanted to place one of my bee pictures in "outer space". So I went online to look for tutorials on how to create stars where there shouldn't be any. I know, it sounds crazy, but trust me it looks amazing.

After spending the better part of five hours trying to follow various tutorials on how to create a "starry sky" in photoshop, I decided to do things my way. I did use noise as so many tutorials out there advise you to do, but rather than brighten it or darken it I used the "threshold" option. Then I copied the same layer, expanded it by 200-300%, changed the colors via "hue/saturation", rotated the layer. And then I decided to "paint" in my larger stars using the brush tool with the "airbrush" setting on. It worked. I repeated, rotated, and mixed up all of the layers. I then flattened the image and saved it. Next I opened one of my bee images, imported my "stars" image as a layer, selected what I didn't want to have stars over, inverted that, then I masked my stars. And guess what? It worked! I flattened my image, and presto! Just like that I got an image that actually saved in the same way that I saw it on my screen.

All of the other methods out there that teach you how to add stars to any picture won't work. On screen they look great, but when it comes time to saving your image or printing it on paper things go awry. The reason is the amount of noise/sprinkles (i.e. stars) the tutorials show you is from screen captures...when you actually go to save the file the nasty noise comes back to haunt you. The method I used is a bit longer, but it actually works! You can actually save your image and get everything that you saw on the screen. What you see (or rather what you create) is what you get. I may get around to posting a tutorial on this as all of the other methods are nice on screen, but when it comes time to save or print the "noise/sprinkle" methods simply fail--and at that very badly. The only way to get a decent image with most of the tutorials online is to save a snapshot of your desktop. Don't believe me? Go ahead and try a few of them out for yourself: just Google "starry night photoshop" to access the more common ones. When it comes time to save, remember, the noise will return. The method I "developed" combines several techniques from various tutorials, and it actually works very nicely, because you control the size of the "stars".

Here's an example of what I'm talking about...the original is awesome, super-awesome! Why? Because what you see is what you get! No nasty noise, just stars, beautiful stars of all shapes, sizes and colors.

Till my next rambling post or review, this is, hey, hey,