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"Space Sig 3" by Joe
Member No.: 1
Joined: 19-July 05
All right, all right. By popular demand, here is the basis of my starfeild technique.
1. Create the starfield like Greg Martin does. Don't follow his tutorial too rigidly; you want this to be unique. But that will give you the start of your starfield. Don't do all the clone-stamping and erasing yet.
2. Press ctrl-A to select the whole canvas. Copy the contents and paste them onto a new alpha channel. Ctrl-click the channel's thumbnail; you should see marching-ants selections form around the brighter stars. Now go Select>Modify>Expand. Set the value to 1px and hit OK. Press D, then alt-backspace, then ctrl-D. You should see rather large whitish blotches instead of stars. Now go Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set a value of about 3.3px. That value will vary, depending on the look you want.
3. Create a new black layer just above or below the other star layer, and set its blending mode to Linear Dodge or Screen. (Make sure you create a layer, not a channel.) Go back to the Channels palette and ctrl-click your star channel. Go back to the new layer. Press D, then X, then alt-backspace. Your stars should take on a glowy quality.
4. Use Levels, Hue and Saturation, and a black brush to get the look you want. I often set my stars to a faintly blue color, dim the glow layer a little, and use the black brush to darken some stars. At this point, you can do all the erasing and rubber-stamping in Greg Martin's tutorial.
So what's the trick? All the alpha channel business achieves a simple goal: it adds a faint glow to each star. That's all.
"You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host..." --Nehemiah 9:6
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