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Creating Galaxies
Created by: ZuAtHome @2000

The first three (3) Tutorials are able to be used as stand-alone space images. The fourth (4) tutorial creates a .jpg comet image for animation. The series is created so that in the fifth (5) tutorial, using a Screen Saver Program, one is able to use these images to create a Screen Saver for use on their computers.

The third tutorial in a series used to create graphics for a space screen saver:
(The tutorial is written for version 6 as version 5 does not have similar features.)

In the first tutorial, we created a Planet image. In the second tutorial we created Rings. In this tutorial we will create a Galaxy for more variation to our total scene.

: Save your work using the .PSP format.

Note: For the Screen Saver Tutorial, save the Galaxy Image as a GIF file with a transparent background.

OVERVIEW: Creating Galaxies uses techniques to:

  • Create a snowflake pattern with the Paint Brush Tool
  • Create a patterned effect with the Air Brush Tool
  • Deform the pattern into a Spiral with a Twirl Effect
  • Give Spiral an eliptical look
  • Optional: Create a Star Background
(No Image)

Use COLORS PALETTE and set Colors:

  • Foreground = (R231, G231, B231) -- Grey
  • Background = (R249, G249, B217) -- Light Yellow
Create a NEW CANVAS:
  • Size = 100 x 100 pixels
  • Color = Black Background
  • Nu. of Colors = 16 Million

Create a NEW LAYER
(Click on Icon in Upper Left of the Layer Palette Window)
Make sure to this layer is Highlighted for the following instructions.


  • Set BRUSH TYPE = Star
    • Click on Brush Icon in upper right of window
    • Select CUSTOM
    • Select the 'SnowFlake' image, (Right Image in the Third Row unless you have created your own custom brushes).
  • Opacity = 50
  • Step = n/a
  • Others = Are Greyed Out

In TOOL OPTIONS Window, Click on the GEARS.

  • Paper Texture = Clouds
  • Build Up Brush = Checked

Place Cursor at Coordinates (50,50)
(Coordinates are listed in the lower left corner on the status bar.)

  • CLICK first with LEFT BUTTON, then RIGHT BUTTON to build up the color.
  • Alternate Left and Right Buttons once more to get a very soft, patterned impression of the Shape.
  • NOTE: You may need to experiment a bit to get a barely visible image.

Use IMAGE || RESIZE and Set the following:

  • Percentage of Original = 300
  • Resize Type = Smart Resize
  • Resize All Layers = Checked
  • Maintain Aspect Ratio = 1 to 1
  • Click on OK

Use the AIRBRUSH TOOL (Spray Can)

  • Shape = Round
  • Size = 30
  • Hardness= 0
  • Opacity = 100
  • Step = 25
  • Density = 51

Click on the GEARS and set Paper Texture to CLOUDS (if it is not all ready set).

Use the AIR BRUSH TOOL to spray a pattern on the Radials.

  • Start Each Series of Air Brush Strokes from the Center
    (coordinates: 150,150 )
  • Draw each stroke Outward, just past the edge of the snowflake pattern
  • Alternate between Foreground and Background Colors
    (Left Click, then Right Click Mouse Button for the alternating colors)
  • The Radials should be fairly evenly Spaced.
  • Vary each Radial in Length and Density allowing a bit of black space to show between them, particularly the edges.

Note: Do not worry about getting the radials perfect. Variation is useful. Wavy or crooked lines are also helpful. It is important, however, to start as near to the center as possible for each air brush stroke. Thus, color build up will occur in the center of the image where the radial overlap.

Finally, Start from the Center of the image and hold down one mouse button. Build up the center so no black shows. (Color is your choice.)

Then, slowly spiral out to blend in with the background. Do not go out more than a third of the way to the edge of your spiral to maintain the definitions of the radials.


  • Degrees = 200
  • Auto Proof = Your Choice
  • Click on OK

Use the DEFORMATION TOOL (Square with dots) and the Spiral should be automatically selected.

Use the 'Handles' on the Deformation Selection to create a spiral look.

  • Start with top and bottom middle handles to make a rectangular shape.
  • Use left and right middle handles to shorten the shape just a bit
  • Use the handles in the middle to rotate the shape
  • Then Click on APPLY button to set the new shape


  • Highlight the BACKGROUND LAYER
  • Use IMAGE || NOISE || ADD and Set %Noise = 10 and Random = Checked
  • Highlight Background layer, Right Click, Select NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER || BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST. Set BRIGHTNESS = 60 and CONTRAST = 80
  • TURN OFF all Layers except the BRIGHTNESS and BACKGROUND Layer.
  • Use COLORS || COLORIZE and Set HUE = 185 and SATURATION = 35
  • TURN ON all Layers

Note: As a Stand-alone Image, Save Your Work either as a .GIF or .JPG file with the stary background. For the Screen Saver Program, Save as a GIF file with a transparent background.

The Next part of this series is to Create a COMET.
-- Have Fun --