Create a stellar iPhone wallpaper

17 Aug

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create your own iPhone 4 wallpaper, while learning the basics of layer styles, adjustment layers, and filters.

You’ll create stylized space art, utilizing NASA stock, and putting an emphasis on attractive lighting and colour composition.

First open a new Photoshop document, 640 x 960 pixels, and set the resolution to 326 ppi.

This ensures your final image will match the correct resolution and size dimensions of the iPhone 4’s retina display.

We’ll begin by adding the backdrop. The image is from NASA’s online image library, and can be downloaded here.

Once downloaded, drop the image into your photoshop document, and resize and position it as above.

Next we’ll improve the contrast by adding a Curves adjustment layer.

Click on the adjustment layer button at the bottom of the layers panel, and choose Curves.

In the curves dialog box, choose the white colour picker, and click on a bright part of the image like a star.

Then choose the black colour picker, and click on a dark area of the image.

Next we’ll add the moon, which can be downloaded here.

Open the moon with Photoshop, use the elliptical marquee tool to make a circular selection over the moon, then copy and paste it into your project.

Scale down the moon slightly, and move it into the desired position.

Improve the contrast with another Curves adjustment layer, and this time right click on the layer and choose ‘create clipping mask‘ so that the adjustments only affect the moon layer.

Double click on the moon layer to bring up the Layer Styles dialog box.

Click on Outer Glow and set the Blend Mode to Normal, the Opacity to 85%, a white to transparent gradient, the Spread set to 5%, and Size 150px.

Click Inner Glow, set the Blending Mode to Normal, the Opacity to 90%, and Size to 80px.

Add a new layer above the moon layer, go to Edit > Fill, and fill, and choose to fill the layer with Black.

Next go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare, and move the position of the lens flare so that it will line up with with the upper right edge of the moon.

Set the Brightness to 150%.

Now set the lens flare layer’s blending mode to Screen.

You can download the pre-cut asteroid stock from here.

Place it directly into your project, and rotate and resize it so the asteroids drift diagonally across the moon, overlapping the lens flare slightly.

Add a new layer above the asteroid layer, then take the Gradient tool set to Radial and white to tranparent.

Drag out a small gradient from the center of the lens flare outwards.

The last objects we’ll add are the stars.

Use the Ellipse shape tool set to white, and draw a small, thin oval shape.

Now go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur, and set the Distance to 100 pixels.

Duplicate the layer, and rotate the shape 90 degrees. Then select both layers, right click, and choose Merge layers.

You can now duplicate the star a couple of times to add more stars to your image.

Finally we’ll adjust the overall colour of the image.

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, and take the saturation all the way down, desaturating the whole image.

Next add a Selective Color adjustment layer, and choose Whites from the Colors dropdown menu.

Move the sliders to the positions shown above.

Then adjust the Neutrals sliders to the settings shown above.

And finally move the Blacks sliders to the positions shown above.

Here’s how the final image should end up looking.

You can now use the image as a background for you iPhone 4.

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Thanks for reading :)

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