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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth


Moon From Scratch
Adobe Photoshop


Create A Moon From The Clouds Filter
Suitable for Adobe Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 & CC
Skill Level - Beginners Plus To Intermediate

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This tutorial demonstrates how to create a moon and a corona using the Clouds filter. 
To work along exactly, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with
HereUnzip the file and open the image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Understanding Layers
Understanding Blend Modes
Understand The Workspace And Palettes

Undo and Navigation Steps
Two ways of undoing steps are from the top menu, Edit then Step Backwards.
Alternatively, click a previous snapshot in the History Palette.

Navigate (zoom in and pan) your image using the Navigator Palette,
or the Zoom Tool.

Activate The Hand Tool by tapping the Spacebar, keeping the Spacebar pressed, pan your image in the usual way.

Open your Start Image onto Photoshop’s workspace, then extend its grey workspace by dragging out one of its corners.

Then create a New (Transparent) Layer above the Background Layer by left-clicking the following Create a new layer icon.

Now, press your D key to set the default Foreground and Background (Black and White) colours.

Working on Layer 1, from the Tools Toolbar, activate the Elliptical Marquee Tool.

And set the following (Feather 0) attributes into its Options Bar.

Now, press and hold the Shift key. Then (onto Layer 1), drag out a moon-shaped Selection Marquee over your photograph. Then left-click inside the Selection Marquee, and drag it to its final position. 

(Pressing the Shift key constrains the Selection Marquee to a circle).

From the top menu, choose Filter then choose Render then choose Clouds.

If you don’t like the way the clouds have rendered, Step Backwards and reapply the filter. Alternatively, press your X key to swap the Foreground and Background colours, and apply the Clouds filter. (Bear in mind, the Clouds filter represents the current Background and Foreground colours).

After you have applied your clouds, you are ready for the next step.

From the top menu, choose Image then choose Adjustments then choose Auto Levels.

From the top menu, choose Filter then choose Distort then choose Spherise. In the subsequent Spherise dialogue box, set an Amount of 100, then click OK.

Now, Duplicate the Moon Layer by dragging it over the following Create a new layer icon. Then change the Duplicated Layer’s Blend Mode from Normal to Soft Light.


To rotate the clouds, (working on the Top Moon Layer), press Ctrl then T. The moon will then be surrounded by a Vector Transformation Bounding Box. Now, hover your cursor to the right of the moon, then left-click and swivel your mouse wheel upwards and downwards: then tap the Return/Enter Key to commit the transformation.

Press Ctrl then D to remove the Selection Marquee.


10/ Creating the Glow (Corona)
Create a Transparent Layer, (exactly as you did back in
Chapter 2): and place it below the two Moon Layers - as illustrated below.

Then press your X key to swap your Foreground and Background colour swatches. The Foreground should be White.

Now, from the Tools Toolbar, activate the Gradient Tool.

And set the following Foreground to Transparent Gradient into its Options Bar.

Now, still working on the Transparent Layer: left-click and drag a short gradient line (from the centre of the moon), in the direction indicated below. As soon as you release the mouse button, the glow will be applied.


To centralise the glow over the moon, activate the Move Tool.

Then activate (highlight) the Glow Layer, and left-click and drag the glow to a central position.

To change the glow’s colour: double-left-click the Glow’s Layer. And from the subsequent Layer Stye dialogue box, click Colour Overlay. Make your colour choice, then click OK.

             colour overlay moon glow 

Fade the moon’s glow by reducing its Layer Opacity.

Fantasy Moon Glows
As an alternative to applying a Colour Overlay, experiment with different Gradient Overlays.

To finish, from the top menu, choose Layer then choose Flatten Image, then
save your work.

Wendi E M Scarth.
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