Open a new file in Adobe Photoshop. You can use any size you want (for example, 1024x768), to make a cool screen saver for your desktop. Fill it with black.
Create a new Layer . We gonna make some stars now.
Choose Brush tool
and set it's size to 2 pixels:
Change your Foreground Color to white:
And make as many brushes as you want. Play around with brush size, i suggest you to choose from 1 to 3 pixels:
It's time to make some space clouds. Create a new layer for that:
Go to Filter-Render-Clouds. And change layer mode from Normal to Screen, so we can see stars that way:
You should get something like that:
Too much clouds, isn't it? To reduce clouds, go to Image-Adjustments-Levels and change input levels like that:
Much better! Let's add some color to our clouds! Image-Adjustments-Hue/Saturation. The main thing is to activate Colorize! Otherwise you couldn't add color! Play with settings until you get something you like:
Now we are going to create a planet. Specially for this occasion i've created a custom brush set for making planets easily. Download Planet brush set (zip, 226 Kb). Now making planets becomes easy and fun!:0) Extract brush set to your Photoshop brush folder
(for example, my path is C:/Program Files/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS2/PresetsBrushes)
Now load new brushes to Photoshop. Choose your Brush tool and find Load Brushes in tool's options, and choose Planet brushes by Globator.
Here the most interesting part comes! Choose any planet brush you like. I suggest you to activate Use Sample Size button to use natural brush size.
Create a new layer for you planet. Change Foreground Color to grey and click with your planet brush on the picture:
Easy, isn't it? Let's colorize our planet a bit: Image-Adjustments-Hue/Saturation:
See that stars are visible through the planet? Here is how to fix it: activate your layer with stars, and simply erase unwanted stars behind the planet with Eraser tool:
Let's add some atmosphere to our planet. Choose your planet layer, and go to Layer-Layer Style-Outer Glow:
Looks nice already:
You can add some more stars if you want. Load standard Assorted brushes, and choose star-like brushes with size 25 x 48 pixels. Make some more stars on your star layer using white color:
That's about it! Good luck!