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Dying Planet

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First we'll be creating the surface of the planet by using two textures from cgtextures.com.

The first one can be downloaded here.

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With your texture open in Photoshop, increase the contrast to sharpen the details.

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The second texture can be downloaded here. We'll be using this one for the cracks on the planets surface.

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Open it in photoshop, desaturate it, and bring up the brightness and contrast.

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Place this texture on top of the first one and resize it so it covers the whole texture.

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Duplicate the cracks layer and hide the duplicate. Change the original layers blending mode to Multiply.

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Merge the cracks layer with the rock layer, then duplicate it.

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With the top rocks and cracks layer selected, go to filter>stylize>emboss...

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Set the height to 1px and the amount to 500%.

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Change this layers blending mode to Overlay.

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Out texture is now ready to be transformed into a planet.

Make a circular selection, then go to edit>copy merged.

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Open a new document and paste in the selection.

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Back in the first document, unhide the cracks layer, and hide the other two.

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Using the same selection, copy the cracks layer.

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Paste it ontop of the planet layer, and hide it.

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With the planet layer selected go to Filter>Distort>Spherize, and set the Amount to 100%.

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Do this twice to give your planet a fully rounded appearance.

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Next, unhide the cracks layer and spherize it twice.

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Now go to Select>Color Range, and choose shadows.

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You'll now have a selection of all the cracks. Invert the selection then delete it to leave just the cracks.

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So you now have your planet in one layer, and another layer for the cracks.

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We'll have a break from working on the planet for now, and create the backdrop.

First increase the size of your canvas.

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Create a new layer below the other two and fill it with black.

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Then add another layer, and go to filter>Render>Clouds.

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Lower the cloud layers opacity to 13%. Add a layer mask, and draw a large radial gradient to fade out the edges.

Finally add another layer and use a very small white brush to paint a few stars around the planet.

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The background is done, next we'll add some shadows to the planet.

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Duplicate the planet layer and turn it black.

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Add a gaussian blur set to 100 pixels.

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Set its opacity to 80%, and scale it down a little.

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duplicate the layer, and scale it down a little more.

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Next we'll add some lighting effects to the planet.

Double click on the planet layer and apply the following layer styles...

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Now double click on the cracks layer, and apply the following layer styles...

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Finally we'll add some light bursts.

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Duplicate the cracks layer, then go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur...

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Set it to Zoom and set the Amount to 90.

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Duplicate the light bursts layer and apply another radial blur. Set both layers opacity to 50%.

Then move the cracks layer back up to the top in your layers panel.

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Here's the finished result.

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