Jump to content

Glossy Galaxy Ball Tutorial


Recommended Posts

This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it



For this tutorial I used a 700 x 569 canvas, so the thickness of the lines/outlines/blurs might be a little bit different.

1. Make your canvas 1600 x 1300 and fill it with black. I do this to see the glossies better when I draw. Remember, the larger the canvas the better outcome of the glossiness and smoothness.

2. Create New Layer--choose the Ellipse Select tool and draw a circle big enough to fit the canvas.


3. On the same layer go to Effects—Selection—Outline


Color= 255 for all (white)


4. Then go to Effects—Blur—Gaussian Blur—30px

5. Add New Layer and repeat Step 3.



6. Repeat Step 4, but blur up to 17 px.


7. On a New Layer, repeat Step 6 following the exact same settings (you should have four layers all together). After, go to Blur—Fragment Blur

Fragment count= 3

Fragment distance=41

There was some confusion about Step 7. All you have to do is blur the circle 17 px (ignore the part about Step 4).

Duplicate this Fragment Layer 3-4 times and merge them all together.


Oh, and one more thing. I don’t name all my layers. So in this tutorial, only some will be titled.

8. Right above the Background Layer, Create a New Layer and Name it Select Circle. Draw a circle (a bright color) just the same size as the ones above. This will be used to select the outside of the circle instead of drawing new ones each time. You should deselect the layer.


9. Right above the “Select Circle” layer, create a New Layer and name it “orange shadow.” These are the settings:


10. Click the “Select Circle” layer and using the Magic Wand tool, click on the inside of the circle. Now, click on the Orange Layer and using your radial gradient tool, run it just slightly below the middle of the circle.


11. With the circle still selected, create a New Layer above the “orange shadow layer” and draw two lines at the bottom of the circle. The lines should be around 20 and lighter in color than the “orange shadow.” Draw the same lines for the top of the circle.


12. Duplicate Layer 7 and name it “Layer 7a” and move it down(the one with the lines). Go to –Adjustments—Black and White—Brightness/Contrast. Brightness and Contrast should both be 100.

13. Select Layer 7a and move the selected pixels just slightly below the orange lines. You should blur both Layer 7 and Layer 7a using Gaussian Blur at 1 px.


You might also notice that the white lines may be protruding from the sides. Just go to “Select Circle” and select the outside of it. Go to Layer 7a and press Delete.

Remember: I will constantly select the layer named “Select Circle” and go back to the current ones being worked on.


14. Create a New Layer above Layer 7. Now for the bottom highlight. With the circle still selected, choose Ellipse Select and Selection Mode should be: Subtract.


It should look like this:


15. Set your primary color to white and secondary to transparent. Using the linear gradient tool, draw in the highlight starting from the left side. Go to Effects—Blur—True Blur=1.64


16. Go back to Layer 7a (I forgot this step). KEEP CIRCLE SELECTED. Gaussian Blur the white lines at around 7px. If you’d like more glow, just go to about 10 px like I did.


17. On a New Layer above bottom white highlight, use the same method for the bottom highlight as done in Steps 14 and 15. It should look like this:



18. Right above Layer 7, create a New Layer. It should be Layer 11. Draw in circles using the Ellipse Tool with Draw Filled Shape selected.


You might need to do larger circles on a separate layer and smaller ones on another. I did larger one on Layer 11 and smaller circles on Layer 12. Duplicate both layers and move them below the original ones and make them glow using either Gaussian blur or Photo—Glow.


19. Above Layer 10 (for me, this is Layer 13), use the Select Ellipse tool and create a smaller circle at the to and draw in four lines using the line tool of about 9 or so. The ellipse select tool will help you keep all of the lines uniform.


20. Now, go to the gradient tool and select it. Make sure both of your primary and secondary colors are solid in the Colors Window. Then, select Linear gradient and then Transparency Mode. Your results should look like this (don’t forget to smooth the lines out using True Blur at about 1.64 px):


21. Add New Layer right above Layer 13 (the four lines). In your colors window, choose White as Primary and Transparent as Secondary. With your Ellipse Select Tool, draw in the circle down to the middle of the circle. Move your gradient tool from top to bottom. Add a New Layer and draw in a smaller circle and repeat the gradient motion. **REMEMBER: Use True blur of 1.64 radius SEPARATELY!!!


22. Finally, with your magic wand tool select the “Select Circle.” Go to the top most layer and create New Layer (this should be the very first layer in this project). Repeat the same Gradient motion from top to bottom.

Your result should be similar to this:


Flatten all layers except for the Background layer. After it’s flattened, add the black layer again.

For the shadow of the ball, skew it down and use the Transparency mode to make it look transparent. .


  • Upvote 4

Don't spit into the well, you might drink from it later. -----Yiddish Proverb

Glossy Galaxy Ball---How to Make Foliage
My Gallery

PDN Fans--My DA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Amazing HELEN no significant plugin used if I am not wrong, that is the basic way which every once actually needs, the result is awesome, this will put lots of answers for questions been asked and will be asked. I really forgot are those blur effect used are part of the PDN or plugins? Thanks HELEN :P

This is my attempt, I added some different effect but your version looks more glassy:


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh my gosh! THANK YOU!!! I made my glossies the harder way. :D I'll try out the tutorial as soon as my computer starts going a little faster. It's a little slow right now from me making another video on WMM.

I'll try to give the tutorial a go by the end of the day. :wink:

---- Gallery | Sig Tutorial | deviantART | Sig Videos | PhotoBucket ----

D                  E                  S                  T                  I                 N                  Y

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh man. I'm sweating after doing this tutorial. What a workout! :D Fantastic tutorial HELEN!!!! Here is what I whooped up:


---- Gallery | Sig Tutorial | deviantART | Sig Videos | PhotoBucket ----

D                  E                  S                  T                  I                 N                  Y

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Oma: Thanks. I really appreciate it.

@Yellowman: First off, nice job on the glossies. Second, no, there are no "special" plugins except the outline plugin by Boltbait. Nice job!

@Goonfella: I've discovered that the fragment blur adds nice effects to images.

@Chris: No problem. I know how time-consuming tuts are.

@DarkShock: It's just beautiful. Really nice!

Don't spit into the well, you might drink from it later. -----Yiddish Proverb

Glossy Galaxy Ball---How to Make Foliage
My Gallery

PDN Fans--My DA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Goonfella It looks like you used colour tint to change the colour of the ball. It's the sort of thing i would do but it sort of ruins it by making those white lines at the top coloured. You know what i mean? It looks great though :D

Yes I see what you mean. But I think it only really shows a bit on the top right hand one .I`ll still leave it as it is though as I was rather pleased with the outcome. :D



Please feel free to visit my Gallery on PDNFans

And my Alternatives to PDN

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much Helen for the tutorial. I really appreciate the work that is put into these, by yourself and others, as they must be very time-consuming. It took me simply ages to get to a ball I could post :mrgreen: I could not manage the ball's shadow in the last step however :roll:



How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Killer K: Those are very successful glossies. Nice job!

@nanettealsop: Really nice outcome. Keep the circle selected so it won't look like the lines both on the top and bottom are just cut off. The shadow is really easy, however. Duplicate the layer of the glossy ball and resize it; kind of like squeeze it.

@Blink: Wow...it's a really nice ball.

Don't spit into the well, you might drink from it later. -----Yiddish Proverb

Glossy Galaxy Ball---How to Make Foliage
My Gallery

PDN Fans--My DA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


Great tut, however, would you be so kind and elaborate a little more thoroughly on what i to do in the 7th. step as i'm quite confused about this step !

Step 7 says that i should make a new layer and repeat step 6 which i do - then in step 6 i'm supposed to repeat step 4, however under step 4, i'm only applying an effect !

So my notion is that i should actually go even further back (to step 2) in order to complete step 7 !

Is this correct ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...