Making of Fiery Planets Collision



We will need around 4 images for this tutorial. The fantasic Nebula Stock designed by Kire1987, planets from hameed and some rocks.

Click here to download Nebula Stock.
Click here to download the planets

All rights of these resources belong to their respective owners.


Step 1 – Setting Up Background:

Create a document of size 750×550 pixels.

Find the Red Nebula in the resource pack and resize it to fit into the document.


Step 2 – Position the Planets:

We will need one small planet and another larger one.

Let’s name the small planet as Planet 1 and the other as Planet 2.

Overlap the two planets in manner shown in the diagram.


Step 3 – Adjusting Colors:

Create an Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer above all these layers.

Check on Colorize and key in 24 for Hue, 50 for Saturation and 0 for Lightness.


Step 4a – Creating Explosion:

Create a new layer and name it as Yellow Flame.

Set your foreground color to #F7F61C and use Soft Brush tool to paint around the bottom of Planet 1.

Using the Smudge tool, pull out the left and right corners of the yellow paint as shown in the diagram.


Step 4b – Creating Explosion:

Select the Eraser tool and set mode to Brush and type to Dry Brush.

Remove edges of the Yellow Flame with Eraser tool of various brush sizes. Blur some of the parts with the Smudge tool.


Step 4c – Creating Explosion:

Create a new layer and name it as Orange Flame.

Set your foreground color to #FE9005. Repeat the same as Step 4a and 4b.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the blur radius to 5px.


Step 4d – Creating Explosion:

Create a new layer and name it as White Flame.

Set your foreground color to #FFFFFF. Repeat the same as Step 4a, 4b.

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur and set the blur radius to 3px.


Step 4e – Creating Explosion:

Now we have to blend all these flame layers together.

Set the Blend Mode of Orange Flame to Hard Light.

Right-click on White Flame and choose Blending Option. Activate Outer Glow and set the Blend Mode to Screen, color to #F9F900, Spread to 5px and Size to 20px. The rest remain as default.


Step 5a – Adding Cracks:

Create a new layer and name it as Cracks.

Use Soft Brush tool of size 5px and color #FFFFFF, draw some irregular lines above the flames.

Remove some parts of the lines with Soft Eraser tool.


Step 5b – Adding Cracks:

Right-click on Cracks and choose Blending Options.

Activate Outer Glow and set the Blend Mode to Linear Dodge (Add), Opacity to 100%, color to #FFFFBE, Spread to 0 and Size to 7px. The rest of settings remain as default.



Step 6a – Adding Lens Flare:

Create a new layer and name it as Flare.

Fill this Flare layer with #000000. Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Set the lens type to be 50-300mm zoom and position the flare as shown in the diagram.


Step 6b – Adding Lens Flare:

Resize the Flare layer with Free Transform tool.

Rearrange the order of the layers such that Flare is just below the flames layer. Position the lens flare to the center of the flames.


Step 6c – Adding Lens Flare:

Set the Blend Mode of Flare layer to Screen.

Duplicate the Flare layer and set the Blend Mode of the new layer to Color Dodge. Duplicate this new layer once more to brighten the flare further.


Step 7a – Glowing Bits:

Create a new layer and name it as Glow Bits.

Set the foreground color to #FFFFFF and use Soft Brush tool of various sizes, paint some dots around the flames.


Step 7b – Glowing Bits:

Duplicate the Glow Bits layer.

With the Smudge tool, pull a trailing tail out of each dot towards the flame as shown in the diagram.


Step 8a – Add Flying Rocks:

Extract out some rocks of various sizes and place them around the document.

You may refer to this post for some methods on extraction.


Step 8b – Add Flying Rocks:

Duplicate one of the rocks layer.

Go to Filter > Blur > Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 0 and Distance to 180px.


Step 8c – Add Flying Rocks:

Select the blurred rock and go to Edit > Transform > Distort to adjust the shape into the one shown in the diagram.

Right-click on the original rock layer and choose Blending Options.

Activate Gradient Overlay and set Blend Mode to Multiply, Opacity to 100%, Gradient to Black,White, Scale and Angle depending on the size of your rock.


Step 8d – Add Flying Rocks:

Activate Outer Glow and set Blend Mode to Overlay, Opacity to 100%, Noise to 0 , Color to #FFFFFF, Spread to 0 and Size to 20px. The rest of settings remain as default.

Activate Inner Glow and set Blend Mode to Normal, Opacity to 60%, Noise to 0 , Color to #000000, Spread to 0 and Size to 25px. The rest of settings remain as default.



You may repeat Step 8 for as many rocks as you desire as long as it looks good. I also created a Levels Adjustment Layer to enhance the depth.

This is a long tutorial and I hope you have enjoyed it. Thanks!

Click here to view the final image.

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57 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. jose says:

    very creative tutorial i got a lot out of this thanks a millions thanks keep it up

  2. Mclovin says:

    Thats great hard but great!!!!

  3. CgBaran Tuts says:

    Excellent tutorial

  4. Hollz says:

    Thanks! For my advanced image manipulation class we had to pick a challenging tutorial, this was PERFECT for me! Nice job, there may have been just a tad more explanation on some parts, but definitely one of the better tutorials I’ve done πŸ˜€

  5. anup sharma says:

    great tutorial

  6. Johnson says:

    Hahaha thanks dudes! πŸ˜€

  7. Noel says:

    Is that the Planet X colliding the Planet Earth on Year 2012? OMG! you must be kidding! :))

  8. - V - says:


  9. SàмŐōЯ says:

    soooooooo nice
    in arabic >> Γ™Ε Γ™β€ Γ˜Β΅Γ˜Β± Γ˜Β―Γ™Ε Γ™β€ Γ™Ζ’
    loool i like it so much

  10. Johnson says:

    Thanks Haxan and Sofia~!

  11. Sofia says:

    Incredible!!.. but a very destructive mind πŸ˜€ (kidding) Its just WOW!.. i never knew such things are possible in photoshop too!! Hats off!!

  12. Haxan says:

    Simply mind blowing =)

  13. Johnson says:

    Thanks Rochel for your appreciation!!

  14. rochel says:

    wow thats greattttttttttt im a graphic artist but wow so nice

  15. Johnson says:

    Thanks for your pointers, S-master. I’m learning while creating the tutorial too πŸ™‚

  16. s-master says:

    not realistic, effectively but not realistichno. since it is hung shade not flood plains from kuda. balance of the illumination unrealistic and effect of the scatter splinter looks not plausible… in general work not bad but requires existinging change.

  17. DaBist says:

    Where do i get the rocks?

  18. Rye says:

    I get what you mean. But I think, if you let the colors as they are, it would be a bit more realistic. I’ll give it a try. πŸ˜€

  19. Johnson says:

    Hey Rye! Sure we can let the planets in their original colors. Just that I wish to give the whole image a warmer feel since it is about an explosion. But I think your suggestion will turn out good as well πŸ˜‰

  20. Rye says:

    Wow, this is amazing! But I wonder: Is it possible you let the planets in their original color, or wouldn’t the effect be as nice as it is now?

  21. TwoFace. says:

    cool cool!

  22. hal9000 says:

    Great tutorial! Thanks for the detailed instructions.
    I already went through and I would like to send you my file for comments and remarks. How can I send it to you?

  23. Johnson says:

    Thanks Paulo, Lulu and Mohammed πŸ˜€

    Also thanks GraphicTutorials for featuring this tut!

  24. Mohammed says:

    Hey, great tut really. Keep up the goodwork
    I will add a link to your page too.. worths πŸ™‚

  25. Very nice tutorial, we added a link to your page πŸ™‚

    greetings from !

  26. LuLu says:

    Simply amazing, I had so much fun with this, considering I’m a beginning with Photoshop this was very easy to use as well as being easy to understand. Keep up the excellent work!

  27. Paulo says:

    Excellent job Johnson!

    It may not be the best collision effect but you’ve made it so much easy for beginners like me to follow.

    Keep it up!

  28. Johnson says:

    Big thanks you guys for liking this page πŸ˜€

    @bozo: I thought it will be easy to find rock images that’s why i didn’t include in the download πŸ˜‰ Happy to hear your success with the fake poster. Cheers!

  29. b0z0 says:

    Dude YOU ROCK!!!
    But speaking of rocks….the image you used to extract the rocks from I cant find HOWEVER I used your “Asteroid_Field_v01” stock image for the rocks and it turned out AWESOME!
    BTW: Did you know there remaking WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE?
    I turned my pick into a fake poster for the movie

  30. werty says:

    so imbaz0rz

  31. Manny says:

    This is really cool!
    Keep up the good work!

  32. Dewald says:

    I like it man, good work. Only one thing, shouldnt the top of the lens flair be hidden behind the planet?

  33. Wow. Really amazing stuff there. I’m going to follow this tutorial to make a wallpaper for myself. Thanks again!

  34. Johnson says:

    I’m really glad you guys enjoy reading my site. I’ll keep it going. Thanks!

  35. Man, thats pretty realistic outcome – only pretty time consuming is that explosion part, but that’s the way of photoshop! πŸ™‚ Nice job!

  36. hi john..WOW..AMAZING AND FANTASTIC know ive always watch your latest coming tutorial, hope there many more on what you have done.beacause im doing it seriously..thank you…

  37. Johnson says:

    Hey mikki2, or rather Niyi! πŸ˜€

    Thanks for your constant support!

    Actually I still think there are rooms for improvement on my collision tutorial. Personally like the one done by Colis at PSDTUTS.

    See you around πŸ˜‰

  38. Niyi Sodipe says:

    WOW WOW WOW!!! Don’t really know what to say …except…WOW!!! Digitalblasphemy, here I come!!!

    This is mikki2 by the way. Just thought I should use my real name now.

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