This page is a Tutorial, and gives instruction on a process or technique that can be performed in Photoshop.

A starry night can be quickly added to an image as a background.


Add NoiseEdit

The Add Noise filter can be used to generate a randomized base of pixels for further processing.


From: Photoshop

  • Add a new layer, filled with black.
    • (Add Noise cannot be used on a blank layer!)
  • Use Gaussian Blur to slightly spread the noise.
  • Use Levels adjustment layer to trim the noise down to a few specks of light.
    • For best results, place all sliders to the right of the histogram 'hump'.
    • Zoom in to 100% to get a proper preview. Lower zoom levels do not work well with noisy images.
  • Shift colors as needed (e.g. Colorize, chromatic noise layer)


  • + Relatively simple to perform.
  • + Steps can be saved as an action
  • – Add Noise has certain limitations
    • Point size is limited.
    • The results may be too colorful (non-monochromatic) or too dull (monochromatic) without further steps.
  • – Some points have odd shapes.


Add ImagePainting stars
Varying results can be achieved using the Brush tool and certain brushes to paint stars rather than generate them.


  • Use normal round brushes (at low sizes) and pointed star brushes (if available).
  • In Brush options, experiment with the following values:
    • Standard > Spacing
    • Brush Shape Dynamics
      • Size Jitter
      • Angle Jitter (for pointed stars, if desired)
    • Brush Scattering
      • Scatter
      • Count Jitter
    • Color Dynamics
      • Hue Jitter
      • Brightness Jitter


  • – Advanced brush options are not available in older versions of Photoshop.
  • – Requires a lot of setup time and experimentation.
    • + Favorable brushes can be saved for later.
  • – May need extra brushes to get favorable results.

Stock PhotographyEdit

Add ImageStock imagery
It might be preferable to search for stock photography online, and just add a suitable image as a layer.


  • Search for an image (high resolution preferred):
    • "stars night"
      Tends to retrieve pleasant-looking results suitable for most purposes.
      Retrieves more spectacular images suitable for science-fiction or fantasy settings. (May also retrieve results for a particular Christian band.)
      "starry night"
      Starry Night by Van Gogh (also a jigsaw puzzle )

      The Starry Night by van Gogh

      Often pulls up Vincent van Gogh's famous painting.
  • Edit > Paste into new layer
  • Erase or layer mask as needed.


  • + Existing images are often of good quality.
  • – Some stock may not be licensed for derivative use.
    • (Images by NASA are often released to public domain.)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.