Create a Planet from scratch with Fireworks

Posted in Resources > Illustration by Firetuts

In this tutorial I’ll go through completely how to completely create a planet from scratch with Fireworks. You don’t even need any images, its all there in your textures. This tutorial is inspired by this one.

Create a Planet from scratch, lets get started

1. First, draw a rectangle the size of the canvas. Now use filters in this order; add noise with amount 27, add Brightness -46 and Contrast 98, then add Gaussian Blur 0.8. Now you have stars. This shall be the lowest layer, nothing goes beneath this.

Create a Planet from scratch

2. Draw a circle and fill it with the Paint Dark pattern. Change Brightness to -56. Add a white Inner Shadow with distance of 9, opacity 65%, softness 10 and angle 45. Set its texture to Metal 31%. This shall be the Planet layer.

Create a Planet from scratch

3. Draw two circles the exact size and shape of the Planet, place them directly above it. Fill the first one with radial gradient with white edges opacity 22 and black center opacity 0. In other words, its an alternative to a white Inner Shadow. As for the second circle above that one, resize that to 95% of its original size, and add a Gaussian Blur 4.8 and 75% opacity.

Create a Planet from scratch

4. Draw two black circles on top of the previous two circles, the size of the Planet. Resize the first one to 110% original size and set its edge to feather 72 and opacity 78. The second one, which is above the first, set to feather 49 and opacity 74. Position them slightly over to the top right.

Create a Planet from scratch

5. Draw a white circle on top of all layers, the size of the Planet. Resize that to 55% and position it on the bottom left. Set its edge to Feather 55 and the shape to Overlay.

Create a Planet from scratch

6. Draw another white circle the size of the Planet. This time, delete the top and right vector points, leaving an oval on the bottom left. Set its edge to Feather 24 and opacity to 38. Arrange it underneath the Planet.

Create a Planet from scratch

7. Now draw two smaller circles 60% size of the Planet and place them beneath everything. Set both to the Flames pattern, edge feather 97, and opacity 60%. Color fill the bottom one to red with overlay. Then change the saturation of the top one to -100 and Brightness -15 and Contrast 64. Now you have a little bit of space texture.

Create a Planet from scratch

8. Draw a white oval and set opacity to 70 and Overlay. Place it beneath all the layers, making the stars on the left of the Planet brighter.

Create a Planet from scratch

9. Draw one last circle and set its pattern to Smudge Red, edge Feather 100, opacity 10, Saturation -100, Brightness -15, Contrast 64, and put it on top of all layers, towards the bottom left. This makes more space texture.

Create a Planet from scratch

There you have it, a convincing planet. Do some tweaking and you can make a new solar system!



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There're 45 comments for this post.
  1. Interesting tutorial, thank you, Justin.

    About “this is where we prove that Fireworks users can do many things Adobe Photoshop can” – i don`t want to make any comparison between PS and FW users. It is different software for different purposes.

  2. To Nikola: You’re welcome. And yes, they are different, but my statement stands.

    To Corey Dutson: Thank you, hope you enjoy our tutorials.

  3. To Camilo: Thanks! Photoshop is still pretty powerful, by the way.

    To mike: Fill>>Gradient>>Radial. Click on the color selector and you have a spectrum. Above the spectrum bar are two tabs on each end, those are the opacity adjusters. And thanks!

  4. Fantastic tutorial ! & Beatiful results !Makes me realize how powerful Fw is and how much I still have to learn about it… Thanks very much for the site Justin, it’s definitely worth a visit !

  5. I tried it and it’s great! I even tweaked it a little to make it seem more realistic, like I fuzzed the edge of the planet with a 3 on feathering, and I chose some interesting textures. Thanks! This really helps get you refreshed on FW!

  6. Thanks Tom, glad you liked it. You’re on your way to make your own space themed wallpapers!

    Don’t forget to join the Adobe Fireworks Facebook Group!

  7. enzo on said:

    awesome tut. i made one in like 30 minutes; used a different pattern though.

    but how do you get that fuzzy look in the planet?

    look at mine here;

    it doesnt have that like fuzzy look on the lighted edge surface of the planet like the one in the tut does. can anyone help me out?

    btw; blue2x how did you make that?! post up a tut! lol

    i wanna learn how to make like space objects by just using fireowkrs; plz send me any tuts you got on space; get me at


  8. how do u actually make saturn using fireworks cause i need it 4 work. can u please reply as soon as possible by giving me a link or something. i need it by 3 days pls

  9. VERY cool tut. I’m happy that firetuts is around. We needed a place for us fireworks users. I get laughed at all the time by the PS guys but with work like this you can be sure that they won’t be laughing long ;)

  10. Linknomisuess on said:

    I’m pretty new to fireworksand I love screwing around with your tutorials and seeing what I can get from them. the only problem I had with this one was finding the “add Noise” filter. I have FW mx, does it even exist?

  11. svenn on said:

    Waw, very nice, im working with FW for few month’s now and im really impressed. However its just finding the right colors & textures at the right place. But verry thx you!

  12. George w. Ingram IV on said:

    I kind of am hoping to find a team of people that would like to build a new planet

    Im kind of growing tired of blue

  13. Moogly on said:

    Wow, I tried to do this and phailed misserably, then again I’m not completely familiar with FW but oh well lol maybe I’ll try as I get better :P

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  16. This is amazing. I tried it out and made a cool wallpaper for myself in no time.

    Justin: Why aren’t there any more tutorials from you these days?

  17. im new and i cant figer out the overlay thing and what not. i really don’t get what it is…

  18. Vlood on said:

    Nice and ambitious tutorial. But there are few things i’d like to point out:

    “As for the second circle above that one, resize that to 95% of its original size..”

    no mentioning that it should be black.

    “Draw a white circle on top of all layers, the size of the Planet. Resize that to 55%…”

    looking at your source file, it’s more like 83%.

    “Draw another white circle the size of the Planet. This time, delete the top and right vector points, leaving an oval on the bottom left.” – again, in the source file it’s not white, it’s FFFFCC. Better looking, sure.

    And there’s no mentioning of another FFFFCC circle that lies beneath all the other big ones.

    I strongly advice this tutorial to everyone, but don’t forget to look at the source file as you go.

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  22. Great job firetut!

    To make rings, use the donut tool. Choose the color you like, and make it big and thin. Use a blur filter, and live filter GRADIENT OVERLAY, LINEAR. Adjust angle, strength and other factors so suite your universe. Squeeze it down vertically to your taste. Place it over your planet where desired.

    Now the tricky part.

    Copy your squashed donut and save it somewhere else in the picture for future reference (not 100% necessary, just something I do). Now FLATTEN your squashed donut (the original one, not the copy you made for later).

    If your donut is positioned over the planet you’ll see it doesn’t look right since the planet would block you from seeing the “other side” of the donut. You’ll need to manually erase the hidden side.

    That’s a basic ring. Mess around with this and you’ll find all sorts of cool stuff you can do with basic filters and tools to make the rings look more realistic. Add details like tiny moons, etc.