Create Leopard's Aurora wallpaper

Posted by tech master  |  at  2:18 AM 2 comments

Okay. I’m going to attempt the impossible. Well, it seemed impossible at least. Gonna try and recreate the Mac OS X Leopard wallpaper. Please don't laugh at me.

Step 1: Make a very large document. If you want 1650*1050, then make it 1900*1400 and so on. Fill with #090608

Step 2: Create a new layer (Command+Shift+N). Name it “cloud 1”. Now take your Lasso tool and drag out a sort of shape. Doesn’t have to be perfect. Then go to Select > Modify > Feather and give it a 10 point feather.

Step 3: With the shape still selected, go to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. Deselect it (Command+D).

Step 4: Now go to Filter > Blur > Radial Blur. Notice the thumbnail at the bottom right. Make the zoom such that the crosshair is towards the center of the document. Hit OK. If the effect is not too much, then hit Command+F to run the filter again.

Step 5: Do step 2 through 4 a couple of times till you have a fan thing. (refer to the Leopard wally for guidance). Use the transform tool to increase size, rotate and get it right.

Step 6: Select the first ‘cloud 1’ layer and hit Command + U. Check the “Colorize” box. Hue: 302 | Saturation: 44 | Lightness: 16. Do the same for the other cloud layers as well, only vary those hue saturation numbers a bit here and there.

Step 7: Create another one of those “cloud layers”, but make it wide. Very wide. Notice the Leopard Wally has a blue tinge at the bottom left to top left. Get the cloud such, and give it a blue hue instead of the purple. Position that blue layer under the respective purple layer(s).

Step 8: Try different blend modes for the other cloud layers. Stuff like hard light, vivid light creates some nice blends.

Step 9: Select the brush tool (B). Select a round brush in the brush toolbar. Then open up the brushes palette (Window > Brushes).

Basically scatter those brush dots.

Step 10: Create separate layers for star sets for small dots, medium dots, and a few large ones. Give the layer a pink/purple outer glow (layers > layer options > outer glow). Also create another star set with mixed stars and give it a blue outer glow.

Step 11: Experiment with blurring out stars (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur), layer opacity and such to get depth for the stars

Step 12: Now also create a layer above all others. Make it’s blend mode into “Color”. Select a nice big soft brush (400px or so) and reduce the opacity of the brush to 10-15%. Now lightly brush over random areas with a deep blue colour.

I’m guessing given the time and patience, a close resemblance to the Leopard’s Aurora wallpaper can be achievable. Mine’s far from it, but I’m going to work on it some more and see where I end up…

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