This week, guest Photoshop Expert Eric Renno, aka Tip Squirrel demonstrates how to create stars in Photoshop…..

Photoshop has some great vector shape capabilities but stars aren’t immediately available. You could use a Custom shape:


but as you can see there’s just a couple of choices and we don’t have any control over the shape. If you’re experienced with Photoshop you may be comfortable in creating a shape and manipulating the paths, but here we’ll get Photoshop to do the hard work.

To do this select the Polygon Tool:


If you draw out a shape using the defaults you’ll get a pentagon in black. Nothing like a star at all!


Most Photoshop tools use the Shift key to constrain proportions, but not here. The shape will remain constrained while the Shift key constrains the angle that it’s drawn at.

Polygon to Star

In the Conditional Menu at the top of the screen click the cog (1) and then check mark the Star box (2)


Drawing out the shape gives us a little more in terms of the shape I was after:


Round It Off

The Smooth Corners check box gives the star a rounded look


While the Smooth Indent gives this effect:


Of course you can have the both together too:


The Indent

We can alter the percentage of indent here too, the measurement is from the outside to the inside, so a high number here increases the indent making the star ‘more pointy’:


Special Offer!

You can add more points to the star by increasing the Sides:


Perfect for those special offer signs, or a rosette perhaps?

The Rate Star

With all this in mind, to make a rating star I put the settings to the below:


Then to shade it I used Layer Effects;


Resizing Vectors and Pixels

The star is too big so I’ll press Ctrl+t (PC) or Cmd+t (Mac) and make it smaller.

As a vector the star holds it’s shape perfectly, but the Layer Effects get a bit messed up. To resize them head over to the Layer Panel and right click on the downward pointing arrow and choose Scale Effects from the bottom of the menu:


Scale the effects to the desired amount:


And there we are, Easy stars with some Layer Effects. I’ve duplicated my star and added some text to round off my image.



As always, a big thanks to Eric for supplying this super detailed tutorial. Check out more of his tutorials on his websiteYouTube and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter should you wish to get in touch with him!