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Space Art - Starting from scratch

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Old 08-09-2005, 07:39 AM
Jiger's Avatar
Jiger Jiger is offline
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Posts: 40
Space Art - Starting from scratch

At first this was a post I submitted to the original "PS Graphics - Starting..." thread by Dough Nelson, but it got buried so deep down in the levels I doubt anyone will find it unless very persistant at digging.

So, for varous reasons I decided to move it to a new thread, but if doing so was wrong I hope the Mod will correct it.

More to do with PS (or similar software).

Hi, me again !

Some posts back, Mark Adams shared some very nice images that could be labeled as "Space Art" (for those who need labels).
I was very pleased to see them since this is an image genre I very much appreciate.
Thank you, Mark. You've got something there.

When thinking about Space Art it's very easy to say: " Naahh - that's 3D ! ", but really - Photoshop (and similar) is highly capable of producing stunning Space Art with (propotionally) a fraction of the effort it would take to make the same thing in a hi-end 3D modelling and render package.
Not to mention what can be done with both in conjunction ..

I've done some dabbling with Space Art myself, but I'm not going to make you suffer all hell by showing you my inferior pieces.
But what I will do is point you to some resources and tutorials to get you started if you got an interest in this kind of art.
Deal ?
Ok - here goes:

How to make a very convincing planet in Photoshop:

Art of Greg Martin - How to make a planet

... and by all means, do scout the whole site out. Lots of stuff to learn from there.

While you're at it, perhaps you would like a nice starfield behind your planet(-s) ?

Art of Greg Martin - Make a realistic Starfield

Perhaps spice up your Starfield with a bit of "Nebula Dust" ?

Colouring your starfield

Want a ring around your planet, you say ?
Ok - here's how to !

Planetary Rings

And for last, a place really worth visiting - if for nothing else - their tutorial section

Solar Voyager

Well, folks, that's all for now and if you have an interest in Space Art I think I've pointed you at enough stuff to have you going for many, many hours (days, weeks... )


-- Jiger --

Last edited by T Paul; 08-26-2005 at 05:23 AM. Reason: Renamed Title
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Old 08-25-2005, 04:37 PM
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Flora Flora is offline
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Location: Milan, Italy
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Hi Jiger,

Welcome to RP!

Simply amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing these great links!!!!
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Old 08-26-2005, 03:51 AM
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Jiger Jiger is offline
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Posts: 40
Flora !
Welcome to RP!

Simply amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing these great links!!!!
Thank you very much for your welcoming, Flora !
I really do appreciate being here as RP is a very valuable resource, indeed. The advice and tutorials have helped me out a lot in my retouching and editing endevours, so there's always good reason to return and explore threads not yet explored.
Your contributions in particular have proven both invaluable as well as insighted on numerous occations, so I'm very pleased and thankful you are part of this comunity/resource.
How, for instance, would I have understood the "blend if..." if it wasn't for your explanations and pointers ?

I posted the Space Art thread since it's quite easy to "narrow" Photoshop (and similars) to use only as an image editor and be satisfied with that, forgetting that it's (they're) most perfectly capable of creating other kinds of artistic expressions - never exploring the potentials there are.

On the other hand... exploring the potentials of Photoshop (and similars) makes it easy to forget everything else ...

Glad you found the links interesting !

-- Jiger --
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:53 AM
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Jiger Jiger is offline
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OK then ...

Jupp, I said I wouldn't make you suffer all hell by showing my inferior Space Art pieces, but then again ... just to kinda "prove my point" - here's a thingy I put together yesterday using some of the pointers in the tutorials.

Lots of detail lost to image downsize and compression, but anyways...

-- Jiger --
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File Type: jpg PlanetaryVoyager.jpg (96.6 KB, 72 views)
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Old 09-17-2005, 06:33 PM
Punch Punch is offline
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Posts: 46
Planet experiment

Hi... thanks for the links

I got interested in the great tutorials and decided to try my hand. Made a few mistakes but all in all it pleased me.

Here is the result...

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File Type: jpg Stars2.jpg (99.8 KB, 68 views)
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Old 09-17-2005, 08:13 PM
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Jiger Jiger is offline
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Posts: 40
Hi Punch !

Well, for "trying your hand " at it I'd say you tried very well there.
Really nicely performed !

Yeah, it's easy to make "mistakes" - or getting off wrong - when you try to adapt your own design ideas. Takes a bit of getting used to when trying out a new form of artistic expression.

But - in your piece I can spot only two things that "bothers" me.
First, it looks as if you've got the atmosphere all the way around the planet edge; showing up under the dark side as well.
Looks a bit unlogic... but it's no big deal.

Second, the upper right of the bright center starfield could have done with a bit more work (harder on the eraser, perhaps). It shows a repeted pattern you would be wanting to avoid when doing this kind of images.

Tho - all in all I think you did a very great job on your first piece and if you found making this kind of art interesting I hope you keep going with producing more pieces.

Here are two galleries with Space- and SciFi Art to inspire you further.

Digital Art Org


Have fun !

-- Jiger --
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Old 09-18-2005, 01:02 PM
Punch Punch is offline
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Posts: 46
Thanks Jiger...

You are correct in your analysis. I did the planet first per the tutorial you pointed to. Everything went well 'til the author got into the part about erasing the "outer glow" on the planet layer. Since he was working with layer effects when you erase the part of the planet you don't want the glow it actually increases it. I tried to follow his instructions but finally had to merge the layers and physically erase the glow.

Still I considered that since this planet had an atmosphere it might conceivably have a slight glow even in the darkest regions due to light refraction so I left a slight bit.

The starfield is a different matter. I had gotten to the part where you use the clone stamp tool and in order to get a clearer perspective I reduced my image down to where I could see the whole thing and just kept cloning. But when I enlarged to see what it really looked liked I saw the many duplicates and patterns. By that time I had done so many steps that I couldn't back out far enough. Oh well, close enough for government work.

One comment about the two tutes I followed. The reason I like these kind of lessons is that I always learn new ways of using tools. In these I learned a few things about using brushes with settings other than normal mode, i.e. set to color dodge or others that I normally don't usually think of.

I will be trying a little more "Space Art" in the future.

Cheers... Kent
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Old 09-18-2005, 03:44 PM
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Jiger Jiger is offline
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Kent !

I perfectly understand the "issues" you had with the tut's.
The specifics is written for a fairly small image size and when I did them I aimed for a large, hi-res imagery (print) which forced me to modify just about every step and experiment out different solutions.
Actually, there was times when I thought I would go completely bananas from frustration ...

Glad you found Space Art interesting enough to concider more work with it.
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to space art any myself right now since I'm really deep into this Image Editing/Design/Retouch/CS 2/ACE education and training-thingy keeping me busy 24/7 - more or less ...

Some sample work (two pieces) at: Photoshop Design Student Gallery

I got on this training program since I don't have the time/money/opportunity/patience (fill in added apropriate blanks at own discretion) for a "classic" arts education.

Happy Photoshopping, Kent !


-- Jiger --

Last edited by Jiger; 09-18-2005 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-19-2005, 02:53 AM
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bart_hickman bart_hickman is offline
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Balls and Bubbles in PSPX

I discovered an artistic effect in Paintshop Pro called "Balls and Bubbles". I saw someone use it to make something appear to be wrapped in plastic, but it occured to me when I saw this thread I might be able to make a planet with it too. Nice thing about this tool (for me anyway) is it removes any handwork because it does the warping, texturing, glossiness, ambience, and lighting automatically. You can even define multiple light sources. If the planet has sufficient texture, the lighting is even properly rendered for the texture itself (such as you see with the moon.)

Here's a quickie I made just using one of the built-in fill patterns as a test. I created one ball with the texture and pattern on it--this is the planet. I created a second, slightly larger and semi-transparent ball on top of it to make the atmosphere. The second ball has no texture--it's just a plain cyan ball. I applied a gaussian blur to the atmosphere ball. Both balls have the same light source.

This tool would also allow one to quickly make several versions of the same planet seen from different angles or with the sun in a different location.


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Old 12-02-2005, 02:25 PM
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creeduk creeduk is offline
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Great stuff, I did a sky one which required the planet first then it becomes a moon. I loved the outcome.
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