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Space Art - Starting from scratch

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  • 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, 04:23 AM. Reason: Renamed Title

  • #2
    Hi Jiger,

    Welcome to RP!

    Simply amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing these great links!!!!


    • #3
      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 --


      • #4
        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 --
        Attached Files


        • #5
          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...

          Attached Files


          • #6
            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 --


            • #7
              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


              • #8
                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, 02:49 PM.


                • #9
                  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.


                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Great stuff, I did a sky one which required the planet first then it becomes a moon. I loved the outcome.
                    Attached Files


                    • #11
                      Hey that's good! Reminds me a bit of the Dreamworks logo.



                      • #12
                        Now you mention it , yeah I knew I had seen that effect else where.


                        • #13
                          Punch: The authors in those tutorials assume advanced Photoshop knowledge I think and assume you'll know how to accomplish some of the things they tell you to do.

                          As for the glow, if you're using layer effects, open up the layer properties and check the box that says "mask hides layer effects". I don't think that's the exact text, but you'll see it. It's the fourth checkbox down in PS 7, I believe.

                          After you check that box, just apply a layer mask to your layer. Then, when you paint on the layer mask, the layer effects will be erased as the tutorial intended.

                          I read through some of the tutorials and put together my own image: I know there are a lot of technical things wrong but I was eager to try out a bunch of different things I learned all at once. haha.


                          • #14
                            Very interesting Jereme.



                            • #15

                              Thanks for the heads up. I had always wondered what "Mask hides layer effects" meant. Since doing the tut I have found another way of doing the same thing. Under Layers> Layer Styles> Create Layers it separates each effect into a linked layer which can be edited.

                              Each method has it's own uses- so much Photoshop, so little time.


                              BTW... Enjoyed your artwork.


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