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Spacescape tutorials


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#1 h3llb0yn3cr0

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 11:56 AM

This is my first tutorial, so please bear with me!

This is what we will be making:

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Plugins needed:
Shape3D by MKT viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5271
Outline Object by pyrochild viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5715
Normal Map by stinger viewtopic.php?t=2973
CustomBrushesMini by Simon Brown viewtopic.php?f=16&t=30118&p=264210
Feather by BoltBait viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2498

Brushes needed:
Nebula Brushes by ME!!! viewtopic.php?f=12&t=23095&p=302859#p302859

All sizes mentioned are in pixels.

Part One: Background stars

There are two methods I recommend, first is Sharp's awesome starscape tutorial (viewtopic.php?f=31&t=31262) and the next is my simple one here.

1. Create a new canvas with the size 800x600.
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2. Fill the canvas black.
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3. Add Noise :AddNoise: at these levels:
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4. Add Noise :AddNoise: (again) at these levels:
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This creates a simple star background for you. If you're thinking about using the Sparkle plugin (yes, Madjik, I am demeaning your plugin) don't. It's unrealistic. I used it for a while then I discovered if you really focus you can find mistakes in the pixels.

EDIT: Oh yeah, just realized. Some stars when viewed from afar, are still slightly colored, so if you want, raise the color saturation to up to 10 in noise. You can also add noise at 100 Intensity, Color Saturation 0, and Coverage 0.30 and repeat with color saturation at 5. This creates some white stars and some colored stars.

Part Two: Foreground star

My favorite part! This part is optional, you may skip to the planet if you wish.

5. Add a new layer.

6. What do you want the color of your star to be? Record that! Now choose a color slightly darker than that and fill the canvas with that color. Record this color too. For this tut, I'm using the color #25A5A8.
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7. Run Shape3D as a sphere without lighting. Depending on how big you want your star to be, adjust scaling. For this tut, I'm simply using 1.000. The reason we do this is to get the star exactly at the center, otherwise a later step will be slightly weird.
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8. Magic wand on the incomplete star with a tolerance of 0%.
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9. Add a new layer.

10. CustomBrushesMini! Alright, on the new layer, you still have the selection, right? Goodie! Let's run CustomBrushesMini! With the nebula brushes that I hope you have, go crazy on the layer with your star color! But make sure you still leave some transparent parts on the layer.
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11. Deselect and merge the layer down.

12. Add a new layer.

13. Run clouds with a primary color of your star color and a secondary color of white.
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14. Use Rotate/Zoom with the settings below.
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15. Switch to the star layer and select the area outside the star with a tolerance of 0%.
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16. Switch to the cloud layer and press DELETE!!
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17. Set the cloud layer's blending mode to overlay.
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18. Merge the layer down.

19. Duplicate the layer.

20. Run Zoom Blur on the top layer with these settings:
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21. Set the layer blending mode to lighten and merge the layer down.
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Your star is done! Of course, a different base color will produce a different star color.

Part Three: Planet

Now what is a spacescape without a planet! Well, most spacescapes have planets. Some just have nebulae. Some are starscapes.

22. Add a new layer.

23. Run clouds with black and white at the default settings.
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24. Run Normal Map (in PDN effects known as Height Field to Normal Map) at the default setting.
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25. Run Black and White in Adjustments.
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26. What color do you want your planet to be? Well, select that color, and a slightly lighter color. I chose some preset colors. Run clouds at the settings below:
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27. Run Shape3D at settings depending on your current star. Make sure Specular Highlight is off and Ambient Lighting is at 0.00. Adjust lighting until it appears to be coming from the star. And finally, how big is the planet? And where is it? Adjust scaling and position.
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28. What color is your planet again? Run Outline Object, and in there, lighten your color a lot, but don't let it become fully white. Softness should be 255, and the width is dependent on your planet size. If you want your atmosphere to be angled, look at step 46.
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Ta-da! Your planet is finished! Ain't that a sight?

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If you're looking to make an earth-like planet, follow these steps:

29. Add a new layer.

30. Run clouds at any colors. It doesn't matter. Zilch. Zip. Nil. Well, it sort of does. I really don't know. Run it at black and white with a scale of 200>250 and the default roughness.
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31. Run Color Threshold at any setting below 127. The earth has more water than land. Unless you want a more land than water planet.
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32. Magic wand the whites.
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33. Delete!
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34. Add a new layer.

35. Run clouds at the default settings.
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36. Run Normal Map at this setting:
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37. B&W!
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38. Green color for primary, and lighter green color for secondary, and clouds at default scale and roughness with blending mode at multiply.
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39. Switch to the black layer and magic wand the transparent part.
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40. Switch back to the heightfield layer and DELETE! (again...)
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41. Set the blending mode of the layer to difference and the opacity depending on your tastes. For this tutorial, I chose 184.
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42. Merge! the layer down. (I'm getting bored.)
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43. Run BoltBait's Feather plugin with these settings:
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44. Merge again!

45. Run Shape3D, repeating whatever I said in step 27. You can see my settings here.
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46. Outline Object with an Angled checked and the angle according to the lighting on your planet. 255 Softness and width depending on your planet.
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You're done with your earth-like planet! If you want clouds for your planet, run clouds with primary color white, secondary color transparent, and the other settings whatever you want. This is the outcome.
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I didn't do this as good as I could. So you can do better than the example I gave you for the earth-like planet. Possibly to color filter the land layer to give it a bit more of a green color.

Of course, feel free to experiment. Some parts, especially the star background, can be considered 'too easy', so mods feel free to lock this thread.

I did a bit more on this piece adding a second larger planet and a nebula behind. Excluding the earth-like planet.

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Comments/praise/criticisms/outcomes welcome :)

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#2 yy10

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 01:48 PM

kewl tut. I don't quite like the uotcome but quite creative.
btw, did you read the tutorial guidelines? you must resize your screenshots to under 800 pixels. :?
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#3 flip

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 04:18 PM

I don't understand why you use shape3d. Why not just make a circle?
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#4 pdnnoob

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Posted 15 November 2009 - 08:41 PM

I don't understand why you use shape3d. Why not just make a circle?

it depends on what kind of an outcome you are looking for. A circle could look flat if you don't use the right effects to fix it...I'll post an example picture to illustrate soon.

EDIT: illustration
Hidden Content:

The shape 3D version took about 20 seconds. I had to make the shading for the other planet, but, to some degree, I think it has a little more...personality.
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#5 h3llb0yn3cr0

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:16 AM

Flip: Shape3D? Which part are you referring to? The foreground star part? For that, I use it to get it exactly in the center. Zoom blur looks awkward if you don't get it exactly in the center. I tried it :? For the planet, I use it because the lighting settings and AA is easier than in cutting out. Also, it looks more realistic than in cut-out.

yy10: Yes, I have read the rules, I was hoping to get it right and not get my tut locked. But when I couldn't resize it, I simply tried inserting the image and seeing if it resizes to a thumbnail like I've seen others. But it didn't :( and it just stayed like that, so I assumed that the Tutorial Rules were simply not updated :x I was wrong.

EDIT: spelling mistake
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#6 Ego Eram Reputo

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Posted 17 November 2009 - 09:21 PM

Yes, I have read the rules, I was hoping to get it right and not get my tut locked. But when I couldn't resize it, I simply tried inserting the image and seeing if it resizes to a thumbnail like I've seen others. But it didn't :( and it just stayed like that, so I assumed that the Tutorial Rules were simply not updated :x I was wrong.

You're right, the tutorial guidelines are up to date :)

Please resize your images to a maximum dimension of 800px.
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#7 flip

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 12:16 AM

Flip: Shape3D? Which part are you referring to? The foreground star part? For that, I use it to get it exactly in the center. Zoom blur looks awkward if you don't get it exactly in the center. I tried it For the planet, I use it because the lighting settings and AA is easier than in cutting out. Also, it looks more realistic than in cut-out.


You can use the align object plugin. I meant to say that in my post, sorry.
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#8 h3llb0yn3cr0

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 05:34 AM

EER: could you give me a few days? I don't get enough computer time everyday and I'm afraid that this thread will get locked :oops: If it's not done by then I give you my full consent (not that you need it) to lock this thread.

flip: Shorter steps :D
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#9 Sharp

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 12:21 AM

flip: Shorter steps :D


Step one: Draw circle.
Step two: Run align object plugin. :roll:
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#10 david.atwell

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 03:16 AM

EER: could you give me a few days? I don't get enough computer time everyday and I'm afraid that this thread will get locked :oops: If it's not done by then I give you my full consent (not that you need it) to lock this thread.

flip: Shorter steps :D

Just get it done when you can. :-) Thanks for working with us.
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#11 h3llb0yn3cr0

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 11:47 AM

Step one: Draw circle.
Step two: Run align object plugin. :roll:


Actually, think about it, they're both the same :lol:

EDIT: Finished resizing screenshots. They're actually 799 pixels wide instead of 800 :lol:

EDIT2: Flip, also, the Shape3D plugin is more popular than the Align Object plugin, so it's more common and less people will need to recheck the plugins forum :P

EDIT3: On another note, we already have Shape3D for the planet, so Align Object is just another burden on your house 8)
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#12 cazaron

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 07:54 PM

the way you did the planet was cool. that looks great. the forground star, to me, just looks... out of place? too big? distracting? unnecessary?

anyway, i do indeed like the method used for the planet, most impressed there
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#13 h3llb0yn3cr0

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 05:20 AM

Hey thanks! :wink:
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#14 h3llb0yn3cr0

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 11:55 AM

Added more for earth-like planets.

And I'm still waiting for outcomes.
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#15 flip

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 05:43 PM

Well, to tell you the truth, the outcome isn't that good, which is why people aren't posting that many outcomes.
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#16 hippotipus

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 01:16 AM

pretty cool :D
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By hippotipus at 2010-01-29

#17 ArkonWarlord

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Posted 05 April 2010 - 09:01 PM

Hey - I made my spacy landscape. Actually, you asked for oucomes. so, here is my.

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I apologize for my bad english - try my best, that you can understand me :)

#18 ninja

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 03:04 PM

the link to your nebulae brushes is broken or something like that
could you give a new link?
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#19 Sarkut

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 04:42 PM

Brush Link
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#20 hexratt

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Posted 27 May 2010 - 06:58 PM

Nice tutorial. However, I could not get all the plug-ins to load on my version of Paint.net. Anyways, my result is bit different. Thanks for your tutorial.

Edited by hexratt, 02 June 2010 - 10:04 PM.

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