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Drydareelin

"Solar Atmosphere" - Sun Tutorial [Image Heavy]

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This tutorial is available as a PDF. Click here to view or download it

 
Solar Atmosphere tutorial.
 
PnRfuHz.png
 
This tutorial requires you know basic use of all tools on the main toolbar. Read the documentation if you need aditional help.
 
 
Required Plugins: 
 
Part A - The Sun's Texture
Spoiler
 
Step 1:
Create a new canvas. You can chose any size that has a 2:1 ratio but I'm going to go with 800x400 and fill it with black.
 
rILObIi.png
 
 
Step 2:
Create another new canvas, keeping the same 2:1 ratio but make it considerably bigger. This will be our 'Sun' canvas.
 
DwtB9rA.png
 
 
Step 3:
On the sun's canvas, keep your primary colour as black, and make your secondary as a light grey. I chose #969696.
 
Step 4:
Render clouds (Effects -> Render -> Clouds) with a low scale and high roughness, keep the blend mode as 'Normal' for now.
 
JbdecFZ.png
 
 
Step 5:
Render clouds again on the same layer, but make the blend mode 'Difference'. Change the scale and roughness slightly.
 
dgp5JIp.png
 
 
Step 6:
Duplicate cloud layer and, using whatever method you like, scale the clouds up by about 3 - 4 times.
 
w8y0PdQ.png
 
 
Step 7:
Deselect and apply a Furblur effect (Effects -> Blurs -> Furblur). Play with the settings as you like, but I changed the Repetitions to 22.18, Main Angle to 10.89 and Src Colour to 0.08.
 
rLlmmQj.png
 
 
Step 8:
Duplicate that layer and apply a Dents effect (Effects -> Distort -> Dents). Make the scale around 90-100.
 
MLuyw7E.png
 
Step 9:
Change the top 2 cloud layer's blend mode's to "Screen". Flatten (Image -> Flatten, or, Ctrl+Shift+F).
 
3KIudox.png
 
 
Step 10:
Apply a small Surface Blur (Effects -> Blurs -> Surface Blur). I just used the Radius as 5 and the Threshold as 10.
 
 

 

Part B - The Sun's Shape and Glow
Spoiler
 
 
Step 11:
Render Shape3D (Effects -> Render -> Shape3D).
Turn Lighting Off and crank the scale right up. You can use whatever settings you want after that, but I used these:
Before you press 'OK', turn on Anti-Alias and make it around 2 or 3.
 
S6HqKGH.png
 
 
Step 12:
Select it with the Move Selected Pixels tool and Copy (Edit -> Copy, or, Ctrl+C).
Go over to your first canvas, should be filled with black, create a new layer and Paste (Edit -> Paste, or, Ctrl+V).
 
Click "Keep Canvas Size" and scale to a size of your choice.
 
36mkCIV.png
 
 
Step 13:
Create 4 new layers. For simplistic reasons, make the top 2 "Outer 1" and "Outer 2" respecively, and the other 2 "Inner 1" and "Inner 2" respectively. 
 
UwbAC6S.png
 
 
Step 14:
Select White as your primary colour and select the Magic Wand tool.
Select your sun's layer and click on the outside of your sun.
 
Select the layer Outer 1 and press Backspace to fill that area with white. Select the layer Outer 2 and do the same thing.
 
 
Step 15:
With the selection still active, inver the selection (Edit -> Invert Selection, or, Ctrl+I) and Select the Inner 1 layer. Press Backspace to fill and do the same with Inner 2.
 
OSEze6L.png
 
 
Step 16:
Hide both the Outer 1 & 2 layers and make sure the Inner 1 layer is selected.
Apply a Gaussian Blur (Effects -> Blurs -> Gaussian Blur) and make the value anything which gives you the effect of (or similar to) this:
 
NOrjwq3.png
 
 
Step 17:
Select the Inner 2 layer and apply a Gaussian Blur to give the blur similar to this:
 
ShY832X.png
 
 
Step 18:
Select your sun's layer and select the outside using the Magic Wand tool. Select the Inner 1 layer, invert selection and press Delete.
Repeat for Inner 2.
 
PqBEleD.png
 
 
Step 19:
Hide your Inner layers and unhide your Outer Layers and apply the same technique to the Inner layers (blur at different amounts, delete original space). Then unhide all hidden layers.
You should end up with this:
 
GytGjeN.png
 
 

 

Part C - Solar Flares and Additional Glow
Spoiler
 
Step 20:
Create a new canvas, same size as the very first one (the one you were using in Part B).
Make your primary colour Black, and your secondary a dark grey. I chose #404040.
 
Render clouds (you might need to change the blend mode back to 'Normal') and you'll want to keep the values similar to the default values.
 
RT8pWEa.png
 
 
Step 21:
Apply a dents effect and crank the scale up to 200. Duplicate that layer and apply a Brightness and Contrast adjustment (Adjustments -> Brightness and Contrast, or, Ctrl+Shift+T) at about these settings:
 
CF2JWOV.png
 
 
Step 22:
Use now to apply any additional effects you want, but if not flatten now and Copy the entire canvas.
 
 
Step 23:
Go back to your main canvas.
Make a new layer above the Outer layers and Paste. Change the blend mode to 'Screen'.
 
m8e6Q5V.png
 
 
Step 24:
Select the Gradient Tool. Select Radial Gradients and change 'Colour Mode' to 'Transparency Mode'.
 
yaCHFlj.png
 
 
Step 25:
Click and hold at the middle-bottom on the sun, then drag upwards until the flares are just breaking the glow's barrier. You can be the judge here on how big you want them.
 
 
Step 26:
Duplicate that layer, apply the radial blur technique again and apply a small Gaussian Blur (around 25).
 
qa5nbYI.png
 
 
Step 27:
Flatten the image.
 
 

 

Part D - Colouring
Spoiler
 
 
Step 28:
Open up a Curves adjustment (Adjustment -> Curves, or, Ctrl+Shift+M).
Change the Transfer Map to RGB and adjust the Red and Blue curves accordingly:
 
7U5Kxrw.png
 
 
Step 29:
Open up Curves again and change the Transfer Map back to Luminosity, change accordingly:
 
CcLKirW.png
 
It should currently look like this (or similar):
 
k1b6hnM.png
 
 
Step 30:
Duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to 'Colour Dodge' and the opacity to around 150.
Duplicate again, turn the blend mode to 'Reflect' and opacity to around 75.
 
mwM62fJ.png
 
 
Step 31:
Optional: Apply a Brightness and Contrast adjustment with the contrast around 10-20.
  • Upvote 2

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@Dryda - A great tutorial and clear and easy to follow.  I never realized before, that you could have more than one canvas going on at the same time :)

 

Just two things where I stumbled:

 

Step 19 - it may be helpful to say to Blur the Inner 1 & 2 layers.  I wasn't sure which layers to blur.

Step 23 - shouldn't it be the 2nd canvas?  As the sun was on the first one.

 

 

So ................. DA - DA here is my attempt and a big thanks for the tutorial.

 

 

DrydasPlanet_zps57851c1a.png

  • Upvote 3

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That's awesome Pixey! So realistic. Nicely done.

Can't wait to get back from work to continue with mine.

I understand where you are coming from about which canvas to use for which part. I had to think a bit as well and got it the wrong way round at first.

I'm sure when Dryda reads these replies he will update the tut.

Edited by Goonfella

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Here is my effort. I added a bit of extra interest by replicating a transit of Mercury across the face of the sun. Mercury and Venus are the only two planets we can see transiting from Earth because, as I am sure everyone already knows, these are the only two planets closer to the sun than we are.

 

In the final step I added an extra layer below the sun layer, did a radial gradient , colours at default, and used the Fire plugin to add a bit more fire to the edge of the sun. After a bit of fiddling I settled on blend mode Additive, opacity 80 for this layer.

 

I also think that if you stop at the point just before you add the colour this technique makes a great moon. Anyway enough chat, here is my image -

 

TransitofMercury.jpg

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