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View Full Version : [Award Winner] Making planets, moons, and suns in Photoshop



Ascension
11-10-2008, 01:30 AM
Ok here's the Planet-Making Guide for PS users and the finished pics from the tut. This is by no means as nice as some of the "paid for" plug-ins but this is meant to be quick and easy to replicate and easy to modify. It can even be turned into an action, I just haven't done that as I like to change things around. Ultimately it has very little to do with mapping unless your mapping solar systems (which I am in this current challenge). I've ran through it once so it might not be totally polished so if you get confused let me know. It's a Word document, by the way. Hope you all like it.

:EDIT:
IF YOU FOUND THIS TUTORIAL HELPFUL, PLEASE RATE IT BY CLICKING ON THE 'RATE THREAD' BUTTON AT THE TOP OF THE POST TO ENCOURAGE THE TUTORIAL AUTHOR TO WRITE MORE TUTORIALS!
-Ravells, Community Helper.

nolgroth
11-10-2008, 03:03 AM
Wow. I am so going to try converting the concepts over to GIMP. That is one cool tutorial. Too bad I cannot rep you. Must have gotten you before for a monthly challenge or something. Anyway, hats off to you.

joćo paulo
11-10-2008, 06:23 AM
8)Awesome and very didactic.

:compass:I pity not to use ps here.

:)however I REP+ you.

ravells
11-10-2008, 08:12 AM
This is by no means as nice as some of the "paid for" plug-ins

You are kidding! This knocks the socks off any plug-in I've seen, including Lunar Cell.

Thanks a million for postng - I wish I could give you six stars for this tutorial.

thanks Ascension!

Ravs

Steel General
11-10-2008, 11:38 AM
Great job my man!...you win an all expenses paid trip to Phloston Paradise!!

I'd beat you soundly about the head with my Cudgel of Repping but it appears you're still recovering from the last beating I gave you.. :D

Thread duly rated.

For those of you who may be on slower internet connections, I have converted Ascension's MS-Word file to a .pdf

Ascension
11-10-2008, 06:11 PM
Thanks a million for the conversion Steel, I really do appreciate that since I haven't gotten the converter thingy myself. I hope that blue alien chick has recovered from her bout of "indigestion" so that I can hear her sing some arias.

Nol, Joao, Ravs...thank you for the kind words...it's what keeps me going.

bryguy
11-11-2008, 12:19 AM
Wow. I am so going to try converting the concepts over to GIMP.

give me a week and ill do it for you :)


but his does look good, i wanna see how you did the sun, as suns have always for me been just a bright dot with a lens flare :D


and from the looks of it, you have done the photoshop equivilent of what i do to make my earthlike planets :lol:




edit: browsing through it, it looks very good :)


just a thought tho, for the ring, maybe make the gradiant one that is black and white (black then then then black etc) and then add black and white noise (i use hsv noise for that in gimp) and set the mode to screen, then use some coloring tool (for gimp i use colors--> color balance) and make the lighter parts, none of the black parts, whatever color you want (for gimp, using the color balance, that would be mostly highlights, and that other one, cant remember it... but basically all but shadows :) .

That makes it look more like its made up of like rocks and such caught in its gravity and orbiting it, since thats what most rings are made of :D

joćo paulo
11-11-2008, 05:43 AM
Would be very grateful.

Steel General
11-12-2008, 07:00 AM
Ascension - I think I found a typo (actually its more like something was left out)...

Within step "n" of the Earth-like planet section it says: "Filter > Distort = 100".

Which distort filter are you referencing?

Ascension
11-12-2008, 07:49 AM
It's spherize, I think. I'll check it after work and re-up it.

Steel General
11-12-2008, 08:55 AM
Allrighty - that would make sense.

I can reconvert it to a .PDF once you make any needed changes.

Ascension
11-12-2008, 05:04 PM
Ok, fixed and re-upped...it was Spherize. Make sure that I saved the doc correctly and didn't just re-up the old one.

Steel General
11-13-2008, 07:16 AM
Ok, fixed and re-upped...it was Spherize. Make sure that I saved the doc correctly and didn't just re-up the old one.

Allrighty new version of the .PDF posted. Hope you don't mind but I did a bit of editing. Reduced image sizes, added some spacing between list bullets, emphasized things I felt were important such as commands, etc.

It shrunk the number of pages down to around 18.

ravells
11-13-2008, 08:30 AM
I'm amazed this tutorial hasn't reached 5 stars....I'm going to edit the orignal post to add a little encouragement...

waystar
11-13-2008, 09:11 AM
Wow, awesome! I have Lunar Cell, but find it lacking for anything that may require a close zoom-in. (Although it makes better clouds than I can make on my own so far.)

-waystar

Karro
11-13-2008, 10:21 AM
I'm amazed this tutorial hasn't reached 5 stars....I'm going to edit the orignal post to add a little encouragement...

Rated (with 5 stars, of course) even though I don't have photoshop! It looks like some of this is portable to GIMP, so that's exciting!

Steel General
11-13-2008, 12:36 PM
Rated (with 5 stars, of course) even though I don't have photoshop! It looks like some of this is portable to GIMP, so that's exciting!

Other than the lighting effects, I would think the entire thing should be portable over to GIMP...but don't take that as gospel from me. :)

@Ascension - Well it seems like I have "spread enuff love" around - so I dub thee newly repped *bonk*

Ascension
11-13-2008, 03:34 PM
Thanks guys! :) I like to spread the knowledge so now we can all make some halfway decent looking planets and not look like noobs ;) I think tonight I'll give a crack at doing one at a larger size and make a few experiments for future edits. As far as the lighting effects filter goes, one could probably get by with selecting by color medium gray to black and just deleting them and apply a bevel/emboss to em. Haven't tried it yet but it's sort of a work-around for Gimp, I'm sure someone more proficient with Gimp could test that.

Steel -- thanks for the edits.

nolgroth
11-22-2008, 05:56 AM
I wish there were some sort of "Translate Photoshop Lighting Effects to GIMP Lighting Effects" chart somewhere. Other than that, the Select > Color Range is the only thing that strikes me as an immediate problem.

Haven't had much time to play around with the concepts though and really I am a GIMP neophyte. I'm sure Bryguy or RobA would have those answers readily available.

bryguy
11-22-2008, 11:17 AM
I wish there were some sort of "Translate Photoshop Lighting Effects to GIMP Lighting Effects" chart somewhere. Other than that, the Select > Color Range is the only thing that strikes me as an immediate problem.

Haven't had much time to play around with the concepts though and really I am a GIMP neophyte. I'm sure Bryguy or RobA would have those answers readily available.

there is actually a tool like Select > Color Range in GIMP. Just, GIMP calls it Select by Color. In the toolbox, its looks like a hand pointing at a red cube, with a blue cube above the red and a green cube below it. Only thing is you cant do the fuzziness of 200 thing


Ive been busy so I havent really had time to modify this for GIMP, although modifying the earthlike planet for gimp wont be that hard, as just before this came out I figured out how to do the same sort of thing :)

nolgroth
11-22-2008, 11:53 AM
there is actually a tool like Select > Color Range in GIMP. Just, GIMP calls it Select by Color. In the toolbox, its looks like a hand pointing at a red cube, with a blue cube above the red and a green cube below it. Only thing is you cant do the fuzziness of 200 thingI thought that might be the same kind of thing, but I wasn't sure. Especially since there is no fuzziness setting. I'm sure there is a way to fake it. Problem is my Google-Fu has been weak in regards to finding stuff about translating PS to GIMP.


Ive been busy so I havent really had time to modify this for GIMP...Hey I understand. One of the reasons I had to leave my latest WIP as my entry for this months challenge is because of business. I was playing around with trying different things and I have to say that the GIMP lighting effects can come up with some interesting results. Namely when you add bump maps with them. But that is aside from this tutorial. I will continue to try and see what I can come up with.

RobA
11-23-2008, 02:41 PM
I thought that might be the same kind of thing, but I wasn't sure. Especially since there is no fuzziness setting. I'm sure there is a way to fake it. Problem is my Google-Fu has been weak in regards to finding stuff about translating PS to GIMP.

My guess that the equivalent to fuzziness is either the Threshold slider (which controls the amount of matching colour to select) or the Radius (when feather edges is selected - that controls the feathering of the selection)


What does the fuzziness setting actually change in PS?

-Rob A>

Steel General
11-23-2008, 04:26 PM
Having used both programs I would say that the Threshold slider is the equivalent to Fuzziness.

Ascension
11-23-2008, 04:26 PM
Well I use it mostly when doing the clouds stuff in B/W so when I Select > Color Range then use black as the color choice...the Fuzziness also selects all other colors visible within 200 (something) of solid black. This, then, selects all of the darker grays and some of the medium grays (but not all the way up to 50% gray).

I'm guessing that the 200 something is a range 200 above and below the color code hexadecimal. So if there are other colors showing, say greens and blues, some of those might get selected as well, given they are dark enough. So when using Fuzzy Selecting with colors you have to set the Fuzziness down to avoid including things you don't want.

What would really be useful is a map of the color code hexadecimals :) That way I could test it out for accuracy.

bryguy
11-24-2008, 09:48 AM
Having used both programs I would say that the Threshold slider is the equivalent to Fuzziness.

yea i have have the cs4 trial, and so i brought up both gimp and cs4 and tried it out on both, and threshold is the best you can do for it. I would say set the threshold to about 50-100, because most anything higher than that selects almost the entire image.

bryguy
11-24-2008, 11:40 PM
hmm, after experimenting all day, i cant seem to figure out a good way to make a sun :(



oh well, i was bored and made myself a planet tho :)


p.s. I just love my clouds :) dont know why, but i do :)

nolgroth
11-25-2008, 06:18 AM
The clouds are awesome. Cool pic.

Koren n'Rhys
11-25-2008, 10:23 AM
Wow. Just wow. Awesome tutorial. I repped you for it - well deserved.

Once I have a decent world map to start with, I'm SO making a planetery view of it. Now to get decent results on my continents...

Playing with your continental tut, and RobA's as well, to see what I like best. It'll come in time. <sigh>

Ascension
11-25-2008, 04:21 PM
Thanks, mate. Don't push yourself too hard to come up with your own style...mine has taken about 5 years to develop.

nolgroth
02-27-2009, 07:24 PM
Just an update. I went through the tutorial using a combination of Gimp 2.6.2 and Photoshop Elements 2.0. While I wouldn't call the results as "pretty" as Ascension's, I was able to pump out a reasonable barren planet picture.

Thanks Ascension.

Ascension
02-27-2009, 08:17 PM
Hey, looks pretty good. Glad to see you were to able to adapt this and be flexible with it.

nolgroth
02-28-2009, 10:12 AM
Okay, after toying around with this whole thing, I've come up with some methods for using Photoshop Elements 2 to emulate your style as much as possible. I still have not successfully tested it on the Earthlike planet or Star types yet, but it works pretty well for the Rocky Planet/Moon type.

Selecting Color Range is not supported in Elements 2. To emulate that effect, I created a Threshold layer above the Hills and Mountain layers.

Mountain Layer
Click on the Threshold layer. Use the Magic Wand tool at a Threshold of about 175. You can play with that number as you like. Use the Magic Wand tool to select the white portions in the Threshold layer. Click over to the Mountains layer and hit Delete. Then Deselect (CTRL+D or through the menu). Drag the Threshold layer to the trash.

Hills Layer
Same basic concepts as Mountain Layer. All I did was change the Threshold setting on the Magic Wand to about 125.

Since Color Overlays are also not supported, the closest I could come was to create a Solid Color layer over each; Land, Hills, and Mountains. I used the brown color you described in your tutorial. I then set the Layer Mode to Overlay and then linked each set and merged the linked layers. That is a separate action for the Mountain, Hills and Land layers.

Layer Effects are present but very limited. I was not able to set any options for them and so the shadows on the mountains layer turned the "mountains" into craters and canyons.

I can get into more detail if anybody needs. Mostly I am just describing how to alter your tutorial for the purpose of using Elements 2. Not even sure how many people even use it. Looking on the web, Elements 3 (and presumably later) have Select Color Range built in.

I've attached an image of a moon that I built entirely in Elements 2. I could have easily attached an atmosphere, but I wanted to test the basic concepts first. Besides, I need a good moon image for another project. :) I think you will see that it is closer in concept to your examples than my first effort.

Again, thanks for the wonderful tutorial. It has been very engaging trying to adapt it to the tools that I have. Later today I am going to try the Earthlike planet and see where I can get with it.

Ascension
02-28-2009, 01:25 PM
Post up the shot of that one too, I'd like to see it.

nolgroth
02-28-2009, 04:49 PM
Post up the shot of that one too, I'd like to see it.Will do. In the meantime, any idea what Hard Mix does as a Layer Mode? I will probably need to add a few steps to simulate the process, but I need to know what it does exactly.

Ascension
02-28-2009, 05:01 PM
I have no idea of what the theory is to it or the math underlaying it but the result is something like the posterize filter...it makes something like a 6 color image (black, white. red, green, blue, and yellow depending on the colors underneath) all very bright and in a camouflage sort of pattern. I only use it on grayscale clouds to create a cow spot pattern. On these gray clouds it sort of equalizes everything so that the result is black and white instead of grayscale. This could probably be done with levels, curves, and threshold.

nolgroth
02-28-2009, 05:05 PM
I have no idea of what the theory is to it or the math underlaying it but the result is something like the posterize filter...it makes something like a 6 color image (black, white. red, green, blue, and yellow depending on the colors underneath) all very bright and in a camouflage sort of pattern. I only use it on grayscale clouds to create a cow spot pattern. On these gray clouds it sort of equalizes everything so that the result is black and white instead of grayscale. This could probably be done with levels, curves, and threshold.Thanks. I think some of the concepts covered in RobA's Gimp tutorials would apply here. Time to go check them out. :D

tcberry
02-28-2009, 05:09 PM
http://www.binary-artist.com/photoshop_tutorials/layer/photoshop_layer_blend_mode_hard_mix.php

The result of Hard Mix is either 0 or 255 for each channel. if the sum of upper layer value and lower layer value is greater than 255, then it is 255, else the result will be 0.

Example image at the link.

nolgroth
02-28-2009, 08:29 PM
And as promised, here is the Earthlike planet done entirely in Photoshop Elements 2. Can use some touch-ups here and there, but you get the general idea.

Ascension
03-01-2009, 12:02 AM
Thanks TC, very understandable now...coolness.
Pretty nice Nolgroth.

nolgroth
03-01-2009, 07:11 AM
Thanks for the compliment. One thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to have the mountains appear on the continents. Still, being able to use just a single program to get results as nice as these is worth missing out on a relatively minor detail. I'm sure I'll refine my technique as I go along.

ShrannBeldworf
10-07-2009, 02:54 AM
There's a few problems with your tutorial. It's missing some pictures. for instance. 4g. "it should look something like this:" there's no picture. It's not a huge deal to me. I've used guides often enough but I'd figure I'd point it out.

Also in your tutorial's you mention:
"At the top of the screen where it says “Select” click there. Select > Color Range = use the black with a fuzziness of 200. Hit the Delete key then deselect."
However I'm using CS4 and I don't have a "black" option. Here's a pic of what I do have.
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=17470&stc=1&d=1254897277

and this for the drop down options. (Also note the if I select any of the drop down options I can't set a fuzziness. It blanks it out like "range".)

http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=17471&stc=1&d=1254897620

I also have another problem. My results always look different then your's. Here's a comparison picture.

***My Result***
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=17472&stc=1&d=1254897863

***Tutorial Result - Same step***
http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=17473&stc=1&d=1254898009

As you can see the results are very different, color's aspect. I used the same hex code and everything according to the tutorial (I even analyzed according to the supplied pictures)

ShrannBeldworf
10-07-2009, 03:31 AM
Here is what I have after the "Rocky World" part of the tutorial. It doesn't look too bad but I'm still annoyed by the lack of color deviation around the mountainous area's. I followed every part. The only thing I can think of is the "color range" differences. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong there.

*** Look at the area around the white caps <_< ***

Same thing happens with your Atlas Style map tutorial. I don't get that extra color variation detail around the mountainous areas. It's annoying.

Don't get me wrong. I love the tutorial's but that snag is causing some grief.

ShrannBeldworf
10-07-2009, 11:33 AM
I think I figured out the problem. There was a step missing. Or maybe it's an extra step with CS4 Users. On Step 4L on the mountains layer set the "Layer Blend" to Hard Light. With that extra step in CS4 you'll get a similar result in the tutorial. check the picture out. It looks almost identical. If you want a steeper look on the mountains just add a second lighting effect. (second picture) Personally in comparison I'd stick with the first picture result.

Ascension
10-07-2009, 06:23 PM
Lots of stuff there to digest. As for the select - color range thing, in CS it defaults to the color that you have as the foreground color so I don't know what's different in CS4 (I don't have it). As for the variation in color, it could be due to my or your monitor, probably mine as I set mine to be brighter than most people and the pics are screenshots...so that might be the culprit. It seems that you found a work-around and I'd say that you did a fine job with that. The part about missing a step I will look into. So how's the planet look with the new color tweak?

ShrannBeldworf
10-07-2009, 07:51 PM
I had to go to work shortly after that last post so I didn't get a chance to post it.

The First picture is what it looks like now.

Second picture was "without" the hard light (It probably looks different to each other in general because I did the tutorial multiple times.)

The missing Hard light might have just been an oversight. Because in the earthlike section of the tutorial it was mentioned on the mountains layer. I would also like to mention that the same issue happens on the "Atlas Style" tutorial. But now that I know, it's no problem.

ShrannBeldworf
10-07-2009, 08:46 PM
And here is an Earthlike planet. Thanks to your killer tutorial. I'll probably use the tutorial over and over again until I can do this stuff in my sleep (well hopefully not in my sleep, might be restless) Also here's a sun to go with it. :D

Ascension
10-07-2009, 09:10 PM
Once you can do the main land and stuff by memory then the rest is cake...so that makes it fun and fast. Nice job.

Diamond
03-17-2010, 08:53 PM
Just wanted to drop my 2 cents in here and say this is probably your most fantastic tut ever, Ascension.

Ascension
03-18-2010, 01:06 AM
Thanks, man :)

tilt
03-18-2010, 05:23 AM
have only skimmed the tut, but it looks damn good - fantastic work :) ... I bestow upon you a single point of rep pushing you steady towards the 1000 ;)

Leetsauce
03-18-2010, 07:44 PM
awesoome tut !

Hedron
01-17-2011, 02:56 AM
Hate to revive a dead(ish) thread, but I am having an issue with the gradient overlay part of this tutorial.

What happens is the colors seem to start at the bottom and work up. The other thing is that in your screenshots your land masses start at white, go to the yellow, then back to white, whereas mine go from yellow at the top to white at the bottom. I have clicked "reverse" on the gradient overlay to get the patterning right, but I don't get the repeat/cycle. I'll try and post some screenshots later.

~ Rob

Ascension
01-17-2011, 08:32 AM
You need to click the gradient styles in that little box thing and choose reflected instead of linear.

Hedron
01-18-2011, 12:35 AM
That fixed it, but I still have to select "reverse" in the gradient overlay set up to get the desert in the middle of the planet, as opposed to the poles.