Planet WIP - C&C Welcome
I have been recently working on adapting Ascensions fantastic Planet Making tutorials to either Gimp, Photoshop Elements 2, or both. Along the way, I started to develop some techniques and shortcuts of my own. Here is a planet I have been working at for the better part of the day. I am particularly interested in the city lights on the dark slice of the planet. Any critiques or suggestions about that (or anything else) is welcome.
Looks interesting so far, really. Good continental shapes, I think, nice water.
Maybe not enough clouds yet and probably the same problem as my planetary map: too green. I'm working on my own planetary map (see this forum) and need to bring in more diversity.
The city lights look very neat, but somehow you need to place cities on the bright side too, because currently it looks like there are none. Maybe try and place little grey splashes?
Anyways, looks neat-o!
Thanks for the response and compliments.
The green thing I can fix in future (or even go back and redo this one) maps with a change of the gradient I use to color the land layer. I noted that there was too much green myself and possibly too bright. I can easily turn down the brightness by switching off the duplicate layer.
I can probably add a couple of more cloud layers to make more clouds and the clouds "pop" a little more.
The bright side cities are going to be a little more tough. I haven't had a great deal of luck finding good reference shots of the eastern sea board to get an idea of what it looks like from orbit. The gray splashes may be an idea that I can run with.
Back to looking for orbital pictures.
And then the obvious strikes me; Google ..... Earth. Duh!
Looking at the Eastern USA coastline, you really can't see any specific cities until you zoom in real close. From orbit, it is all sort of a mishmash of brown and gray. Interesting and educational to look at.
One thing that I really want to avoid is getting caught up in hyper-realism. Google maps is technically very accurate, but dang the continents look boring. This and other maps I have been/will be working on are actually going to be used in a little project I am working on. I want them to be pretty as much as functional. Pretty actually is going to take the lead, as most cities are going to be designated with a little pointer indicating the name of the city.
I do need to decrease the greens a bit. That would probably help out a lot. I'll post an update soon.
Looks better. Even though I'd say now it's a little too little green *grin*
A tad bit more, for woodlands or such... anyways, I like it and your provided info is helpful. If you can't see cities from orbit, well you can't see them from orbit obviously ;)
Yeah. I'm going to write this off as a hot planet filled with jungles and deserts. Most of the settlements/cities whatever are along coasts and shorelines to take advantage of the natural air conditioning.
Originally Posted by MadLetter
Valuable lesson number, errr number something; one gradient fill does not fit all. I'll probably have to make separate ones for temperate worlds and worlds locked into ice ages and variations to all of the above. :)
I'm glad you blurred out that crescent shadow, much better. As for the cities I'd try using a smaller brush tip possibly a pencil tip with some scatter and make tiny tiny little dots that are clustered around a few areas. I love that "Earth by Night" satellite poster too with all of the lil twinkling cities. That's just a minor tweak so overall I'd say pretty nice.
Okay here is an update. I did the Shadow layer over to make it a little larger. Not sure I like the sharp curve in it, but it doesn't look horrible. Also took Ascensions advice and remade the City Lights layer with a smaller brush. In fact, I varied the size of the brush* from area to area.
* Gimp Paintbrush tool using the Sparkle brush at 45.0 Opacity. Set Random to Opacity, Hardness and Size. Varied size from 0.04 to 0.10. Also had Fade Out set to 100, though I doubt that had much impact.
I think the lights are much more 'convincing' now. This is coming along nicely.