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Planetary Masses (Page 1)

pages (4): [1] 2 3 4

Disclaimer: Please note that this is a variation of an original tutorial by Greg Martin, and brought to you with the author's permission.

Lets face it - anyone can create a sphere with a cheesy gradient and call it a planet.  Very few designers, however, can go one step further and give it appropriate texturing, lighting effects, and a 3D feel that will convince most people that it came directly out of a dedicated 3D modelling suite.  The aim of this tutorial is to describe one advanced method for creating these 3D-effect planets with the minimum amount of time and effort, and using nothing but the default filters included with photoshop.

Step 1:  Create a blank 800px by 600px document and fill the background with a solid black colour. Create a new transparent layer on top and, using the Elliptical Marquee Tool, draw a circle around 2/3 the size of the layer whilst holding down the shift key (this will give you a classic circle with equal proportions).   Now make sure you have the top layer active and choose Edit > Fill from the menu.  Fill the circle with black.  Do NOT lose your selection until after step 5.

Step 2:  Grab the airbrush-activated Brush Tool and set the size to around 300px, with an opacity of 30%, & mode set to 'linear dodge'.   Change the foreground colour swatch to #3D6629 (a light green), and airbrush inside the circle until your image resembles the one on the left.  This makes it look like the light source is coming from the upper left.

Step 3: Load up this texture and define it as a pattern by selecting Edit > Define pattern from the main menu. Name it whatever you want.  When this is done, go back to your planet document, select the Brush Tool, and set the exact same settings we used for the airbrush in step 2.

Click on the 'brushes' tab within Photoshop and duplicate the same settings as those on the left.  The texture you select should be the one you've just added to the program.  Now, repeat the brush motions that we used to define our basic sphere, only this time we're adding texture to the planet.

NB.  Please note that the 'brushes' tab may be in different places depending on your version of Photoshop and OS.  If in doubt, consult your manual.

Step 4: Now we're going to make our planet round with Photoshop's spherize filter.

Go to Filter > Distort > Spherize, set it to 100%, and click OK. Just for good measure, repeat this action for an additional 50%, it should look like the image opposite.  Resembles a planet much better now, doesn't it?

- Tutorial written by Greg Martin

Pages (4): [1] 2 3 4 Next>
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Last 5 User Comments

User:  winland (#63244)
Date: Mon Jul 19, 2010. 08:44:22

Post #12 of 12

Quote from misswynne;25556:
...I just applied the entire texture to the planet, instead of using the textured brush. Seems to have worked okay, and it looks almost the same.

I love this tutorial, it's pretty sweet.

I live this too, it's not complicated.

Reply to this post

User:  Namwons11 (#53432)
Date: Thu Oct 02, 2008. 00:12:37

Post #11 of 12

I'm having trouble with making the bush use the texture of the rocks....I define the pattern but it doesn't pop up in my brushes tab

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User:  eNola23 (#44821)
Date: Sat Sep 15, 2007. 07:03:42

Post #10 of 12

Quote from Suzaku_Reborn;25479:
I'm having trouble doing the painting. And then on the 3rd page, step 8 & 9 where it says the effects layer should only have the effects. I do step 7 with the atmosphere, and then I link the new transparent effects layer and the Planet copy layer, but when I merge them together, the planet is still there. Please help! :confused:

It took me a bit to figure out this step as well. I made the Fill of the top planet layer zero (0%) and then did the merge to get the effects layer to look right.

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User:  Kyuubi_Child (#44810)
Date: Sat Sep 15, 2007. 01:45:40

Post #9 of 12

I was wondering is anyone could do me a favor. I can't do steps 2 & 3. I've been tring for hours and i can't seem do get it to look right or even close to right. Would someone please start it on a 1280x1024 document, do up to step 4 and then save it and send it to me so i can finish the rest.It is just for myself and i won't be posting it any where so its not like i'm trying to scam anyone. My e-mail is jacob_7_blue@hotmail.com. It would be very much appreciated.

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User:  Disposable (#36070)
Date: Thu Dec 28, 2006. 11:37:44

Post #8 of 12

This is a really nice tutorial. One idea if i may add, a lense flare behind the planet on the background looks really good.


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