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Painting Planets

By Cristian A.G
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Date Added: 16th June 2009
Software used:
Photoshop

Now the fun begins, when we start to pile layer upon layer. Duplicate the land layer, set it to screen, increase its contrast and decrease its brightness until you are satisfied with the results. Mine looks like this

547_tid_planet9.jpg
If you want a basic detailed planet, you are done. It is up to you to keep adding layers, playing with blending modes, etc, etc.

If you don't feel comfortable with the dark side of the planet being completely black, all you have to turn down the opacity on the shadow layer. I turned it down to 90% and got something that looks like this.

547_tid_planet10.jpg
But what if you have 2 suns in your space scene? All you need to do is use a layer set. What is a layer set? A layer set is like a folder in which you dump all your layers, so that you can move them around freely as a group without having to link them together.

547_tid_layerset.jpg
All you need to do now is drag the layers into the layer set. Once you are done with that, you duplicate the layer set, set it to screen, and then give it an opacity of 20%.

Let us pretend that the considerably dimmer sun is coming from the lower right, all you need to do is flip the layer set 180 degrees, and the result would look like this

547_tid_planet12.jpg
This planet is now officially DONE.

Now you know how to make a planet

Don't be afraid of trying new and different settings.


Experimenting is the best way to learn!


Here are some more samples of "quickies" that I made (relatively simple planets).


547_tid_samples.jpg



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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 264048, pid: 0) Moo on Thu, 27 March 2014 12:24pm
sort your tutorial out, my nanna could produce a better one and the closest thing she's come to a computer is her microwave.
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(ID: 239356, pid: 0) Gah on Sun, 15 December 2013 4:44pm
This tut is very confusing. Steps are not very clear.
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(ID: 200124, pid: 0) Opal on Wed, 29 May 2013 3:04pm
You don't explain if the circle should be selected or not when doing the base, shadow, and atmosphere layers...
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(ID: 174242, pid: 0) Steve on Mon, 31 December 2012 3:28pm
On which layer do you have to apply the effect settings? Because I always apply them on the base layer and i don't know how to get the "atmosphere layer" like you have it
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(ID: 168575, pid: 0) John on Sat, 24 November 2012 3:17pm
Your tutorial is far incomplete. Sorry. Got too much problems with the ctrl+c ctrl+v on that base layer part of it. You should spend a little more time explaining the process a little better.
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(ID: 161300, pid: 0) Hafa on Sat, 10 November 2012 10:17am
uhm , on page 2 i have trouble with the atmosphere, when the atmosphere layer is on , the whole circle is pitch black
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(ID: 155426, pid: 0) Yupa on Thu, 11 October 2012 10:43pm
Christian you're the man! I've tried it out myself and the planet looks even better than the actual photos taken in space :) Not that I've been there, but it's hard to even find the real photo with such excell sharpness. Thank you so much for this tutorial, and I fully agree with Erik here: "the textures really make the difference". Amazing! Once more many thanks Cristian.
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(ID: 94908, pid: 0) Erik on Wed, 14 March 2012 11:02pm
Nice, The textures really make a difference!
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