Little Blue Planet


This was a fun little piece. Of course, by the time I made this one, starfields were dead easy. I wanted to see if I could make a planet with realistic land formations without having to shell out money to buy software specializing in planet making.

So I grabbed a picture I’d taken of some random stone texture and played around with layer adjustments and blend modes to make the crinkly land texture, then saved it as an image.

After that, it was pretty straightforward, like following a recipe:

(Paraphrasing here….)

1. Make a blue dot in a new Photoshop document
2. Select a range of colors from the texture image I made and paste a copy of it on a separate layer above the blue. Crop where needed.
3. Merge the layers. Sphereize.
4. Make a separate Photoshop document.
5. Choose a rough brush, set foreground color to white, and make some broad swirly strokes. Distort by swirling, add motion blur, and voila! Clouds!
6. Transfer cloud image layer to the planet doc, putting it on top of the merged blue/land texture layer. Sphereize cloud layer.
7. Group all the layers into a group folder to use later.
8. Turn off background image. Make a thumbnail image all layers. The thumbnail will have only the planet and clouds on it. Turn background image back on.
9. On the thumbnail image, make atmo by adding outer glow, inner glow, inner shadow. When it looks good, make another thumbnail of all the layers.
10. On this new thumbnail, add a lens flare for a finishing touch. It’s not necessary but I like the effect.

I haven’t made any more, but maybe I’ll get back to it. When I do, I’ll post them here.

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4
Image Resolution: 300 dpi


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