Tips & Tricks For Space Scenes

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  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    It is a suite of space-themed photoshop plugins from Flaming Pear: Glitterato, Lunacel, and Solarcel. I was going to recommend them before in this thread, but hesitated because they aren't really "Carrara".

    Glitterato is a starfield/nebula generator:
    http://flamingpear.com/glitterato.html

    But Lunercel is actually REALLY amazing:
    http://flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html

    I am going for it. Headed to their purchase page as soon as I finish typing here! Thanks Holly!

    Semi-related FYI: Filter Forge Pro is on sale right now for p off (www.filterforge.com). So I think I'll grab that too. Since I'm in a money-spending mood -- it is time to finally get some DCG Carrara plug-ins. Definitely gotta tap the money brakes after today though. :coolcheese:

  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,458
    edited December 1969

    hmm you can do nebulas with volumetrics in Bryce and make some nice backdrops.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,702
    edited December 1969

    Rareth said:
    hmm you can do nebulas with volumetrics in Bryce and make some nice backdrops.


    Same with Carrara. ;-)

  • RarethRareth Posts: 1,458
    edited December 1969

    Rareth said:
    hmm you can do nebulas with volumetrics in Bryce and make some nice backdrops.


    Same with Carrara. ;-)

    nice I'll have to compare the two

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited January 2013

    Garstor said:
    It is a suite of space-themed photoshop plugins from Flaming Pear: Glitterato, Lunacel, and Solarcel. I was going to recommend them before in this thread, but hesitated because they aren't really "Carrara".

    Glitterato is a starfield/nebula generator:
    http://flamingpear.com/glitterato.html

    But Lunercel is actually REALLY amazing:
    http://flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html

    I am going for it. Headed to their purchase page as soon as I finish typing here! Thanks Holly!

    Semi-related FYI: Filter Forge Pro is on sale right now for p off (www.filterforge.com). So I think I'll grab that too. Since I'm in a money-spending mood -- it is time to finally get some DCG Carrara plug-ins. Definitely gotta tap the money brakes after today though. :coolcheese:He did it, too. He ran over there with his mouse and bought the lot. Then he went over to DCG to get more! :)
    Very soon I'll be doing the same ;)

    Those are some nice nebulae, Rareth!

    Cheers all... I love this thread!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    He did it, too. He ran over there with his mouse and bought the lot. Then he went over to DCG to get more! :)

    Yes he did! But he is also not quite right in the head on the best of days! :lol:

    Now to install these things and see what comes of them...hopefully the investment quickly pays off with some decent renders. I really should do a space scene if I am going to hang around this thread. It's only fair...

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    I really should do a space scene if I am going to hang around this thread. It's only fair...

    Hahahaha! :lol:
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited January 2013

    Some Glitterato nebulae and stars...not a full Carrara scene by any stretch...but not bad for all of 90 seconds with the plug-in so far...

    EDIT: repeatedly try to post the images :shut: (note for the future; the forum Browse button is not fond of network share locations...)

    EDIT #302: giving up for now...GRRR...disappointed! (but really liking the plug-ins thus far)

    Post edited by Garstor on
  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited January 2013

    Just tried out LunarCell. OMFSM!!

    Holly, many thanks for mentioning this software! Wow!!!!1!!!eleven1!!factorial!!

    EDIT: There! At least I got the LunarCell image to work. Will try to get a Glitterato image up too.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,702
    edited December 1969

    Really spectacular.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yeah, the quality and ease of Lunarcel makes every other method seem ridiculous..., and the fact you can save your planet and later render out the maps for 3D... You really don't need another tool for planets. Ever.

    Solarcel is a little bit of a dud (in comparison), and the only drawback of Glitterato is that it can't make a 360° (altho you can do some photoshop tricks to offset and use the clone tool to take out the edge seams.)...

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Yeah, the quality and ease of Lunarcel makes every other method seem ridiculous..., and the fact you can save your planet and later render out the maps for 3D... You really don't need another tool for planets. Ever.

    I was going to ask about this - is there a way to easily wrap the Lunarcel image around a sphere? Did I miss something (likely) in my trembling excitement of experimenting with my toys?

    Solarcel is a little bit of a dud (in comparison)

    Agreed. Some interesting effects but sitting beside its sibling just isn't fair. ;) It definitely doesn't stand a chance against your own sun shader tutorial work.

    ...the only drawback of Glitterato is that it can't make a 360° (altho you can do some photoshop tricks to offset and use the clone tool to take out the edge seams.)...

    Will need to experiment here. BTW, I grabbed Filter Forge for PhotoShop too. It does seamless stuff and I found a nebulae filter for it. I haven't yet compared outputs from the two.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    Yeah, the quality and ease of Lunarcel makes every other method seem ridiculous..., and the fact you can save your planet and later render out the maps for 3D... You really don't need another tool for planets. Ever.

    I was going to ask about this - is there a way to easily wrap the Lunarcel image around a sphere? Did I miss something (likely) in my trembling excitement of experimenting with my toys?
    Yes, step 1 is to make your photoshop document ratio 2:1 (twice as wide as tall) to make an equirectangular sphere map (like 4800x2400)

    If you look under the drop down menu for MAP MODE you will see all the possible renders (see pic)

    Or just hit the PSD button and it exports all the layers into a PSD document. You'll have to sort it out from there in Carrara.

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  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Yes, step 1 is to make your photoshop document ratio 2:1...etc.

    Sweet! Thanks!

    I'd be playing with this stuff all day today if I didn't have this thing called "a job" to attend to. Maybe I need to make a career change? 8-/

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    When you export the PSD from the LunarCell plugin, the layers list looks like this (see pic)

    You'll have to sort out which layer goes where in your Carrara shader(s)

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  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Partly because I was curious and partly because I am a shader masochist I decided to try to exchange my cloud layer for a Primivol cloud layer. I am already using a simple Primivol bubble/cloud for the atmosphere, and the cloud texture is already a 3D shader, so I thought it wouldn't be tooooooo difficult..... In the Primivol interface I set it to take visibility from my cloud shader, and because Primivol will cast shadows but not receive shadows, I had to come up with another shader trick for the night side, so Primivol's color, including the dark side, is coming from a second shader....

    After 3 more days :smirk: I don't think it's worth it.... The clouds are too soft..., and either too transparent or too bright... They *do* still look like clouds, even in close up detail, but I still prefer what I can do with just straight shader on a sphere. The biggest benefit (?) is that the clouds are dimensional as they actually have depth (as you can see in the close up pic), and it actually renders faster than the bumpy shader...

    I can see it being more useful on a gas planet where you could really go to town on the Primivol layers... but on my fake Earth the Primivol pics up too much of the shader beneath it and amplifies it like a glow....

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  • edited January 2013

    ...

    I can see it being more useful on a gas planet where you could really go to town on the Primivol layers... but on my fake Earth the Primivol pics up too much of the shader beneath it and amplifies it like a glow....


    I do like those last 2 pics, but it got me thinking.. What if you layered it with a Fresnel shader, (for instance ShaderOps Fake Fresnel, or the one in Shoestring) such that the edge would trail off instead of being sharp.

    For reference: Atmosphere sample
    Sample 2

    I did a quick test, and the color ramp combined with Fake Fresnel gives quite a bit of control for that edge. (See attached shader tree.)

    You could simulate nearly 100% transparent at the center, where it only travels a short distance through the atmosphere. (straight down)
    Then more hazy near the edge, where it is a near tangent to the ground, and plows through a few hundred miles of dense air.
    Then back to 100% transparent at the top of the atmosphere.
    75% of the atmosphere is in the bottom 6 miles. The remainder extends up to 60 miles.

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    Post edited by briandaz_3e696c2bd8 on
  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    brianorca said:
    ...

    I can see it being more useful on a gas planet where you could really go to town on the Primivol layers... but on my fake Earth the Primivol pics up too much of the shader beneath it and amplifies it like a glow....


    I do like those last 2 pics, but it got me thinking.. What if you layered it with a Fresnel shader, (for instance ShaderOps Fake Fresnel, or the one in Shoestring) such that the edge would trail off instead of being sharp.

    For reference: Atmosphere sample
    Sample 2

    I did a quick test, and the color ramp combined with Fake Fresnel gives quite a bit of control for that edge. (See attached shader tree.)
    Interesting how you use a gradient. I usually just use fake fresnel straight (or with the Inverse shader that's also in ShaderOps)....

    Primivol alrready has a very strong fresnel effect because it is volumetric.... in otherwords it doesn't need "fake" fresnel because it does it naturally. The blue ring of atmosphere is a full sphere of Primivol, but it appears strongest on the edges where it overlaps itself....

  • edited December 1969

    brianorca said:
    ...

    I can see it being more useful on a gas planet where you could really go to town on the Primivol layers... but on my fake Earth the Primivol pics up too much of the shader beneath it and amplifies it like a glow....


    I do like those last 2 pics, but it got me thinking.. What if you layered it with a Fresnel shader, (for instance ShaderOps Fake Fresnel, or the one in Shoestring) such that the edge would trail off instead of being sharp.

    For reference: Atmosphere sample
    Sample 2

    I did a quick test, and the color ramp combined with Fake Fresnel gives quite a bit of control for that edge. (See attached shader tree.)


    Interesting how you use a gradient. I usually just use fake fresnel straight (or with the Inverse shader that's also in ShaderOps)....

    Primivol alrready has a very strong fresnel effect because it is volumetric.... in otherwords it doesn't need "fake" fresnel because it does it naturally. The blue ring of atmosphere is a full sphere of Primivol, but it appears strongest on the edges where it overlaps itself....
    True, but that also creates the hard edge, which is what I was trying to get away from. Maybe you don't need Primivol for the blue haze, just use it for the clouds.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    brianorca said:
    Maybe you don't need Primivol for the blue haze, just use it for the clouds.

    Hmm... I like the haze, I didn't like the clouds....

    I am controlling the falloff of the haze.... and the brightness. That was intentional. LOL

    Meanwhile, in homage to evilproducer, my planet was swallowed by a giant blue swirling space drain

    Still working with Primivol and the EnhaceC Space3D shaders....
    Might make a good Galaxy with a spinning particle generator for stars...

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,702
    edited December 1969

    brianorca said:
    Maybe you don't need Primivol for the blue haze, just use it for the clouds.

    Hmm... I like the haze, I didn't like the clouds....

    I am controlling the falloff of the haze.... and the brightness. That was intentional. LOL

    Meanwhile, in homage to evilproducer, my planet was swallowed by a giant blue swirling space drain

    Still working with Primivol and the EnhaceC Space3D shaders....
    Might make a good Galaxy with a spinning particle generator for stars...


    Why do I feel as though I just got a swirley? :lol:

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    My first blast at mixing LunarCel with Carrara. The stars are courtesy of Dartanbeck! :)

    I'm not sure I made the shader correctly...but this isn't too bad for version 1.0. I would definitely like to add Holly's procedural sun shader as a light source to this.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,702
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    My first blast at mixing LunarCel with Carrara. The stars are courtesy of Dartanbeck! :)

    I'm not sure I made the shader correctly...but this isn't too bad for version 1.0. I would definitely like to add Holly's procedural sun shader as a light source to this.


    I think that looks pretty good. If I would change anything, it would be the water. At first I thought it was the grayish color, but the more I look at it, I think you need to add some highlight/shininess to it. I was also wondering if the clouds are on the same sphere as the planet surface?

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited January 2013

    I think that looks pretty good. If I would change anything, it would be the water. At first I thought it was the grayish color, but the more I look at it, I think you need to add some highlight/shininess to it. I was also wondering if the clouds are on the same sphere as the planet surface?

    The clouds were in a layer list initially. I have a newer version with a second, slightly larger sphere for the clouds. I think Holly's planet still looks better though; there is a clear atmosphere there (Primivol?).

    Then I wanted to use Holly's photoreal sun shader...so I made another newer version.

    EDIT (January 10): My improved (hopefully you think so) scenes should be uploading to this message now. Best guess, it didn't like running from within Windows Server 2008 R2...weird...)

    The second image here uses the Flaming Pear Glitterato plug-in to create a nebula. I simply put that on the scene's background. All in all, it looks pretty good but I think I would prefer it to appear light years in the distance. Will probably need some PhotoShop work for that.

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  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Posts: 365
    edited December 1969

    Not sure if you're still working on rings evil but I saw a clip on NASA's website where they talk about the Hubble telescope and exoplanets. It included a young planet with 'dust' forming around it. Not sure if it was the real deal or CG but for what it's worth I took a screenshot.

    Link to video - http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=14394&media_id=122343871

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 8,702
    edited December 1969

    Not sure if you're still working on rings evil but I saw a clip on NASA's website where they talk about the Hubble telescope and exoplanets. It included a young planet with 'dust' forming around it. Not sure if it was the real deal or CG but for what it's worth I took a screenshot.

    Link to video - http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?collection_id=14394&media_id=122343871

    Very cool shot. Most definitely an artists interpretation.


    I've been meaning to get back to it and finish it. My idea was then to make the scene available for others to pick apart. I've been sidetracked trying to do a couple other projects as well.

  • SpottedKittySpottedKitty Posts: 5,871
    edited December 1969

    Definitely an artist's impression. The very best we can do right now with our most powerful telescopes is detect tiny bobbles in a star's light when an orbiting planet passes in front of it. The next generation of space telescopes might be able to directly see a very large planet (much bigger than Jupiter) around a moderately close star, but actually imaging Earth-sized planets are definitely out for the foreseeable future.

    We'll just have to go there ourselves and look... ;-)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,966
    edited December 1969

    Definitely an artist's impression. The very best we can do right now with our most powerful telescopes is detect tiny bobbles in a star's light when an orbiting planet passes in front of it. The next generation of space telescopes might be able to directly see a very large planet (much bigger than Jupiter) around a moderately close star, but actually imaging Earth-sized planets are definitely out for the foreseeable future.

    We'll just have to go there ourselves and look... ;-)

    Correct.
    Stars simply emit too much light - and most planets do not.
    As an experiment, use some sort of anti-gravity to hover a pea (no cheating and leaving it in the pod, either!) 2 to 4 inches away from a 120 watt incandescent light. Go several blocks away and turn around. Can you see the pea? If so, turn around and walk another mile.
    This isn't a fair experiment, because you would have to walk beyond the moon, perhaps beyond even Pluto before you'd be at the proper scale distance.

    While on the subject of light... I should probably keep this to myself, but...
    light does not, and can not bounce. Just sayin'.
    it reflects, refracts, travels, etc., but bouncing is one thing it cannot and will not do.
    Sorry. Just kick me later, okay?

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Posts: 365
    edited January 2013

    Hey, you'd be surprised to learn that the tiny stuffs that make up light and other things actually cheat when we're not looking. We'll I'm twisting science a bit as it's seemingly only electrons that has this odd way of doing one thing when you look at it and doing another when you're not looking at it. By looking I mean recording data. But if you can't trust electrons you can't trust any of them I say. Hah, science is driving me mad trying to understand the concept of reality popping in and out of existence as needed. An illusion they say. It's all just smoke and mirrors. Kind of makes you giddy doesn't it? Lol.

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  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    light does not, and can not bounce. Just sayin'.
    it reflects, refracts, travels, etc., but bouncing is one thing it cannot and will not do.
    Sorry. Just kick me later, okay?

    I hearby consider the nit picked... :coolsmile:

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