I was feeling in need of creative inspiration and turned to Photoshop to knock out some quick and scrappy space scenes using whatever patterns and abilities could be generated by the software: no sketching, and no photo-manipulation!
- As briefly as possible, you can create a starfield by generating noise with (Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise).
- To create wispy nebulae is just as simple:
Filter -> Render Clouds;
Filter -> Distort -> Polar Coordinates -> Polar to Rectangular;
Edit -> Transform -> Distort;
Edit -> Transform -> Warp;
Filter -> Gaussian Blur;
Add a Colour Overlay and change the Blending options and Levels. Copy the layer and add another, bigger Gaussian Blur (play around with the Levels and Blending options on this layer too).
If it’s available, try Render Fibers instead of Clouds.
- Planets are merely circles, but you can add the stock texture effects and spherize the layer to give it a more 3D look; the bevel and various glow options can help the look of the atmosphere
I’ve also started scanning in sketches and doodles I’ve done in the past in the hopes of colourising them ith a Wacom tablet. It takes ages, tracing all the little details, but I’m kinda happy with the results so far…
Lastly, I’ve used a load of photos I’ve taken of cliffs and skies, together with some NASA photos in the public domain, to put together a Martian base (also reflected in the space helmet). My aim in this was to get the lighting and atmospheric effects right…