View Full Version : How do they do those, anyway?


mike3
03 March 2007, 05:25 AM
Hi.

I'm curious -- just how do they manage to make those beautiful planets seen in TV shows like Stargate? I'm really curious about the clouds and the surface textures. How do they manage to make them look so nice? Any ideas as to what programs and techniques they would use?

iceycat25
03 March 2007, 07:23 PM
I'd love to know too. I've seen some tutorials for doing an Earth, but it never comes out looking like theirs when I do it as they leave so many steps for you to figure out on your own. As for fantasy planets I have no idea how they do that. I'd love to know myself! Too bad there aren't more tutorials for planets that don't leave 3/4 of the steps up to you to figure out.

mike3
03 March 2007, 02:35 AM
I'd love to know too. I've seen some tutorials for doing an Earth, but it never comes out looking like theirs when I do it as they leave so many steps for you to figure out on your own. As for fantasy planets I have no idea how they do that. I'd love to know myself! Too bad there aren't more tutorials for planets that don't leave 3/4 of the steps up to you to figure out.

I know. It sucks, and it's frustrating!

Stefan-Morrell
03 March 2007, 04:43 AM
these may help:
http://www.cinema4duser.com/tech_tutorial01.html

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=47&t=235653&highlight=atmosphere

mike3
03 March 2007, 08:36 PM
these may help:
http://www.cinema4duser.com/tech_tutorial01.html

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=47&t=235653&highlight=atmosphere

Thanks, but I'm more curious about how to make the surface _textures_ themselves, specifically the color map.

destron
03 March 2007, 11:33 PM
I'm not saying that the pros do it this way, but you might find this tutorial informative:

[link] (http://gallery.artofgregmartin.com/tuts_arts/making_a_planet.html)

mike3
03 March 2007, 12:27 AM
I'm not saying that the pros do it this way, but you might find this tutorial informative:

[link] (http://gallery.artofgregmartin.com/tuts_arts/making_a_planet.html)

Interesting, but I'm more curious about how to do it in actual 3D. I've seen several nice-looking planet renders here, and I'm wondering if someone who's done one might like to tell me how to make a good surface map.

destron
03 March 2007, 12:56 AM
You can probably use the same sort of texture...
I seem to recall a really nice tutorial(s) that focuses also on the making the texture.
Hmmm... check out this:

http://justalyn.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=4&id=71&Itemid=4

mike3
03 March 2007, 02:13 AM
You can probably use the same sort of texture...
I seem to recall a really nice tutorial(s) that focuses also on the making the texture.
Hmmm... check out this:

http://justalyn.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=4&id=71&Itemid=4

Thanks a lot. I kind of wondered if real photography had been used. I mean, how much more realistic can you get than actual photographs?

destron
03 March 2007, 02:48 AM
Yeah, most of the time for the textures I've seen people use for planets, they just go to Google Earth and screen capture a bunch of interesting topography and then blend it together in Photoshop.
If you're looking for good texture pics, you might want to try both Google Earth and Google Mars (http://mars.google.com).

EDIT: also, if you use google mars, make sure you click "visible", since the elevation map looks really terrible ;)

mike3
03 March 2007, 08:33 AM
Yeah, most of the time for the textures I've seen people use for planets, they just go to Google Earth and screen capture a bunch of interesting topography and then blend it together in Photoshop.
If you're looking for good texture pics, you might want to try both Google Earth and Google Mars (http://mars.google.com/).

EDIT: also, if you use google mars, make sure you click "visible", since the elevation map looks really terrible ;)

It does make a lot of sense. I've already started working on a planet with this method, by the way. It seems to give pretty good results. There's practically an unlimited number of ways to cut up the Earth map into little pieces and rearrange them into all sorts of neat planets.

Oh, and I've already got Google Earth, by the way :)

destron
03 March 2007, 05:02 PM
Glad I could help.

What better way is there to texture a planet than to use photos of a planet? ;)

mike3
03 March 2007, 09:31 PM
Glad I could help.

What better way is there to texture a planet than to use photos of a planet? ;)

Yep.

Thanks for all the help, I really appreciated it! :)

softdistortion
03 March 2007, 03:02 AM
Didn't read all replies...if not already mentioned try this >
http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html

destron
03 March 2007, 02:10 AM
That looks like a cool tool, but I wouldn't suggest using it for professional stuff... relying on special tools like that just doesn't seem right to me.

softdistortion
03 March 2007, 12:01 PM
Yeah...personal preference / bias for any tool or method I guess....some people still think using photo textures is cheating, but pros use them all the time. If they didn't they wouldn't meet tight deadlines.

Personally I haven't this software, but if it works fast and is tweakable, I wouldn't have any issues using it... The samples look good to me :)

Cameo
03 March 2007, 01:00 PM
Theres nothing cheating about using photos in textures, a lot of the time its a necessity. As softdistortion says, if you are trying to hit a deadline you dont always have the luxury of being able to create it by hand. Even if you could, it would take someone with exceptional skill to reproduce anything close to the nuance and detail of a photograph.

As far as photos of earth go there are an absolute stack of super highres images at the NASA website. According to the usage guidelines it would be perfectly fine to use them without infringing on their copyright (they only seem majorly bothered about their logo - but I'd check the detail). Grab a load of similar photos and just blend them together in PS as suggested earlier.

I think there are also pre-made spherical maps of the earth knocking around on the web, do a search and find out if any are free to use.

Cheers

destron
03 March 2007, 12:52 AM
I think that's where I fall short sometimes. I don't mind using reference when I'm drawing/painting textures; but for some reason I don't like using photos (especially stock photos) directly. Maybe it's a problem, but I don't think that you rely on photos that you haven't taken yourself; to me it seems like "cheating", and can come about to a bad end if your resource disappears.
I think all artists should at some point take their own photos and make their own references.

softdistortion
03 March 2007, 03:06 AM
It's alot of work to do, but if you have the time and patience, knock yourself out trying to create the fine, organic details you get in seconds using photos properly.

I agree you should be learning how to shoot your own, but it isn't manditory to create great textures...

It's also doubtful that the web texture resources are going to dissapear...with cheap hi quality digital cameras they are going to increase if anything.

Frubes
03 March 2007, 11:49 AM
i havnt had much time to read the post i just read the first item so i hope this link might be of help to you, its from one of our very own cg talk members (hope he doesnt mind me pluging his tutorial :P)

http://www.abalakin.de/tutorials.asp

Maybe thats more what your looking for so i hope it helps

iceycat25
03 March 2007, 04:34 PM
Thats agood one too, I just found this new one today too.!

http://gpashkov.dqteam.com/tutor/tutor_e_1.html

destron
03 March 2007, 03:04 AM
Wow, those are some pretty cool tutorials...
Glad somebody could offer a 3D side to it. :)

Wiro
04 April 2007, 04:56 PM
to me it seems like "cheating", and can come about to a bad end if your resource disappears.

This kind of purism is usually prevalent amongst people somewhat new to CG. The longer you do it the more you realise that there is no cheating, only smart and efficient ways to achieve your goal.

On Farscape we also used NASA images and spliced them together to achieve both full planets and low orbit flybys. It's not more different than matte painting.

Wiro

mike3
04 April 2007, 06:19 AM
I think that's where I fall short sometimes. I don't mind using reference when I'm drawing/painting textures; but for some reason I don't like using photos (especially stock photos) directly. Maybe it's a problem, but I don't think that you rely on photos that you haven't taken yourself; to me it seems like "cheating", and can come about to a bad end if your resource disappears.
I think all artists should at some point take their own photos and make their own references.

However, in the case of planets, you can't just take a picture of the real ones very easily, unless you happen to have a rocketship in your backyard. :)

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