Want to pickup Planet creation as hobby

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  10 October 2013
Want to pickup Planet creation as hobby

Hi all,

I don't want to make money anytime with it, but I'd love to pickup this as a hobby.... I want to learn how to create both, realistic and none-realistic planets. But mostly realistic. What software would you recommend for it? And any good starting points, tutorials, books etc. ?

If you google "cg planets" you'll see what I'm talking about .

Might sound weird just wanting it as a hobby, but I worked in IT my entire life and at the same time love astronomy. This would combine both in a creative way.

Thanks!
 
  10 October 2013
Smile

Originally Posted by giblon: Hi all,

I don't want to make money anytime with it, but I'd love to pickup this as a hobby.... I want to learn how to create both, realistic and none-realistic planets. But mostly realistic. What software would you recommend for it? And any good starting points, tutorials, books etc. ?

If you google "cg planets" you'll see what I'm talking about .

Might sound weird just wanting it as a hobby, but I worked in IT my entire life and at the same time love astronomy. This would combine both in a creative way.

Thanks!


There are a couple of options. Almost any 3D package can be used to crank out planets, just with varying degrees of difficulty. Since I'm a Vue user, I use Vue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGdOLiSQ4e8

..but Vue isn't cheap. A less expensive alternative is Bryce:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKoFyLtB8Qk

..which is on sale for under $20. Either way, there are plenty of YouTube tutorials and both apps have a deent user community.

Have fun, and welcome to the world of CG!
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  10 October 2013
Not such a weird hobby :-)

If you don't need to animate them, just do it in Photoshop.
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by Artbot: Not such a weird hobby :-)

If you don't need to animate them, just do it in Photoshop.


True - Photoshop will do it nicely as well.
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  10 October 2013
Ooh ahhhh... Nice images of Planets... that's how it starts.. .

But later there's spaceships.... and lasers... and explosions.. and running and screaming.
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  10 October 2013
http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html

You can do it in 2d and create the maps for a 3d version in one plugin.
 
  10 October 2013
I am pretty sure Terragen can do whole planets now too.

http://planetside.co.uk

Simon
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by rendermaniac: I am pretty sure Terragen can do whole planets now too.

http://planetside.co.uk

Simon



Considering the guy doesnt know any 3d, i woudn't wish Terragen on him
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  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan: Ooh ahhhh... Nice images of Planets... that's how it starts.. .

But later there's spaceships.... and lasers... and explosions.. and running and screaming.


I skipped straight from environments to running and screaming...
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  10 October 2013
Serious question:

Is Terragen 3 actually worth learning? It looks bloody impressive in the renders on website, but i get the reeling the learning curve is crazy and render times are insane...i WOULD like to try but my free time is limited and would like some opinions if its worth persevering with..

Cheers guys


Marc
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  10 October 2013
My suggestion is Blender.

Pros:
1. Free: Like free speech, not free beer , as the saying goes. It's open source, so you can mess with the program as much as you want. Not catches, ads, or anything like that.
2. Stable: Mostly. *IF* you keep the feature set to experimental.
3. Comes Packed with Features: It's feature list is surprisingly close being Maya's.
4. Comes with great render engines.
5. Hot keys Galore!

Cons:
1. UI: Very steep learning curve. Like, cliff steep.
2. Optimization: Not as speedy as Maya, in my experience.
3. External plug in support: Not many commercial quality plug ins, like Maya and Max
 
  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by thethule: Serious question:

Is Terragen 3 actually worth learning? It looks bloody impressive in the renders on website, but i get the reeling the learning curve is crazy and render times are insane...i WOULD like to try but my free time is limited and would like some opinions if its worth persevering with..

Cheers guys
Marc


It depends on your PCs at home, your needs and what do you want to do with it in all, Marc..

You can get nice results up to 2K in less then 10 minutes of render time for a simple snowy mountain BG matte with clear skies e.g. or you could pump up your render time up to days if you render a hugh poster with realistic visuals incl. massive populations of calculation intesive objects like HQ plants in combination with heavy cloud scenes, shiny ice or cool water everywhere by using cranked up detail, sampling, GI etc. settings.

The freedom Terragen can give you in all it's options and capabilities is great and your best friend one hand, but is your worst enemie the other. It's easy to get "Lost in TG-Space" by tweaking and digging around because it's fun, especially as beginner without a clear vision how to achieve a guessed scene.

As I'm using TG myself for my Diploma project right now and time is tight, me too have to concentrate to stay on my main tasks and what i've to learn for to provide not to get lost again and gain in not needed testings, tweaks and possibilities by fun-playin with them..

The actual online documentation isn't complete yet and good tutorials rare, so some learning by doing is given but fun. The support, forum search and the community is very helpful if you have questions.

TG is a powerful piece of soft and definitely worth a try even having it's weak points like any other software do. The learning curve may feel steeper as she is in reality, at least until you get how all nodes (beside the basic, easy ones) work together. Some ppl just going crazy forever, some ppl wondering how cheesy all works after they've "seen the light".

As you may know, you can dowload at Planetside their Terragen 3 Free version.

Sure, TG 3 Free is limited in it's capabilities, but you can try out important basic stuff first to get in touch and you would see if you could like the node based structure and workflow in all.
Even limited, you can do lots of nice stuff with TG 3 Free..

Product Comparison

Cheers and GL, Alex
 
  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by thethule: Serious question:

Is Terragen 3 actually worth learning? It looks bloody impressive in the renders on website, but i get the reeling the learning curve is crazy and render times are insane...i WOULD like to try but my free time is limited and would like some opinions if its worth persevering with..

Cheers guys


Marc


Terragen is a fantastic piece of software IMO. I know Vue as well, but decided to have a look at Terragen back then because of Vue's inconsistency, strange bugs and a questionable business model - once I switched I never looked back.
Terragen has a completely different approach though since it's fully node based and might be a bit hard to understand in the beginning but once you realize how things are done it's giving you a lot of control and endless possibilities.
TG3 has been a huge step forward and added some cool features on all ends.
Insane render times...? Hmm, TG always was faster for me and delivered a much better visual quality.

The problem with Vue is that the low-end versions don't give you enough control and make it actually harder to get what you're after, especially for beginners (besides arbitrary limitations and strange bugs everywhere...) while the higher end flavors are way too expensive for enthusiasts. It's two years since I've used Vue so things may have changed...

There's a lot more training material available for Vue, though. But TG's forums are super helpful with really talented and dedicated people all around, Vue's forums just suck, they don't have the feel of a really dedicated community behind them.

I'd say just grab the free versions (they're restricted but it may be just enough for the OP) and decide for yourself.
 
  10 October 2013
Originally Posted by pokoy: Terragen is a fantastic piece of software IMO. I know Vue as well, but decided to have a look at Terragen back then because of Vue's inconsistency, strange bugs and a questionable business model - once I switched I never looked back.
Terragen has a completely different approach though since it's fully node based and might be a bit hard to understand in the beginning but once you realize how things are done it's giving you a lot of control and endless possibilities.
TG3 has been a huge step forward and added some cool features on all ends.
Insane render times...? Hmm, TG always was faster for me and delivered a much better visual quality.

The problem with Vue is that the low-end versions don't give you enough control and make it actually harder to get what you're after, especially for beginners (besides arbitrary limitations and strange bugs everywhere...) while the higher end flavors are way too expensive for enthusiasts. It's two years since I've used Vue so things may have changed...

There's a lot more training material available for Vue, though. But TG's forums are super helpful with really talented and dedicated people all around, Vue's forums just suck, they don't have the feel of a really dedicated community behind them.

I'd say just grab the free versions (they're restricted but it may be just enough for the OP) and decide for yourself.


Yeah, its just finding the time, thats all...

Thanks for the replies
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