Digital Art with GIMP – Creating a Starship

Gimp – Gnu Image Manipulation Program, an open source program that like Photoshop is able to do amazing things with graphics and photo’s. Unlike Photoshop it costs nothing and it’s feature set is still comparable. This is a series of posts I’ve created on how Gimp can be used to help create worlds and give life to your imagination.


 

This is a project that I have been workin on off and on for ages. It’s a piece inspired by my story The Titan Mystery – one spacecraft that featured in this story with the Tycho, taking Commander MckINley and his crew to the Titan and their eventual fate.

Starting off in Inkscape and creating the wireframe drawing from my pencil sketch, I exported this into a PNG and then imported this in Gimp.

Tycho_detailed_large1

Added base colour using the fill tool.

Gimp filling in

 

Gimp filling in 1

 

Adding difference clouds on a different layer to mottle the hull, making this transparent makes this more subtle.

Gimp fill clouds

 

Adding gradients to give depth, again on a different layer.

Gimp matt and gradient & details

Adding a subtle 3D effect to give further depth and then more gradients to give the hull shape and shadow.

Gimp matt and gradient & details&3D

Once exported I could bring it into some other scenes.

Tycho_Starfield&planet

Or even just add it to a starscape with a Red Giant in the background.

Tycho_Starfield&Nova1

Thi is just a summary of what I went through to bring this to life, it should give you an idea of the steps and even now I would like to go further and give more detail to this. But the result is fairly effective.

What do you guys think?


 

I hope this has given you a little more insight into how Gimp works, each set of features can be used to draw other object , not just what I’ve done here. If there are any suggestions let me know – I’m always learning too and I’m keen to try out new stuff!

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

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Digital Art with GIMP – Creating Planet Rings

Gimp – Gnu Image Manipulation Program, an open source program that like Photoshop is able to do amazing things with graphics and photo’s. Unlike Photoshop it costs nothing and it’s feature set is still comparable. This is a series of posts I’ve created on how Gimp can be used to help create worlds and give life to your imagination.


 

Giving a Planet Rings

Having some great looking ring on a planet can really bring it to life, thanks to useful online folk willing to share I worked out how this was done and now I’m passing it on.

For this I created I nice blue gas planet and wanted to give it some rings. To see how to create a planet in Gimp see this post: Creating Planets in Gimp

 

Blue_Gas_Planet1.png

 

For now keep your planet to one side, and start a new design double the size of your planet. Add some solid noise by going to Filter >>  Render >> Clouds >> Solid Noise.

I used these settings:

 

GIMP_Planet_Rings_2

Then to to Filter >> Render >> Clouds >> Difference Clouds. The settings should be the same as above.

GIMP_Planet_Rings_3

Reperat this a few times until what you’ve got looks something like this:

GIMP_Planet_Rings_5

Now we distort things in a circular way, Filter >> Distort >> Polar Coordinates and then click OK.

 

GIMP_Planet_Rings_6

Now we need to blur it up, Filters >. Blur >> Motion Blur

GIMP_Planet_Rings_7GIMP_Planet_Rings_8

I used these settings for a first pass then used lower settings of about 120 or 50 for the second and third passes. Now it looks like this, use the ellipse tool and draw a circle in the middle, making the rings as large or thin as needed. Use the ellipse tool settings on the left hand side to get it central and then hit delete to make a hole in the rings.

GIMP_Planet_Rings_9

At this point I saved my rings and also exported them into a .png file

I then add this .png to a layer above the planet using File >> Add as Layer does this nicely.

Go to Tools >. Transform and use the perspective and rotate tools to put the rings where you would like them.

GIMP_Planet_Rings_10

There other ways to do this, but to erase the bit of the rings you want to go use the eraser tool on the rings layer.

To add colour add a new layer over the rings, use a gradient or colour in the layer, set the layer mode to overlay, play about with the transparency of the overlay and the rings to make a really authentic rings effect that’s translucent.

GIMP_Planet_Rings_11

Finally for extra special effect add a ring shadow, in a new layer over the rings, add a circle and fill it in black  and use the gaussian blur Filters >. Blur >> Gaussian Blur to make it the kind of shadow you’re after

GIMP_Planet_Rings_12

Once you’ve done this ave it and export the planet as a .png, add it into a new design over a starfield (see link to post at the top for how to make this) and maybe give it a moon like I did…

Planet_with_rings_4_starfield&nova&moon1

I’ll show you how to add the sun another time, it’s not hard, but there you go! Rings on a planet!

I hope this has given you a little more insight into how Gimp works, each set of features can be used to draw other object , not just what I’ve done here. If there are any suggestions let me know – I’m always learning too and I’m keen to try out new stuff!

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad

Digital Art with GIMP – Creating Planets

Gimp – Gnu Image Manipulation Program, an open source program that like Photoshop is able to do amazing things with graphics and photo’s. Unlike Photoshop it costs nothing and it’s feature set is still comparable. This is a series of posts I’ve created on how Gimp can be used to help create worlds and give life to your imagination.


 

Creating Planets

Rather than go through the little details how this and that works I’m diving straight in, giving you the details of how I’ve used Gimp and for what… giving you all the magic. This kind of thing is accessible to all, I’m not expert and everything I’ve done I’ve learned myself.

 

Starfield&planet

 

Creating the kind of image used here is not as hard as you might think. First let’s create a star field.

Firstly download and install Gimp from https://www.gimp.org/

 


 

First thing to do is to create a new image to do this got to File >> New

Set the image size to whatever you want, but as an example make it 1024 x 768 and make it landscape.

Set it to fill with foreground colour which is black.

 

Create the stars by going to Filters >> Noise >> Hurl

Click on Randomise and then OK.

Te colour needs to be removed from the stars, to do this Click on Colours >> Desaturate >> OK

There’s far too many stars to make this sensible, so we need to reduce them.  Click on Colours >> Levels start at about 200, but have a play undo (CNTRL Z) and redo it with different values until you’re happy with the result.

If you like some sparkle can be added to the stars, this is done by clicking on Filers >> Light and Shadow >> Sparkle. Set to about 0.15 to start but then play to make it how you want.

Save the starfield, we’ll come back to it later.

 


 

To create a planet is also pretty easy, first you need a firstly high definition texture file. It’s basically a picture and it can be anything. I got mine from Google but just remember copyright and all that for your work if going public.

Open this texture file in Gimp, if you want to crop it then go to Tool >> Transform Tools >> Crop

 

GIMP_Planet1

 

After making it the right shape go to Filters >> Distorts >> Distorts >> Apply Lens

GIMP_Planet2

 

In the lens there are a few settings to mess about with to make it look how you want and whether or not to cut away the excess area, which you need to do.

GIMP_Planet7

 

Now we need to give some shading to our little planet. On the right toolbar at the top add a new layer on top of the planet and call it shadow or something… anything.  On the side toolbar pick the Ellipse tool.

GIMP_Planet8

 

Then draw a circle (best you can it won’t be perfect) around the planet but make it twice the size or thereabouts, make sure it’s been drawn on the shadow layer.

GIMP_Planet9

 

Go back to the toolbar, click on the bucket fill tool, on the colours below it click on it and select black.

GIMP_Planet10

 

Then fill the circle.

GIMP_Planet11

 

Staying on this layer go to Filters >> Blur >> Gaussian Blur. I used 600 and 600 but pick any figure you think is best.

GIMP_Planet12

 

Press M and click / drag to move the shadow to give the desired effect of partial shadow.

GIMP_Planet13

 

There is a better way, to remove the excess shadow, but the easiest for now is to go to the left hand toolbar and pick the eraser tool and rub it out. If you look down you can all kinds of brush shapes and sizes.

GIMP_Planet14

One this is done go to File >> Export As and export your planet as a .PNG file. It’s important to do this as PNG files support transparency better. Don’t forget to save your planet in Gimp format as you can work on it another time.

Scarred_Planet

This will be how the PNG comes out, taking the background away means we can over lay it on another image, like our starfield.

Go back to the starfield image.

Click on File >> Open as Layers

Find your planet PNG and click ok.

scarred planet + starfield1.PNG

Your planet will be plopped onto your starfield kind of like this depending on the sized you made both of them. To scale your planet go to Tools >> Transform >> Scale.

Move the grid about to make it how you want it, click Sale. Press M and click / drag to move the planet about and there it is!

Scarred_Planet+starfield

Your first space scene.

The GIMP tool is really powerful, there are so many features and these tutorials will hopefully broaden your knowledge each time you use the tool. This ‘playing around’ I think is the best way to learn how to use it for the different things that as an artist you want to do them.

If there are any suggestions let me know – I’m always learning too and I’m keen to try out new stuff!

 

Planet Simon

cropped-3048792-130573943_1-v1


 

Also find Planet Simon on Twitter

Come and visit find me on my Planet Simon Facebook Page

Find some of my pictures on Instagram

Also look me up on: Pinterest      Mix    Wattpad