Creating Planets and Planetary Rings in GIMP
October 26, 2010 1 Comment
This tutorial is very easy and the end result is all about what you prefer, so have fun playing around with colour and texture!
1. Download Texture + Import
- Download this rust texture from CG Textures (you will have to make a free account, but worth it!)
- Bring it into GIMP on a 1600px x 1200px document, go File –> Open As Layers… (Ctrl+Alt+O)
- Apply Motion Blur, go Filters –> Blur –> Motion Blur: Linear, Length 256, Angle ~30, repeat 2-3 times for a smoother blend:
- Then, crop your layer to around a third the size of your page – use the Crop Tool: Fixed Ratio, Current Layer Only:
2. Lens Effect
- To apply a little distortion for a more realistic curve, Filters –> Light and Shadow –> Apply Lens:
- Firstly, *Right Click* on layer > Add Alpha Channel:
- Settings: Make surroundings transparent, 1.80:
3. Add ‘Space’ with HSV Noise
- Create a New Layer, ‘Space’, place at the bottom of your layers:
- Using HSV Noise you can imitate space – Fill the ‘Space’ layer with Black:
- Go, Filters –> Noise –> HSV Noise, with similar settings as shown:
4. Adding Shadow
- Create a New Layer, ‘Shadow, place at top of layers:
- To make this planet part of a solar system add shadow to the bottom corner of your planet!
- Using the Gradient Tool: FG Only: Black, Radial:
- Stroke from the edge of your planet to the centre:
5. Adding an ‘Atmosphere’
- Create a New Layer, ‘Atmosphere’, place below ‘Shadow’ layer:
- On your Planet layer, *Right Click* > Alpha to Selection, and then select ‘Atmosphere’ layer.
- Now, Select –> Border: ~20 pixels, Feather border:
- And using the Bucket Tool fill Whole Selection at ~75% Opacity with a similar colour to your Planet: bd5b2d
6. Planetary Ring: Cloud Texture + Whirl and Pinch
- Create a New Layer, ‘Rings’, place at top of layers:
- Using the Paint Bucket Tool fill with Black:
- Go, Filters –> Render –> Clouds –> Difference Clouds:
- Settings for Difference Clouds: Seed: 5, Detail: 15, Tillable, 10 x 10:
- Then, Filters –> Distorts –> Whirl and Pinch:
- Settings: 700, 0.5, 2:
7. Deleting Centre + Outer Sections
- Using the Selection Tool with Fixed Ratio, 1:1:
- Select a proportion of the centre and delete it (Edit –> Clear), as well as the outer edge:
8. Transform + Rotate
- Using the Scale Tool (Shift+T) transform your ring horizontally, do it manually:
- Rotate your ring to ~30°, using the Rotate Tool (Shift+R):
- And move (M) to your preferred position!
9. Add Layer Mask + Colouring
- On ‘Rings’ Layer, *Right Click* > Add Layer Mask, and using the Paintbrush Tool: FG Only: Black, Circle Fuzzy (19), Size: 10
- And, paint out the side of the rings that shows over your planet:
- Set your ‘Rings’ layer to Mode: Screen:
- Add a bit of colour, Colors –> Colorize:
- I have tried to match the colour of my Planet!
- Try Hue and Saturation, if you need to do more colouring!
Thank you to a friendly reader for suggesting the idea!
If you get stuck anywhere just comment below!