As I have been distracted by being quite literally chained to my desk, I decided to return to outer space for a tutorial as I didn’t have an image in mind to start out with.  It’s a variation on a theme I’ve already explored, only this time using a photograph of clouds rather than generating clouds using Photoshop filters.

My results?


I wanted a green nebula, but as you can see it doesn’t work quite as well as the blue.  The advantage of this, however, is that I can there are plenty of stock photos of clouds or similar patterns that can be used to give the nebula a specific desired effect.  Or, in a pinch, I can always go out and take my own cloud photos.  Those taken during a lightning storm could yield interesting results.


Album Cover – Splatter

A friend fancies himself a musician, and asked me to consider making an album cover for him.  With that in mind, I decided to try this tutorial.

Since I don’t actually have a decent picture yet of his band performing, I used this stock from BeckyStock on DA.

My results?


In retrospect, I should have gone with picture that showed more animation and brighter colors.  It’s a good image, just not right for this particular project.


Today I’m going back to just playing with special effects.  In my undersea work, and for that matter some of my space work, there is the need for bubbles / gobs of molten stuff.  Thus, I went with this tutorial.

My results?


Nice, crisp, clean, and exactly as advertised.

Vintage Photo

After a break from Photoshop, it’s time to play again.  In the story I’m working on, a couple of old photographs play an important role in the plot, and my cover design will eventually involve said photographs.  Thus, I decided to use this tutorial.

My stock came from the wonderful Malleni-Stock on DA.  My results?


Nice effect, good patina.  I think if I redo the project, I may add some coffee stain like marks or other ‘damage’.

Photoshop: Stranger Things

Well, I attempted this tutorial.

Unfortunately, he just went way too fast for me and I wasn’t able to determine settings.   So, my results?


And I think I need to practice gradient maps just a bit more before trying this again.  I was liking how it looked in black and white, and may just play with those results and go off in a different direction.


I have a composition in mind, but I want the finished results to have a watercolor feel to them.  Thus, I decided to try this tutorial.

My stock image came from Deviant Art, courtesy of GraySho.   Go check out his gallery, he has a lot of nice work.

My results?  11.10---Watercolor

Nicely surreal, but I think I should have used the clone tool or some adjustments to fix the bits of lens flare.  The purple bits kind of stand out on the rock.   Still, a much, much better result than simply using Photoshop’s ‘watercolor’ filter.

Fiery Planet with Explosive Nebula

Back into space once more.  At some point, the heroes are going to need to walk…  okay, fly… casually away from an explosion without looking.  For that, we will need an explosion.  I went with this tutorial.

My results?


I did play with the hue/saturation and other effects, but since I wanted an actual planetary explosion, I stuck with the above.  However, it is easy to modify the effects, as you can see.


Photoshop: Eclipse

We’ve doomed everyone with asteroids and comets, but I don’t feel we’ve provided enough foreboding omens, do you?  Let’s go ahead and blot out the sun.  This tutorial is in two parts.  Part one:

My results?


I think the lens flare is still a little much and would dial it back a bit, or use a lens flare brush instead of the render option.  I also don’t care for the hot spots, but I think that’s just me rather than a problem with the concept.  I tried to do a small one and a big one to see the distinction, and I think the small one looks fine but the big one is kind of messy.

On to part two:

My results?


Now, I started this for an eclipse, but as I got to this point I couldn’t help but think that this would be an absolutely awesome effect to use for someone’s eyes.  Especially my characters of Khait and Laura/Erilon.  I will definitely be playing with this some more.

Photoshop: Gas Giant with Moon

As I’ve implied in other posts, a couple of the habitable worlds in my upcoming story will be orbiting gas giants.  I decided to work on a tutorial that would show what such a planet might look like.

My results?


I think I need to go back and work on the surface of my gas giant a little more.  I was trying to go for a tumultuous look, as the planet in question is prone to storms, but it just looks messy to me right now.

Photoshop: Comet

Now, blowing up a planet with an asteroid has its perks, definitely.  But if you want a better visual effect and more of a prophesied doomsday feel, you’re going to want a comet.  Thus, I used this tutorial.

My results?


Now, of course, you don’t have to do a doomsday scenario.  Perhaps your heroic sky pirates are have a base on the comet.  Or your beleaguered space exiles have to mine the comet for water.  In my upcoming story, the comet is being used to hide a secret research facility.