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Jupiter manipulation tutorial

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#1 jayscheuerle

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:08 PM

As I've gotten some interest as to how I'm getting my Jupiter sketches looking the way they do, I thought I'd post a bit of a tutorial as there might be something useful.

First of all, I've come up with a sketching template that has the rough locations of the major features. The lines are a red tint that's only a half point in size, so they end up not showing through the sketch. Here's a pdf of my most recent template.

While sketching, I just let my bands continue past the edge of the planetary disk, concentrating more on the gradations and shadow features along the way. I bring this into the computer, straighten it out, and convert it to greyscale.

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I use the circular selection tool to create the shape of Jupiter, based on the outline on the template. I invert the selection, create a new upper layer, and fill it with black.

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On the sketch level, I run a "Reduce Noise" filter, to try to reduce the grain of the paper and the individual pencil lines that did not blur out with a smudge stick or tissue.

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I then duplicate this layer, run a slight horizontal motion blur on it, and reduce the opacity to allow some of the unblurred layer to show through.

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Then, based on notes I've taken, I adjust the levels of the overall image and then within the bands themselves. This allows me to sketch features at full value, knowing that they will be compressed later.

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On a new layer above this, set to "Color", I put down horizontal bands of color and then adjust them based on notes and memory, trying to concentrate on whether adjacent bands are warmer or cooler than each other. At the poles, I may lay down a gradation of color.

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To reduce the cartoony aspect of it, I blur the entire layer and then dial down the opacity. I can also use the rectangular selection tool with a high degree of feathering to re-select areas and change their hue or saturation.

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I then dupe the upper black layer with the circular cutout and use the layer effect "outer glow", picking a medium grey with a bluish tint at 100% opacity applied as "normal". This layer obscures the detail at the edges of the planet and starts to give it a rounded look.

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Duping this layer, I take the upper of the two and go back into the "outer glow" settings, this time picking a deep bluish-black and setting it to "multiply". You may have to go back and forth between these two layers, adjusting the size of the gradients until it just feels right.

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Now go to your top-most mask and apply a slight blur to it, softening the edge of the planet. Then do the same thing to the next layer that has the black/blue "multiply" glow until you get a natural feel.

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At this point, you're essentially done. Just reduce it in size, add any moons, etc. You'll be amazed at how nice these look at smaller sizes. Only the best of nights can hold up when they're large and this isn't one of them! - j

http://home.comcast....ess/reduced.jpg

#2 frank5817

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 08:40 PM

Jay,

Very interesting and impressive sequence of steps to reach the beautiful and realistic final result.
Thank you for posting this tutorial.
:cool: :rainbow:

Frank :)

#3 Tommy5

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:03 PM

Very interesting tutorial on how you made these great sketches,thanks for posting.

#4 JayinUT

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:43 PM

Jay,

Wonderful tutorial and template. I like your method and techniques and look forward to trying them. Thanks for sharing!

#5 kraterkid

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 09:46 PM

Jay this tutorial is great, I hope Eric or Charlie will place it in the best of the Sketching Forum. I really enjoy your initial band sketches and the way you create a template, filter and color the disk. Just awesome work!

#6 CarlosEH

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 11:11 AM

Jay,

An excellent and very informative tutorial on how you construct your excellent Jupiter sketches. The steps that you indicate (in Photoshop or any other photo-editing software) are interesting and logical in producing the effects that give the planet it's look. Thank you for sharing this tutorial with us all.

Carlos

#7 Jef De Wit

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 12:13 PM

Jay
Very interesting to see how you work to get such a nice Jupiter-sketch. Thanks for explaining it to us all. But I also like the rough drawing at the eyepiece!

#8 jayscheuerle

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 01:01 PM

Jay
Very interesting to see how you work to get such a nice Jupiter-sketch. Thanks for explaining it to us all. But I also like the rough drawing at the eyepiece!


Jef, my wife prefers the rough drawing and draws a line at where it enters the computer. For me, the computer is just another tool to fulfill my vision. Back in the day, I suppose I could have whipped out the airbrush, made some frisket masks, etc. Ugh... no thanks!

I could do more of the illustration by hand, but what Pshop allows me to do is quickly manipulate the sketch while it's fresh in my mind. There's a subtlety that I'm still not getting. Perhaps I need to bring a laptop out to the scope? I may actually try that after I've done the manipulations in order to get the contrasts and saturations closer. The formations will have moved on, but the overall look will still be the same... - j

#9 Sol Robbins

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 02:00 PM

Great tutorial. Its enough to make me throw away my pencils.

Thanks Jay.

#10 cpl43uk

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 04:29 PM

This is why I love this site - great tutorial!

#11 markseibold

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 05:16 AM

Jef, my wife prefers the rough drawing and draws a line at where it enters the computer. For me, the computer is just another tool to fulfill my vision. Back in the day, I suppose I could have whipped out the airbrush, made some frisket masks, etc. Ugh... no thanks!

I could do more of the illustration by hand, but what Pshop allows me to do is quickly manipulate the sketch while it's fresh in my mind. There's a subtlety that I'm still not getting. - j


Jay- This is a beautiful tutorial. :bow: :bow: :bow: Very well documented. Thanks for posting the entire progression. I will study it as time allows. I would just be curious to ask your wife [why] she likes the rough hand sketch art better than before it is processed through Photoshop. :question: Will she explain?

I have been allowing a friend to re-photograph all of my large hand sketched pastels from the past year. With a high quality Sigma 35mm Digital, it is amazing how the real accurate colors have come through. The CN site has never seen the actual originals; now you will see them as close to the originals as possible. These are not Photoshop manipulated but just take a look at the difference in color corrected images side by side. It shows all the details of the color overlays that I made by hand, similar to what is known as overlaying in oil painting. What a difference the high quality camera makes. [Feel free to show your wife (;] – Mark >
Post In Cloudy Nights Sketch Forum of New Photographed Pastels

#12 jayscheuerle

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 06:07 AM

Mark, that's a beautiful drawing (hardly qualifies as a sketch)! The accurate reproductions are nice insurance to have in case something would happen to the originals (or if you sold them).

I believe that my wife's objection comes from being anti-computer instead of pro-sketch, but the sketch does have an original value that the computer file can never match. There's only one original, so I certainly appreciate that aspect. - j

#13 Mickey

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 02:22 AM

Nice tutorial! How much time do you think it took to get the initial rough draft of Jupiter sketched out?

#14 jayscheuerle

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 09:44 AM

I take around 30-45 minutes as seeing is generally very poor and detail is fleeting, so I stare and wait, see something, sketch it, stare and wait. The features move during this time period, so I try to get placement first, then detail. - j

#15 Special Ed

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 02:25 PM

Jay,

Your tutorial makes for some very interesting reading. The end result is almost photographic. Your pencil sketch contains some detail that doesn't seem to be in the finished product--did you do that on purpose?

#16 jayscheuerle

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 07:24 PM

Michael, at a 6" drawing size, some of the detail is just the result of using pencil–you see strokes that are finer than what you're eye's able to pick up. I try to smooth out the original sketch to better represent what I was actually seeing. Also, I use a fuller dynamic range in the sketch, knowing that I'm going to compress it. It's just easier to draw the darkest parts as 100% black even though they're probably closer to 15%. In other words, the sketch is made with the final result in mind and it is not directly representative of what I'm seeing. - j






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