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Jupiter - 04Sep2012 - My first digital sketch

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#1 jwestervelt

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 05:13 AM

Hey folks,

This is my first attempt at a digital sketch, so be gentle. I have done a few pencil sketches, but I always had to invert them since black stars on a white background are kinda surreal. I decided to haul my Macbook outside to accompany me for my first sketch attempt through this new scope. I used the Gimp for my image editing software and created a circular mask and drew the cloud layers on a separate layer. I like how it turned out.

There was an odd-ball star in the background, so I drew it as well. The light pollution here in Phoenix prevented me from seeing any other stars in my field of vision. I was using my MTS-SN6 with a 6mm eyepiece for an effective power of 127x. I really need to go get a good Barlow.

I know that the moon in the lower left was Io due to it's slightly reddish hue, but I don't know what the others were since they all appeared to be of equal magnitude and color. I plan on doing one sketch a night for a few days and maybe making an animation. The identity of the moons should be apparent by then. :)

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#2 JeanB

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:38 AM

Don't need to ask to be gentle!!! This digital sketch is outstanding. If I did'nt know it was a sketch I would have thought it was a darn good photograph. I tried many times to picture Jupiter and its moons with my webcam and software and never came up with something like that.

There are many good freewares to help you localize the moon. I use Stellarium.

Keep up the good work!

Jean

#3 niteskystargazer

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:13 AM

Hi,

Very good Digital Sketch of Jupiter :).

CS,KLU,

:thanx:,

Tom

#4 jwestervelt

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:51 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

It took me 20-30 minutes of studying the small image to make out what few details I could. The only interesting details that I could make out in the bands were the two dark spots on the southern (up) edge of the northern equatorial belt, and an apparent lighter spot in the northern most region. Aside from that, I broke up the bands a bit and added irregularity to make the image look more like what I saw in the EP, even though these irregularities were really hard to make out at 127x.

Looks like I have to start reading up on Jupiter and learning what these cloud features are. Still no sign of the great red spot for me.

#5 Jef De Wit

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:50 PM

If I did'nt know it was a sketch I would have thought it was a darn good photograph.

I agree.

#6 mbryan

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 01:57 PM

Amazing!!

#7 jwestervelt

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:17 PM

I'm going to try to capture Saturn tonight as it sets. Sadly I cannot get away from the light pollution here in Phoenix well enough to see most DSOs, and I haven't had the guts to try sketching clusters yet. I have read a few tutorials, but sketches by others still amaze me with the amount of detail. Drawing all the background stars must be a real undertaking.

#8 Andrev

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:33 PM

Simply WOW.

Its so beautiful and impressive. Congrats. But please you have to explain me what is a digital sketch ? I have a problem to understand the technique... You mean you drawing Jupiter on the computer as you look at the eyepiece ?

Andre.

#9 jwestervelt

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 02:47 PM

Yes Andrev. I started by drawing a solid disk and placing the moons (and the one background star) according to how I saw them.

I then used a separate layer to draw the cloud bands and then scaled it to match the disk from the first layer. I played around with colors until I got what I felt was an accurate rendition, and then used a smudge tool to blend them together and create some irregularities.

The bands were perfectly straight, so I used a distort tool with a diameter approximately equal to the disk's diameter to ever so slightly bend the bands upwards in the middle and create the illusion of slight curvature as the bands near the limb remained untouched and produced a sharper downward curve.

The last steps were to apply a gradient to the circular mask and gaussian blur the image ever so slightly. For added realism, I created two offset images of jupiter that were shifted away from an imaginary line going through the 1-o'clock/7-o'clock position by a few pixels and colored the right one slightly blue and the left one slightly red to simulate the chromatic aberration from my cheap 6mm Meade Plossl. The moons did not appear to have any chromatic aberration, so I left them alone.

#10 Tommy5

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 06:03 PM

Very nice sketch, good detail,nice overall look.

#11 Andrev

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:11 PM

Hi.

Thanks for the report. I never seen any digital sketch before so I was very intrigued about it. The result is stunning and so photo like... And you draw the details using the mouse or a pencil like on the Ipad ???

Andre.

#12 jwestervelt

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:57 PM

Just a trackpad on my Macbook. I have one of those digitizer tablets, but I didn't feel like hauling it out to the the scope.

Tonight's view of Saturn was disrupted by a rather stubborn cumulonimbus cloud. The rest of the sky was rather clear. Naturally the cloud dissipated shortly after Saturn set. :( Tomorrow...

#13 jz02879

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:00 AM

Wow, that's a nice sketch. You captured the detail beautifully (looks better than a lot of the pictures through smaller scopes), and it also looks pretty accurate.

Looking foward to one of your sketches of Saturn!

#14 cpr1

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 08:37 AM

I thought it was a photo at first very nice

#15 jwestervelt

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 12:30 PM

Saturn is OK in my scope at the moment. I'm waiting for a few new pieces of hardware to show up. I replaced the clumsy helical focuser with a Moonlite focuser and it made all the difference in the world. I can actually get a better focus since I am not banging the scope around as much while making the change.

I have a few new eyepieces on order, but nothing really for planetary viewing so I am still limited to 127X with my 6mm Plossl. I am trying to decide between a good 3mm EP, or getting something like a 2X TV Powermate. Those things, especially the 2" models, are pricey... o_O

I still have not had any viewing opportunities since this sketch due to the clouds here in phoenix. Worse yet, I took my scope out of collimation when I installed the new Focuser and while I had a good shot of jupiter last night, I had no stars to perform a star-test and collimate my scope properly. Got a Telecat XL and one of their Infinity autocollimators on order, so hopefully I will not be restricted to night-time collimation.

#16 jwestervelt

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 01:47 PM

Here is the quick sketch that I made from early this morning. The seeing was horrible, but there was a really nice balance with the moons' placement. Unfortunately I had to scale back the image a bit because of the displacement of the moons and the need to keep the image to 800x800. I could not make out any festoons at 127x this time, nor could I discern any difference in the colors of the moons, so this image is rather lackluster. Hopefully upgraded optics will help me out in the coming weeks.

Posted Image

#17 Rutilus

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 03:26 PM

Excellent digital sketches.

#18 mdowns

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 05:54 PM

These images are so very intriquing. I too have never heard of digital sketches.I feel like I've been taken to the wood shed :-) These are just great!

#19 azure1961p

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 09:33 PM

Superb work!!!

Pete

#20 geminijk

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:32 AM

Simply OUTSTANDING!!!!

John

#21 frank5817

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:35 PM

Looks wonderful.

Frank :)






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