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Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007, 02:16 pm

Behind the cut is the third of the twenty six images I plan on doing this year. This one came out *exactly* how I planned.
Tools used this time were entirely free. Terragen was used to generate the landscape, sun, sky any most of the picture. Apophysis is a fractal generator and was used to generate the swirls and coronas around the sun and permeating the atmosphere. The GIMP and the GIMPshop extension (because I prefer the emulated photoshop interface to the default GIMP one) were used to composite the images together to get the end result. Due to the limitations of the software in its free state the end image was 800x600 at best but that seems plenty big enough. The entire image took about an hour (half of which was rendering time) including research.





Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
caturah

Dude! That is just freaking awesome!

I look forward to more of your funky alien sunscapes.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

Yeah, I reckon I'll be revisiting this theme and moving up to the next version of the software before too long. I reckon I'm going to start making tutorials out of them as well, where it isn't completely obvious what I did.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
wyvernfriend

wow, that is beautiful.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

Thanks :)
It bears mentioning that this is the first image made using Terragen that came out remotely as I had intended to so part of it was pure dumb luck that the random terrain generators did their job and part of it was my not screwing up completely when I edited them to get rid of some of the larger mountains that obscured the sky.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 02:34 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane

Holy crap. Not sure the swirly stuff is overcoming my suspension of disbelief, but nevertheless it's extraordinarily pretty, especially given what I was expecting. The lighting effects are fantastic. I suppose that area of deeper shadow right in the middle does seem a little odd because it's so central in the frame that the eye is drawn to it, but the stuff in the right foreground is great.

One other thing... on the title screen of Sim City on my Super Nintendo about twelve years ago, the sky was bright down low near the city and deepened into darkness as it progressed up the screen. Since then I've been watching out for the same effect in reality, but have never found it. When there's sun up, the sky is always brighter higher up. Unless that's not true and I just haven't noticed. Of course, I've only checked on Earth.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 02:55 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

Well, the swirly bits... maybe they don't match the colour of the sun or maybe they should be more orange given the angle of the sun (being in a rise/set position might make them redder naturally) so it doesn't really match anything you'd see in nature as it were.
The shadows in the middle might be overcome if I'd used stronger ambient lighting and while it is, strictly speaking, accurate given the sun's position and lack of lighting on the viewer's side of the mountains, they occupy one of the focal points of the picture but lack detail - one of the basic rules of image composition is that there are certain points in an image that absolutely should contain something and I broke it. I'll dig out a link to the tutorial sometime but it should be on one of the two sites I sent you earlier.

As for sim city. I don't really know the image you're talking about but from your description I'd guess that the cause of the darkening would be a low thin cloud layer OR massive amounts of pollution were represented. I'd guess the clouds though, either way what you're describing would (to my knowledge) only be caused by the sun having to penetrate lots of interference.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 04:26 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane



Looks neat, doesn't happen, unless it does.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 04:34 pm (UTC)
mr_wombat

Ah - light pollution! Not the easiest thing to simulate actually, least not in Terragen. I'd be curious to see some way of doing it though, purely from an academic standpoint because in theory you're talking about ambient lighting with a sharp... dropoff point, no shadows... something like that. To be honest, lighting terminology isn't my strong point.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane

Well that's what I thought too, but as far as I can remember when you actually look at a city the sky is darker right behind it, possibly because of the contrast with the brightly-lit foreground, and as you travel upward in the sky it becomes lighter. I can't verify the daytime situation at the moment because it's partially overcast and I'm in a valley surrounded by mountains so the horizon is quite near and quite high up.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
saoili

Awesome

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 05:25 pm (UTC)
mollydot

Gorgeous. Makes me think fantasy rather than SF - massive magic happening on the other side of the mountain.

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
evilrobotshane

Oh yeah, did you ever find out if those Photoshop splash brushes work with GIMPshop?

Fri, Jan. 19th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
tobinjt

Very nice :)

"Pity the Gelf" comes to mind ;)

Congrats!

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