Got Air?
here are more techniques for atmospheric disturbances


Ok, it's time to get serious about adding an atmosphere to our planet.  The screenshot at left shows an example of what's possible. It's nicely turbulent, with hurricanes in 3 areas. There are two types opf cloud layers, at different levels of opacities or brightness, and there's also some about of shadow dropping to cast shadows onto the oceans underneath.

We can also use the paper texture option to show waves on the water and puffy globules on the clouds.
Related Tutorials:

click for larger image ^
Here's an example of  paper texture used for waves on the ocean. The clouds are unfinished.


 This example shows some paper texture added to the clouds. Not very clean in the coloring and embossing, but it shows the idea.

hmm.....Not too bad.  Not bad at all. I like it!

so, now then....The Twirl Tool - make your own Taifun

Of course this can also serve for making tropical depressions at a grand scale... such as galaxies.

Find the Twirl tiool under the Filter > Transform menu.
Use the hand icon to drag and place the eye of the hurricane.
You can leave it at the current place by clicking 'keep' and start moving another storm.

After moving the second one down, play with the Factor, Size, Opacity, etc...
You will want to experiment with other patterns to start from, such as the self-displaced Spikey mode of the Filters>Render>Bumpy-Toy ...

If you know you're going to work in ALpha at some point, perhaps a Black/White image will work too, using the Threshold filter.
Here's an interesting approach: use a high power, strong factor and large size but with a low opacity, to mimic high altitude thin Cirrus clouds. The original clouds remain partially visible because of the transparency.
A second hurricane is in place, and we yank the opacity back to the max for the same locations.

Now this starts to look like lower-alt patchy clouds along the hurricane's main arms.

Here's another example, with several more cyclones and anti-cyclones to match the systems on either side of the equator.

Store the Alpha. I know, we don't have Alpha in place yet. but...

But we can press "Get Buffer" and this will grab the current buffer image as greyscale and let you  work on it for later use as alpha.

Simply click the Replace button for that. The greyscale is transferred into Alpha.
One way to use it is to pick the whole image up as a brush image, including the Alpha. Or you can chroma-key the brush sgainst the secondary color to set opacity levels.

Once the image is loaded into the custom brush, we can activate the PostFX features of the brush. A little bit of embossing and shadows goes a long way to make the clouds look like they hover over the water and cast shadows on it.

Well, it's time to put it all to work. Here's a first example, of a seemingly dry hot planet with clouds.

< click for larger view

And here's a wet planet covered with water. >

the big picture?

A.D. 1,000,000

roughly 1 million years from now, the Moon will be closer to Earth,  or not. If it is closer, it might make very large  solar exclipses, but it might also be torn apart by gravitational pull. It might superheat and start melting its core again.

Well we can dream...

And finally, there's gonna be a ring around the planet.

Here's the very few days of the breaking apart of the Moon that feeds the ring.

dedicated to


take a real vacation for a change to get away from it all - visit Mars now:   Malin Space Science Systems   |   Univelt