Spherize for Space Art

From 2D to 3D
in just a few clicks!

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Project Dogwaffle is a great tool to explore space and drift away in the endless universe of space art, to boldly go where no brush has gone before. The art gallery has a few examples of space art

Important notice!
Some of the planet texture maps shown and used here were created by James Hastings-Trew. These images are ©2001, James Hastings-Trew. These images may not be distributed. You may contact James at http://planetpixelemporium.com/

Here are some examples. Starting from a texture (at left) in a rectangular shape, the spherize tool maps it to a sphere. In some cases we may want to use the Shift plugin first, so as to move the area of interest into the center. For example, if there are craters or canyons we want to have near the center of the globe, but they are on the edge in the rectangular map, then use the Shift plugin.

original texture:  the Moon

click to enlarge >>>
Spherized by Project Dogwaffle:

planet: Pluto

after Spherizing:

planet: Mercury

...after Spherizing:

imaginary planet with cloud patterns from Earth:

after Spherizing:

Planet:  Mars

after Spherizing:

A Very Voracious Star.... after creating a single texture with clouds casting shadows over oceans and continents, with flood fill and tolerance used for polar caps glaciers growing into the long valleys, we created a custom brush from it and painted it twice, with different settings for saturation, size and rotation. Light diffusion was added to make a thin atmosphere shell around the planets. Finally we added lens flares nd lightning to make it look like there are plasma gases and discharges between the superheated star and the nearby planet.

Click the images to enlarge


Schiaparelli's canals on Mars:

++++ How it's done:

There are many ways to create an interesting looking texture suitable as a basis for a planetary rocky surface.
Project Dogwaffle offers several tools for creating space art. One is the Spherize tool. It can be used to turn a surface texture into a spherical looking object like a planet.

If you have the full commercial versions such as 2.1 or PD Pro 3 you will find the Spherize plugin in the plugins panel. If you use the free version 1.2 that Spherize was not included in this version, but it is available as a free add-on plugin known as Doggybag #3. Simply install a copy of the file (Spherize_pf.exe) into the folder where you installed Project  Dogwaffle.

For example, use the Paint fill tool (shortcut:  "w") from the Buffer menu  to fill the whole buffer:

Apply the Paint Fill commend two or three times. This will accumulate more of it, if the opacity is too low.

 In order to convey a more 3D'ish surface look we can emboss the image with a Filter from the Filter>Convolve menu.

Another option for embossing is to use an image from the Swap buffer and emboss the image in the main buffer by that.

Send a copy of the current image from the Main buffer into the Swap buffer (shortcut: uppercase "J"  )

Now we can emboss by swap.  This is near the bottom of the Filter menu.

Of course we could add atmospheric detail, oceans, etc...
The most important step is next: using the Spherize tool. 

Use the "k" shortcut to open the 'killer plugins' panel.  The Spherize_pf.exe plugin should appear in the Filter tab. Double-click it, or click to select and click 'Execute' to run it.
The Spherize plugin shows a sphere and two moveable light sources. You can easily use this to show a bright red illumination coming from a  nearby giant red star on the left, and a dim blueish light from a faraway dwarf star or another giant planet.
Remember to click "Apply" to get an update of the effect.

When you have the desired lighting effect, click OK.
This is just the beginning of exploring the vast space of Project Dogwaffle. You can instantly pick this image up as a brush, chroma-key away the black background to transparency, and keep it ready for use as a custom brush.

Then create a nebuleous background with the Plasma Noise renderer from the Filter>Render menu. Paint a few spatters of small stars at randomly varying sizes , positions and intensities, paint a few star clusters the same way, and a few bright stars with the Nova tool. In a few seconds or barely a minute or two you can create something like this.

<<< click to enlarge

click to enlarge: