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Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:42 PM

Photoshop Asteroid Guide
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This is a step by step guide on how to create a nice looking asteroid on Photoshop. It was created on Photoshop 7, but should be compatible with any other versions.

Ok, first things first.

Create a new file; about 500X500 should be fine and increase resolution to 200 pixels/inch.

Take the Polygonal lasso tool (L) (right click on it's icon to change it from default) and draw out a rough shape like the one below. This will be the main body of your asteroid.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:43 PM

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Now it's time to fill the asteroid. Making sure that White is your foreground and Black is your background.

Goto Filter > Render > Difference Clouds.

Now you will see that our asteroid has some substance. Hit Ctrl + F a few times until you are happy. Ideally, there should be some contrast between black and white. The more contrast there is now, the rockier it will look at the end.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:44 PM

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Now we are going to duplicate the layer and texture it. So hit Ctrl + J to dupicate the layer. Right click on the new layer, goto Layer Properties and name it Texture

Once duplicated, we can now give it a bit of depth.

Now we need to select the asteroid and the asteroid only.

The best way to do this is take the magic wand (W) and select the black area. Make sure that the texture area is selected and use the magic wand to select the black area in the back ground. Use a very low tolerance of about 2-3 to make sure we don't select a bit of our asteroid by mistake. Once selcted you should have everything selected except your asteroid. Well... This is no good, so hit Ctrl + Shift + I to invert the selection and now just the asteroid is selected.

With the asteroid selected, goto Filter > Stylize > Emboss.

With the Emboss window open, you can play around with the numbers until you get the desired look.

I used

It should look something like this.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:45 PM

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Now, it still doesn't look rocky. So with the Upper (texture) layer selected, right click on the layer in the layer window (bottom right by default) and go to blending options.

Set the blend mode to Linear Light and make sure both Opacity bars are at 100%.

Now we have a rock!

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:46 PM

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Ok, deselect your asteroid (Crtl + D) and you will notice a white border around your asteroid.

The best thing to do is take your eraser, set it to "Brush mode" about 15 Pixels wide and go around all the edges. This will neaten the whole thing up for you. It helps to zoom in close when doing this.

Again, make sure you are working on the texture layer.

Once done, it should look something like this.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:48 PM

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Now it's time to populate the area with smaller rocks to give the illusion of it breaking up.

Select the asteroid using the same method described earlier and copy it (Ctrl + C). Now paste it using Ctrl + V. This will be put automatically into a new layer.

Use the transform tool (Crtl + T) and shrink, stretch and spin the new asteroid. Basically go nuts. Once happy with the new rock, hit Enter and begin over with another one

Do this until you have the desired concentraion of asteroids.

Here's what mine looks like.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:51 PM

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Now to add a little more detail to your main rock.

Select the layer with your main rock in it and hit (R). On the toolbar to the left, you will see the sharpen/blur tool highlighted. Right click on it and select Sharpen if it isn't already.

Set the strength to about 20% and use it to sharpen the detail. Don't go too crazy otherwise you will lose detail altogether.

Here is a before and after picture of the asteroid.

The 'before' looks blurred in comparision.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:52 PM

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One more layer left.

Hit Ctrl + Shift + N to creat a new layer. Make sure you select the upper most layer first.

Now we are going to create some funky looking space dust.

Select the brush tool and click on the brushes tab in the upper, right most corner.

Once there, click on the Brush Tip shape tab

On this tab Set the diameter to 100 pixels.

Next, click on the texture tab. Slect the texture shown in the picture below click on the save button. (shown Below)

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:52 PM

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Now to apply the dust.

The best thing to do is set the colour to a dark grey and add a 'background' of dust. then, you can increase the colour towards white to add higlights. Highlights are best added using a smaller brush so feel free to mess around with size and colours.

Your almost there. Now all we have to do is make the dust a little more transparent.

Above the layer selection is the master opacity control forthe layer. Once you have applied the dust, use the Opacity to make it more transparent. See what works for you, but I was happy with 71%.

Pitch 20th July, 2004 10:53 PM

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One final touch will emphasize motion.

With your Main rock layer selected, click on Filter > Blur > Motion Blur.

Set the distance to 2-3 and set the angl so it matches the angle of your movement.

Click ok and when you are completely satisfied, click on Layer > Flatten image.

And now you are done.

Here is the finished product.

Pitch 21st July, 2004 12:50 AM

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