Astrnmr - CS2 vs 3D Max
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  astrnmr

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Planetary Explorer
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Posted: 2008-August-04 at 7:20pm | IP Logged Quote astrnmr

Ok, playing with CS2 and 3D Max.  Thought you'd like to see my results.  The planet on the left was created with CS2 in its entirety.  The planet on the right was created in 3D Max and the atmosphere was done in CS2 (never could get 3D Max to render a proper atmosphere).


Full Wallpaper View: 1890x1242



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  Stimpy

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Posted: 2008-August-04 at 7:23pm | IP Logged Quote Stimpy

mmmmm both look ok, i like 3ds max cos the lighting will always be right (maths).

keep exploring and fiddling around with max and you will find out how to create a good atmosphere


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  Stimpy

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Posted: 2008-August-04 at 7:26pm | IP Logged Quote Stimpy

I always use photoshop CS2 to create my textures and specular maps

so both have the uses and work well as a team


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  centerNegative

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Posted: 2008-August-04 at 8:41pm | IP Logged Quote centerNegative

I switched over to 3d Max (well, still learning, actually) a little over a year ago for two main reasons: As Stimpy said, the physically accurate lighting and shadows especially the volume lighting and raytraced shadows, which are very important for creating great diffuse nebulae. Secondly, there was the notion that I'd be creating something 3d and tangible, that if I wanted could be flown around or through, animated, or ported into scene after scene without having to re-create anything from scratch. Photoshop, of course can 'fake' pretty much every 3d effect Max can but some, like spherizing textures for planets, just aren't the best way of doing things. Though some people are better at that than others, eh astrnmr...

However, there's a little more reason now to stick primarily to Photoshop, especially for compositing, if you can get your hands on the latest Photoshop CS3 Extended. It can now import 3d objects onto dedicated layers, allowing them to be positioned, rotated, scaled, and even re-textured, as you like.

Photoshop will still always be great for texturing. Let's face it, Max just can't accomplish the necessary level of detail with its procedurals, none of which can be exported for editing, anyway, so you're pretty much relegated to handling those tasks in Photoshop (or your favorite g/e).

The reality is some people have a better eye for certain details and accuracy than others. Folk like Greg Martin certainly don't seem to have any issues accomplishing amazing lighting and shadow effects, and it may be that I'm just lazy and don't want to put in the effort by hand.

In fact, that's my problem in a nutshell, and that's why I switched it up. I've always been a very object-oriented artist with absolutely zero vision for composition. Coming up with a focus for an image isn't so difficult for me, and I'll put every inch of detail into creating something like a planet that's replete with continents and terrain. But then positioning it just so in some kind of active, attractive setting with other eye-catching details or complimentary objects is where I fall short. I decided to pick up Max so I could focus more on creating realistic compositions, getting the big details out of the way, so I could go back and get into the little things. That's just my take on it.

Of course it's just as doable in Photoshop but I don't have the insights for the required approach, and it's easier for me to simply position things in 3d space where I can get immediate feedback from correct lighting and shadows.

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  JacaByte

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Posted: 2008-August-04 at 11:18pm | IP Logged Quote JacaByte

I use GIMP to make my planets. I find textures in various places on the internet, put them together, and then put a bump map on them. This is a handy tutorial for making planets in GIMP using a script. It's very fast, very versatile (up to 1800x1800 pixels) and very easy to use. (Script for GIMP 2.4)

Then I experiment with view modes, opacity, and sometimes rotate the textures to get my final product. You can take the layers that are outputted from this script and use them in a variety of different ways; you can use the alpha channel of the shadow layer to get a mask for night lights, and you can add a red tint to the clouds near the night-day terminator. (I've always though this looked cool) I've made some killer renditions of Earth this way, but only because textures for it are in abundance. Here's "Seventh Earth":



This is what planets made in GIMP look like. I'm really quite proud of it, I think it's the most realistic planet I've ever made. You have to have a projected texture of the entire planet's surface in order to do something like this, but I've seen people around here who've pulled off a POV like this. I don't know how they did it, but they did...
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  Hoevelkamp

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Posted: 2008-August-05 at 1:39am | IP Logged Quote Hoevelkamp

I worked my way through Photoshop, Vue and in the end 3ds max for planets. And I came to the conclusion that max produces the best results.
Photoshop and spherize work fine, but the spherize filter has some downsides. The main downside is blurring. Even when you work with really big resolutions, some blurring happens.
This downside isn't there with 3d applications. Make a nice big map, wrap it around a sphere/geosphere and tata. 3d applications have another downside, the effect at the poles. You have to work around that. Otterwise it looks like a tied bag or something.
Vue can create pretty good looking planets, you can map everything just fine. Ocean with reflectivity, land with bumps, clouds with shadows, only the atmosphere I never could get right. I'm sure there's a good way to create a realistic looking atmosphere in Vue, I just couldn't figure it out. So I had to create the atmosphere in Photoshop.
3ds max can do everything. Reflective ocean, bumpy land, shadowed clouds and a realistic looking atmosphere. I'm still in the learning process with 3ds max, but I'm getting there.

I'm a big fan of working in different programs to reach the most desirable results. So I work my way through the applications to finally compose them in Photoshop to the final result. That can sometimes get a bit out of hand. (Foldersize for one project can easily grow to several Gigabytes).

My personal conclusion: 3ds max is the winner.


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  Voyager

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Posted: 2008-August-05 at 2:57am | IP Logged Quote Voyager

I agree with Hoevelkamp, 3d gives better look to planets, but it have that 'tied bag at the poles' downside, which can be easliy eliminated, all you have to do is modify and warp your texture before applying it in 3d, just look at this texture: http://www.oera.net/How2/PlanetTexs/MoonMap_2500x1250.jpg . The regions near poles are prepared for wraping around sphere.

Photoshop's downside is way much difficult to eliminate, all that blurred stuff and some tearing near the edges.

So, the winner is 3D.


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  Azi0

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Posted: 2009-December-03 at 10:45am | IP Logged Quote Azi0

I agree, 3d gives the best result
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