Pixel Playground
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating a 3D starfield


From:

Pixel Playground

with Bert Monroy

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Video: Animating a 3D starfield

What we're going to do today is create a fly through a sea of stars in some distant galaxy. going to fly right through billions of stars. What I'm going to do is I'm going to create a fairly small file based on the resolution that I'm working on here. So it's just going to be 8 inches by 10 inches wide at 72 DPI. There it is. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to press the F key to bring it to full screen. And right off the bat, I'm going to invert the background. So instead of being white it's black. I'm going to hit Cmd+I and there we have a black background.
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  1. 6m 50s
    1. Type effects in Photoshop: Mossy 3D type NEW
      6m 50s
  2. 22m 24s
    1. Creating letter reflections on a neon sign
      7m 45s
    2. Type effects in Photoshop: Using gradient and stroke layer styles
      7m 35s
    3. Creating a 3D chocolate candy in Photoshop
      7m 4s
  3. 43m 46s
    1. Colorizing black-and-white sketches
      11m 18s
    2. Making bubbles: Using the Brush tool
      7m 23s
    3. Making bubbles: Adding highlights
      5m 51s
    4. Creating a Photoshop 25th anniversary sign
      9m 59s
    5. Type effects in Photoshop: Honey
      9m 15s
  4. 37m 52s
    1. Easter basket: Adding a bow and the eggs
      10m 26s
    2. Placing lettering on plastic
      10m 5s
    3. Using brushes to create a twisted pair of wires in Illustrator
      6m 4s
    4. Creating an Art Deco bistro sign
      11m 17s
  5. 34m 37s
    1. St. Patrick's Day card: Creating a shamrock and a pot of gold
      9m 13s
    2. St. Patrick's Day card: Adding the details
      8m 13s
    3. Creating a 3D Easter egg
      7m 38s
    4. Easter basket: Creating the basket
      9m 33s
  6. 36m 43s
    1. Making a piece of candy: Adding the jelly filling
      10m 51s
    2. Creating a Valentine's Day card
      10m 10s
    3. Turning a daytime scene into night
      8m 24s
    4. Using Photoshop's Displace filter to create a waving flag
      7m 18s
  7. 45m 43s
    1. Using the Photoshop Flame Generator
      6m 53s
    2. Creating a mountain scene
      8m 24s
    3. Creating reflections in water
      6m 8s
    4. Making a diamond-encrusted type
      12m 11s
    5. Making a piece of candy: Creating the chocolate base
      12m 7s
  8. 27m 47s
    1. Mapping video onto a 3D object in Photoshop
      5m 50s
    2. Creating a wintery scene
      7m 36s
    3. Making a New Year's 2015 card
      14m 21s
  9. 33m 21s
    1. Three Dimensional type with extruded neon: Making the letter forms
      12m 29s
    2. 3D type with extruded neon: Adding the neon
      11m 48s
    3. Creating a Thanksgiving card
      9m 4s
  10. 47m 25s
    1. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Building the star field
      9m 23s
    2. Creating a galaxy with Photoshop: Adding color and effects
      10m 19s
    3. Creating a campfire scene: Adding the campfire
      12m 34s
    4. Creating a campfire scene: Adding trees and lighting
      8m 3s
    5. Creating a superhero type treatment
      7m 6s
  11. 46m 32s
    1. Making a desk nameplate
      12m 6s
    2. Illustrating a campfire from scratch
      9m 35s
    3. Creating realistic stains on bathroom tile
      9m 9s
    4. Creating a distressed windowsill from scratch
      15m 42s
  12. 45m 16s
    1. Increasing precipitation: How to make a rainy-day photo look rainier
      9m 34s
    2. Retouching techniques: Improving a picnic scene
      9m 28s
    3. Retouching techniques: Moving an object in a scene
      9m 29s
    4. Retouching techniques: Improving a real estate photo
      8m 53s
    5. Adding a billboard to a photo
      7m 52s
  13. 28m 56s
    1. Making a book: Perspective
      9m 53s
    2. Making a book: Adding pages
      9m 27s
    3. Using paths and layer styles to create logo text
      9m 36s
  14. 42m 42s
    1. Theater curtain: Animating a rising curtain
      7m 23s
    2. Creating a chalkboard
      12m 48s
    3. Creating a manila envelope
      12m 50s
    4. Turning a regular donut into a jelly donut
      9m 41s
  15. 48m 47s
    1. Creating net fabric for a veil
      15m 39s
    2. Animating a spotlight against a brick wall
      7m 1s
    3. Damen Station: Using Blend in Illustrator to create intricate details
      4m 34s
    4. Theater curtain: Making a braid and tassels
      9m 53s
    5. Theater curtain: Creating the curtain
      11m 40s
  16. 34m 22s
    1. Oyster Bar: Creating a canvas texture
      7m 53s
    2. Creating realistic reflections and shadows
      11m 0s
    3. Creating water droplets on a surface
      7m 42s
    4. Wrapping a pattern around a 3D wine goblet
      7m 47s
  17. 29m 7s
    1. Damen Station: Creating realistic rust
      6m 56s
    2. Oyster Bar: Creating puddles
      6m 15s
    3. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
      5m 3s
    4. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
      10m 53s
  18. 38m 48s
    1. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
      13m 57s
    2. Magazine cover: Creating a wood floor
      13m 29s
    3. Damen Station: Adding multiple train cars
      5m 26s
    4. Damen Station: Creating bolts
      5m 56s
  19. 36m 9s
    1. Red truck: Creating a headlight
      7m 17s
    2. Red truck: Creating chrome headlight trim
      7m 37s
    3. Red truck: Creating realistic metal perforations
      7m 5s
    4. Red truck: Creating wear on metal
      6m 18s
    5. Magazine cover: Using perspective to draw a room
      7m 52s
  20. 31m 44s
    1. Oakland Theater: Creating lightbulbs
      15m 33s
    2. Changing photo contents with Auto-Align Layers
      6m 36s
    3. Creating a metal grill
      9m 35s
  21. 47m 14s
    1. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding details
      10m 49s
    2. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding a third dimension
      10m 10s
    3. Oakland Theater: Creating stone walls
      14m 11s
    4. Oakland Theater: Creating neon
      12m 4s
  22. 40m 9s
    1. Animating a 3D starfield
      7m 6s
    2. Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop
      13m 1s
    3. Creating a custom brush to draw hair
      7m 57s
    4. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: First steps
      12m 5s
  23. 21m 8s
    1. Using a Fibonacci spiral to create a tattoo
      4m 19s
    2. Body shaping with Puppet Warp
      4m 1s
    3. Type effects in Photoshop: Pillow
      6m 46s
    4. Type effects in Photoshop: Clouds
      6m 2s
  24. 42m 37s
    1. Recreating magazine clippings
      7m 31s
    2. Creating realistic scales for a dragon tattoo
      6m 27s
    3. Creating spikes for a dragon tattoo
      10m 35s
    4. Creating the belly for a dragon tattoo
      10m 55s
    5. Creating a flower tattoo
      7m 9s
  25. 29m 24s
    1. Creating a custom brush
      7m 28s
    2. Using displacement maps to create shadows
      7m 27s
    3. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
      6m 37s
    4. Creating a dog tag
      7m 52s
  26. 23m 36s
    1. Creating animated snowfall with Photoshop
      6m 39s
    2. Filling an empty glass with liquid
      2m 51s
    3. Using an alpha channel to create a 3D object
      6m 53s
    4. Creating a 3D coin
      7m 13s

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Watch the Online Video Course Pixel Playground
15h 22m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2015

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.

Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Illustrator Photoshop
Author:
Bert Monroy

Animating a 3D starfield

What we're going to do today is create a fly through a sea of stars in some distant galaxy. going to fly right through billions of stars. What I'm going to do is I'm going to create a fairly small file based on the resolution that I'm working on here. So it's just going to be 8 inches by 10 inches wide at 72 DPI. There it is. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to press the F key to bring it to full screen. And right off the bat, I'm going to invert the background. So instead of being white it's black. I'm going to hit Cmd+I and there we have a black background.

So now, I'm going to create a layer right on top of this. And I'm going to. My paintbrush. And I'll choose a nice, hard-edged brush right there. Choose that, 100%, and right now what it's going to do is, it does that. Let's undo that. And what I want to do is, I want to go into my brushes engine right here. And right off the bat, what I'm going to do is, I'm going to give it some spacing. I'm going to open it up so I can start to see the individual little dots there. About like that. That's a nice, high number there. Alright, so now, come down here to my Shape Dynamics, where you can see that I already have a setting where the size is jittering over to 100%, and I have a minimum down there to about, oh let's just say 6%, so don't get too tiny, so you can see them little ones in there.

Alright, so there, these will have no control because I want to keep them nice and round. Now that I have that, I'm going to jump down to scattering, which starts to break them away, see, it's going on both axes, if I had that off, like that, and let's bring it all down to the settings here, if I move it away, see they're going up and down. Or if I say on both axis then they go in all kinds of directions. So we're going to do it on both axis and we'll increase the count just a little bit. See, so we have more little dots. I can go all the way and get a lot of dots or just keep it down just a little bit. There, about like that.

Right? So now that I have that, in fact, let's increase that just a tad. Alright, now that I have that, right here, let's see the size of what we got. That's pretty good. They're going to be kind of large, but it'll be easier for us to see. So what I'm going to do is, in a new layer, right here, there's that layer that I just created, I'm going to go in here and start just drawing a bunch of shapes right in here so I get all these little things. Basically, you see what I'm doing is creating kind of like a star field here of all these little circles and little dots here, right there. There we go. Alright, so now we're going to go in here and get a second layer, another layer and in this layer we're going to go in there and kind of fill up those other spots.

Thick. Fill up all those little holes and you know what we'll do, we'll also turn off number one so we could see holes left in here and we'll continue to fill those up. Here we go. There it is, right? There'll be a third one. And we'll just kind of throw a bunch in there, just very loosely. I'm not being very careful. In fact, if you're too careful, then it starts to look too robotic. It stars to get too system looking. let's go all of that. Right there. Alright, now. A fourth one. We're going to do it to a fourth one.

And this one I'm just going to go over across like that. And make sure we fill up every little hole like that. And maybe a couple going up and down, right through here. Right, so we have four of them. There we are. And what they are is white dots on transparent backgrounds. So now, what's going to happen here is that I'm going to turn these into 3D fields or 3D planes that can be moved in space. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take that first layer right there, number four, and I'm going to come up to my 3D menu and say new mesh from layer Post card.

Now this little guy that pops up, asks you, since you're about to go into a 3D layer, how about creating a perfect panel arrangement? That deals with 3D, so I say yes do it. And you see that the online panel configuration changed, just something that's more conducive to working in 3D. So, I now have a 3D postcard. Let's go back to my layers, and I'm going to go to layer three and do the same thing, postcard. Layers, layer two, and say postcard, back again, and say postcard. So now we have four post cards.

They are actual little spaces, so, like, for instance, I can go in here and let's say I got this little guy here. I can go in there and twirl him around. So I can go in there and twirl him around, see. But what I want to do is, have these guys work together. So what I'm going to do is, I have to go in there and merge them. So I'm going to go in here, and take four, and merge em down into three. You can do one at a time I could do here, merge down. What you see is Cmd+E. So I could do that one, and merge down. And let's just press Cmd+E again and again. So now, they're all in layer one. But you see they are still individual layers.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to manipulate them into a 3D space. Now this little control that shows up in the middle here. Allows me to control certain parts of an axis. As you x, y, and z, this controls the up and down. This controls the rotation of it. And this will make it go larger and smaller, just on that axis, leaving the others the same. We'll go on this one right here. And rotate it this way. There you can see that there's our four little postcards all in a nice little row.

So I'm going to now go into my 3D layer and select individual layers. I'm going to select number one here, and then with my moving up and down tool, I'm going to take that and move it. All the way up to the top here. And I'll take number two and move it not twirl it, but I want to move it. Let's go up here and move it up just a little bit like that. Number three and I'll move down about like that and then number four We'll move 'em all the way down to here.

So now go back to the current view so we're affecting all four of 'em, and we rotate 'em back. And you see that now there's, like, this field of stars. Do you see that? So, I'm going to put it right straight on, like that So now what's going to happen here, is that now I'm going to create the animation. So we'll pull back just a little bit. There we see that little field. There it is. And what we're going to do now is I'm going to just go in here and go into a whole new panel, which is my timeline. And right now it's asking me what type of movie would I like.

I have two choices. So lets just say video timeline. Make it. There it is. So here's my layer one, which is a composite of the other four layers. So I'm going to open that up. And what I'm going to do is, I'm going to lock the camera position. And a keyframe was formed right there. So I'm going to bring this over to the end of my animation right there, and in my scene, I'm going to take my tool here which allows me to move in and out of the scene. And I'm going to kind of bring all those things towards us, all those little stars towards us, right there, see, just like that.

And notice the key frame formed at the end. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to bring this back to the beginning and play it and you'll see that it's going to be kind of slow at first, but you'll start to get this sense that you're traveling through, you see the stars.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Pixel Playground .


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Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.
Q: Why are some of the 3D menu items grayed out when I try to follow along?
A: The 3D features in Photoshop CC require a computer with at least 512MB VRAM. If your computer doesn't meet this criterion, the 3D menu features will be greyed out.
 
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