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Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
Illustration by John Hersey

Animating a 3D starfield


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Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy

with Bert Monroy

Video: Animating a 3D starfield

What we're going to do today is create a Thick.
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  2. 5h 58m
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    2. Filling an empty glass with liquid
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    3. Using an alpha channel to create a 3D object
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    6. Using displacement maps to create shadows
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    7. Enhancing a landscape by adding a lake
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    8. Creating a dog tag
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    9. Recreating magazine clippings
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    10. Creating realistic scales for a dragon tattoo
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    11. Creating spikes for a dragon tattoo
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    13. Creating a flower tattoo
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    14. Using a Fibonacci spiral to create a tattoo
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    15. Body shaping with Puppet Warp
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    16. Type effects in Photoshop: Pillow
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    17. Type effects in Photoshop: Clouds
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    18. Animating a 3D starfield
      7m 6s
    19. Creating an antique pub sign using Photoshop
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    20. Creating a custom brush to draw hair
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    21. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: First steps
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    22. Charms and medallions in Photoshop: Adding details
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    29. Red truck: Creating a headlight
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    34. Magazine cover: Creating a lamp
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    40. Oyster Bar: Creating asphalt and concrete textures
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    41. Oyster Bar: Creating a manhole cover
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    42. Oyster Bar: Creating a canvas texture
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    43. Creating realistic reflections and shadows
      11m 0s

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Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy
6h 6m Intermediate Jun 07, 2013 Updated Apr 18, 2014

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 Illustration Photography Design Techniques Digital Painting
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 with Bert Monroy.


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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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