Join Bert Monroy for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding the travel trail behind the spaceship, part of Creating Dreamscapes: Off-World Mining.
- So now everything's in place, but the ship is just laying there. What is it doing? We gotta give it some movement. A couple of things we're going to do to do that: one is we're gonna leave a trail. So, right here, here's our ship. So in a layer behind it, call it "trail." I'm gonna take my pen tool and I'm gonna create a little shape right here like this, that's gonna kind of curve like that, and then go up. Up into my scene out there. Let's move this guy down.
I'm gonna hit the F key so that I have access to the area out here, the work space, so I can go beyond the actual image and create a shape there. Alright so there's this right there. Okay and so what's gonna happen is I'm going to continue this guy, and he's gonna come down about like this and go right in to here, like that. And close it off. There's his trail. Now I need to modify it just slightly so that it gets a little more of a movement to it, about like that.
That looks good. So what I'm going to do now is, using white in that layer of trail, I'm gonna go ahead and take that path and fill it. Now we can turn off the path, we don't need it anymore. So what's going to happen here, is a few things. I'm gonna go ahead and blur this, just a little bit. A little bit of a Gaussian Blur. Just to soften it up ever so slightly. Just like that. And then what I need to do, is to have this thing get a little blurrier as it gets further back.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a channel. Nothing was selected, so it automatically gave me a black channel. I wanna see the image behind it so I know where to do things now in the channel, it's a way of selecting. Where it's black the image is protected, where it's white it is selected. So I wanna do a gradual selection so I'm creating a gradient that's gonna go from black to white. So up here is where most of the effect is gonna happen, down here, very little of it. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna draw a gradient that kind of follows that shape. About like that.
And, gotta set this up to normal, there we go. Right up there, and there we see, we have this effect. Let's see it by itself, there we go. That's what we need, right there. So now, go back to RGB, we don't need to see the alpha channel, I'm simply going to load the alpha channel by command-clicking on it. And there we see the marching ants. Let me just hide those, so we don't see those. And I'm gonna apply that same filter again. The Gaussian blur. Alright, let's give it a little more.
You can see it happening back there, not here. Okay I'm gonna apply it again, and again, and again. You notice I'm not doing it one big massive blur, because then you're gonna get some weird hazes going on through here, so I'm gonna keeping applying it until it's really soft way back here and gradually getting sharper as it gets closer. See? You can see that happening. Alright. Deselect that, and then what's going to happen is I'm gonna go to that layer of my trail, and I'm gonna bring down the opacity considerably.
So we can see through it, like that. Way down. And I also want it to get a little lighter as it gets further away, in fact we'll just get even lighter right there. I'm gonna give it a mask, and the mask, kind of like the alpha channel, uses the whites to blacks with the grays in between, except for a different purpose. In the alpha channel the white exposes, in the layer mask white shows. It lets you see the contents of the layer. With the alpha channel that white is allowing you to do things to that layer, like change its color, blur it in this case, or whatever.
Black is gonna protect the layer in the alpha channel, but in the alpha mask, or layer mask, it's going to hide the contents of the layer. So I don't want to completely hide it, so instead of going to black I'm gonna go to a gray, about like that. And with the gradient tool, I'm in the masks as you can see right there, I'm gonna go from white to gray, like that, and you can see that it's getting lighter as it gets further away. Let's go in here and I want the gray up here, that's where I want it to get softer.
And there you can see that it's starting to disappear as it gets further away. See? There's our little trail, left behind by our spaceship. Which we can even bring down the opacity even more now, so it's just this little hint of a trail right there. The final step will be in the next and final movie, which is where we create this dust storm down below.