Tutorial 4
   Creating the image ‘Incoming flight’   
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Spacejetters

Step 1

Ideas and inspiration can come from many sources....

Films, books, magazines and the artwork of other artists often spur my imagination to produce the images I create using Bryce, Photoshop and the Spacejetters models I use to compose my designs.

Bryce is very intuitive to use and, once learnt, can quickly produce simple, but effective designs for all kinds of subjects. As you can see from this tutorial, I personally prefer to use Bryce as a tool for creating sci-fi images. The design for this picture was to be a spaceship approaching a spaceport and base colony on another world. To begin with a tower building model was chosen, imported and placed into the foreground of the scene.

Step 2

The model building I chose was then selected, copied and pasted, then resized and positioned further away using the ‘reposition’ tool to create a sense of  depth in the picture. This is a simple technique I use quite frequently in many of my designs.

I then chose a sky from the sky palette. Luckily, the first sky preset I chose turned out to be ideal for the overall look of the image. Sometimes though you may need to experiment with different presets to get the right look and color scheme for your picture.

Next a spacecraft model was imported and placed into a position that accentuated the angle of descent. A preset texture was added and a quick render (see tutorial 3) was made to see how things looked at this stage.

Step 3

I wasn’t completely happy with the spacecraft image but continued to proceed knowing that I could always work on the detailing at a later stage. Further objects were then added to the scene including a nearby planet in the sky using a sphere ‘primitive’ and one of Bryce’s presets, a landing strip and roadway system imported from the Spacejetters models, plus extra spacecraft in the distance to fill out the scene. (see image in Step 4)

Unfortunately, after trying out a full size render (A4) I was still not happy with the shape and texture of the main spacecraft I had originally chosen, so I decided to try a different one which I felt worked better for the overall style of the image I was trying to convey.

Step 4

After choosing a more suitable spacecraft model, I experimented with different textures to find out which one worked best on the hull of the spacecraft. It was also necessary to ensure that the color of the preset I used fitted in with the existing color scheme.

After another quick render and a little bit of tweaking to get everything positioned to my satisfaction, I could see that the overall composition, textures and colors were all beginning to work together nicely. 

The next step was to add some final detailing.

Step 5

After saving the Bryce template and saving a bitmap image of the final A4 size render I loaded the image into Photoshop to add the finishing touches. This included some fine detailing work on the spacecraft’s hull, adding the engine flares, and adding the speed trails from the tips of the wings.

Some extra touch up work was also done to the landing strip area.
All this was done in Photoshop using various ‘layers’ at each stage before the final ‘merging’ of all layers to ensure that the original image was not spoilt during the touch-up process.

To see the finished picture in more detail click here

For more details of the Bryce rendering program click here

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