View Full Version : Star Cluster

11-15-2003, 08:18 PM
Hi everyone,
this is my first post. i've had lightwave for about 8 months, and learned through tutorials. anyway, i thought i would post this. suggestions and comments are welcome. and if anyone knows how i can make better rings for the planet, let me know. right now they are just a bunch of points turned into polys.

11-15-2003, 09:14 PM
Did you make the background in Photoshop or another paint program?

11-15-2003, 09:31 PM
could be textureenvironment with a crust layer with a procedural like... turbulence maybe as an alpha layed on it... it looks really nice though

11-16-2003, 05:26 PM
i made the background with photoshop

11-16-2003, 06:17 PM
Mighty nice work. Keep at it.
As for the ring, looking pretty good. What might help is a good bit of size variation among the "bits" that make up the ring.
I suggest using point clone +, to put "rock" objects where the points are. This can get very polygon-heavy, so be careful.

Good luck, and happy 'wavin'.


PS - Is a one ear deer in any way related to a no eye deer?

11-17-2003, 05:25 AM

The pic is very nice - I especially like the planet and the diffuse falloff/glow effect. :)

But I have to agree the 'ring' is a bit bland. Get the rocks a bit more dense, and perhaps even introduce some color? The brown/grey kinda blends with the background.

Hope that's helpful!

T x

11-17-2003, 05:39 AM
Rings are pretty easy once you have the trick of it. I was very pleased with my realistic Saturn, but the principle is easy enough for anything.

Step one, make a solid ring of the correct oinner and outer radius, zero thickness.

Step two, select the ring of inner points. Pull them up by a tiny amount, (as small as you can manage).

Step three, make some maps for your rings - something like a vertical bar code pattern, with bands of varying levels of gray, some fine details, some broad details. Make two different images with these banded horizontal stripes.

Step four, apply them to the image, one in the diffuse channel, one in the transparency channel. Make them cylindrical maps on the Y axis, (if thats your planets axis), and auto size them.

Hey presto! Instant complex ring systems.

You can see one of mine at:

I'm not too keen on the stars in the background - they look a bit even in brightness and distribution. Real stars 'clump' a lot. Also there are many more faint ones than bright ones - as a rough guide go for 6 or 7 brightness levels, and double the number of stars with each step down in brightness.

I've got some I made avcailable for download at:
Done at 4000x3000, in some cases with accurate positions and brightness.


11-18-2003, 08:03 PM
Thanks for the tips! here are some new ones, this one has a little size variation in the rocks,

11-18-2003, 08:03 PM
this one has the image maps,

11-18-2003, 08:04 PM
and this one with both combined. let me know what you think

11-18-2003, 08:05 PM
i may need to move the rings closer together though.

11-19-2003, 05:30 AM
This is better, lots better! :D

Although I still think it needs color in the rings. It probably means the image will be less realistic/scientifically correct, but a bit of artistic licence never hurt anybody. ;)

Even a few tones of brown/rich red colors might make a nice contrast to the planet they orbit?

T x

11-19-2003, 07:01 AM
I think it's the complete lack of colour in the rings, and the intense saturated colour of the planet that really looks odd. But real rings are NOT completely colourless - there were several NASA shorts where they pumped up the subtle colours of the rings for a really extreme look!

The rings are ground up ice and rock, tidally sorted, so the same kind of range of colours you get in natural rick is defensible on realistic grounds.

I'd also suggest a wider range of brightness in the ring bands, a bit too even at the moment.

Ring systems can be a real pig to light at shallow angles, I don't know how they have been done here, but cranking the diffuse edge sharpness way up really helps - that way even shallow angles of light give full illumination effect.

Squash the planet a litle in the ring plane too, for added realism, gas giants tend to be distinctly oblate.