View Full Version : Spiral Galaxies and Nebulas - PLEASE HELP!!!

02-28-2004, 01:18 PM
I need to create a spiral galaxy and a nebula but as a working model not as a photoshop image mapped on a shaped polygon. The spiral galaxy has got to look real with gases and stars spiraling out from the center and the nebula has got to be in any shape i want. For instance if i wanted to see a nebula that is shaped liked a humming bird i have got to create this somehow so that it can be animated with swirling clouds slowly breaking away as you rotate around it. So it has got to be full of volume. Hope this is clear. Really desperate to find out to do this.
Any help VERY much appreciated.

02-28-2004, 02:33 PM
This will get you started, or completed if you like the original, cuz I just tried it and it looks rather nice;)

I grabbed the 'Spray points' tool and set my grid to 20' squares (yep kinda small but I was only trying it, so make yours the size you want and compinsate the dimensions here)

I started at 0 0 0 and sprayed outward along the heavy lines in grid first.
That gave me 4 arms of 8 grid squares long looking from top view.

Then I did same (from 0 0 0 and made ones in between those at same lenght for a total of 8 arms and a heavy consintration of points in center (as a galaxy should have:) ).

now I grabbed the 'Vortex' tool and right clicking on 0 0 0 and dragging out to cover the lenght of arms in top view and right clicking and dragging out to cover arms in side view.
Then with LEFT mouse button in top view I just clicked button and moved mouse till I got a nice curvature of arms.

Now this next part can be done in more than 1 way so here are 2.

You need to expand the center cuz it's all flat.

way 1...take 'Magnet' tool and with right mouse in top view draw out circle almost same size as galaxy, then in side view right click to make it as thick as galaxy, then with right mouse button grab the center crosshairs from side view and move then to just the top of galaxy and then with left mouse button drag up a tad to get the top hump,
gran crosshairs again with RMB and drag to bottom of galaxy and again LMB down a tab to get bottom hump..
Done way 1

Way 2
Do 1 Arm as above (laying points), the with mouse at end away from 0 0 0 rotate the arm just a tad up.
then in radial array make 8 (or whatever amount you want) anf click ok
you now have the arms in an upward direction from edge.
in side view on the 0 line do a mirror so that you now have the arms also going down.

NOW do the 'Vortex tool'

I tried both and like the 1st way best (more control) and better looking center hump.

there you go an andromeda type galaxy that you can either
A. click 'Points2polys button and just surface them in layout
B. give the points in layout some HVs

For better texturing, you might wanna go in and just highlight some random points( just click mouse and without letting go) drag the mouse all over galaxy and get what looks like a random sampeling of points.

Either resurface them with name like layer 5 stars or red stars, and cut and paste them to a new layer
then grab more and do same till all stars are in new layers and all surfaced.

If going the HV route then do same (layering) but you dont need to name them.
HVs will go to whatever layer you put them on in layout.

Play with the numeric panel (N) when tool is selected to get a good point spray.

Hope that helps

02-28-2004, 02:38 PM
Was just thinking and you could do both ways in texturing.
make MOST as polygons
but before that grab a FEW random points and cut to a new layer (2)
Grab a FEW more and cut to layer 3

then do HVs on Layer 2 to a giant red star bigger than the polys
and make layer 3 some giant yellow HV stars (for slight differences)
you'll see how many when you start to work them.
Throw some glow on the regular poly stars.

Just some more hints.

02-28-2004, 02:41 PM
OOPS..a little reminder
You CAN fly by a HV star or thru the HV star so maby if you are going to travel thru galaxy then a cupla planets around a giant yellow star? (as a red will soon collapse into a black hole and planets will dissapear on you when you save scene and go back to it later:) .

Just some thoughts

02-28-2004, 02:42 PM
maby a particle emitter or 2 near a sun to make a few comets?

Just a thought

02-28-2004, 02:44 PM
And if your gonna have planets..ya gotta have life on them.
And maby some colonies.
maby a city or 2.

ya gotta make buildings or something for them to live in.


02-29-2004, 03:54 AM
recieved your replys this morning, and had a quick go, looked pretty cool to me. With a bit of work and a little bit more understanding i rekon i'll nail this one! You have definatly put me on the right track. I suppose i could use the same technique to shape my nebulas aswell, what do you think?
Thankyou very much, i shall go to work tommorrow a much more smug person than when i left friday night!!

02-29-2004, 05:45 AM
Hey there,

while you're cruising the outer reaches stop by here and check out these tuts




02-29-2004, 05:53 AM
... i had discovered that website already but it seems all the best tutorials have been taken off the web. Nearly everyone says file not found. Not sure if its because i am on a Mac but i wouldn't have thought so. However i appreciate your help on this.


02-29-2004, 06:00 AM
Hi There

the building better space stuff is at www.ap3d.com and it's still there (I'm on a mac too) Also use google to track down tony gilchrist as he does a wicked boiling sun tutorial. Also and I don't know the url offhand but a guy called Jon Bjarnason had a spiral galaxy tutorial that I have a printed copy of which is quite useful.



02-29-2004, 06:17 AM
Hey Paul,
i did a search on Jon Bjarnason on google, but it seems his site has been taken off the net aswell. One sight even claimed he died, but i'm sure that was another Jon Bjarnason. I have been to ap3d site which has helped me create the starfield, but it uses image mapping for the nebulas. Still its all good site reference for future projects.
Thanks for your continued replys.


02-29-2004, 09:03 AM
hi there

there is a technique where you can take a picture of a galaxy (there is a link on flay to a site "astro imaging") and in photoshop clone and smear out the background and foreground stars then usig this pic as a reference in the bottom left window in modeller create a rough
shape in points to match the background piccy at the angle it is being seen at. convert points to polys and save

flip over to layout and add hypervoxels to the object (sprite mode)
click on the shading tab and hit the colour texture tab use your previously created galaxy pic and choose the front projection as your projection method turn on show particles and adjust particle size and camera position so you get a nice full effect. add another
camera and render using this new camera as long as you stay near the same angle as the projecter camera you should be able to fly right in

02-29-2004, 09:47 AM
Hey skin,
thanks for the new technique, sounds like a good one, just wondered what the URL for that little tip was. Been on Flay but couldn't find anything. Do you know what it is?


02-29-2004, 10:47 AM
sorry for the confusion
the link on flay was to a site that has great hi res pics of galaxies
the tutorial was on the lwg site ages ago ive just looked and could not find it. the guy who wrote the tutorial was called cobra
i think he is still there and may be able to help you. I downloaded the page at the time and have it on my hard drive but it does not seem to be on the current version of the site

good luck