On crafting Universes


(…)it is useful for beginners and pros alike to see how other artists achieve certain results. These tutorials are only intended to be guides as you work through new processes and challenges. Upon these building blocks, you must add experimentation and a great deal of practice(…)

Solar Voyager hosts what in my opinion is the net’s best collection of tutorials on crafting realistic space scenes by means of 2D techniques. Most of them are focused on different approaches to rendering planets of all sorts, but fortunately there are several other articles which cover a broad field of subjects, from nebulae to asteroids to truly impressive star fields. As you’ll soon realize, following the articles will be a lot easier if you have Photoshop, since that´s the tool of choice in most of them; however, I’m sure that there’s no effect that you can’t achieve by using other programs, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

Besides from the tutorials, you should pay some to time to visit the rest of Solar Voyager, which covers all branches of space art: you´ll surely be surprised by the quantity and quality of many of the works shown!

As big as it gets


(…)9 quadrillion pixels wide by 9 quadrillion pixels tall.

A metaphor within a metaphor, this site makes one rethink the concept of vastness. In other words, we can tinker with the otherwise utterly unattainable immensities of the cosmos in our desktops, just because the designer (very intelligent designer, yep), has put them in a context that we can easily grasp. Try to scroll the page with the arrow keys: it will take you more lives than you can count to reach the end. Now grab the scroll bar with the mouse and get to the end in seconds, fast as if you crossed a wormhole (a mousehole, perhaps?). Incredible, isn’t it? All in all this is a marvelous site to visit: stand on its center and watch through the eons, and beyond!

ps. by the way, whatever you do, don’t hit the print page button 😉

Related Article: Small… but playful

To be or not to be: that is the version

Yesterday I heard the umpteenth version of the Righteous Brothers’ song “You’ve lost that lovin feeling”, a huge hit from the middle 60’s. They say it’s the most versioned song ever (even more than Beatles’ “Yesterday”).

Many song versions are made by not very popular singers or groups, but sometimes there are well-known artists that decide to make their contribution. Oops! But what a contribution sometimes! It’s like a photocopy.

I think that versions must add something to the original piece. It’s not a matter of respect to the original, but a question of being creative. I remember when, for example, Nirvana was going to version the great David Bowie’s “The man who sold the world”; I expected a new powerful song, but Continue reading To be or not to be: that is the version