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Under Alien Skies by creativeguy59 Under Alien Skies by creativeguy59
I completed this for a the Lost in Space contest at: :iconmanipulatethis: under Level 2.

It was an interesting challenge. I went after what the night sky of another earth like planet would be if it had a nebula in view :)

A special thanks to the following stock providers:

:iconjensstockcollection: - Model
:iconantithisis-stock: - Tree line
:iconfune-stock: - Nebula
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:iconda-joint-stock:
da-joint-stock Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Student General Artist
This is a beautiful scene!

I have a few suggestions if you'll have them (I apologize in advance if I wound harsh ^^;)

-OK! First thing I see when I look at this scene is the background, followed very quickly by the rock on the right, the woman, then the trees. Both the woman and the rock are a llittle dark, but that's OK for now. The background looks great - so, I'll move to the trees. The trees look very sharp compared to the rest of the image, mostly because they have such hard edges. There is actually a very simple fix for this: Using the Select-by-Colour Tool (or if that's unavailable, the Fuzzy/Magic Selection Tool), select the empty pixels behind the trees. Adjust the options for the selection tool to your selection is feathered/blurred by 1 to 3 pixels. Then, simply press Delete. If it works, the edges of the trees should be much softer, but still hard enough they look realistic. Play around until you're happy.

-Second, a biggie... Water is a terrible enemy to photomanipulators because water is a mirror. In your scene, the water is reflecting a sunny blue sky with green trees. Try creating a mirror image of the nebula in the water, then adjust the opacity/transparency so you can see the ripples. If it still doesn't look right, use a feathered selection tool (about 10 pixels this time) to select the existing river and change the Hues so it looks more blue (or if you're using Photoshop, just add more blue to it). This, combined with the mirror-image, should give you a rippling reflection in the water.

-Lastly, the only thing that is missing now is some highlights on the woman. Even in dark scenes, the slightest amount of light will create a highlight. There are lots of ways to do this - you can use a smooth round brush at 5% transparency to draw your own shadows, you can use the Inner Glow Effect on her arms then adjust it so it looks right, or you can even use the freehand selection Tool with a feathered edge to select areas you wish to make lighter, then fill the selected areas with light blue. Best to do this on a seperate layer, then all you have to do is adjust the layer opacity ;)

Anyways, this is a beautiful scene, it just needs a few touchups to make it looks incredible:)

Once again I apologize if I sounded harsh or offending, it was not my intention ^^;

Good luck in the Challenge!
Dan
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:iconcreativeguy59:
creativeguy59 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hey there, no worries. I prefer honest constructive criticism to know criticism, there is no way I can improve if I don't hear :) I have to digest what you said. I have my own views as well on what needs to be improved and some of them match your own. Thanks again!
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:iconda-joint-stock:
da-joint-stock Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Student General Artist
No problem! I can't wait to see the finished work!!:)
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:iconcreativeguy59:
creativeguy59 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I already have a version offline that took into account what you said. The difference is I used a gaussian blur to soften the forest... I did do the reflection with the nebula... at least attempted it. :)

As for the highlight on the woman, I tried modifying one of my existing layers to lighten her up a bit... I would upload it to replace the current one but I want to make sure that is fine for the contest or not :) Failing that I'll put a second version up and see what you think.. thanks again.
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:iconda-joint-stock:
da-joint-stock Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010  Student General Artist
The guassian blur would work to - the only thing is, It blurs everything, not just the edges.

I look forward to seeing your work!
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:iconcreativeguy59:
creativeguy59 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, trying a couple of variations on the tree layer. :)
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:iconda-joint-stock:
da-joint-stock Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010  Student General Artist
Cool!
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:iconcreativeguy59:
creativeguy59 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well here is one variation, if you want to look at that attempt working on figuring out how to apply some of what you said to GIMP :)
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(1 Reply)
:iconhntr0829:
hntr0829 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
beautiful
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:iconcreativeguy59:
creativeguy59 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks I like how it turned out in general...
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Details

Submitted on
July 14, 2010
Image Size
935 KB
Resolution
1000×1192
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Camera Data

Make
FUJIFILM
Model
FinePix S7000
Shutter Speed
1/446 second
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Focal Length
8 mm
ISO Speed
400
Date Taken
Jul 4, 2004, 12:23:53 PM