Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Night Sky Clouds
SarahN at 10:13PM, July 19, 2006
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Gimme some tips on making perdy looking clouds! I use Paint Shop Pro 9, but Photoshop tips should apply to PSP9 as well…they're very similar.

Here are some examples of my clouds (look at the background of the last panel of both pages):
http://www.drunkduck.com/Vampire_Phantasm/index.php?p=65859
http://www.drunkduck.com/Vampire_Phantasm/index.php?p=67219

They look more like smoke puffs than clouds. >_>

So yeah, I'm mostly referring to clouds at night…and storm clouds.

Also…I'd rather use a method that doesn't involve the smudge brush…because my pages start out very big and…the smudge brush just doesn't work right on huge pages. In Paint Shop Pro 9 it doesn't anyway.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
Jenshin at 11:18AM, July 24, 2006
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Night Sky clouds..

Well in the night, there are very few sources of light. The moon.. cities.. stuff like that. When the edge of a cloud is being highlighted by one of these things, it will appear very bright in comparison to the darkness of everything else. Without a source of light, though, it would be hard to even see the clouds against the night sky. Dark shapes on dark, through which no stars can be seen.

So my suggestions to you.. Find your light sources and use them.
If there are no light sources, then I think you need more stars!
Also, your clouds all seem to be the same sort of bumpy shape and they're always sort of high in the sky. Clouds can be anywhere doing anything and looking like everything! Experiment with that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
SpANG at 12:58PM, July 24, 2006
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One thing you want to remember is that if there are clouds, there can't be a lot of stars. It's give and take, stars or clouds.

Here's a quick BG I just made to illustrate some of the above points. I use Photoshop, so you may not have the same effects as I do. If this is the case, I recommend you get Photoshop. It's a great program. :wink:

First thing you want to do is work in LAYERS.

Your first layer should be a black background. That's easy enough:


Now, create a NEW layer. And choose Filter > Render > Clouds. This layer will be your cloud cover:


Take your erase brush and choose a HIGH STROKE, FEATHERED effect. Delete some of the clouds so that the blackness behind shows up:


Go back your filtering tool choosing Filter > Render > Difference Clouds. You should see a more stark contrast:


Add your stars by using a white, low stroke, solid brush. You can vary size a little, but dont do it a lot. Don't make them gradient glow. Remember, you have clouds so the stars SHOULD be muted.


Also, your clouds all seem to be the same sort of bumpy shape and they're always sort of high in the sky. Clouds can be anywhere doing anything and looking like everything! Experiment with that.
This is a really good point. Rememeber, clouds don't juts to need to be up high. The WHOLE SKY has clouds.

I took the liberty of modifying your panel with the BG I created. Here is the finished effect:


hope it helps. :wink:

.: SpANG! :.
“To a rational mind, nothing is inexplicable. Only unexplained.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:51PM
SarahN at 9:34PM, Aug. 5, 2006
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Forgot about this for a second…
I don't think PSP9 has a cloud filter…mrph, I definitely think I should get Photoshop sometime…it has some extra goodies.

On a recent page of mine, I still made the clouds the same way…but I tried more things with the shape, put them more all over the place, and got rid of the gradient sky.
http://www.drunkduck.com/Vampire_Phantasm/index.php?p=74101

I think it's looking better. Thanks for the tips everyone!^^
Though next time I may try putting it on a seperate layer for a change…(I don't use nearly enough layers as I should).
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
deletedbyrequest03 at 6:46AM, Aug. 17, 2006
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Your style of night clouds are probably exactly the same as mine. Wow, SpANG!, your tutorial's really good. I'm going to use it.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:04PM
Eviltwinpixie at 5:13AM, Sept. 18, 2006
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Amazing technique, spANG. I've been finding this one REALLY useful. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM

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