Space Scene

SOL C/T 6-8.5, C/T 6-8.8


Create a scene that looks like the example


Creating the Stars

We will, start with a layer of stars. With Gimp open, go to File -> New. At the minimum, you will want your image size to be your desktop resolution, such as 1024×768 or 1440×900. Under Advanced Options, choose Fill With: Foreground Color (black).


Now it’s time to create our stars. On the canvas window, go to Filters -> Noise -> Hurl. Select Randomize and clickOK.

To remove color from the stars simply click Colors -> Desaturate -> OK. We can always add in color later if desired.

To thin out the dots, set your image zoom to 100%, then choose Colors -> Levels. In the first text box, enter a number from from about 220 to 240 to get a medium density star field.


To improve the stars’ appearance, click Filters -> Light and Shadow -> Sparkle. Set Flare Intensity to somewhere between .10 and .15 for a fairly subtle sparkle effect.


Save and minimize the star field canvas for now, because we’ll be creating a new image for the planet.

Creating a Planet

First we’ll want a good looking high-resolution texture. Since we’ll be warping the texture with a lens to make it look better on a sphere, it’s very important you find a large, high resolution image even for a small planet. You can find many such images here, or you may you this one. If you choose to get your own you will need to use the crop tool (Shift - C) to make it square.

To make the texture into a sphere watch this video.


If you would like to add a shadow, select the paintbrush tool and the fuzzy (hardness .025) brush. set the size of the brush to 300 and paint the area you would like to have a shadow.

Adding Nebulas

For a nebula effect, start by creating a new  layer. Now pick Filters -> Render -> Clouds ->Plasma. Select Randomize and hit OK.


To make it look a little smoother, choose Filters -> Blur -> Motion Blur and set to an appropriate level for a smooth, cloudish look, probably at least 20.


Now just set the opacity on your nebula layer to the level you like from the Layers window..


To top off our image, we’ll use Gimp’s Supernova filter. First create a new transparent layer called nova. Then click Filters -> Light and Shadow -> Supernova. Set color, size, and placement options as desired and click OK.


And now we’ve got a passable space scene created in just a few minutes.