My latest starship – greebles & lighting added, composition complete – done #Blender

My latest starship - greebles & lighting added, composition complete - done #Blender
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Blender Spaceship No. 2

My goal was to emulate the old-school spaceship art of the 1970s. Hopefully, I succeeded.

This post will be a bit of a technical run-down in how I did it. Not too much detail, otherwise it will be super-dull.

So you remember where I was at with my last post:

I asked for feedback and got some great stuff. I experimented with the suggestions to see whether I liked them or not and then proceeded accordingly.

First I added greebles (little bits and pieces stuck to the outside of a model to make it look more realistic). These were antennae, some boxy looking towers and a tank. I also added some triangle decals.

Next, I started adding lighting and shadows. For me, these are always critical. So I had a sun object emitting light-blue light, hitting my spaceship from the direction of the star ahead.

Next, I had a much paler blue spot-light hitting the spaceship from a slightly different angle. As I have said in many of my DAZ studio posts, I enjoy the complexity that multiple lights create, even if only subtly.


Once this was done, I realised that the ship needed windows. How could I do these? In my last spaceship I simple placed black dots on the hull. However, I did not like that. This time, I made a number of tiny cubes, each of which was a light emitter. I then placed these strategically along the side of the ship. Voila!

I also wanted my planet(?) in the background to have more interesting/complex colours. As I may have mentioned, this is a Blender particle system object that is typically used to create fire elements.  Here is the ColorRamp I used for it.

My image composition also felt wrong. So I moved the sun closer and zoomed my camera in to make the spaceship take up more of the image.

My final Blender image was this:

I did not like some things about this. One was the exhaust. The orange light was messing with the blue miasma behind it, making a hard barrier. The sun still did not feel white enough. And the contrast where the light was striking the side of the ship seemed insufficiently striking.

Time for Photoshop!

With Photoshop I selected (with the polygonal lasso tool)  the parts of the ship being struck by light. I then added curves masks on these and lightened them.

The ship exhaust was a new layer and I hand painted the exhaust.

Around the sun I used a radial gradient mask with a fair bit of transparency.

I also added a very tiny bit of vertical blue gradient to the bottom of the image.

Hence the final product:

As I look at this I can truly see that I am an amateur, but I also hope that there is some art to it. :)

Thanks for reading :)


PS: I wish you all a superb Christmas. Be safe, be happy, and treat each other well. :)

Series Navigation<< First rough of new Spaceship scene #BlenderCreating the Starship image – Top 3 mistakes and/or lessons learned #Blender >>


  1. Great post Greg. I hope you don’t mind but I’ve saved it as a pdf for future reference. Again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    1. Thanks Dale :) I’m happy (in fact deeply honoured) that you want to keep a pdf. If you need deeper details, please don’t hesitate to ask. :) Have a wonderful Christmas and 2018 :)

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