If this first tutorial looks lengthy it's only because
I've gone into detail for novices. There's
nothing complicated about the process itself. Plugin Galaxy
2 makes creating basic spheres and bubbles quick and very
easy, with the great advantage of being able to experiment with
different results from within a single set of controls.
Preset 1: #Hoods - Basic Sphere
- Create a new 200 x 200 square image.
(Initial values in the presets have
been set for this size.)
- Add a
new filled layer, any color. (Just
duplicate your background layer.)
This will be your working layer.
Name the Layer "Sphere" in your
application's layer palette - this
will be helpful if you want to save
your file as a template for creating
spheres at a later date. You will
see why that's a good idea as we go
- Open Plugin Galaxy 2 and press
the F2 key to bring up the Presets
menu. Click on #Hoods - Basic
Sphere, near the top of
your list. You will see a blue
sphere in your preview window. Press F1 to enter Manual
- The Rainbow>Linear layer is a
single background color. Use the
color and Angle sliders to change
this color, which will in turn
affect the Twilight layer above it -
the two layers works together. Use
the color sliders on the Twilight layer
to further tweak the colors.
- The light focus of the sphere
preset is offset. The light focus is
determined by the position of the
crosshairs in the Preview window.
Right click in the Preview to move
the crosshairs. To center the cross,
right click on the dropdown left of
Group at the top of the Manual Mode
screen and choose Center Cross.
- Adjust the Intensity and
Brightness sliders to change the
shadows and lightness of the sphere.
- The Edge layer gives you the
size of your sphere and an
indication of how the colors and
shadows etc. you have chosen will
look. You can change the Size, but
using the Smooth slider isn't a good
idea - for a perfect and smooth
circle it's far better to remove the
jagged edge in your application.
- Go ahead and adjust the three filters
in the layer stack as and how you want
to. When you're happy with the
result you see, click OK and exit
- In your graphics application
make an anti-aliased circle
selection, invert it, and
delete/clear to cut away what you
don't want of the sphere.
- Tip: in most programs
cutting and pasting will center what
you paste perfectly. If you've cut
your circle off center, use cut and
paste to center it again.
Preset 2: #Hoods - Highlight
Create a new transparent layer above the Sphere. Don't fill this
layer with color. Name the Layer "Highlight" in your application's
layer palette. Open Plugin Galaxy. Use F2 to access the Presets menu, and
click on the preset #Hoods - Highlight.
- You can now simply exit Plugin Galaxy to apply the preset
"as is" - tweaking is more easily and quickly done from within
- There are three Edge filter layers in the layer stack.
Don't change anything on the bottom layer. If you create a
sphere on a different sized image,
you can change the size or position of the highlight by moving
the crosshairs and adjusting the Size sliders of the top two
layers, but it won't be necessary for this tutorial if you've
stuck with 200 x 200.
You will now have the rough highlight (above left) on
the layer above your sphere.
Use your application's Gaussian
Blur filter - just enough to remove the jagged
edges. Several passes of Blur More is also a nice blurring option
to use, as this smoothes the edges without removing color. Use
either or both blur filters to get the best result.
If the highlight looks a little washed out
after blurring, duplicate the highlight layer and adjust the
opacity of the duplicated layer to get exactly the result