you can fly!?Dooms-Day Planet

A Dogwaffle 1.2 Intro Tutorial


or: Playing with filters to Make Planetary Textures for 3D Space Scenes
Best viewed at 1024x768 or higher res.
By Don Felipe

Note: this was written for use with Dogwaffle 1.2, but will also work with v2.

1.  Startup Dogwaffle 1.2

When you start Dogwaffle it normally will ask you what size buffer you want to work with. Some call it a canvas, we call it the Main Buffer. There is more.

Select a square size. There are some presets, but you can also enter your own, such as 512x512.

By default, Dogwaffle will ask you what size buffer you want when you start it up. You may want to change this behaviour, in the  menu:  File/Prefs...
2 - Resize work area around buffer

You can drag the corners of the buffer to expose the grey space around it. This allows you to draw from outside to the inside of the buffer.

3 - Preferences

We really might want to change some settings in the Preferences, at least to be aware of them.

Check the menu:  File > Prefs  and

- set the allocated memory for Undo to the max
- check the box "make plugins child of main window"
- select default size and optional plugins you may want automatically chosen when starting up.

Click "Save" to keep these settings.

4 - experimenting with brushes

Right-click on the brush icon. It is in the upper-left corner of the block of mini-icons in the Tools panel. It looks like a brush. If you left-click it chooses the tool. If you right-click it shows additional options.

If your mouse has a thumbwheel or middle mouse button you can also middle-click in the main buffer to show these brushes.

In the Pencil collection, choose large charcoal, for example.

5 - Using the Grid and other Guides

The Grid plugin was selected in this example to automatically start when launching Dogwaffle. When grid mode is disabled, then you can paint freely. But if the grid is enabled, then you will see that the brush is constrained to an invisible grid. You can use this to draw along a grid of horizontal or vertical lines.

You may find other tools like this, such as the Artist guide, and perhaps more of them in the full Dogwaffle version 2.  If you are a Programmer you can also write your own plugins and additional filters. There is a free SDK for developers.
6 - Starting with a Sky or other Rendered Image Filter

You can start your artwork with a variety of filters. Try the Sky filter in the Filter>Render submenu for example.

You could also open an existing image, perhaps from a digital camera, or a scanned artwork, or something rendered in 3D or painted somewhere else. Dogwaffle can access scanners, the Clipboard, and other means to import images. If you don't see the features in your version perhaps the full version 2 is where it's available. Version 1.2 doesn't have everything.

7- Sky parameters

There are a number of parameters to play with and change the looks of the sky. You could change the camera angle, the color gradient, fog color etc...

8 - Jumping to the Swap Buffer

So far we've painted into the Main buffer. There is another buffer, called the Swap buffer. You can jump between the two buffers from the "Buffer" menu, or using the keyboard shortcut:  lower-case "j"  (for jump).  In the Help menu you will find a list of shortcuts.

Note that in the titlebar above the menus, Dogwaffle shows which is the buffer you're currently seeing. Initially that's [Main].  An optional [Paper] texture may also be enabled, depending on the current brush or if you enabled it  (top-middle thumbnail shows a small orange triangle when it's enabled. Click to toggle, right-click to view paper options).

9 - Painting into the Swap Buffer

The titlebar now indicates [Swap] because the swap buffer is showing. We can freely paint in there too, or we can apply filters to that Swap buffer.

Let's select another filter, from the menu:  Filter > Render > Bumpy Toy...

10a - Bumpy Toy

The Bumpy Toy can be used as a starting point for many different types of organic or rocky textures, explosive turbulence and more. There are several choices of algorithms, scale, iterations, and the result is also affected by the colors in the color gradient (keyboard shortcut:  "p" to view the color gradient)


10b - trying other settings - this could be good for the surface of a star.

10c - using a gradient with Red to stand out from the blue sky. Let's use something like this.
11 - back to the Main Buffer - ready to use Rubthrough mode

Use "j" to jump back to the Main buffer. Notice that the small thumbnail in the upper-right corner of the Tool panel shows a small image of the currently displayed buffer (Main or Swap). If you use "j" to toggle between Main and Swap buffers you will see that icon change accordingly.

The "Mode" in the Tool panel (below the Opacity and Step sliders) will  be something like 'Default' (i.e. 'Replace') or 'Multiply' mode, most likely. Select a different mode:  'Rubthrough'.  In this mode, we can cause the pixels from the Swap buffer to rub through into the Main buffer and blend in. The intensity of this rubthrough is affected by Opacity slider and other brush settings.

11-b -

 Use a large (100) Airbrush and reduce the opacity so that you can make soft transitions between the original sky and the Swap buffer imagge which you're rubbing through

Wow, this could be the starting point for a cool explosion. We could add zoom blur streaks to the hot red gases etc... but that's not what we want in his tutorial. We want to make planetary textures.

Let's experiment with more filters.

12 - Displacing an Image by another Image

One very powerful set of tool are the Displacement tools. You can use the image from the Swap buffer as a way to control the displacement of the image in the Main buffer.

Use menu:  Filter > Displace by Swap > Displace

This is also available in the Timeline for animated displacement controls.

12b - Displacement Wow

as you move the slider, the image gets distorted, the pixels are displaced by an amount which depends on the pixels in the Swap buffer.

Some of these filters are realtime. Others are just plain fast :-)

This is a very cool tool to turn an image into an under-water look. Or to create looping textures for animated clips that are used in 3D for shadow masks and light gels on spot lights.

13 - Mapping to the Color Gradient

You can use "p" as the shortcut to show and change the color gradient. You can then map the image to the color gradient for different appearance.

menu:  Filter > Color > Map to current gradient

14 - Smearing the image along the Borders

Right-click on the Brush icon to select another brush. In the Oils brush collection, select the "Totally Oils" brush.

Then use it to smear the border area in circles.

15 - Light Diffusion

Add a little bit of mystic, blurry light diffusion from the filter in the Blur collection. This will remove some of the harsh contrast in the blended areas.

16 - Convolutions - Embossing, Edge Detection, etc...

Try the Embossing filter. It's realtime! As you move the filter, the image starts to 'stand out' with a relief.

This is a great tool to add thickness to your traditional oil paintings too.

17 - Another fancy filter: Brush Strokes

This filter could be useful to make it look like you painted something with oils and a dry brush with short bristles.  Or to add a  fuzzy look like frost crystals to it.

menu:   Filter > Artistic > Brush Strokes...

18 - Tarnish for old, aged metal look

If you're making uv-texture maps for a space ship then it's good to apply the Tarnish filter, to give an aged appearance.

Apply the filter several times in a row if the single filter effect is too subtle.

19 - Caution - Wet Paint!

The Wet paint effect is one of my favorites.  You can move the slider to the left or the right, and either the bright colors or the dark colors will first start dripping down.

This filter is also available in the Animation > Timeline collection, so you can key-frame the amount from start to end of the animation and really make it look like it's dripping and moving down.

20 - more Displacement

Apply some more Displacement by Swap, and add some blur, map to color gradient, etc... and eventually you may get something that starts to look like a frozen planet's surface!

21 - Adding Polar Caps

We'll use this texture as a planet texture, so let's add white stuff at the North and South poles. One of my favorite brushes is the Sponge Dabs, from the Watercolors set. It adds a small amount of random position and scale to the brush. Looks more natural. You can of course control the amount of these parameters. Left-click the brush image thumnbail in the upper-left corner of the Tools  panel).

Use it with white color to color the white band at top and at bottom of the texture. These will be the Polar cap regions. Use Paper texture (enabled by default for Sponge Dabs) to add a little random bumpy relief to it.

If you have an image of sand dunes from the Sahara or from Mars then  you can load that into the paper texture. Instand drifting snow dunes!

22 - The Fill tool  (flood fill)

The right-most icon in the top row of mini icons (left to the brush, Rectangle and Oval tools) is a canister full of paint - the Flood fill tool.

Right-click the fill tool and select the "Flood Settings..." option. This lets you change the Tolerance for the filling. If set to zero (Default) it only fills and floods into neighboring pixels of exactly the same RGB color. But if you increase the tolerance, it will be, well, more tolerant :-)

So you could use this to flood a limited region with blue-icy frozen lakes, rivers or oceans.

23 - Finish and Save

Make sure the White polar caps at left and at right reach about the same lattitude so you won't see a seam too easily when you map this texture to a sphere for your 3D planet.

If you have the full v2 of Dogwaffle then you could load the image into the brush and use the menu option: Brush > Make Seamless.  Here with the limited-edition free version you will simply want to manually patch it so it looks about the same at left and at right, to minimize the seam.
There are also cloning tools (Effects brush) available. You can for example use the Custom Brush selection tool (the icon which looks like a square bracket and is located above the hand icon). This can be used to pick up a portion of the image (dragging over a rectangular region) and make it the image used for a custom brush. Then you can flip it horizontally (along the vertical axis), and paint it over the other side. For example, if you pick up the left side from North to South polar region, i.e. a narrow vertical strip along the left edge, then you can flip it and apply it along the right edge.  That guarantees that there's no seam between the left and right edges. But you'll need to smear and blur it a little more towards the  'inside' the image. Blend, Smear, blur....

Save the finished texture. Use  File > Save  and save as Targa. You will be  asked for the depth, choose 24-bit.

The lite edition Dogwaffle 1.2 can also save to BMP.  Version 2 (full) can save to more, save to AVI (animations), save to Clipboard (from the brush)...

24 - Doomsday Planet in 3D

Using a 3D program (Eovia's Carrara Studio 3), I loaded the default scene  with Earth, duplicated it and stripped off the atmosphere. I replaced the texture image with the one saved from in Dogwaffle. I then positioned a point light source far away for the Sun, and enabled Lens flares (Halo glow, no lens reflections in this case).

I added a dim light in the rogue planet so that it appears to shine on the dark side of the Earth. Yes, I know, we could instead have used indirect lighting with radiosity.

I added another dim light behind the camera to shine dimly on the dark side of the rogue planet. This simulates the Moon being behind us and  the camera, and thus producing moonlight.  It also helps to actually see part of the texture on the rogue planet which otherwise would have been totally dark. After all this work that would be a shame!

I rendered this image in Carrara and saved it to Targa.

25 - Back into Dogwaffle for Postwork.

When a planet of this size comes this close to Earth, there are no survivors. Say goodbye to the Blue planet. And say hello to red hot. It's time to touch it up with fire and smoke.

Open the rendered image in Dogwaffle.

Right-click on the Linear tool and select the "Nova" mode. Then select a few colors like red and green or blue for the left and right button (primary and secondary colors) by clicking the desired colors with the left or right mouse. Then click and drag over the Sun and add bright Novae. You can do this several times to accumulate the effect, and change the angle for different 'streaks' to appear, use left and right mouse colors.....

26 -  Light Diffusion

If the rogue planet from Hell is frozen or made of iron it will have a bright Albedoa (reflection) and you might want to add some Nova highlights in the area where Carrara shows Specular highlights from the lighting.

Dogwaffle  2 also has a full lensflare engine (Radiant)

Then use the Light Diffusion blur effect filter.

27 - Stars and Smokes

There are several Effects brushes which come in handy at this point. We want to make it look like the home planet is breaking apart, or at least showing tears and stress and overheating of the atmosphere and the crust, or there are explostions all over the populated areas since buildings collape due to earth quakes and gravity disruptions. Welcome to the right tools placed in the right hands of your able imagination!

The Organic Effects brush > Starry can help here.

A Soft Glow effect is also usefull. Reduce the opacity and Step sliders if it's too intense and changing too quickly. Try Mode: Additive.

28 - Doomsday

Perhaps it wasn't just the rogue planet that did the damage to Earth after all. Perhaps the Sun was about to go super-nova on us anyway.

Adios Amigo, it was nice breathing the O2 while it lasted.

-Don Felipe

copyright (c) 2004