Great article on artist Peter Jones

Toward the end of last year I posted a new image - "Explorers Of The New Frontiers" - that was inspired by a fantastic image by artist Peter Jones.

As a fab follow-up, scifi author John Guy Collick has a great article on Peter over at his blog - well worth reading!

New Spaceship Texture PSD Templates

More clearing and cleaning out space on my hard drive… Here are two Photoshop templates I use for creating spaceship hull textures (that can be tiled) for my C4D materials. I have cleaned them up a little for public consumption. This means the layers are grouped and coloured to make sense of the template, and the detail layers are gone, because they were a bit crap, really!

The new spaceship texture templates and can be found in my DeviantArt Resources Gallery
panels_and plates_2-rusty

Size: 1024 x 1024 px
For those of you working in 3D apps, I have included the Normal and Specular layers.

hull panels-merged

So, what you get are the following grouped layers:
Dirt - choice of 7 dirt layers
Scratches - choice of 6 scratches
Grunge - 2 grunge layers
Hull Lines - 3 layers that include the lines that create the hull panels. This includes one rasterised layer and the original, unaltered lines so that you can modify it as necessary
Rust Texture Overlays - 2 rust overlays for creating the classic ‘battered freighter’ look
Panels - 4 layers containing various shapes to create paneling effects
Base Hull Textures - 3 choices of base hull texture/colour
Normal & Specular Layers - 1 each Normal and Specular layer for those creating materials in 3d applications

Besides these groups and layers, I have included a few ‘demo’ samples to show what can be done with the template.

Use : other than claiming that these textures are your work, knock yourself out with them - I hope you find the textures useful and It would be great to see how you use them in your art.

Multicolour Scifi Warning Signs - Multiple Shapes, PSD's

It seems ages since I have worked on one of my own projects - and anything scifi or 3d. All of the projects I’m involved in at the moment a bit on the dull side - but at least they pay! I’m clearing lots of stuff from my hard drive as one of the projects I’m working on involves creating lots of content including video. Thankfully, I’m able to push stuff out to cloud storage (thanks, Microsoft for 100GB of free OneDrive!)

Sifting through I found a coloured version of my Warning Signs template - no idea what I did it for and have no recollection of ever using it… It looked pretty cool though, so I spent an hour or two applying the styles to the other Warning Sign templates.  I suspect these will be more popular than the original, as these colours blend into more environments than my originals, which have a very strong identity of their own.

The new colourful templates - 6 in total - as well as the originals, can be found in my DeviantArt Resources Gallery

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 12.38.39

Base colours always
Orange: d48639/R212-G134-B57
Green: 727e62/R114-G126-B98
Blue: 3e4e98/R62-G78-B152

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 14.35.50

Groups & Layers
I have updated all of the layers and colour-coded them. To minimise the file sizes, wherever possible I have removed most of the rasterised layers and left the original PS Shape layer - this also allows you to easily change the colours. However, occasionally you will find the original shape layer missing - this is where I forgot to duplicate the Shape layer before rasterising or merging the layer.

The available Layers are:
Warning Sign  - pill
Warning Oval Sign Base Shapes
ID Holders Only
No Access
Scratches Dirt
Masks (alpha masks for clean and damaged)

A word about fonts
I have adjusted these templates so that the text layers use Arial Black, as both Windows and Mac machines should have this font as standard. The signs look more effective with any of the following fonts available from

Jacinto Sans
SF Automaton

The PS Brushes used to create the Dirt and Scratches layers include, but are not limited to:
Scratches by Katrina Rempel
Grunge Notion by Blazter
GrungeBrushes3 by KeReN-R

For the Biohazard sign I used Hazard Brushes 1 by AscendedArts

Personal Use
Have a ball - do whatever you want with it!

Commercial Use
No restrictions beyond checking those of the font you use.

Whatever you do with the template, I would love to see it - I had loads of fun making images with it and I hope you do to!

Spacewreck Revisited

A space wreck image - this is how I started out! Also, this particular image - more accurately, this particular space wreck - I have done before too… A loooong time ago I built the space wreck carcass in Carrara and made this illustration.

I was never entirely happy with that version, so exported the space wreck and updated it in C4D, fleshed it out a little, greebled it a little more and re-textured. Some 2-3 of the larger pieces of flotsam floating around the hull are from Jedilaw’s greeble pack.

Ringed Gas Giant Spacewreck-Thumb

I have to say that I’m still not happy with the resulting image; to a large degree that’s because I’ve tried to have my cake and eat it. I have tried to make the image as real as possible in an attempt to convey the cold, empty vastness of space - hence the hard sunlight. At the same time, I have tried to keep the image interesting with the fantastical nebula and so on. The lighting and camera angle meant I had to cheat very slightly with some infill on the spacewreck hull.

The ringed gas giant texture is mine and I’m quite pleased with it… The planet is actually two spheres, the outer having a translucent cloud texture derived from the principle texture. It hasn’t given the sense of depth I was hoping for, but still looks ok. The texture for the rings came from Deviantart, but I can’t remember who the artist was - if it’s you, let me know and I’ll add a link.

The textures for the moons came from Marlin Studios. The asteroids I made by combining ESO stock and running them through Crazybump for the Normals and Specular maps. All the textures for the space wreck hull are mine, some downloadable here in my DeviantArt Resources gallery.

The nebula I made using a new (for me) technique in Photoshop - I blended a fractal nebula I made in JWildfire with my usual technique for Nebula creation (starting with cloud stock). The technique has promise I think, but needs more work.

Modelled and rendered in C4D. Post work in Photoshop

Cargo Vessel Design

I’ve had a little bit more time recently, so went back to a book cover project I was approached to do by an author to do at the beginning of this year.

The author approached me because he had seen this image, the ship design being similar to a ship he imagined in his latest book. We swapped several emails, but I eventually turned down the project for several reasons, not least that I wouldn’t have been able to get to it until April at the earliest.

I recently came across the emails again and they contained a basic illustration of the protagonists ship, as well paragraph’s from the book describing the ship. For the hell of it, I decided to have a crack at the ship. The key thing about the ship (and why the author liked my other illustration) is that the ship is a cargo vessel, with an external/visible bay that holds 3 containers.

Looking at the authors basic sketch again, it reminded me of something and so I dived into my folder of images of designs I like - as I looked through them I came across this. I knew that was basically the overall shape I wanted - more of a wedge than the authors sketch. The other thing on my mind was Gerry Anderson; I knew I couldn’t do a cargo vessel with an exterior container bay without referencing his work. The man that brought us Thunderbird 2 and the Space 1999 Eagle just had to be honoured in this somewhere. I was wandering through the Space 1999 catacombs when I saw a reference to this and this ...

Chris Foss AND an Eagle. That was it!

The key elements of design specified by the author were the location of the ships main windows, tractor beam device, cargo pods/containers, internal hold and access door, as well as main engines. My design honours these whilst stealing liberally taking inspiration from the Homeworld ship design, Foss’s early Eagle design and the Eagle design we know and love.

However, hopefully the result is something original!
cargo lifter thumb

I worked out the ship’s dimensions as carefully as possible to accommodate the internal layout as specified by the author - the one change I have made (had to) is to push a chunk of the main engines outside the hull at the rear.

I am pretty please with the cabin/cockpit area, as it melds the authors original sketches, the Homeworld ship and Chris Foss’s illustration together in a workable design. From the side you can see the Eagle-shaped window design. Again, with the Eagle in mind, the cockpit interior is largely a cream-beige colour scheme.

You can see further Eagle touches with the Airlock door, the red/white chevron around the FCS thrusters and landing thrusters (recalling the command module red/white livery) and the tubular framework in the cargo bay itself.

To save time, I re-used landing legs, engines, RCS thrusters, lights and comms array meshes that I had built for other projects. The cargo containers are by Dex and the landing bay is by Axeman3d, modded and retextured by me.

The other textures are from all over: the landing bay textures are mostly Dosch, the ship textures are mostly mine - many available here in Resources Gallery. The cargo container textures are Dex and Total Textures.

Sorry about the gratuitous use of flare; I have recently watched both the awful JJ-Treks and not yet fully recovered.

Chris Foss Inspired Image

Found some more time for a quickie render… This time, I chose as my inspiration this image from Chris Foss. My intention wasn’t to reproduce the image, but to try and catch the spirit of the image…

In to the Nebula-final

As I’m still pretty busy with other work at the moment I saved time by using a free model as the basis of the floating city (by Avalon3d and available here). I modified this by building cylindrical towers for top and bottom, removing a lot of detail from the edges, adding a comms system and, finally, greebling the crap out of the upper hull plates (using the Greebler plugin).

Foss’s original image has several delta-winged ships of varying design which I melded into a single ship as I wanted a simpler overall image.

The main hull texture for the floating city is from the Dosch Scifi textures collection. All other textures on the floating city, including the windows, are mine. The main hull texture for the delta-winged ship is from the Marlin Studios scifi collection. The decals/markings and windows are, again, mine.

As ever, the image was modelled and rendered in Cinema 4D with Photoshop post-work.

Arthur C Clarke Style Personal Space Pod

I don’t have much spare time at the moment, so in what time I do have I’ve been picking up partially completed projects and trying to finish them off...

A project that I started in 2011 (and which was supposed to be a quick and simple modelling exercise) was to realise the original space pod design from Arthur C Clarke’s short stories of the 1950’s and 60’s. Most people know ACC’s space pod concept as realised in 2001: A Space Odyssey, however the design as described in his short stories such as ‘Who’s There?’ and ‘Summertime on Icarus’ is much more of a stubby cylinder.

Clarke-style Spacesut Pod

I first came across Arthur’s short scifi stories when some were included in a (British) comic I read (and which included some fantastic accompanying illustrations - I would love to know who did them). Later as a young teen, I found two collections of ACC’s short stories in the school book shop. The books included his “The Other Side of the Sky” and “Venture to the Moon” series of stories. ACC imagined that much of the space station building that would occur in the 1970’s (!!!) onwards would essentially require a tiny spaceship with arms - for manoeuvrability and also because spacesuit gloves have many issues for astronauts.

This was the future I expected to grow up in....

Sadly, ACC entirely missed the fact that transistors would quickly replace vacuum tubes and make the need for space stations redundant - they would be replaced by purpose specific satellites. The geostationary orbit that ACC described for space stations and satellites in a 1945 technical paper is still sometimes called the Clarke Orbit.

This image was modelled and rendered entirely in Cinema 4D, the Earth was created (as ever) with using Michael Welters ‘Atmosphere’ plug-in. There was a tiny bit of Photoshop post-production.

In terms of style I have tried to bridge ACC’s description with the production style of 2001: A Space Odyssey, including the lack of background stars. The girder is red, of course, because the bare girders of the under-construction space station we see in 2001 are red. Happy

The pod’s combined camera and lights module, fitted to the top of the “helmet” is a little in-joke: Without the strong sunlight and shadows it looks just like Wall-E Happy

Latest work: Cities In The Sky

A little while back I saw an image in my RSS stream which had a really brilliant perspective… The illustration featured 3 floating cities and a stream of craft going to-and-fro.. The perspective was brilliant. Sadly, I don’t know where the illustration came from…

I have tried to reproduce the perspective here - everything in the image I have used before; the towers here, the craft here.

Cities In The Sky-small

Modelled and rendered in Cinema 4D, hipster colour wash in Photoshop Happy Textures for the towers are by Marlin Studios, except the windows/window lights, which are mine. The craft uses all my textures, including some from my resources gallery on DeviantArt The sky is from Dosch HDRI skies.

Recent Images - August 2013

Here are a few of the images I have been working on over the past month or so: Colony Station and Asteroid Base: Final Approach

Colony Station was inspired by re-reading Bryson’s “Short History of Everything” (as I do pretty regularly - my copy is falling to pieces…..) and the section discussing the development of our understanding of the forces that shaped Earth, particularly plate tectonics, got me thinking…. I began to wonder about the fate of a colony ship that sets off to a distant world, only to find that it’s surface is still being ravaged by tectonic and volcanic activity - as Bryson points out, our own world has typically been much more active than now. We have evolved during a relatively quiet period.

Colony Station - thumb

So, the image shows the way in which the colonists choose to survive; the redesign and rebuilding of their ship (I imagined a Helios-style ship) - hacked using the materials with which they were to build their new towns and villages. The habitat ring filled in and expanded, the solar panels which would have provided the power for their homes unfurled below the station…

The basis of the ship-cum-station is a mesh I built a long time ago (here: 2008,
my blog tells me) and I have just fleshed it out. It now has lots of little homages to other sci-fi space stations! Textures are a mixture of my own and a few by Marlin Studios.

The planet was built - as usual - with the aid of
Michael Welters ‘Atmosphere’ plug in. I used my own (16k px) textures with Atmosphere to produce the planets tortured, twisted surface. I found a great texture (I thought on DeviantArt, but I couldn’t find it again to link to) which I built out in Photoshop to the appropriate size. Then used one of my Spherical Ocean/Land Maps (see my Resources here for examples… to produce the land form shapes.

The station and planet were rendered together in C4D as I wanted the same sunlight that created the right planet view to also illuminate the colonist station. A little colour correction and 'bloom' added in Photoshop.

An old cover by the (late great) Peter Elson was the trigger for Asteroid Base: Final Approach.

Asteroid Base shuttle-small
The ship is an
old one of mine, modded slightly (well… I never actually finished it!) and re-textured. Textures are from Dosch, Total Textures and myself. The asteroid is by Axeman3d - I have modded the mesh slightly and re-textured. Yep, the inside of the asteroid base is NASA Hanger 1 !! Happy

I didn’t notice - and am perplexed by - the shadows of the rear Comms Tower on the hull; there isn’t a light source to generate those shadows! I’m wondering if it’s a side effect of opening the old ship model (a C4D 10 file) in C4D R13?

Rendered in one go in C4D, then processed to death in Photoshop...

Latest work: Helium 3 Transport

This image can truly be said to have had a gestation period of around 35 years… When I first came across Chris Foss’s cover for Asimov’s Early Years I became fascinated by the odd ship in the background. Then the Foss cover for Voyage of the Space Beagle reinforced this obsession with asymmetrical designs.

So recently I decided to have a go at creating a ship along these lines… My first mistake was brute forcing the design - not working it out ahead to time. I usually work this way (brute force), but this time around I found myself constantly fighting against the objective of creating an asymmetrical design. My brain’s normal desire for symmetry won out.

There are also some scifi visuals that you can’t win against; I experimented with tubular engines but it always looked like something from the Trek universe. Also, blocky engines on supporting struts in a symmetrical design makes any ship look like it’s from Starship Troopers - mine looked like an anorexic ‘Roger Young’ for ages. Anyway, I kept at it; the result isn’t remotely Chris Foss-like - from the front, in fact, it now looks like it could be from a Gerry Anderson production!

Helium 3 Transport-1024x768

Other elements of my design were driven by a preoccupation with Freighters and Transports… No idea why. So, I gave it slide-loading doors for freight and rear-access doors for people/robot crew/passengers. The ungainly sensor strut towards the front of the ship is straight out of Peter Elson’s style.

Textures are mostly mine, though there are a few by Philip K, AsileFX, and Total Texture SciFi pack. The main hull textures you can find in my
DeviantArt Resources collection.

The engine glow was created partly in C4D - using textures in the Luminosity channel - and in Photoshop

Practicing: Terraforming Venus

This is just a sketch, an excuse really, to create a planet in Photoshop… It came to me recently that I hadn’t created any planets in Photoshop for over 8 months - all had been made in C4D.

I also recently read an article on terraforming, part of which had a bizarre argument that we should terraform Mars and/or Venus because we’re breaking Earth - as if it’s easier to terraform another planet than stop destroying the one we’re on already! Anyway, that got me thinking about Venus and Carl Sagan’s old idea about using modified blue algae to alter the existing carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. I know he later rubbished it himself, but it still sounds cool.

Terraforming Venus
Anyway, so here we are: 100 years into the future and a terraforming station in orbit around a changed Venus… the carbon dioxide atmosphere has been greatly reduced and the oxygen levels increased. Thin clouds already exist and the clear skies reveal continent-wide solidified lava flows and enormous caldera of extinct volcanos.

The texture for Venus was created using an image of pealing paint or plaster as a bump layer and over the top layering an image I made from ESA satellite photos of the Moroccan desert.

The space station includes bits downloaded from the forum discussion on Greebles at Foundation 3d as well as the spheres at the bottom from

I know the windows are in the wrong place for a station creating artificial gravity from centrifugal force, but they looked pants in the right place.

The space station was finished and textured in Cinema 4D and the final image was composited and rendered in Cinema 4D. The finished render was sent back to Photoshop for additional color correction and FX.

Latest works: Freighter - April 2013

Having see ‘Moon’ finally, as well as reading quite a few articles on asteroid mining, the concept of the ‘space freighter’ has been playing on my mind and this image is the result!

So here we go - totally produced in Cinema 4D; the Earth was created using Michael Welters ‘Atmosphere’ plug in. Freighter was also modelled and textures in Cinema 4D. For a while I strongly played with following the scifi trope of the battered, weathered freighter look. Thankfully, common sense prevailed! However, at least one of the textures I created for that has made it to my DeviantArt Resources - just follow the link, below.
Freighter Front Page

The ship hull texture is my own (the Colour, Specular and Normal layers are available from my DeviantArt page) as are the stripes and star decals. Other textures are by Total Textures and Marlin Studios.

1930s Pulp Scifi Magazine Cover PSD Template

If you check out my gallery here or on DeviantArt regularly, you know that I have been having a little fun with some faux 1930’s-style pulp sci-fi magazine covers. Having done quite a few of these, I realized I had ended-up with quite a set of resources in Photoshop - ideal for a template.

So, I’ve done just that - pulled the resources together to create my Do-It-Yourself 1930’s Pulp Scifi Magazine Cover Creator. You can get it over in my DeviantArt Resources Gallery


Pulp Scifi Covers For March

So, here’s another faux pulp scifi magazine cover… I’m accidentally creating a Photoshop template for creating these, which I think I’ll post soon over on my DeviantArt page. I’ll let you know when I do. These are just so much fun do to. Happy

Nemean-web Science Mar2013-1024x768

More Pulp Scifi Covers!

Having started developing my own pulp covers, I can’t stop! Here is the latest… Laugh

Nemean-web rocket feb2013-1024x768

Pulp Scifi Covers And Guilty Pleasures!

One of my guilty little pleasures is spending far too much time playing with Bradley W. Schenck’s brilliant ‘Pulp-O-Mizer’ on his site Thrilling Tales.

The Pulp-O-Mizer allows you to build your own faux 1930’s pulp scifi covers… The only problem - for me - is that you can’t use your own content or save them… So, I’ve started to make my own!

Here is the first...

Nemean-web Saucersjan2013-1024x768

More Gallery Updates & New Images - Oct 2012

Yes I know, it’s been a while! I have been fighting something of a creative block of late - I’m sure brought on by the realisation that (the dismal) summer is over and that is as good as the weather is going to get this year!

Anyway, I have a new image for you - an idea I have been kicking around for a while. It’s called ‘Preparing For Take Off’ - yes I know, very original - the background is an image I took on a flight from Paris to Ajaccio.

Preparing For Take Off

I have added this book cover design as a faux covers to the Spacecraft gallery - so please take a look. Happy

Do let me know - via Facebook - what you think!

New Images & Gallery Updates - Sept 2012

I have been working on a few new book cover designs over the last month or so - both featuring spacecraft that I designed some time ago.

The first features my freighter; I built this model just over a year ago, the design is inspired by various craft from Gerry Anderson series - including Thunderbird 2, the moon shuttle (and its mother craft) from UFO and the superb Eagle from Space 1999. The Sikorsky Sky Crane was also an influence. The distinctive blue-and-white striped pain job is a direct steal from Chris Foss’s excellent cover from ‘The Early Asimov, Vol 1’.

Asteroid Mining - Special Delivery-thumb

The second image features the flyer that previously made a guest appearance in my September 2011 free wallpaper ‘preparing For Take Off’. In this new image you can see it’s slightly bizarre design much more clearly... The design of the flyer comes from two main sources; firstly, the space pod from series 3 of the 1960’s TV show ‘Lost In Space’ and secondly this piece of concept art for Homeworld.

Low Orbit Thumb

I have added both of these book cover designs as faux covers to the Spacecraft gallery - so please take a look. Happy

Do let me know - via Facebook - what you think!

September Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

Whooopps! I’m very late with my September wallpapers!

For my September wallpaper and calendar collection I wanted to do a big planet with a really gnarly texture - I ended up doing three! Imaginatively, the illustration is called ‘Trinity’ and is 100% Photoshop.

The planet textures came from all sorts of places, and each of the planets comprises multiple textures in layers - textures include slate, granite, moss covered rocks and so on.

As usual, you will find English and French calendar versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes up to 3200x2000 (2560x1440 for the calendars). The standard iPad/tablet sized wallpaper looks great on my phone. I have also added an iPad retina hi-res version.

Get it from the Downloads & Links section

Gallery Update & More Resources @ DeviantArt

I have added some additional book cover designs to each of the galleries - so please take a look. Happy

I have also added some additional resources (textures) to my DeviantArt Gallery

Do let me know - via Facebook - what you think!

August Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

Hey all,
this months wallpaper is a draft image I produced for the “Sol” competition by #Inner Space Group over at Deviantart . You can find my final image and competition entry in my DeviantArt gallery. The Sun, planet and starfield were created in Photoshop.

Out of the fire-Aug2012-thumb

As usual, you will find English and French calendar versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes up to 3200x2000 (2560x1440 for the calendars). I have also added an iPad retina hi-res version. The standard iPad/tablet sized wallpaper looks great on my phone.

Get it from the Downloads & Links section


Latest works: Starship Arrival

I have been in a Chris Foss mood over the past few days and this image is the result!

So here we go - totally produced in Cinema 4D; the large planet was created using Michael Welters ‘Atmosphere’ plug in. Not that you can really tell, but I used my own textures with Atmosphere for the Earth-like planet. The small moons were produced with PXG Planet, with NASA textures from the moons of Saturn and Jupiter.


The ship hull texture is my own (the specular layer is available from my DeviantArt page) as are the stripes and star decals. Other textures are by Total Textures and Marlin Studios.

Latest works: Artifact

I have always liked producing images of alien terrains; I started (in what now feels like a million years ago) with Bryce, then Cararra. However, as each successive build of Carrara becomes ever more unreliable on the Mac I have attempted to do more terrain work within Cinema 4D.

I don't have V13, which has additional terrain features, but it's still possible to produce some passable terrains for 'tight' scenes. My main problem has been the terrain materials having too much specular reflection, which I just haven't been able to kill.


Anyway, overall I think this came out pretty well; it depicts a scene where two astronauts discover an abandoned alien installation. Having recently seen Prometheus, this image is very influenced by the look and feel of Ridley Scott’s film. The artifact is intended to suggest both the Engineers (iconic) ship and the domed structures they are buried beneath. I almost made the spacesuits blue, too, but settled for blue detailing - white gives a much more satisfying glow in post production.

There is also a faux book cover version in the gallery.

July Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

I have just uploaded my July wallpaper - it’s called ‘New World Reconnoitre’

New World Reconnoiter-Thumb
For my July wallpapers I wanted to produce an image that was totally 3d and also featured a realistically lit spaceship - I haven’t been happy with my space scene lighting at all.

So here we go - totally produced in Cinema 4D; the planet was created using Michael Welters ‘Atmosphere’ plug in. I used my own textures with Atmosphere to produce ‘New Terra’ (including a 16k cloud texture).

As usual, you will find English and French calendar versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes up to 3200x2000 (2560x1440 for the calendars). I have also added an iPad retina hi-res version. The standard iPad/tablet sized wallpaper looks great on my phone.

Get it from the Downloads & Links section


More Gallery Additions

I have added some additional faux covers to the ‘Spacewrecks’ gallery..

Do let me know - via Facebook - what you think!

Gallery Additions

I have added some additional faux covers to the ‘Spacecraft’ and “Other Worlds’ galleries...

Do let me know - via Facebook - what you think!

June Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

It’s wallpaper time!

For my June wallpaper and calendar collection I thought I would create a space scene that celebrated Ridley Scott’s new Sci-Fi film ‘Prometheus’ which opened in Paris yesterday. In his original ‘Alien’ as well as ‘Prometheus’, the planet visited by humans is a moon around a ringed gas giant.
Gas Giant-Thumb
No 3d work in this months image - everything was created in Photoshop. The planet textures came from all sorts of places; for instance, the moon in the foreground is created from a montage of satellite pictures of Moroccan desert. Because of the angle, I had dreadful problems with the gas giant rings - it was very difficult to get the perspective right and to ensure they were recognisable as rings. I’m still not convinced they look right.

As usual, you will find English and French calendar versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes up to 2560x1440. The standard iPad/tablet sized wallpaper looks great on my phone. I have also added an iPad retina hi-res version.

Get it from the Downloads & Links section


May Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

Hey all,
the #Inner Space Group over at Deviantart is holding a competition for illustration with the theme of “Sol” and I have used my entry for that competition as this months wallpaper. The image was inspired by an Arthur C Clarke short story called 'Summertime on Icarus' in which a research spaceship gets to within seventeen million miles of the Sun, shielded by the asteroid Icarus.

The Sun and starfield were created in Photoshop, whilst the planetoid and spaceship were created in Cinema 4D. The spaceship is deliberately in the style of the great Peter Elson.

Safety in the shadows-thumb

As usual, you will find English and French calendar versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes too. The standard iPad/tablet sized wallpaper looks great on my phone. I have also added a ‘new iPad’ retina hi-res version for all of you new iPad users.

Download from on the ‘Downloads & Links’ page... Enjoy!

April Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

Hey all,
Spring is here, it’s the end of March and time for a new wallpaper to brighten up your desktop! This month, my image is a Photoshop creation called ’Light Wave’. Following my wife’s request for ‘warmer’ images, I’m still trying to weave as much green in to my images to reflect the arrival of warmer weather.
Light Wave April 2012

As usual, you will find English and French calendar versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes too. The standard iPad/tablet sized wallpaper looks great on my phone. I have also added a ‘new iPad’ retina hi-res version for all of you new iPad users.

Download from on the ‘Downloads & Links’ page... Enjoy!

March Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

Curiosity on the way to discovery-thumb
I have just uploaded the March wallpaper and calendars - yes, it’s already the end of February! This month it’s a composite Cinema 4D render, with Photoshop backdrop. My wife complained to me bitterly that the previous few images were too cold and that she wanted colours that would remind her of Spring. So, here we go! An interstellar probe sent from Earth approaching a planet deep in the heart of a hydrogen-rich nebula - hence the green! I have named it ‘Curiosity on the way to discovery’, in honour of the Mars mission.

As usual, you will find English and French versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes too. The iPad/tablet size wallpaper works great on my HTC phone.

As ever, you’ll find them on the ‘Downloads & Links’ page... Enjoy!

February Wallpapers & Calendars Now Available!

In a galaxy far away Thumb

Well, that’s January 2012 gone! I have to say, I found January tough-going... Just sapped my motivation and creativity completely! However, I have just uploaded the February calendars - I have created the image, “In a galaxy far away”... You will find English and French versions, the packs for each language contain a choice of widescreen sizes as well as one for iPads/tablets (looks great on my HTC smartphone!)

As ever, you’ll find them on the ‘Downloads & Links’ page... Enjoy!

Spacecraft Concepts


I have just started a new Album over on my Facebook site for ‘beauty shots’ of the various spacecraft I develop for my illustrations. The ships often end up small in the overall image, I think it’s nice to give them their 15 minutes of fame! I’ll add to this Album over time, so do check it out regularly.

New Image - Planetary Orbit

Orbit Front Cover Single Page
I have been working on several images recently, the most advanced of which is shown above... I have wanted to do a scene with astroids for ages - and now I’m working on two! If truth be told, I have wasted a huge amount of time finding the best way to create a realistic asteroid field. I recently tweeted my advice, but I’ll repeat it here in more detail.

By far and way the easiest way is to create several asteroids using Rob Hitzer’s excellent C4D ‘Rockgen’ plugin, which you can download from here. Use the settings to generate asteroids of varying sizes. Once you have your base asteroids, retexture with your favourite asteroid textures. Then duplicate each of your base asteroids along a (wiggly!!) spine, varying (greatly) the settings for position, size and rotation for each asteroid/spine combination. Experiment with this and you’ll find that you can quickly generate a realistic-looking (well, atmospheric) asteroid field.

The other image I’m working on that includes an asteroid field includes an asteroid close-up. This is proving particularly tough, especially the lighting. I’ll post more when I’m closer to a finished image!

More Photoshop Nebulas

Flame Nebula BookCover

More Photoshop nebulas: this one is named after the Flame Nebula

More Photoshop Space Art

I have been working on some dramatic new space art pics in Photoshop... Above is an example called “Nova”. You can find a larger version in the Illustrations section.

Photoshop Nebulas

I have been really, really struggling to produce realistic/effective looking (not the same thing!) nebulas in Photoshop... I have worked through dozens of tutorials which have explored all sort of techniques, to the point of exhaustion... Ultimately, wether you go for blending clouds, brushes, painting, a mix of all approaches, the key is Layers - lots of them... Build your nebula through many, many layers.



Shuttle craft I have been working on in C4D...

Spacewreck 8 - The Endurance released

Long time no posts! I have had this image hanging around for a while now, with nothing seriously wrong with it - so, a little tinkering and here it is! The image is inspired by the Flame Nebula and the possible (sad) fate of future explorers. The starship is named after Shackleton’s ship on which he sailed to the Antarctic - a ship that had been originally christened ‘Polaris’.
Spacewreck 8

Spacewreck 7: The Pythagoras

spacewreck pythagoras
Long time between posts... I have been spending a lot of time learning to use Cinema 4D... However, I am completely bored with making park benches, lamp posts and Mac Computers!

I went back to Spacewrecks, and an image I have had in my head for a while. I’m pretty happy with the way this one turned out - colours are good, ship turned out well... Only the the little Search & Rescue ‘driod ship is unconvincing - tried all sorts too... The first version looked too much like StarBug, the second looked like a Christmas decoration....

As with the previous images, there is a little story for context: “The Turin Class Artificial Intelligence Pythagoras was one of 250 hyperdrive-equipped Advance Planetary Survey Vehicles (APSV) which swept planetary systems ahead of colony ships leaving Earth, guiding them to habitable planets.The Pythagoras APSV had just signalled its home colony fleet of the discovery of a favourable planet in the HD 37124 system (Constellation: Taurus) when it was struck by something small, enormously heavy and very fast moving. Turin Class AI’s are regarded as sentient, with similar rights to humans - and within their APSV are very well protected. In fact, short of vaporising the ship, they are likely to survive most calamities that may befall their host APSV. Here, in the early morning sun, we see the Search & Rescue ‘droid (semi sentient) the ‘Pas Partous’ as it locates the Pythagoras, which had crash-landed on the planet it had just discovered. Because of the distance that APSV’s search ahead of their home fleets, and as the home colony fleets move more slowly, it has taken 10 standard years for the fleet to reach the planet.”

Sky - Dosch HDRI; Terrain Shader - complex terrain shader made with various textures, many from FreeStuff @ Renderosity by AgentSmith The Pythagoras textures - by Magma @ Devientart;The Pythagoras greebles/nurnies by originalmoron from his site; The Pas Partous textures - mostly by Total Textures, colour-modified to match. The engine glow is from someone’s Babylon 5 model - if it’s yours, let me know - I’m happy to credit you. As ever image colour correction was done in Photoshop CS1.

Early Morning Action! released


Wow! Two images in a month! You can tell its Christmas vacation time!

This is an old image that I never got around to finishing; the release of Bryce 6 got me interested enough to play around again with Bryce and this image caught my imagination... I have never done a ‘Mech’ scene before either, but I had seen the models at Runtime DNA and I liked the idea of these giants striding through the water.

The image is Ok - but looking at the image you can tell its Bryce.. The Bryce renderer just doesn’t cut it anymore - for me at least. The image, really, was about the water - I wanted to produce the ripples and splashes of the Mechs as they went into battle.

As with the previous images, there is a little story for context: “89 light years from Earth, on one of the many moon of a gas giant that orbits the Sol-like HD 82943, Mechs from the 5th Armoured Planetary Defence Battalion repel an early morning raid by out-system Nomads. The attacks, usually for supplies, especially anything that can be used to help maintain spacecraft have recently increased in frequency, and therefore the Battalion has taken to deploying small squads around the clock. The Nomads are usually lightly armed and so easily driven-off, but there is inevitably damage to property.

The image was rendered in Bryce, and colour-corrected in Photoshop CS1. The Bushwacker, Chimera and Shadowcat Mechs are from the freestuff at Runtime DNA. The water texture is by HSIGraphics and the rock texture is from a pack available at the Nvidia site.The water splashes are available in obp form at “

Sunday, 11 November 2007

<b>I’m still working my way through the Anson Call book... Having a lot of fun so far and love C4D - easily one of the best pieces of software I have ever used. The latest tutorial - modelling the lamp, above - was really very nice. Well laid-out and very satisfying to complete. Garry</b>

Spacewreck 5: Discovery at Lagrange point released


Long time between posts... Real-life keeps getting in the way! Also, learning to use Carrara... This is my first post for an image created in Carrara; interesting ride, moving over from Bryce. I went back to Spacewrecks, and also I have been thinking about book covers - particularly the small size of the image, the amount of detail that is necessary and so on. I produced and rendered the image in Carrara, some model manipulations in Hexagon, and as ever image colour correction was done in Photoshop CS1.

I’m really happy with the way this one turned out - colours are good, ship turned out well... Only the little moon is unconvincing - tried all sorts too... Larger, smaller, closer, further away - but it didn’t help. However, I felt the image need a planet there to balance the picture. The background for the image is a skydome - a sphere mapped with an image (or in this case, images) - the Sky dome Starfield was created in Flaming Pears Glitterato, and the Sky dome Nebula image by Magma, available at Devientart. Spacewreck textures by Magma, also at Devientart.

As with the previous images, there is a little story for context: “During the second wave of mans colonisation of the stars, proof that life existed, or had existed elsewhere in the universe was finally incontrovertible. In a small planetary system 10 light years from the Doradus nebula, advance scout ships of the colony ship Endurance discovered a derelict, drifting at the systems Lagrange point Unfortunately, the evidence also indicated that the ship was also incredibly ancient; in fact, when this ship had sailed the stars, dinosaurs still ruled the earth.”

Gone Fishing!' released

Haven’t posted for a long time, been spending my time learning how to use Carrara and Hexagon... Having finished this piece, I didn’t want to post it as it didn’t come out the way I intended and is way too similar to my other pieces... But then I thought, well why not? It isn’t that bad! Well. It is, though! I wanted to capture ‘normality’ amidst the wonders of a possible future... It just looks like a series of disjointed pieces thrown into a single image... Oh well..

As with the previous images, there is a little story for context - though I was so disappointed with the image I wasn’t even inspired here very much: “Kahn Aat Gild sits on the pier fishing near the coastal spaceport city of Newport, which is located on the tourist moon Waterside. As its name suggests, Waterside has very little land-mass and consists of thousands of atolls, which are really the rims of mostly submerged impact craters.

Kahn works at the Sub-space Communications Centre, and uses his lunch breaks to spend a peaceful hour fishing before the stress of the afternoon workload. Today is Thursday, and so the tourist liner is arriving. From here, the tourists will be taken to one of the many hotels located on the atolls around the planet.”

Rendered in Bryce with a tonne of post work in Photoshop.

Homeward Bound! released

homeward bound

As I indicated a while back, I figured that I should give the spacewreck series a rest... What with that, and trying to figure out Carrara, inspiration has been thin on the ground...

I started this picture weeks ago (in Bryce), when Orbital was kind enough to give away one of his rocky pillars along with a tutorial in the Forums at Renderosity... My first effort crashed and burned when Bryce had a tantrum and corrupted the file, but I got there in the end! Overall, I’m happy with the image... In particular, the colour tone of the image is good - I worked hard in Photoshop to avoid the usual Bryce colouring... Secondly the rocks - using a texture given away by Zhan in the Bryce Renderosity forums - came out really well... In fact the rocky coastline essentially made the image in my mind - it began to feel like a Roger Dean image. What didn’t work well was the colouring of Orbital’s rock pillar - try and I might, I could not get the pillar to look like the coastline, despite using the same textures...

As with the previous images, there is a little story for context: “Ha Inn Nor makes her way home from work after another busy day as advocate of the busy coastal town of Gar De Ret. Still wearing her official hat of office, she makes her way across the ancient pathway that links the town to the peninsula where her house sits on a rocky tor, left standing as the coastland was eroded by the sea.”

Image composed and rendered in Bryce. Victoria was dressed and posed in DazStudio before importing. Image was colour corrected in Photoshop.

Spacewreck 4 - The Erebus

The Mayflower got a great reception over at Renderosity, and I have produced another image in record time (for me)!! I think this will be my last Space wreck image for a while... However, I think this is the best so far - the wreck itself turned out brilliantly, and I’m really happy with the composition and feel - also, unlike my previous spacewreck image, it is 100% original from conception onwards...

As with my other images, there is a little story for context: “As man made his way to the stars, the drudgery of locating habitable planets was given to a vast fleet of robot probe-ships - essentially AI’s with a hyperdrive engine. These ships scoured the galaxy for planets that could support humans, or where necessary, could do so with a little terra-forming.

117 light years from Earth, around the star 79 Ceti one such probe discovered an ideal planet and duly sent its signal to Earth, a signal that would result in another colony ship making its journey across space. Unbeknown to the colonists, in the 300 years between the probe’s signal and the colony ship Erebus’ arrival, another race had discovered and settled the planet. Soon after establishing orbit, Erebus launched 22 manned site survey ships - all were lost with seconds of entering the atmosphere.”

Bryce, with some Photoshop colour correction.

Spacewreck 3 - The Mayflower released


I am a long-time fan of the work of Chris Foss (I used to stand in WH Smiths as a young teen staring at his book cover art for hours...). Recently, I decided to produce a piece influenced by one of his book covers, but as part of the Spacewreck series. Fans of Chris Foss will recognise that this image is a homage to Chris,s work for E E Doc Smith’s ‘Grey Lensman’ book cover during the 1970’s.I’m really pleased with the results this time... I agonised over the shade of the hull, the amount of ‘rot’, as well as the lighting - producing hundreds of images in the process... Think that the final image is just about right, though.

As with the previous images, there is a little story for context: “The workhorse of mans colonisation of the stars was the ‘Behemoth’ Utility and Colonist Transport Craft. These were essentially the 22nd Century equivalent of container ships used in late 20th Century industrial age. Behemoth’s were half a million tonnes of hyperspace engine and storage area, transporting thousands of colonists at a time along with everything they needed to establish their home on the new planet.

Here we see the Starship Mayflower in orbit around a colonised planet some 41 light years from Earth in the constellation of Cancer, around the star 55 Cancri, a binary star system. Like most Behemoth-class starships, the Mayflower was stripped of any useful components once the colonists had established themselves on the planet. Since then it has been left to its fate in high orbit, being peppered by small meteorites, reduced to scrap piece by tiny piece.”

Ship rendered in Bryce, background and overall image colour correction in Photoshop.

Spacewreck Released

I have released a new image over at Renderosity... Its called &”Spacewreck” and I’m quite pleased with it... It’s influenced by an old image by ““ Angus McKie... My image has an accompanying story: “When humans finally made their push to the stars, it wasn’t without cost... Not every colonist ship made it to its destination, and even for some that did the last mile would prove too much. On distant worlds, the twisted and rusted hulks of starships stand as testament to the bravery of those that set out to make new homes...”

Notes: 100% Bryce - just a tiny colour correction in Photoshop.