Worldbuilding #5a – Sun

starMost of what I do for my worldbuilding series is for fantasy writers. Most of my Science Fiction writers tend to use a copy of Earth and don’t really need a map of their world. Still, whether you are a Sci-fi or Fantasy writer, it is still nice to have a start of your world.

This is not a full article as it uses techniques from my last article about the ocean depths.

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This tutorial will go over how to make a yellow star, similar to our own sun. Before I go into the tutorial, some fun facts about stars:

In a constellation, the brightest star is designated alpha, with the next brightest beta and gamma.

Most star systems are binary or more. Only about 33% of star system is a single star. If binary stars are close enough, one star can influence the shape of the other.

Stars may appear to have a single colour, but actually emit a broad spectrum of colours, including radio waves, infrared, ultraviolet, and gamma rays. Our eyes can’t fully interpret this, but often sees stars lighter than they actually are.

The mass of a star is in terms of solar mass, comparing mass to our sun. Alpha Centauri A is 1.08 solar masses, or 1.08 times our sun. Stars may have different densities. Sirius B is about the same mass of our sun, but is 90k more dense, and is actually 1/5 its size.

The heavy elements of metals found on Earth actually came from stars that went nova in the universe.

There are over 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. And that’s one galaxy. It is estimated to be about 100 billion galaxies…you do the math.

Stars don’t actually twinkle, it is simply light through our atmosphere. In space you can look directly at our sun, unlike under Earth atmosphere where you would have difficulty.

Traveling at light speed, the time it takes for light to go from the Sun to Earth is 8 minutes. So when you look at the sun (with sunglasses I hope) you are look at its state 8 minutes ago.

Most stars are Red dwarfs. The largest known star (VY Canis Majoris) is 1800 times our sun, which would extend to the reach of Saturn’s orbit.

The area around a star in which liquid water can be sustained (thus support life) is called the habitable zone. It ranges from .725 to 3.0 astronomical units (Earth is 1 AU). Venus might have water since it is .72 AU, if not for the thick atmosphere. Mars is within the habitable zone at 1.5AU, but has a very thin atmosphere.

The colour of stars, based on human eye observation, from hottest to coolest are: Blue (O), Deep blue white (B), blue white (A), white (F), yellowish white (G), pale yellow orange (K), light orange red (M), scarlet (L), magenta (T).

Our sun is a G class. The colour of a star is dependent on whether you are moving towards it or away from it. Towards it gives it a more bluish colour, and moving away gives it a red color. You may hear the terms redding or red shift.

There is a Y class star, that appears very dark, and more in common with Jupiter than a star. These tend to be the coolest of stars. They are measured in much bigger they are than Jupiter.

Now onto our tutorial of a Class G star.

1. Make background completely black
a. Ctrl-A
b. Make sure primary color is set to black
c. hit backspace

2. Create new layer
a. Name top layer ‘Sun’
b. Set primary color to Yellow (from the toolbar)
c. Set secondary color to Black

3. Do cloud render
a. Scale: 15
b. Roughness: .5
c. Blend: Normal

4. Create New Layer
a. Name new layer to Sun 2
b. Do cloud rendering, same setting
c. Move Sun 2 below Sun
d. Go into properties for Sun and set it to Additive
e. Merge the layer down.

You should have a yellow/black canvas with flex of orange.

5. Use Shape 3D
a. Texture Map: Full Sphere map
b. Anti-Alias: On
c. Transparency: uncheck
d. Lighting: uncheck

6. Create 2 new layers
a. First above Sun is named surface
b. One on top is Radiation
c. Set primary color to orange (from toolbar)
d. Go to Sun layer and select the outside of it with magic wand
e. Go to surface and hit backspace

This will look like an orange flag with a sun in middle

f. hit CTRL-I to invert
g. Go to Radiation and hit backspace

Now the whole canvas is orange. Press escape to deselect

7. Uncheck Radiation
a. Go to Surface
b. Go to Effects->Blurs->Gaussian
c. Set to 130, then press OK
d. Go to Sun, and select outside with magic wand
e. Go to surface and press backspace.

Surface of the sun should now have an orange glow

8. Check Radiation Layer
a. Make sure you have deselected the image (press escape)
b. Do Gaussian blur again, same settings
c. Go to sun, select outside with magic wand
d. Hit CTRL-I
e. Go to Radiation and hit delete

9. Set Layers Radiation and Surface to Glow
a. Merge both layers together
b. Duplicate Layer
c. Set new layer to Color Burn
d. Merge the two layers together
e. Set new layer Opacity (in properties) to 170

You are done. You can merge the layers together and save the file.

In the future, I hope to do more tutorials on stars, including other classes and starfields. More than that, I hope to do Mars type worlds, moons, and stellar phenomenon. Please let me know what you think below.

Help Keep This Site Running

This site is a great achievement for me, but due to being unable to work, I may not be able to keep this site running. With your help, I might be able to.

I need $125 by October 30th, 2017. Anything you can give will help.

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