The Ultimate Gimp Planet Tutorial

Click here to go back to part 1 of this tutorial

Part 2

The texture is the most important part of the planet, it’s basically what makes the planet look like a planet instead of just a blue ball. So what every planet needs is a planet texture, there are many ways to create a planet texture, but I prefer putting together bits and pieces from several photos until I have a result I like.

I’m going to show you how such a planet texture can be made, by using textures from CGTextures and Image*After.

Step 1

First of all I need to find some good textures, a good texture looks like it could be a satellite photo of the ground, so a photo of a dog might not be that good, but a photo of snow, rock, sand, concrete walls and rust can be good.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you create a planet texture you should always use textures that are at least twice the size of your planet, this is because some of the work we do on the textures will make them loose quality, and therefore we need to scale them down afterwards to make them look good again. So in this case where the planet is 600×600, I had to use textures that were at least 1200×1200 in size.

After a quick look around the web I found four textures that I liked.
The following three textures are from Image*After, a website that has both free stock photos and free textures.

Click here to go to Image*After and get that image.

b2walls034 from ImageAfter

Click here to go to Image*After and get that image.

b17kinkyfriend049 from ImageAfter

Click here to go to Image*After and get that image.

b5grounds057 from ImageAfter

This one is from CGTextures, the world’s largest free texture site, I found it in the Soil -> Rough category, they have some pretty amazing textures over at CGTextures, many of which are good for planet creation.
(I used the medium size, 1600×1200)

Click here to go to CGTextures’ main page.

SoilRough0056_M from CGTextures (copyright of CGTextures)

Step 2

Open all of the textures in Gimp.
Each texture has to be desaturated. Colors->Desaturate.

Desaturating the texture

Also, choose one of the textures as the base texture, this will be the texture that is underneath all the bits and pieces from the other textures. I chose that third texture from Image*After, the one named “b5grounds057”.
The texture will also be our main image, the one we will do all the work on.

Now we need to crop the image so the height and length become the same.
The image is 2048×1536, so let’s make it 1536×1536, grab the Rectangle Select tool and create a selection that measures 1536 length-wise. (and at least 1536 height-wise).

Selection that measures 1536 in length

Now click on Image->Crop to Selection. That should give us a square image.

Cropped texture

Step 3

Create a new layer, I named mine “earth rough”.

Now select the Clone tool, set the brush to Circle Fuzzy (19), and the Scale to 10.

Select that image from CGTextures named SoliRough0056_M.
We’re going to set the clone source of the cloning, so hold in Ctrl and click a little left of the center of the image to use that area of the image as a clone source.

Getting clone source

Let go of Ctrl if you’re still holding it, now find our base texture again, and select the layer called “earth rough”.

Now let’s paint on that layer, simply hold in your mouse button and move around until you have something like in the image below. Don’t worry if yours isn’t exactly like that, it doesn’t have to be exact.

Main image with an area cloned

Now repeat that whole cloning and painting process a couple times.
Set the clone source in different places on the soilrough0056_M image to get some variation. Be aware that the clone source moves around when you paint, so you don’t want to set the clone source too near the edges of the soilrough0056_M image, because then we could accidentally clone the edges, and that won’t look good.

Try to cover most of the image this way, leaving only a few spots here and there where our base texture can shine through. Don’t be afraid to paint over what you already painted, it really doesn’t matter. Try to avoid creating large dark areas or large bright areas.

Basically build up your texture by cloning and painting a lot:
(don’t worry if you can’t get your image to look exactly like mine, it doesn’t have to).

More areas cloned

Then clone and paint some more until it looks like this:

Lots of areas cloned

Here is the same image with all the other layers invisible and with a black background so you can see more clearly what I did:

Cloned areas on black

Step 4

Create a new layer, I named mine “cracks”.

Find the image named b17kinkyfriend049, this image is so large that I scaled it down so it matches the size of our other textures better.

To scale just go to Image->Scale image.
I set the size to 1357×1200.

Scale image

Step 5

This time we want to copy specific pieces from the image, so we shouldn’t use the Clone tool, but rather the Free Select tool.

So grab the Free Select tool, enable Feather edges and set it to 25.
Then create a selection like shown in the image below:

Selection with Free Select, feather edges enabled

Now copy that selection, and paste it inside the “cracks” layer. (press Ctrl-C to copy, select our main image and then select the “cracks” layer, press Ctrl-V to paste)

Use the Move tool to position it where it looks good, remember to anchor it afterwards (just click on the anchor in the layer dialog):

Anchor the selection

Now repeat that process a couple times, copy and paste different areas of the texture to the “cracks” layer.

Here is what my image looks like after some copying and pasting:

Main image after lots of copy and paste

Here is the same image with all the other layers invisible and with a black background so you can see more clearly what I did:

Cracks layer on black

Step 6

Same thing over again, create a new layer and name it “concrete wall”.

Find the image named b2walls034, and copy the parts you like over to the “concrete wall” layer. You can use the Free Select tool or the Clone tool or both, whatever you prefer.

I used the Free Select tool for some parts and the Clone tool for other parts, this is what I ended up with:

Main image with concrete wall layer

Here is the same image with all the other layers invisible so you can see more clearly what I did:

Cracks layer on black

Step 7

The hardest part is over, now we need to get our texture on the planet.
First, right-click on one of the layers in the Layer Dialog and choose Merge Visible Layers.

Merge Visible Layers

Now go to Filters->Light and Shadow->Apply Lens
Select the “Make surroundings transparent” option.

Apply Lens settings

That should give us this result:

Texture shaped as a planet

You might notice that the texture looks a bit stretched in some places, we’re going to fix this by scaling down the texture. (this is the reason we work in so high resolution).

To scale the image, find Image->Scale Image.
Set the Width and Height to the same as the planet we made in part1, 600×600.

Scale image

After the texture has been scaled down, press Ctrl-C to copy it.

Now find the planet we worked on in part 1, and create a layer named “texture” right above the “planet base” layer. Now press Ctrl-V and click on the anchor to paste our texture into that layer.

Texture copied and pasted onto planet

Step 8

We’re going to add some depth to the texture, so set the layer mode of the “texture” layer to Overlay, and then duplicate that layer.

Layer Dialog with two texture layers

Select the duplicate layer and rename it to “emboss”.

We’re going to emboss that layer, so find Filters->Distort->Emboss.
Set the Azimuth to 135, and the Depth to 2.
(Azimuth is basically the angle of the light in case you were wondering.)

Emboss settings

Now you can control the depth of the planet by adjusting the opacity of that layer.
I want a very subtle effect so I set the opacity of the layer to 25.

Emboss layer at opacity 25

Step 9

Duplicate the “texture” layer, and set the layer mode of the duplicate to grain extract.

Texture duplicate with layer mode Grain extract

We’re going to increase the contrast of that layer a little bit. So find Colors->Brightness and Contrast.

Set the contrast to 15.

Brightness and Contrast settings

Note that when you create your own planets you need to experiment with layer modes and contrast, this is very important since different textures need different layer modes to look good. The layer mode and contrast adjustments we just made will not necessarily work for all kinds of textures.

Step 10

Let’s add some clouds to this planet.
Duplicate the “texture” layer, rename the duplicate to “clouds”, and move it right underneath the “planet atmosphere” layers.

Set the layer mode to Screen.

Clouds layer with layer mode Screen

Now adjust the brightness and contrast on that layer. Colors->Brightness and Contrast.

First adjust the contrast until the clouds look like clouds, and then control the amount of clouds you want by reducing the brightness.

In this case I set contrast to 90 and brightness to -90.

Brightness and Contrast settings on clouds

Now rotate our “clouds” layer 90 degrees. Layer->Transform->Rotate 90 Clockwise.
(or rotate it even more if you want to, always experiment and pick what looks best).

That’s it, our planet is finished:

End result of Gimp planet tutorial

Head over to part 3 to learn some planet making tips, and a quick look at how to create some other planets.

Part 1 | Part 3

Share this tutorial:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone


  1. Mr Gimpmaster

    August 4th, 2010

    Awesome tutorial. did EXACTLY what i needed. 10 other “best planet tuts” and not one of the noobs knew how to use the layer masks trick. great insight, and well written. VERY nicely done.

  2. yay

    August 4th, 2010

    Thanks Gimpmaster, I’m glad you like it 🙂

  3. Mr Gimpmaster

    August 4th, 2010


    heres a copy and paste link:

    I used a picture of water in place of the default texture. All I did was apply a lens warp to it and then used colorize to adjust it to blue. For the contents I simply found a picture of a mountain and use the free select tool to crop out various areas ad paste them right into the planet drawing and moved them around. This procedure was done just like the texture step, only I put it right into the main planet file. Once I had that accomplished I colorized it to greenish then duplicated the layer and scaled the duplicated layer up by 120% and colorized it to yellowish and moved it behind the main cotenant layer to give it a shore line appearance. Note, if you have more than 1 continent, its best to work with them individually for this purpose. The polar cap at the South Pole was simply a free select of some snowy mountains done just like the continents. U just have to remember to alpha select your base planet layer and invert your selection and delete the parts of the continents that go beyond the planet. I’m still not satisfied with the clouds. Finding a good blend is a bit tough due to the fact that most clouds will make the planet look more hazy than realistic.

  4. Mr Gimpmaster

    August 4th, 2010

    any tips or ideas on creating a sun? i was thinking something along the lines of using the planet script and just tossing the shadow layer and then maybe painting a layer with the sparks brush and blurring it a bit and overlaying that onto the planet outline. that’s about the only thing i can think of off the top of my head.

  5. Mr Gimpmaster

    August 4th, 2010

    Here is my go at a sun. I set planet color to yellow and made sure to check add planet glow. Once created I deleted the planet atmosphere and shadow layers and deleted the layer mask on the planet glow layer. The I painted a layer with the sparks brush and blurred it a bit. Then I just duplicated the planet glow layer 2 times and the sparks layer 2 times and topped it off with an image of fire as an overlay with a scaled down opacity. Would love your feed back on it.

  6. cheatsguy777

    August 13th, 2010

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I used the tutorial and tested some tecniques with multiple stars and shadows. I have been pretty sucessful so far! thanks for the great tutorial!

  7. Phil

    August 14th, 2010

    This is an awesome tutorial. I am now making realistic space shots of planets. I had a friend who liked a red planet I made but asked that I add some surface lava cracks to the shaded part of the planet. What worked out really well for me, was to download some crack brushes and then scale them down to the right size and randomly paint the lower part with a center point to give the volcano effect. Then I use the IWARP filter and made it look like the cracks were following the surface of the planet. With a little tweaking and some duplicate layers set to overlay and burn it worked out great. Now my cool red planet looks like it might just break apart in a few years.

  8. John Foster

    August 16th, 2010

    I will have to do this tutorial ten times to really get it. I did it 4 times before I got it right.I think you did a good job its just I am learning a lot at once.Thanks for the time you put in .

  9. Muhammad Anas

    August 22nd, 2010

    Very nice tutorial … a bit complex for a beginner like me though…

    I think I will have to come back to this tutorial for some steps for first few times I try to make some customized planets, however their was no ambiguity in your written tut. I followed each and every step very carefully and was able to create almost exactly the same thing as you have shown!!!!!

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. My Outcome of the Ultimate GIMP Planet Tutorial

    August 22nd, 2010

    […] few minutes ago, I was doing the Ultimate GIMP Planet Tutorial on It was a bit complex and time consuming for me because I am a very new and […]

  11. Dave

    August 24th, 2010

    Thanks for this great tutorial, now to make a realistic background to match the planets 🙂

    Planets I have thanks to this tutorial:

  12. Luna

    August 29th, 2010

    GIMP never made any sense to me, until now 🙂

    This is a great tutorial, thanks.

  13. drewski58

    September 2nd, 2010

    Really, really great tutorial! I had a bit of trouble in the first part when trying to copy into the layer mask, but that’s because I hadn’t ever really learned the whole “anchor layer” aspect that well. Now I’m churning out planets in minutes… Thanks guys, this is a tremendous gift and is really appreciated!


  14. drewski58

    September 2nd, 2010

    Oh, one more thing… Has anyone found any decent GIMP tutorials for making realistic (not stylized) galaxies? I’ve seen some for Photoshop but still haven’t tracked down a good one for GIMP.

    Seems like something like this could be done with GIMP tricks, Any help here would be greatly appreciated…

  15. David M.S.

    September 17th, 2010

    Awesome Tutorial. I never really used Gimp before. Here are two planets I made with this.

  16. Apos

    September 20th, 2010

    Pretty nice tutorial, with a little practice, I managed to get this:×1600.png

  17. Patryk

    September 23rd, 2010

    Great tutorial, i made three planets:
    3rd (and best in my opinion)

  18. jim

    September 26th, 2010

    Thank you so much for the tutorial. Very much appreciated!!!! I made this image

  19. Pedro

    September 30th, 2010

    Wonderfull, this is exactly what I needed to get me more results from Gimp.
    Tx a million. This tutorial rocks.

  20. Rogue

    October 26th, 2010

    I have a quick question, What version of gimp did you use in this tutorial?

  21. demon-absol

    October 29th, 2010

    okay im totally lost on step six could some one tell me step six more clearly cause its not working for me thank you

  22. Mayvie

    October 30th, 2010

    This is an amazing tutorial, you can learn soo much from just reading it, I know I have! xD Script won’t work for me for whatever reason, but I’ll make it up as I go along. :L:L

  23. Flamin Flareos

    November 7th, 2010

    Dude this was a great tutorial. Got lost a bit from later version but still made final master piece which looks great TY.

  24. Alana

    November 9th, 2010

    This is a wonderful tutorial! In the beta version of Gimp, it’s starting to give me problems, but nothing that affects the outcome of the picture.

    Here’s my attempt at a sun:

    I’ll say how I did it on that page.

    And I made two other planets:

    The tut was a big help — thanks a lot. 🙂

  25. Redgmystr

    November 11th, 2010

    Thank you so much! I’m doing a solar system in GIMP 2.6 for a school project and this helped me SO much. Thank you again 😉

  26. Evelie

    November 20th, 2010

    This is a wonderful tutorial. I learned more about how to operate Gimp from this tutorial than anything else I’ve read. It’s beautifully written for even beginners like myself to operate properly and make stunning images.

    Thank you so very much for this. I’m really looking forward to experimenting with the settings and making my own planets ^_^

  27. cal

    November 22nd, 2010

    Fantastic tutorial, thank you!
    First background draft:

    Now for the rest of the solar system/space ships/debris… (I always did think a little on the large side!)

  28. And so the update begins | Jeffrey's World

    December 21st, 2010

    […] shout-out to for showing me how to do those. They look incredible 22 mins […]

  29. Jeffrey

    December 21st, 2010

    This was a phenomenal tutorial and exactly what I needed. I’m working on a redesign of my web site, and wanted a specific scene involving planets for the logo image (to fit the “my world” theme). The logo I created is live on the site, and can also be viewed without the logo elements at

  30. Stormy

    December 22nd, 2010

    on step 5 you tell us to “Select the “shadow mask” layer, and press Ctrl-C to copy it, then select the layer mask and press Ctrl-V to paste the layer into the layer mask, and then click on the anchor. ” can you please explain how to do this because I’m completely confused on how to do this.

  31. Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-12-25 | Jeffrey's World

    December 25th, 2010

    […] shout-out to for showing me how to do those. They look incredible […]

  32. Me

    January 6th, 2011

    Mr. Gimpmaster is right. I was looking trough Photoshop tutorials, planets images and this is the best.

    P.S. are your operation system and GIMP legal?

  33. ONI-Defense

    January 7th, 2011

    This is an amazing tutorial, although for some it may seem confusing, I found the steps to have great detail and helped me with making two planets. Thank you for making this tutorial and the planet render script. I hope many more find this tutorial and check this site out for many other tutorials.

    I made these two planets

  34. Paul

    January 7th, 2011

    Great tutorial, Thanks.

  35. IfNotTrueThenFalse

    January 17th, 2011

    Really awesome tutorial. I was just looking tutorial, howto create planet with gimp and found this. Really nice work!

  36. Nathan

    January 30th, 2011

    Nice work, it really was a great tutorial. It also gave me something to do for a while. Here are some of the planets I made:

  37. Erste Gehversuche in GIMP

    January 31st, 2011

    […] der Suche nach weiteren Anleitungen zur Erstellung von Planeten bin ich dann endlich auf dieses Tutorial gestoßen. Das Ergebnis war zufriedenstellend und ich bin – ausnahmsweise einmal – […]

  38. BarelyTrainedChimp

    February 10th, 2011

    Excellent tut’. Well made and is actually pretty darn spectacular.
    Got me back into using GIMP.

  39. tutorials can be useful « A Conversation With Myself

    February 14th, 2011

    […] for long distance shots. Artistic me: Now, though, there’s a new trick, and he found it here: Normal me: It worked pretty well for him, as evidenced by this image, his first piece of pure Space […]

  40. Euan Smith

    February 15th, 2011

    How would you put one of the planet images into a larger background, to make a kind of solar system w/ more planets etc ??????

  41. hanciong

    February 22nd, 2011

    hai, could you do tutorial about how to make a ring? Like saturn’s ring :-D. Thanx in advance

  42. FrostPheonix

    March 1st, 2011

    this is an awesome tutorial! I managed to make something that looked like Earth, but it doesn’t look that good as the blue planet:

    and here is the one I made while doing your tut:

    Your tutorial is awesome!

  43. Kitty

    March 9th, 2011

    I loooooooove this tutorial. It’s helped me so much, not just by showing me how to make a planet, but each step in itself is a learning experience. Heeey I don’t suppose you know how to make rings do you? Like Saturn’s rings?

  44. nosherpiers

    March 16th, 2011

    best tut i’ve found yet.

  45. Raj

    March 23rd, 2011

    Amazing Tutorial. I am a GIMP noob and this was the perfect introduction! Thank you!!

  46. Matt

    March 30th, 2011

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing.

  47. Tom

    April 22nd, 2011

    Brillian tutorial – one of the best I’ve ever seen

  48. Sam

    May 26th, 2011

    This is awesome.

  49. Firezar

    May 28th, 2011

    Best planet-tutorial ever! Just… perfect 🙂

  50. Cosmin

    June 5th, 2011

    nice ttorial … here are some of my results

  51. J-Lo

    June 9th, 2011

    Thank you for the tutorial, I follow it all the time!

  52. IconoKlasm

    June 22nd, 2011

    Very detailed tutorial. Keep up the good work 🙂

  53. anifoke

    July 4th, 2011

    woww…I like this tut. thank’s

  54. Regan

    July 12th, 2011

    Great tutorial, thanks a lot.

  55. Alex

    July 16th, 2011

    Wow this was one of the best tutorials I’ve ever been through, great job. Keep em’ coming. I especially enjoyed the attention to detail and the following through on instructions.

    Heres my result:

    Click to zoom for full effect.

  56. reynum

    July 22nd, 2011

    Thanks a lot for this tutoriel ;-D

  57. Kyle

    July 30th, 2011

    Ive tried everything but I cant seem to get Gimp to accept your .scm file?

  58. yay

    July 31st, 2011

    Kyle what version of Gimp are you running?

  59. Kyle

    July 31st, 2011

    Im using 2.6

  60. yay

    July 31st, 2011

    And what operating system? I’ve noticed in Windows 7 the path to the script folder is actually: C:\Users\yourusername\.gimp-2.6\scripts

  61. Kyle

    August 1st, 2011

    Windows Vista and IE 9

  62. yay

    August 3rd, 2011

    Kyle: Try using a different browser when downloading the script, sometimes IE messes up and automatically changes the filetype of scm files.

    Also, have you tried other scripts from other websites and confirmed that they work? That way we’ll know if it’s a problem with all scripts or just this one.

    Also try updating your Gimp to the latest version, I believe it’s 2.6.10.
    I don’t have access to Vista unfortunately, so I can’t test it on Vista.

  63. Erwin

    August 13th, 2011

    Amazing tutorial, thanks so much. Never knew I could get something like the image I have in front of me now out of the GIMP.

  64. Exonvsdeath

    August 18th, 2011

    Hi guys

    I was trying to add rings to a planet but failed so badly at it. Did anyone got it right to do this. my email is if anyone can help me that would be nice. Thanks

  65. JoeTurtle

    September 22nd, 2011

    I had finished that yesterday, and I think it looks pretty cool. xD This tutorials rocks.

  66. Kate

    September 28th, 2011


  67. BunkyBear

    October 12th, 2011

    You should charge people for this. Its too good for free. You should make a Gimp book or something.

    Thanks Yay

  68. ElPouchkine

    October 16th, 2011

    Awesome tutorial!! Nicely written, and also, very easy to understand for “frenchies” like me, or other foreign people. Thank you very much!

    Bye =)

  69. Rafael

    October 23rd, 2011

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial, helped me a lot^^

  70. jose

    February 2nd, 2012

    This was AWESOMEEEE. Thanks a lot, not many tutorials take you step by step, and for people like me that are just starting to get to know gimp with no previous experience it was very helpful. Thanks

  71. Jen

    February 25th, 2012

    Very good tutorial! always wanted to be able to do this 🙂 thanks

  72. Strider Raccoon

    April 13th, 2012

    This tutorial is exactly what I’ve been looking for! But when I try to set create the planet, an error message keeps popping up. It says, ” Error while executing (script-fu-planet-render-gtuts-edition 600 ‘(10 70 100) ‘(227 245 255) 315 1 FALSE) ERROR: unbound variable (errobj gimp-layer-set-lock-alpha) Can someone help?

  73. ShadowWolf

    May 30th, 2012

    Thx this is a very nice and cool Tutorial and easy to understand 😀

  74. Craig

    June 6th, 2012

    Very great, thorough tutorial! I found I had to shift the clouds layer a little to the left due to a little bit of a line on the shadow side. Thank you.

    For anyone else that’s wondering about rings. Here’s some basic steps you can experiment with: Filter>Render>Clouds>Solid Noise, Filter>Distort>Whirl and Pinch, make a circular selection, Invert, Delete, Perspective tool to get an egg like shape, right click on layer>Alpha to Selection, Select>Shrink however much you want, Delete the inner part, Rotate tool, Blur>Gaussian Blur, select Planet Base layer, Alpha to Selection, select rings layer and make a subtractive selection to get rid of the part that should be behind the planet, Delete. Of course, you’ll have to play around a little but that’s the basic idea. You can always Colorize the rings to match the planet. You’ll probably want to lower the opacity. This is just one way but it works.

  75. imadoofus

    June 25th, 2012

    What exactly is the layer mask and how do you select it?

  76. Ol' Moldy

    June 30th, 2012

    Thanks for this tut man. Spectacular results for me! :3

  77. Planet Building 101 | Rewind: A Brand new Sci-Fi epic for 2012

    August 2nd, 2012

    […] or just mess with your friend’s heads, there’s a brilliant planet drawing tutorial at Having spent quite some time looking around for something to produce the look I was after, this […]

  78. Terro

    August 9th, 2012

    Thank you so much very amazing tutorial, i learned many things i can use in other forms of art aswell thank you very much!

  79. Antoine

    August 31st, 2012

    Thank you so much man, this tut is awesome !!

  80. Arthur

    September 30th, 2012

    Very nice tut, I tried a version with islands,, much harder to get the islands texture to look good as blurring the edges does not look as nice,

  81. Elle Gee

    October 24th, 2012

    Super sweet tutorial! It’s exactly what I was looking for! Weeee! Time to head on over to parts 2 and 3!

  82. Elle Gee

    October 24th, 2012

    My planet turned out just like you said it would! Beautiful! Awesome tutorial! Now on to part 3 for some more tips! Thanks so much for sharing this GIMP how to!

  83. Tanya

    November 25th, 2012

    Thanks! Im a complete noob and this worked awesomely for me! Very good writing.

  84. testhero

    December 3rd, 2012

    wow all you are making some simply great planets I look forward to flying over and landing on them while playing NAEV .org THanks Phil for the tip on creating cracked planets The most repeated planet in NAEV is the dead world planet 24x as nothing happens there and you cant land on them at the moment. I have prevailed upon my Girlfriend to use Her gimp skills to do another busted world. I am going to flog some Cassini photos from NASA for her to use as textures. should see little bits of Saturn’s moons poping up all over.

    I am blown away by all the cool suns and planets you guys have made!
    Dave nice worlds.

    Yay awesome tutorial thanks for all the time you lavished on this project.

  85. The guy who questions stuff

    January 9th, 2013

    Wait a second, I thought using a photo instead of just making EVERY part of it on GIMP was cheating.

  86. Captain Heauxbeaux

    January 10th, 2013

    It worked!!! Now my planets can be spectacular instead of just sort of okay.

  87. Kevin Patton

    February 3rd, 2013

    I was finally able to make it work after not doing so well the first few times, and now my planet is how I want it to be. thanks

  88. doug

    February 5th, 2013

    Great tutorial, I never new you could create your own planet…

  89. Amazing

    February 27th, 2013

    Awesome tutorial! This is our class’s favorite one!

  90. Merlin

    March 7th, 2013

    Excellent tutorial!! Thanks! 🙂

  91. Rashid Hameed

    March 7th, 2013

    It was both accurate in instructions and instructive as well as marvelous. I learnt to draw planet in Photoshop and I was missing these techniques in Gimp. I am very much pleased to follow it.It was infact a long awaited thing.

  92. The Gimp guy

    April 11th, 2013

    Loved it! Heres my version:
    thanks said exactly what i wanted it to do.

  93. David

    May 24th, 2013

    Awesome Tutorial!!!! It helped me sooooooo much!!! I didn’t even know how to use GIMP until this!!! Now I at least know how to make a planet!!!
    I do have a question though…..HOW DO YOU MAKE RINGS?? this is very important for one of my planets and I don’t know how to do it. I would appreciate it if someone would answer this question!
    here is a link with my planet

  94. commanerjets

    June 28th, 2013

    I was wondering how to make a picture with 2 planets crashing together and breaking apart in just a picture and not an animation 🙂 do you know how to do this?

  95. commanerjets

    June 28th, 2013

    Does anyone know how to make lava lakes? those would be good for one of my planets? 😀

  96. commanerjets

    June 28th, 2013

    i have made these planets thanks to the tutorial 😀

  97. Jonthue

    September 8th, 2013

    Can I use a texture of earth if I want to recreate earth for a logo? What would be some good earth textures?

  98. Captain Heauxbeaux

    September 20th, 2013

    If you use the color selection tool on the texture layer, you can make the planet have continents by filling in the selection with green and yellow. Also, you can leave parts grey to make mountains. Here’s what I did.

  99. Captain Heauxbeaux

    September 20th, 2013

    Actually, this would be a better place to go:

  100. Captain Heauxbeaux

    September 20th, 2013

    Sorry, wrong address.
    If you make your planet with continents, it’ll be a good deal harder to get the clouds to look good.

  101. bkirkhuff

    November 13th, 2013

    Great tutorial!!!
    Here’s my result. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.

  102. Rhino

    January 20th, 2014

    Shoudln’t we use grain ,erge mode instead of grain extract in step nine of second tutorial? Thanks

  103. LTK

    February 14th, 2014

    I found a good way to make the planet have continents.
    After doing all the steps in this tutorial, make a final layer “Continents”. Use the Color Selection and/or Fuzzy Selection tool to make the shape of the continents. Select the continent with the Color Selection tool (select the alpha and invert selection) and fill it in with green. Then, make parts of the continents layer yellow. Set the later mode to “Hue” and leave it on 100 opacity.
    Look here to see what it looks like (I used the picture on this website as a base).

  104. Electric Bubbles

    February 18th, 2014

    OH MY GOSH! GHIFPDHSIOJFDHSFMDIHSG! I’m so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  105. Best of GIMP: Professional Tutorials to Level Up your Skills | shalaedin

    March 6th, 2014

    […] The Ultimate Gimp Planet Tutorial […]

  106. Seth

    March 16th, 2014

    Thanks! I’m so glad to find a tutorial for a planet in GIMP..

  107. Kai Hartmann

    March 24th, 2014


    awesome tutorial. Easy to follow, and the resulting planet looks very professional.
    Many thanks.

    Kind regards

  108. gimp2.8user

    June 6th, 2014

    Never mind, it works… Just that I was not looking closely. 😛

  109. Realistic Planet | Serenblip

    August 11th, 2014

    […] In the previous post I attempted to create an array of planet types and show their temperatures on a scale with a colour spectrum. It turns out that I had misunderstood (even though they had clearly put it in 99designs ‘Illustration’ category) and they required a more realistic treatment rather than my symbolic/table of elements approach. So, back to the drawing board. This time I followed the excellent Ultimate Gimp Planet Tutorial. […]

  110. PrideWing

    August 21st, 2014

    This is a fantastic tutorial. The best out there, in my opinion! I did not have any trouble understanding this whatsoever, and I was opened up to layer masks. Thank you SO MUCH for putting this up!! When it was down briefly, I freaked out because I forgot some of the steps. Thanks for making this again, though!

  111. ...........................................

    October 22nd, 2014

    Here’s how it looks if you do continents the right way, Captain Heauxbeaux.

  112. Fix Gimp Error Unbound Variable Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 [Solved]

    November 27th, 2014

    […] The Ultimate Gimp Planet Tutorial | … – Ever wanted to create realistic planets? In this tutorial you’ll learn how to create a planet, and more importantly how to create planet textures…. […]

  113. Best of Gimp: 40 professionelle Tutorials plus erlesene Profi-Tipps - Dr. Web

    December 1st, 2014

    […] The Ultimate Gimp Planet Tutorial […]

  114. bman

    March 10th, 2015

    great tutorial! After i followed the tutorial i started playing with the color balance of the texture layers and created a continent like effect. I’ve been using tutorials to use the various tools in gimp and this one introduced me to a few i haven’t used yet. Thanks alot

  115. Getting Gimpy? Go big. PLANETARY Big! | Eric Landreneau

    April 16th, 2015

    […] found this great guide to planetary design. And whaddaya know, a plugin for der Gimp. Even if you’re not interested […]

  116. Eric Landreneau

    April 16th, 2015

    Loved this tutorial. Such a great way to get into Gimp! I posted a review, with a couple of results.

  117. Edge of the Empire Style Guide | Consummate Gamer

    April 18th, 2015

    […] […]

  118. Planet texture generator | DL-UAT

    May 25th, 2015

    […] Ultimate GIMP Planet Tutorial (some ideas for texture maps) […]

  119. Making Spacescapes | Allyn Gibson

    June 7th, 2015

    […] I want to check out this article on creating planets and try something […]

  120. Alison

    October 29th, 2015

    This was going well up until the layer mask part. Every time I paste the shadow mask layer it just created a new layer called “Floating Selection (Pasted Layer).” It’s driving me crazy because I can’t make it look realistic without this piece of the puzzle working. I can’t get anything to paste into the layer mask no matter what I do.

  121. Alison

    October 29th, 2015

    I FIGURED IT OUT. Right after I posted my comment of course. So if anyone else has that problem, just right click on the floating selection layer and choose “Anchor Layer” and you’re all set!! YAY

Leave a Reply