It’s Guest Blog Wednesday featuring Deke McClelland!

Hello Scott and friends of Scott:

Forgive my intrusion today. I feel especially bad taking you away from Scott’s amazing photographs of guys with sculpted abs and veins popping out of their luridly developed biceps. (Good grief, I’ve got to get my comparably itsy-bitsy jiggly-wiggly body into a gym!)

But today, I offer you a body of an entirely different nature.

This body is round. Round as one half of a baby’s bottom. With rings around it. And it has a name that you might have heard of: Saturn.

Aw, don’t you feel better already? No six pack, no gruesome musculature. Heck, you can achieve a body like this just by lying in a tub all day and eating donuts.

But here’s the catch. Saturn is not something you’ll get a chance to photograph. Not in this lifetime, or the next, or the one after that. Perhaps you’re thinking, “You don’t know, I might. Some smart genius person could invent a commercial hydrogen cruise liner and I might buy a few tickets and take the kids and we can all shoot photos out the window of the Lido deck.” In which case, you’re nuts. Saturn is 8.5 times farther away from us than the Sun. You planning on taking the kids to the Sun? What is wrong with you?

And yet this image, it’s the real thing. It’s 100% got-my-geek-on scientifically accurate, with surface texture and ring opacity data straight from NASA, JPL, and Caltech.

And it’s created, not using a camera, but entirely from scratch. In true 3D space. Using Photoshop CS5 Extended.

I’ll say that again: You need Photoshop CS5 Extended, not the standard non-3D version of the program, to follow along. Otherwise I give you everything you need. Including those scientifically accurate data files and a wickedly detailed step-by-step video:

The video lasts roughly 28 minutes. But believe it or not, it goes by fast. And by the end, your mind will be blown. Let me clear: Your skull will fracture, your head will leak blood, and there will be bits of brain all over the walls. Which is actually a good thing, because after some light mopping, your few remaining bits of brain will magically grow into something 8.5% larger than what you had before.

Of course, I mean that figuratively. But keep a mop handy just in case.

And let Scott and me know what you think!


  1. But Thomas, you didn’t watch the whole 28 minute video, did you? That’s what Ken is doing…… :D

    Very cool blog today, Deke! I will set some time aside today to watch it. Thanks for posting!


  2. Ken is probably busy cleaning gray matter off his laptop. I’m on my iPad, so cleanup is much faster.

    Deke, I haven’t seen the video, yet (won’t show on iPad) but your post will have me rolling in the aisles for days. It’s times like is that I wish I still worked for the Man so that I could share these lines with coworkers. Well, almost wish, anyway. This image is stunning. Very nice work.

  3. In the Pantheon of Photoshop instructors, Deke and Scott are the ultimate, the best, the Abbott and the Costello, the Barack and the Joe, the Adam and the Eve, the Desi and the Lucy…….words fail me.

  4. Very nice tutorial Deke! Just one comment: being an astronomer, I noticed that you deformed the sphere representing Saturn the wrong way: it should be an oblate spheroid, flattened at the poles, and bulging at the equator. :)
    Also, it is actually possible to take pictures of Saturn without going there: with amateur telescopes and a DSLR or even a simple webcam, one can take rather stunning images of Saturn, clearly showing the rings and some cloud structure on the surface. Of course, the quality and detail will not be as good as your image, which uses data from space missions!

    All the best,

  5. Deke, absolutely fantastic blog and video! Wow, I am impressed! I don’t have CS5 Extended, but it was well worth following the video! Just some amazing stuff! I think Corey is going to be just a tad jealous. :-)

    Thanks Deke and Scott for letting extend our brains matter! :-)


  6. Doing serious 3D in Photoshop is a little bit like hammering nails with a heavy spoon, there are better tools for the job but you can definitely get it done with the right technique. Deke, the tech geek always knows the technique for whatever spoon hammer method I seek. Awesome as always my friend!

  7. Wow, how much coffee did you have, Deke? Just kidding, that was seriously awesome stuff. I’m just waiting for our IT department to push out extended to me, then I want to give this a try. So cool. Thanks!

  8. Awesome Deke, it’s amazing what photoshop can do in the hands of a master!

    BTW, what happened to your Indesign CS5 One on One book? Please don’t skip over the version 6 of Indesign! ;)


  9. I just love me some Deke I mean the tutorials!!! That was an awesome 3D lesson you gave in just 28 minutes. Who would have thought? I’m trying it right now as we chat. Thanks Deke, Scott!

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