Sunset recipe by Nick Hentschel

Instead of the usual Power User Profile, we have a special treat today — Nick Hentschel has graciously put together a nifty how-to recipe for your own sunset backgrounds! I know he put a ton of work into this, so please let him know in the comments that you appreciate the effort and the willingness to share.

Note that you can click on most of these screen captures to see them at maximum size. Without further ado, I give you Nick’s recipe!

Step 1: Go to background- Floors and select the “dead trees” background.
Increase width to 115% and height to 140%.

Set Primary Color to Darker Yellow Orange, and Secondary Color to Darker Pea Green. Lighten the latter color to about two-thirds (66-67%), and reposition it at (x)202-(y)208.

Step 2: Go to Background-Shapes and select the last, gradient rectangle (remember to set the element to “Multiples”).

Increase x to 120% (so it will cover the whole screen), decrease height to 78% (so that it’s just barely covered by the tree background), and flip it vertically (this is very important).
Turn the Primary Color to some light, sun-like orange color, and the Secondary to some darker color. You have plenty of options, since sunsets turn all sorts of crazy colors: shades of red, purple, blue, orange, and even green. I eventually settled on Pure Yellow Orange, and Dark Green Cyan (at 87%), respectively, giving it a greenish tint, since they set off my character well, but the sky is literally the limit! My advice is to get out there, and watch some sunsets! (Boy, does it suck to have your job!)
Re-position at (x)199-(y)270, and move the whole shebang to the back!

Step 3: Go back to Background-Shapes and pick the last, gradient circle (the one that’s darker around the edge).

Adjust the width and height to about 67%, keep it at the same layer, and position it in this little “nook,” conveniently made by the background itself!

Now, we tinker with the colors a bit: we change the Primary Color to Light Yellow, the Secondary to Pure Yellow Orange, and the Line Color to Pure Yellow, thinning it out to about one-third (33%).

Step 4: We now go to Background-Sky, and select the horizontal-looking clouds that are the next-to-last item.

Reset both their size and position, and change their colors as follows: Primary Color to Light Magenta Red, Secondary to 75% Gray (both of which you then feather out to about 85%), and the Line Color at 0%, whatever it is.

And do feel free to flip it around; it makes the picture a little more “balanced” and symmetrical.

Now, put a character in there, and have fun!

12 Responses to Sunset recipe by Nick Hentschel

  1. Nick Hentschel

    To all:

    Thanks to jeff for getting this up. Meanwhile, I should let you know about 2 subtle improvements I’ve discovered, in the time since I submitted this to Jeff.

    First, unknownblackpaper submitted his own recipe a while back, with an idea for masking a dark gradient to a background. This technique is completely compatible with what I’ve proposed above, and in fact, improves it considerably. My thanks to UBP, and here’s the link: http://www.heromachine.com/2011/05/26/sunset-recipe/#more-13538

    Second, you can add some subtle backlighting to the pink clouds, which also helps.

    Here’s a look at the improved version: http://www.flickr.com/photos/huskybike/6526995911/

    Thanks again, Jeff!

  2. Nice… Ready for make a Cowboys sunset scene!!

    (yesterday I maked an Eclypse)

  3. Nice. I think Nick might want to start working on a power user profile as well. Just a suggestion.

  4. Ooo! Got to try this. Looks nice. Thank you so much Nick!

  5. Fantastic work! I like it! :D

  6. Cool! :-)

  7. Solid background. Maybe it’s because I really haven’t paid attention to sunsets for awhile, but I notice in late fall / early winter, the sky tends to be rather pink.

  8. Nick Hentschel

    The Atomic Punk (7): I told you, it varies quite a bit.

  9. This is beautiful. Looking forward to trying out variations for alien planets to use in my SF rpg.

  10. Looks like I’ll have to take people’s word for it at the moment; pictures aren’t loading in posts.

  11. OK, images should be back now — this was a legacy of the failed DNS transfer behind the scenes, my apologies.

  12. Nick Hentschel

    I deserved it: it’s my punishment for forgetting to get back to you about the contests that I won! :-P