How would I go about taking the images from this website: http://gw.marketingden.com/planets/saturn.html and creating some good looking versions in PS? Thanks for any help!
It shouldn't be that hard, especially in photoshop.
I'd create two blank layers to start. One for the planet, and another for the rings. I wold also bring the original "saturn" image into the layout to sample colors from.
On the planet layer create an elliptical selection. For a perfect ellipse hold down the shift key while you are dragging the marquee tool. Sample colors from the original (or, make up your own..) and paint in this selection to match the original image.
To dissipate the edges between colors I would run the gaussian blur filter on the planet layer. This will give it a more natural effect. To give the planet dimension I would shade it using the burn tool (set to efect "midtones") and add highlights using the dodge tool (also set to effect midtones).
The rings are a little more complicated, but not much I think. Start by creating a base color. Create an elliptical marquee about the size of the image rings. Fill it with a solid color, deselect, then goto free transform (command T) and rotate the ellipse to match the angle of the rings.
To create the other ring colors, go from the outside in. What I mean by that is this...command click on the ring layer to load in the object as a selection. Goto the Select menu to Modify-Contract and contract the selection as needed. Once you have contracted it a bit fill it with another color to match. Repeat this process until you have the colors that you want. When done load in the original selection and run a guassian blur on the rings to dissipate and blur the lines between the colors.
Last step, making the rings more ring like and making them go in back of the planet. To do this create a blank layer mask on the ring layer. Use a paintbrush in black with a solid edge and mask out the rings to match the original picture. You may want to use a hard edge brush to get them around the planet and a feathered edge brush with the parts overlapping the planet, as this may give it a more realistic feel.
Well, I hope this helps. If you have any questions let me know. Good luck.
"If they don't know what you're doing, babe it must be art..."