How to Create a Space Illustration Using Omber

Final product image
What You’ll Be Creating

If you love gazing into the depths of outer space as much as I do, then buckle in since today we’re going to learn how to create a detailed space illustration with the new Omber software from Wobastic.

Compared to some of the other solutions out there, Omber gives you the possibility of using either an online version or a downloadable one—which is something that I think more developers should be doing—and it’s being distributed completely free of charge.

So whether you decide to go online or local, bring up the software and let’s get started! 

1. How to Set Up a New Project File

As always, let’s
start by setting up a new document. Head over to Options > Page Setup and adjust it as follows:

  • Width: 800
    px
  • Height:
    600 px

Since we want to
be able to see the actual page, be sure to check show page outline and set the Background
Color
to white so that we can have a better view of the shapes that we’ll
be creating.

setting up a new document

2. How to Set Up a Custom Grid

When it comes to grids, the software gives you the option of setting up and using a custom one,
which I really recommend you do, since we want the illustration to be based
on a pixel-perfect workflow.

To do this, simply
go to Options > Grid and instruct
it to use a gridline every 1 pixels,
making sure to enable the snap to grid
option so that the shapes will move using a 1 px increment no matter the direction in which you push them.

setting up a custom grid

3. How to Enable
High-Quality Rendering

When you start a new project, you should always make sure that the HQ Rendering option is turned on, otherwise you might notice that the shapes that you’ve just created are a little bit choppy.

shape created without hq rendering

If this happens, don’t worry and keep calm,
since this is due to the rendering engine that needs to be enabled by going
over to Options > HQ Rendering.
Once you turn it on, all your old and new shapes will instantly become smooth, as you can see for yourself from the reference example.

enabling hq rendering

Before we move on
and start working on the actual illustration, I wanted to point out that most
of the options that we’ve set up until this point will automatically return to their defaults once you close
the software, so remember to go over them each and every time you start working
on a new project.

4. How to Create
the Background

As soon as we’ve finished setting up our new document, we’re going to
kick things off by drawing the wobbly background, so take a quick sip of that hot coffee and let’s get started!

Step 1













Start by working on the larger section, by going over to Shape and then selecting Solid from the top toolbar in order to
create an object with a solid fill. Set the color to purple (#82147f), and then
use the Curve tool to draw a shape
similar to the one from the reference image. Don’t worry if it ends up looking
weird, since we’re going to fine-tune it in the following moments.

drawing the main background section

Step 2

Adjust the shape that we’ve just created by going over to Edit Points and then carefully repositioning
the anchor points and their handles as seen in the reference image.

Depending
on the shape that you’ve drawn, you can add new anchor points using the Add tool, by simply clicking on the
path, or remove the ones you don’t need by clicking on their little square using
the Delete tool.







Take your time, and once you’re done, position
the resulting shape in the center of the underlying page.

adjusting the main background shape

Step 3





This next step is really one of my favorites,
since it demonstrates the amazing capabilities of the software’s gradient
engine. If you’re used to radial or linear gradients, Omber takes
things to a completely new level. It allows you to select any of its
composing anchor points and assign it a different color in order to create an
intricate gradient. 

In my case, I went with a couple of purple tints and shades
as well as orange ones, which gave me a nice smooth, space-like background that
you can see below.

adding the gradient to the main background shape

Step 4









Once you’ve finished working on the larger section, take a couple of
moments and draw the smaller one using the same process as before. Adjust the
resulting shape’s anchor points using the Edit
Points
tool, and then apply a smooth gradient using orange for its left
anchor points and purple for its right ones.

drawing the smaller background shape

Step 5





Next, draw the left gas swirl using white (#FFFFFF) as your fill color, positioning
the resulting shape on the left side of the larger background section.

drawing the left gas section

Step 6





Since we want the shape to be transparent and act as a background
overlay, we’ll have to bring up the Info
panel (Options > Info) and then, using the Edit Points tool, individually select and adjust the Transparency
of each of its composing anchor points.

adjusting the transparency of the left gas section

Step 7





Once you’ve finished working on the left gas section, create the right
one using the same process.

drawing the right gas section

Step 8





Start working on the little background stars by zooming in on the page using the scroll wheel, and then
creating a 6 x 6 px circle with the
color set to a light beige (#F8DBBB), which we will position on the left side
of the larger background section.

adding the first background star

Step 9





Add the remaining stars using some copies, which we will make by
selecting the circle that we’ve just created and then using the Duplicate function found within the top
toolbar. Move around the page by holding down the Space Bar, and then gradually create and reposition the copies until
you’ve populated the background, making sure to leave the center section empty.
Once you’re done, make sure to select and group all of the stars together using the Group
function.

adding the remaining stars to the background

Step 10





Start working on the right comet by drawing its main body (#FFFFFF) using
the Straight line tool. Simply
click on the page to create the start and end points, and then end the line using the End Line function.

drawing the right comet

Step 11





Adjust the line segment that we’ve just created by setting its width to
2 px from within the Info panel (Options > Info > width), setting the color of its left anchor
point to white (#FFFFFF) and its right one to yellow (#FCD85C).

coloring the right comet

Step 12





Select the comet’s right anchor point using the Edit Points tool, and then lower its transparency all the way down to 100% to give it the illusion of movement.

adjusting the transparency of the right comet

Step 13





Create the left comet using a copy (Select
> Duplicate
) of the one that we’ve just finished adjusting, which we
will vertically reflect by selecting the center-right square of its bounding
box and dragging it all the way to the left side until the anchor points swap
places. 

Then repeat the same process, only this time reflect it horizontally, adjusting
its length and then positioning the resulting shape on the opposite side of
the background.

adding the left comet

Step 14





Since we’re pretty much done working on the background, we can select
all its shapes (Control-A)
and group them together (Select >
Group
), before moving on to the next section of our illustration.

grouping the shapes of the background

5. How to Create
the Main Planet

Once we’ve
finished working on the background, we can move on to the center section of the
illustration, where we will gradually create the larger yellow planet.

Step 1













Start by creating the larger outer glow section using a 240 x 240 px yellow circle (#FCD85C), which we will horizontally center align to the
underlying page. To do this, we’re going to do some simple math and remove the width of the planet from that of the
document, and then divide the resulting number by 2 in order to find the X
coordinate. 

So (800 px – 240 px)/2=280 px, which is the value that the X coordinate needs to show in order for
the shape to be perfectly horizontally centered. When it comes to the vertical
alignment, I’ve done the same math (600
px – 240 px)/2=180 px
, but I’ve ended up pushing the shape to the bottom by
an additional 20 px in order for it
to fit inside the background.

creating the larger outer glow

Step 2





Adjust the transparency of the shape that we’ve just created, by setting
its left and top anchor points to 70% and its bottom and right ones to 0%.

adjusting the transparency of the larger outer glow

Step 3

Create the smaller
outer glow using a copy of the resulting shape (Select > Duplicate), which we will resize by selecting the
top-right square of its bounding box and dragging it to the opposite corner,
until you have a 220 x 220 px circle.
Then, center align it to the larger one using the X and Y coordinates.

  • x: (800 px – 220 px)/2=290 px
  • y: (600 px – 220
    px)/2=190 px
    (from which we will remove the additional 20 px)
adding the smaller outer glow

Step 4

Add the main shape
for the actual planet using a 200 x 200
px
yellow circle (#FCD85C), which we will position using the following
coordinates:

  • x: (800 px – 200 px)/2=300 px
  • y: (600 px – 200
    px)/2=200 px
    (from which we will remove the additional 20 px)
creating the main shape for the yellow planet

Step 5





Give the planet a smooth gradient by selecting its bottom and right
anchor points using the Edit Points
tool while holding down the Shift
button to do a multiple selection, and then setting their color to a darker yellow
(#F5A941).

adding the gradient to the yellow planet

Step 6





Start adding details to the planet by creating the larger crater using
a 60 x 40 px ellipse made with the Oval tool, which we will color using a
darker yellow (#F5A941) and then position on its lower-right side.

creating the main shape for the larger crater

Step 7





Give the crater some depth by selecting its bottom and right anchor
points using the Edit Points tool,
and then setting their color to a lighter yellow using the Eye Dropper tool (simply make a quick selection from the left
side of the planet’s larger body).

adding a gradient to the larger crater

Step 8





Create the smaller crater using a duplicate (Select > Duplicate) of the one that we’ve just finished working
on, which we will resize by dragging its bounding box until we have a 30 x 20 px oval. Once you’re done,
position the shape on the lower-left side of the planet, selecting and
grouping all its shapes together using the Group function (Select >
Group
).

adding the smaller crater

6. How to Create
the Background Planet

Next on our interstellar
list is the smaller background planet, which will give some balance to our
composition.

Step 1













Start by creating the belt using a 94
x 40 px Oval
with a 2 px line
width, which we will color using a light blue (#2DA3AF) and then position on the right side of the larger planet.

creating the belt for the background planet

Step 2





Apply a gradient to the belt by selecting each of its anchor points
using the Edit Points tool, and then
adding darker color values as you go round its back section. Since we want
the ellipse to fade towards the rear, we’ll have to add a darker anchor
point and lower the Transparency of
its back anchors to 50% and 34%.

adding a gradient to the belt

Step 3





Create the planet’s main body using a 48 x 48 px circle, which we will color using a light blue
(#31ABB8) and then position over the belt. As long as you have the grid up and running, you should
be able to do it by simply dragging the shape around.

creating the main shape for the background planet

Step 4





Finish off the planet by creating a nice smooth gradient, making the
right side darker in order to give it some depth. Take your time, and once you’re
done, select and group the two shapes together (Select > Group) before moving on to the next section of the
illustration.

adding the gradient to the background planet

7. How to Create
the Satellite

We are now down to
the last section of our illustration, so without wasting more time, let’s get
ready to wrap things up.

Step 1













Create the satellite’s main body using an 8 x 16 px rectangle, which we will color using a light grey
(#DEF0F6) and then position on the left side of the larger crater.

creating the main body for the satellite

Step 2





Create the top and bottom sections using two 4 x 4 px squares (#62808A), which we will position as seen in the
reference image.

adding the top and bottom sections to the satellite

Step 3





Add the two rectangular details to the larger
body using a 4 x 8 px rectangle (#62808A) followed by a smaller 4 x 2 px one (#62808A), which we will space 2 px vertically from one another, positioning them
in the center afterwards. Once you’re done, select and group all five shapes
together (Select > Group), before moving on to the next section.

adding details to the body of the satellite

Step 4





Start working on the antenna assembly by
creating the neck section using a 2 x 4
px
rectangle (#DEF0F6), which we will position on top of the
satellite’s upper section.

adding the neck section for the antenna assembly

Step 5





Add the antenna assembly using a 10 x 10 px circle (#62808A), on top of
which we will add a smaller 6 x 6 px one
(#DEF0F6), followed by a 2 x 2 px one (#62808A). As we did with the previous section, make sure to select and
group all four shapes together using the Select
> Group
function.

adding the antenna to the satellite

Step 6





Start working on the left solar wing by
creating the two arms using a 4 x 2 px rectangle
(#62808A1 px above a thinner 4 x 1 px one
(#62808A), which we will position as seen in the reference image.

adding the arms for the left solar wing

Step 7





Create the main shape for the wing using a 15 x 12 px rectangle, which we will
color using a light grey (#DEF0F6) and then position on the left side
of the extending arms.

adding the main shape for the left solar wing

Step 8





Add the solar cells using four 2 x 8 px rectangles, horizontally
spaced 1 px from one another (#62808A),
which we will position in the center of the wing. Once you’re done, select and
group all of the current section’s shapes (Select > Group) before moving on to the next step.

adding the solar cells to the wing

Step 9





Finish off the satellite by adding the right
wing using a copy (Select > Duplicate)
of the one that we’ve just finished working on, which we will
vertically reflect and then position on the opposite side of the larger body.
Once you’re done, select and group all of the satellite’s shapes (Select > Group) before moving on to
the last step.

adding the right solar wing

Step 10

Finish off the
illustration by adding the subtle shadow cast by the satellite onto the
planet, using a copy of it (Select >
Duplicate
), which we will color using a dark yellow (#EEA822). Adjust the
transparency of the shadow’s shapes by entering their respective
group using the Enter Group option,
and then selecting and lowering some of their anchor points’ (Select > Edit Points).







Then, move the duplicate a few pixels towards the bottom-right corner, making
sure to position it underneath the satellite using the Backward One function (Select
> Backward One
). Once you’re done, select and group the satellite and
its shadow together (Select > Group),
doing the same for the entire illustration before hitting that save button.

finishing off the illustration

It’s a Wrap!

Using some clicks here and there and a few shapes, we’ve managed to create a pretty detailed and vivid space illustration that you can use in any personal project. 

As always, I really hope you’ve managed to follow each and every step and, most importantly, learned something new and useful along the way.

finished project preview