Photobashing A new spaceship from another one.

For this tutorial, I’ll be using Krita, but you can use any of your photo editing software from Photoshop to ClipStudioPaint. As long as it supports mirroring and layers that you can modify modes like overlay, burn, lighten, etc.

So first of all, a quick summary of photobashing. It’s basically digital collage where you cut and paste different elements from various sources like photos and incorporate them into your own piece. You’ll see this a lot in concept art and matte painting and it’s an established art to speed up the creative process.

I highly recommend checking out Lino Dreigh’s Youtube tutorial as well as channel for more detailed examples. He’s one of many awesome artists on youtube that use this technique impressively.

But for now, let’s start off with the Galaxy Shooter main enemy spaceship, we’ll create something totally new from it.

And let’s turn on the mirror using this button at the top of the menu.

First I’m going to loosely select the rear part of the ship and copy/paste it into its own layer by just using ctrl-c/ctrl-v.

Next, I’m going to rough in a preliminary shape. It looks rough and awful, we’ll fix that in a moment.

In Krita, Pressing E will turn whatever brush you are using into an eraser. We’ll also use the line tool to help us cut straight lines off the edges of the rough outline. Also painting in a bit of the back to fill things in.

Let’s bring those older wings back, arrange them to the top layer, and turn them around 180 degrees.

Hmm…not sure I like that. Let’s cut one half off and place it a little wider and arrange the other similarly.

Yeah, that looks better! As Krita doesn’t help you mirror cut and paste, I’m going to roughly draw some guidelines on the left side of the wing and align the right side to them. Then we can press ctrl-e and combine the wings again onto one layer.

It’s feeling a little too empty in the back. Let’s roughly fill in the rear area with some shapes. I’m just feeling things out at this point. It’s ok if things look rough. we can always tighten things up later.

I found this image of a tractor on pixabay. Their images are Creative Commons so there’s no legal problems in using them so let’s see about incorporating this one!

The edge of that tractor looks cool, let’s grab it and make it the centerpiece of the back. We’ll also desaturate and adjust it.

Let’s copy that piece, rotate it around 15 degrees, and place it on the other side because why not?

A little more blocking in…

And just to show you really can use anything, let’s grab that tractor wheel and put it in. When I find a placement I like, I duplicate the layer and then mirror it horizontally for a perfect opposite side. Then I go in and start roughing in a bit more, thinking about what would make the spaceship look a little cooler. I think we’ll be going more into the front but let’s fill out the backside a little more.

And just for snits and giggles, let’s put some dashboard on that engine.

hmm..too bright, let’s darken that a bit.

Let’s grab some things off this helicopter. Those front..uh..things look like they would look good in the back of the ship.

You know what? I don’t think I like those rear spikey bits. let’s get rid of them.

This is another interesting image of a a construction engine we can borrow off of.

Let’s add one more piece from this engine.

Whoa. That top piece is looking a little questionable. A little touchup should fix it. From here on in, you can just paint in whatever details you like before adding a little bit of ‘dirt’.

Amazing what a little grit can do to an image! Oops..didn’t see that line on the left wing. Must have been from a mirrored edit. Let’s remove it for the final image.

I hope this has given you some ideas on how to create your own ships or vehicles. Photobashing is a lot of fun and with a little creativity, you can take textures and reference from almost anything and make them something completely different! This was just a short tutorial on how to photobash meant to dip your toe in the water. Feel free to use more photos and cut and paste more pieces in your own experiments!

cartoonist, game artist, and wanabe gamedev.