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Whitar
07-16-2010, 04:04 AM
Hi everybody!

I was lurking in the nets to fing some good advices of creating battlefield maps and terrain in Photoshop, close to "eupean" style boardgames. Actually, there are no good tutorials I found, so I needed to figure something out by myself (I work as a graphics designer) First atempts were very lack of skill and not so detailed and well drawn as the mentioned above analog. I'll post some of my maps and scale buildings here, please share me some tips how to improve my work and make it way better.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS3, Autodesk 3ds Max 2009, Corel X3, Bryce 5.5 and tonns of textures

Thanks!

tilt
07-16-2010, 09:11 AM
Hi Withar, welcome to the guild... that looks pretty nice... :)
one thing you'll have to concider in a wargame map is that there can't be any doubt as to how a hex it enterpreted... no "is that a hill?" comments - that why most wargames have rather flat and clear graphics, and they can be cool too :) ... and that is also why normally you want your graphics to stay within the lines :)

Whitar
07-16-2010, 09:54 AM
Yep, I'll add markings and hex names/numbers later, that was only a sketch ;) Hand drawn maps look so great, but take a lot of time and practice.
There were some tutorials I used to make continental maps, here's a photo. I want to make something more real and preciese detailed, matching the wargaming system. I downloaded many from top to bottom view trees, so no problem with the vegetation, but creating realistic slopes and terrain curves seems so complex using only a set of brushes and styles. It is ok with 1:1000 scale, and what can I do with bigger maps, where you need to escape from randomness? How is it possible to lay down nice clumps of grass and bushes, looking the way they look in nature enviroment, and the correct use of light and shadow on stones, mountain peeks, not talking about the correct textures for everything without using 3d modelling? I'll pin some examples, this is what I'm up to, they are surelly done in Ps, the site is www.worldworksgames.com

If someone is interested, that's the way I made the hex map above - I've drawn the height map in photoshop, as a displacement map for 3ds max, then, used blending modes to create textures. There are some other ways to do the right texturing, but that one is ok too. In the end, I turned again to photoshop and added hexes. But this method requires rendering in good resolution or the texture detail will be lost :?

NeonKnight
07-16-2010, 11:23 AM
Looks absolutely lovely!

Welcome to the Guild!

Whitar
07-16-2010, 12:12 PM
Thanks! You have great maps here)

tgouletfrancois
07-16-2010, 01:13 PM
Nice!

One comment though: in your shaded relief map (the one in the middle above), your water looks like hill because the shadow comes from the same angle (it seems) as the ground. If for the relief above ground, the south-east facing face is shadowed, so is should be for the ground below. And generally, for the mind, it's easier to see elevation from a shaded relief if the light comes from the North-West (as you did). Otherwise, it looks like depressions (at least for about 90% of the population) (or your bathymetry looks like above ground).

In the example below, it's the same image, but rotated 180. They look totally different place

Wannabehero
07-16-2010, 01:48 PM
Looking good man.

I used to play Battletech 2nd ed. all the time with friends when I was a kid. Love the game.

I'll be watching this with great interest.

RecklessEnthusiasm
07-16-2010, 02:36 PM
That last construction site map is especially amazing! I feel inspired to try 3-d mapping now. Welcome to the guild!

Whitar
07-16-2010, 04:02 PM
Oh, thanks for the advice) I'll probably get rid of those water shadows, and try to recreate debths instead) Yes, this Junkyard is a paper model by worldworksgames, really great) Nice to meet someone who is familliar to Battletech too) :)

Redrobes
07-16-2010, 04:15 PM
I have a couple of tips / suggestions. The first is that if it were me, id lose the bathymetry and make all the sea flat because normally you cant see under the sea. Now it might be that you need to know this in submarines etc in which case forget that but for above ground stuff I see no advantage to knowing water depth.

The other thing I discovered is that if you can get hold of a 3D model of something you like and you can get it into Blender then it has a nice feature called Unwrap into UV. What that does is flatten a model into 2D and you can export that image. Then what your supposed to do is draw on the 2D representation and texture it up a good 'un and then reimport that image and wrap it back onto the model once more. Now if after exporting the unwrapped image you texture it up then print it instead then you can form it back into a real 3D paper model by folding along the polygon lines.

Whitar
07-16-2010, 04:48 PM
Yes, I've done that way, unwrapping the UV coordinates to image, then ading texture in photoshop. As for folding, the model must be very simple, instead it would be a pain to build it. So no zillion polygons allowed) I've done like that in the first images I posted, those structures were just simple blocks with images aplied. Theese buildings really stand out, rather than painted on the map in 2d. With terrain it is a little more complicated. For example for Battletech, there is no need in 3d landscape, just plain maps and hexes. But to make realistic image for the battleground, that's the question №1)

1. to draw it by hand, as detailed as possible, untill it looks like a concept art for Star Wars movie
2. Discover some secret techniques in photoshop, which will make life more easier and still look good

The first thing is, I need just to get rid of my lazyness and get to work) If you like, I'll post the image with my artwork - illustration to a Battletech novel, and thats the style I was talking about. Long and a bit boring process.

And thanks for replies!

Damado
07-16-2010, 11:33 PM
Hi everybody!

I was lurking in the nets to fing some good advices of creating battlefield maps and terrain in Photoshop, close to "eupean" style boardgames. Actually, there are no good tutorials I found, so I needed to figure something out by myself (I work as a graphics designer) First atempts were very lack of skill and not so detailed and well drawn as the mentioned above analog. I'll post some of my maps and scale buildings here, please share me some tips how to improve my work and make it way better.

I use Adobe Photoshop CS3, Autodesk 3ds Max 2009, Corel X3, Bryce 5.5 and tonns of textures

Thanks!

Hi, great work. I was particularly interested in your photo titled ykt, which show the top view of the hills. Can you explain how you achieved this effect or point me in a direction of a good tutorial? thanks.

Whitar
07-17-2010, 04:13 AM
Hi! Sure, it was not hard to do if you are a user of 3ds Max. Firs of all you must draw a height map in photoshop, where your levels will be a gradient from black or grey (low relief) to white (heights) You can make it as detailes as you like. Than you save it as .jpeg, create a plane in 3ds Max that matches the scale of our image and apply the displace modifier. It fits rightly, and you can adjust the raising strength and many othe parameters. Next step is to texture and render. You can look for Height maps in googleif you like. Here are some I found http://springrts.com http://www.pxleyes.com/tutorial/vue/1637/How-to-Create-Custom-Height-Maps-for-Importing-into-Vue-.html/wiki/Height_Map_Tutorial

Damado
07-19-2010, 12:34 AM
thanks, those were very helpfull