View Full Version : Dragon Age Origins map style can anyone help me?

08-13-2010, 04:59 PM
Hello guys, long time no see! I've been occupied with university stuff.

Well, I'd like to know (i've searched eveywhere) how to make those mountains like the one in the map of Dragon Age Origins, for me that style is awesome! Someone can help me? I know a lot about photoshop and have been experimenting some techiniques and not even a close result.

Thank you!

08-14-2010, 10:13 AM
You mean this map?


Reminds me on this map from Djekspek:


The mountains are a bewell and emboss thing ... you should ask Djekspek for the technique or look through some tutorials here. ;)

But the thing is, to let it look colorful like that, you have to play around with lots of layers with different colors. Put a mask on each colorfilled layer and fill it with a rough pattern, that will make the color look more suitable. And do it with many colors, even with darker and brighter tones.


08-14-2010, 01:54 PM
Exacly! I've asked to Djekspek to teach me how, but he dosent answered. =/

Is there any tutorial teching this techinique? I mean, the mountain style, i've read a lot of tutorials but nothing near this style.

about the colors, I have some experience working with it, I just dont know how to draw those beautiful mountains!!! :((

08-14-2010, 07:44 PM
No tuts yet on this style. DJ said he'd try to put something together but it was mostly hand-drawn.

08-15-2010, 09:53 AM
eya, I remember your post Betomuraro, and I think I replied (...but I could be wrong, if so, my apologies). Indeed, it's mostly handdrawn/painted so I'm not sure I can capture it in a tutorial. Also, I'm currently working on something along those lines, and maybe I can post it when it makes sense. (having trouble capturing the techniques in wordings). cheers!

08-15-2010, 11:08 AM
Ah, but at least you could post the brushes that you use? They're lovely and grungy and I'm pretty sure you're not using the standard hard round 10px brush :)

08-15-2010, 11:36 AM
Sure, but the brushes are nothing special I'm afraid. The brush I use for the moutains is the standard soft rounded brush (at 60-70% opacity, sizes from 20pt to sometimes 2-3pt for details) and for the color-layer and grunge/texture-layers I use the standard Dry-brush (2 color brush) usually at 50% opacity (switching front and back color and the size all the time). I use B/W dry-brush for the grunge/textures, setting the layer to overlay. I also do use some random textures (e.g. genetica or other free stuff, desaturated and overlayed) to spice things up. For colors I usually go oversaturated to give it a "shiny" look :D Often I use Coyote's awesome paper textures as well. I'm currently making a little doc with the layers/brushes set up and showing step by step what I do... I'll post it somewhere the coming weeks :)

08-15-2010, 12:10 PM
That's a good start - I haven't played with the dry brush before. I'll have some fun fiddling with that.

Definitely looking forward to the layer breakdown. Thanks for posting the brush settings.

08-15-2010, 04:35 PM
I feel like a total noob for asking but what's a dry brush verses a wet brush? I'm not even sure I know how you do a duel colored brush. I have a set of grunge brushes and I do use them but it sounds like you guys are talking about a trick I don't know yet.

08-15-2010, 05:56 PM
Hey dj thanks for the reply!

Well maybe you can record a video an uploado on youtube, even if you dont talk anything jsut by observing we can get the essence of what you do. And one more question, what's tha hardware you use? Just a mouse? maybe a tablet? Because I think doing all those shades with a mouse wolud surely crush my wrist. Thank you one more time!!!

Jaxilon, I think they're talking about the dry media brushes on photoshop, you just have to open de brush picker, click on the little (>) then you can choose a whole gama of brushes. If it is what they're talking about, cry brushes simulates Grafitti and Charcoal on various types of papers textures.


08-15-2010, 05:59 PM
Dry brush is just a name of a brush in PS, there are a few of them. It's basically a brush with a texture additive so that the brush footprint isn't just plain ole round or square. As for dual brush, that's another PS thing where 2 brushes are combined to give a different footprint. A color-changing brush in PS uses the two current colors selected and each iteration of the footprint is a color along a gradation between the two colors, say like black and white are the two colors then your brushstroke will vary the colors along that gradation using grays. I do not know if Gimp has similar capabilities.

08-15-2010, 06:11 PM
Ok, I think Gimp has it just with a different name::

08-15-2010, 06:21 PM
Hehe, thanks for the clarifications (@Jax, nothing noob about that, I'm not really good at explaining stuff. I only work with photoshop, and I don't really know the terms/slang for those brushes in other tools). Anyway, I did a quick recap of the steps I take and posted it here. It went a little faster then I expected but there are some gaps to be filled in I guess... It's for Photoshop and I use a wacom tablet (never tried this with a mouse, so I'm not sure if that woud work). Anyway, maybe it's of use to you guys. Feedback on improvements appreciated :)

ps. beto, maybe I could try something with a movie later but for now I'll stick with posting this one ;)

08-15-2010, 07:00 PM
Very nice! Thanks a lot for the tute. I'll definitely take a stab at that.

08-15-2010, 07:13 PM
Nice tutorial DJ. Hopefully I'll get time to have a crack at some of those techniques soon. :)

Thanks for sharing.

08-15-2010, 07:59 PM
That's great. I was able to follow most of it except for the part when you get into the rivers. From there it seems way off of what Gimp has. The bevel/emboss thing all at once is not something I've seen. Still, I hope to attempt some of these style mountains. I'm kind of happy to know you just have to suck it up and paint the dang thing. I never thought about doing so much at 50% opacity when painting but it makes sense. Custom paint jobs in the real world are done with many light coats, sanding etc I guess I just figured the techniques couldn't be of much use in the digital arena.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how you do it.

Rep for sure!

08-15-2010, 08:34 PM
Perhaps this tut should be posted in it's own thread to make it easier to find (and rep and rate etc)?

*heads off to read*

08-15-2010, 09:14 PM
Oh my god... Going to devoure this tut!!!

thanks so much Dj! And as I tought I'll have to buy a wacom. =X

I agree with coyote, this tut should be posted on it's own tread.

08-15-2010, 09:22 PM
Good stuff, bro. The tut is vague in places but it has to be or else you're giving away the store (and everyone will be doing it...I know, trust me ;) ) Lots of room for your own techniques and skills means no one will ever be able to do it exactly like you do so you preserve your style. Thanks for posting this and, yep, should probably be moved but let's see if any other tweaks/edits come down the pipe.

08-15-2010, 10:32 PM
I agree with Ascension. It's good to leave some space for personal skills and expression. When I thanked you I was going to also add, "And thanks to everyone else who beat this out of you." but refrained....until now I guess :)

Anyway, if it was just a few clicks of a button what's the point of doing it anymore anyway?

Thanks again DJ - I haven't finished doing the tutorial but already I'm learning new things about how the layers work with one another. I knew I was weak on this point, using overlays and so on, but just going though as far as I have I picked up some better understanding.....probably means it's high time for me to go hit the others again that I couldn't follow when i started.

Here is the corner of what I have done (it's not finished). I will probably junk it because it's just a proof of concept not like I was going for precision. This is only about half way through but I've got to hit the sack so I can get up and work tomorrow. I just wanted to share how the technique can work. With practice I think I can do even better.

08-16-2010, 01:45 PM
The tut is vague in places but it has to be or else you're giving away the store (and everyone will be doing it...I know, trust me ) Lots of room for your own techniques and skills means no one will ever be able to do it exactly like you do so you preserve your style.

It's good that way, it opens the scope. :D

Cookbooks are boring.

08-16-2010, 02:04 PM
Cool stuff Jax, thanks for testdriving this thing. As you will (hopefully :) notice when drawing, is that when (for example on the bit you posted) you go over the roughen-layer again with a small very brush (maybe a little less opacity as well), details will begin to pop-up, making it look even prettier. cheers

08-16-2010, 04:10 PM
Yeah, I could see how the more I worked it over the more textures and buildup I could create. I think this will be very helpful in more ways than just making mountains.

08-18-2010, 09:59 AM
that's teaching how to hook the fish and not giving the fish away. =D