View Full Version : Photoshop: Gradient Overlay

09-05-2011, 01:33 AM
I get frustrated rather easily when I don't get a new concept quickly, which is usually the norm for me. But this tutorial is really (forgive the mild language) ****ing me off. It's Ascension's 'Creating An Atlas Style Map' tutorial, and I've gotten stumped on Page 10. I'm using Adobe Photoshop CS5.1, and I've got no idea what in bloody hell they're talking about when they say...well, really anything on that particular page. I've managed to get as far as the bullet list when my head begins to spin. I don't really have an option for color. It's a black and white gradient. That's it. If someone could tell me exactly what to do, or better yet, provide screenshots, I would be eternally grateful. :x

[e] So I should correct myself, I've managed to get the five colors in. But I've had to redo it thrice because it wouldn't save...gah. Anyway, how on earth am I supposed to make the blue glow? Do I press Ok before making the glow? After? What layer am I supposed to be on? I'm one for direct instruction; a lack of exactness bothers me in the extreme, and I usually end up giving up the entire hobby because nobody can explain anything to me.

09-05-2011, 02:53 AM
Heya. Following tutorials can be tough because sometimes the process is clear to the author so she leaves out something that's obvious to her, but that might not be to the reader (especially if they have less experience with the program being used). I've followed Ascension's tutorial a few times with success (and still use some of his techniques) but, good as it is, I had to go back and repeat a few steps because they didn't turn out quite like the accompanying screenshots - usually these problems stemmed from me not being as familiar with PS as I needed to be, so I had to play around until I figured it out.

It sounds as if you're following the tutorial pretty well but may be having some troubles with PS. I think that we (me or someone else, maybe Ascension himself) can probably help you with your problem. I think we need some more information, however. Can you post a before/after screenshot of your map at the step you're having trouble with? Would probably help if you could show the settings you're using on the tool as well.

By blue glow, I assume that you're talking about the glow around the land layer? Let's just stick with that step and get it figured out?

09-05-2011, 03:39 AM
Heya. Following tutorials can be tough because sometimes the process is clear to the author so she leaves out something that's obvious to her.

.. Did you just call Ascension a her? And I agree with Mearrin, tutorials and the like become ALOT more easier once you start learning a bit more. Hell, when I first got photoshop I was bummed because I thought I could magically create a awesome map and started to regret buying it from my brother. But, as I started to learn a bit more. I started to understand and such. I haven't gone through that Tut yet as I prefer his Continent tutorial as I think its prettier.

Anyway, I have cs5 too. For starters im sorry if this sounds mean or ofensive.. But for saving it unless your photoshop is having a brain fart or something its actually 'new' and not save.

09-05-2011, 04:01 AM
I did not! :) I called him a him. I used she and her when referring to a 'generic' tutorial author...mainly to avoid specifically implying that Ascension's tutorial was sub-standard in any way. :) And because I occasionally like to mix up my generic pronouns.

Edit: BTW, I've always assumed that Ascension was a male. This may not be the case and I'm not sure I have any direct information one way or the other - I'm not sure the issue has ever come up around here. :)

09-05-2011, 04:03 AM
There are very few tutorials I can follow. It's not that I can't follow direction and it's not because I'm stupid, it's just because I'm really impatient and want to go go go. Don't feel bad. And whatever you do, don't give up. I've been banging on Gimp since I joined here and that's when I started on this crazy journey. I couldn't get through a tutorial to save my life because I didn't know what the flip anyone was talking about. So, while I did poke around in a few of them, I mostly just went out on my own and hammered away. Now I'm doing ok. I'm sure if I had felt like reading every detail and going through every tutorial I would have learned to do some things a lot faster but in the end I like to think I've become a tiny bit unique because of taking the long road. That might just be wishful thinking but whatever.

I, like you, was worried I might just drop the whole thing and go back to drawing on paper however I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. I'm still learning and having fun. Yeah you will be frustrated at times but keep trying.

One last thing you might want to keep in mind: you chose one of the tutorials that is a culmination of (if I am guessing right based on things said) about five years of work and learning. Ascension broke it down but honestly if you are new to PS you sort of started out running a marathon. His is one of the big daddy tutorials. The results of completing it are worth the effort.

09-05-2011, 11:57 AM
I'll do what I can to help ya but I don't have the tutorial on my new computer (old one broke) and haven't yet downloaded it from the guild (I'm piecing together the rest of my life before I get my art stuff put back together). So it looks like you got the gradient overlay working, good. The blue is a different layer style called outer glow. To get to that you have to do something like click the ok button to complete the gradient overlay process. Then go back and click on the little cursive f in the bottom of the layer stack to bring the layer style dialog box back up and then click on outer glow. Then follow the steps and you should be ok. The layer for the gradient and the glow is the "land" layer.

09-05-2011, 01:33 PM
For what it's worth, you can actually learn more by making mistakes than having everything come out perfectly bang on the first time through ;)
Might not be much of a satisfier while you're in the moment, but in the long run, you'll have a better understanding of how things do (and don't!) work.

I just woke up so i'm not entirely clear headed yet, but I'll pop the tutorial open in a bit to those steps and see what I can do to clarify further if Ascension's comments don't do it for ya.

09-05-2011, 02:12 PM
Great...so the outer glow thing sort of worked. Now it's the mountains that I've got a problem with. I already hate Photoshop to begin with (in my personal opinion, it's worthless), so frustration isn't helping matters. Some people like it, so kudos to you. I just don't, so odds are I'm probably going to bail on the whole endeavor.

mearrin69, that's precisely why I hate tutorials. This is a well made one, but (unless I'm mistaken, which I probably am), there are some critical things that missing. I've never attempted to make a map before, and am only doing so now as a reference point for a story my friends wish me to tell. So yeah. I exited Photoshop without saving. Maybe I'll try again in the future, but for now, with school starting up again in a day and an evil semester before me, I have no time or energy to waste fuming over a digital map.

09-05-2011, 03:55 PM
You will need an attitude adjustment! Photoshop is your friend...there's nothing better. If you really want alternatives, however, you might want to check out PaintShop Pro ($99ish) or GIMP (free). They're different, but maybe less powerful. Even those tools, however, can be overwhelming. Just take it slow and you'll be fine. Maybe just try some simple exercises with it. Have to crawl before you can walk. Still, don't ive up.

09-05-2011, 08:33 PM
Ah hah! I knew that if I stepped away from it for a few hours, I'd probably calm down. Despite the fact that those few hours served to tear my heart in another way, at least my Photoshop-inspired hate ebbed, and I managed to get as far as Step 38. I've selected the Mountains layer, and Ctrl + Click 'd the Change layer, but it won't let me Modify. The option's unselectable. Ideas?

(And I hope everyone knows I'm not mad at any of you; in fact, I'm quite grateful. It's only that things have always come naturally to me, and I've been able to grasp the concept on many, many things fairly quickly. When I don't, it hurts.)

09-06-2011, 01:11 AM
Can't help ya with step 38, sorry, but maybe in a week I'll have things running properly on my end. Hopefully Coyote has a go for ya tho. Put up a screenshot so I can see what's what and that will help me much better. And don't worry about the frustration thing, when I was first learning Photoshop years ago and following tutorials I always messed them up so you're not alone there. I think everyone who has ever followed a tut has messed one up somewhere in the past. To this day I still can't make those shiny little ball things everyone else makes so well and I've done those tuts hundreds of times.

09-06-2011, 02:13 AM
i've got the tutorial loaded right now, i'll take a bit of a break from my current map and work it over and report on step 38 ;)

09-06-2011, 03:38 AM
Well I went through up to step 38, I can't replicate the issue you describe.
Have you tried just saving, closing out PS, then reopening the file? I've had a few times where the program acts incomprehensibly to me, and it turns out it's been a program error.

Can you post a screenshot? if you can include the layer palette that might help too.

*note - these mountains will look very different to yours, I was playing around with a few techniques that I've always meant to try ;)